For some weird reason, earlier this week I happened across an old Cooks Illustrated article about Slow-Roasted Beef (link works for those with subscriptions to their online edition).
Perhaps because of the current state of the economy or who knows why, I found the recipe particularly interesting – as it described a cooking technique for cheap beef roast cuts (eye-round, etc.) that made these normally tough roast cuts of beef turn out tender and delicious.
Yesterday, I started doing some more web research into this technique and stumbled across a much older Cooks Illustrated slow-roasted beef recipe as well as this recipe from 2005 on Elise Bauer’s Simply Recipes.
Further research taught me that some of the old-time deli’s used to slow roast their beef as well – for their sliced roast beef and sandwiches. For them, slow roasting had another important benefit – it minimized the weight loss from cooking the beef – meaning they had “more” to sell of the final product!
So, we decided to try it for our Sunday evening dinner tonight. Yesterday, while out running errands, we stopped by the local supermarket and picked up a 2.2 pound eye-round roast. They had lots of rump roasts but this was the only eye-round left in the market, so that’s what we ended up with. We were worried that it might be a bit on the light side – but it worked out perfectly.
When we got home, I opened it up, salted it well and then put it into a ZipLoc bag and into the fridge. 18-24 hours of salting time was the recommendation.
Today, about 3:30 PM, I pulled out the roast and browned it in a skillet on the stove using in 2 Tbsp olive oil with a good coating of ground pepper all over. I browned the roast on all sides – 3-4 minutes per side.
Once browned, the roast went onto a rack sitting in a small pan and into a pre-heated 225 degree oven. We used our trusty digital meat thermometer and inserted the probe into the center of the roast, set the temperature limit for 115 degrees (for medium rare) and let it go.
About 90 minutes later, we got the 115 degree beep alert and then turned the oven off completely. We reset the alert temperature to 130 degrees (also for medium rare) and about 20 minutes later removed the roast from the oven. We wrapped it in aluminum foil and let it sit another 15 minutes to let the juices settle.
Then, slicing the beef as thinly as possible, we sliced the whole roast to a platter and served it with a quick tossed Caesar salad and some Navarro Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir (we found a bottle of the Navarro 2002 Deep End Blend Pinot Noir in our library – what a treat that wine turned out to be!).
This slow-roasted roast beef was tender and delicious – a great treat for a 2009 recession-era Sunday dinner!