These days I'm counting pennies and pinching them 'till they squeal. But, I love good roast beef. Rare beef, sliced thin, topped with a spicy horseradish cream sauce* is heaven.
I read an interview with a local fine-dining chef who turns top or bottom round roasts into deli-delicious roast beef for sandwiches. I was intrigued. The original recipe used a 6 pound roast, and cooked it for 2x longer than mine.
Here's a peek at the process; a photo of my notes and the labels for bo th roasts.
Start a day ahead because the meat marinates, warms up, is cooked, and rests. Lucky roast, it spends more time resting than cooking. Some ten-times more.
I did this recipe twice. The first time, I overcooked the hell out of it. It wasn't even medium, it was good -- but overcooked -- medium well. I gave most of it to Belmont.
I nailed it on the second attempt by shortening the cook time.
Both roasts came from Freddies. The first was $4.69/lb, 2.61 lbs. The second was $3.99 (score!) and 3 lbs. It's such a firm cut of meat, with no waste, that even tho the cost of the roast -- $12 -- may represent your entire meat budget for the week, it's worth it because it represents roughly six half-pound portions. That's a lot of meat.
Enough chit-chat. Here's the process.
Deli style roast beef
1 ea 3 lbs top or bottom round roast
1 Tbsp kosher salt
The night before, dry and salt the roast. Hold it, uncovered, in the fridge for 12 hours.
Remove from the cooler and allow to warm up for 1 hour. I held the first roast in the cooler for 24 hours and when I pulled it to warm up, it seemed a little dry about the edges.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Position a rack in the center of the oven.
Sear the top of the meat for 8 - 10 minutes. Turn and sear the bottom for 8 - 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 250 and roast for fifteen minutes. The internal temp of my roast at this point was 80 degrees. Turn and roast for 15 minutes more. At the second turn my roast was at 110 degrees. Turn once more and roast for 15 -20 minutes. After 50 minutes total, the roast had an internal temp of 120 degrees. Remove it from the heat. The original recipe calls for pulling the roast at 125 degrees, but I think that's too hot for a rosy red center.
Note: I'm not crazy about sticking meat with an instant read thermometer any more than once. I think it just sucks out juicy deliciousness. But, I wanted to nail this recipe so I temped it at each turn. When I make this again, I'll check the temp after 45 minutes (turning every 15 minutes) and not more that once.
Tent with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Modify this recipe by rubbing the meat with garlic and salt, or herb blends and salt. Knock yourself out.
* I made a simple creamy horseradish sauce by putting a cup of heavy cream into a wide-mouth canning jar. I added a heaping tablespoon of horseradish and a fat pinch of salt. I then capped it and shook the jar until the cream sauce was the right consistency. By the way, jars also work well for cocktails!