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Friday, January 31, 2014

High Low Roast Beef Shortcut



I recently made my first roast beef using a crazy method that involves blasting the roast at 500F for about 5 minutes per pound before turning the oven off and walking away for two hours. It was a sirloin tip and I cooked it to a perfectly rare roast, much to our shock and awe. I am now officially a fan of roast beef and am anxious to try different cuts of beef using this method.

I bought an outside round oven roast on sale and planned to try this crazy pants roasting method on it to see what would happen when you use a less tender cut of meat. Normally, I would throw this type of roast into the crock pot and let it cook til it fell apart. I went to see August: Osage County that afternoon with a couple of girlfriends and told Shack that if he was home, it would be great if he took the meat out of the fridge at 3pm so it could rest for two hours. If it came out any later than that, we would be looking at a dinner hour that would be require eating my meal in bed and eating roast beef right before nodding off for the night is not a great idea.

Have you seen August: Osage County yet? Holy crap, it's like an Oscar making machine for the actors. As always, Meryl Streep is ridonkulous in it. She is totally devoid of vanity and goes balls out, off the rails and although she deserves to win another Oscar, at this point, don't you think it's time to share with the others? I don't even particularly like Julia Roberts all that much but she will blow your socks off:

EAT YOUR FUCKING FISH BITCH!

Honestly, even though they are acting can you imagine the cathartic joy that must occur when you get to screech that at Meryl Streep? They could raise millions of dollars for charity by letting actors pay for the honour sitting across from Ms Streep and screaming that in her face.



Anyway, I got home around 4:15 and the roast was still chilling away in the fridge because Shack had forgotten about it. I took it out and thought that maybe I would make it and we would just eat sandwiches the next day because , at that point, it wouldn't be ready until about 8:30pm and I was already getting hungry. While it was resting for the prerequisite 2 hours, I kept thinking that it would speed things up if, instead of turning the oven off for two hours, I just turned the oven way down for a shorter period of time to finish it off. Why wouldn't that work?

I am happy to say that it does work. I just turned the oven down to 275F after ten minutes at 500F and started checking it after 10 minutes and took it out once the internal temperature reached 135F. I cooked my last roast just enough that it was not officially carpaccio but I wanted this one to be a nice, medium rare and it was perfect. We did eat a few slices for dinner but it was even better the next day in a sandwich. Admittedly, this cut of meat is not as tender as the sirloin tip roast and I had to cut around the thread of sinewy connective tissue that ran through one section, but for $6 I had just over 2 lbs of delicious roast beef to use in sandwiches for the next couple of days and I will most definitely buy this cut again when I spy it on sale. I still like the ease of walking away for two hours, this method is a good back up for days when you don't have the luxury of taking all that time to cook dinner.




High Low Roast Beef Shortcut





2.2 lb outside round oven roast
Olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 large clove garlic
Montreal Steak Spice



Take your roast out of the fridge 2 hours before you are going to cook it so it can come to room temperature.
When it's time to cook it , preheat the oven to 500F and make sure it really is good and hot. I like to preheat it for a good 15 or 20 minutes even though my oven will tell him it's preheated in 5.
Rub your roast all over with a bit of olive oil before sprinkling kosher salt and freshly ground pepper all over the entire surface. I use a good tbls of kosher salt and probably 15 grinds of black pepper but it's really up to you and it also depends on how salty your spice rub is, if you choose to use a spice rub.
Next, peel the garlic clove and slice it. Make some small slits in the meat and stuff the garlic slices in there, tucking a few under the string if your roast is tied up. Now, if you want to use a spice rub or something like Montreal Steak Spice, sprinkle that all over the surface of the meat, using your fingers to make sure it's pressed right into the meat and place the roast into an oven proof roasting pan of some sort, fat side up. I like to use a cast iron skillet.


Open the door quickly and get the roast it, shutting the door quickly - you don't want to let much heat escape since the blast of high heat is going to sear the meat. Cook it at 500F for ten minutes before lowering the heat to 275F. For a 2.2 lb roast, it took 17 minutes at 275F to bring the internal temp to 135 for a perfect med rare roast. I started checking the temperature at the 10 minute mark, again at 15 minutes and then I checked again after two more and it was perfect. It will depend on the size of your roast, of course, and if you have a thermometer you can set and leave in the meat while it cooks, it will just beep and let you know when it's done. I don't have one of those so I have to keep checking. 

If we go by my math, it would mean:
ten minutes at 500F
8.5 minutes per lb at 275F


Let the meat rest for a few minutes before carving it. If you are using it for sandwiches, it is much easier to slice it thinly when it's cold so let it cool down to room temp and then pop it in the fridge until you need it. I don't have to tell you how to make a roast beef sandwich, do I? These were very simple concoctions consisting of nothing but delicious beef, deli mustard, arugula, salt and pepper on a beautiful, soft Calabrese bun.