I only really learned how to make roast beef in culinary school. Since then, I have been attempting to create a moist and flavorful roast beef recipe and I have finally succeeded!
In this post, I will not only give you the recipe but I will also provide you with the advice that you need to make sure that this recipe turns out beautifully each and every time!
The first thing that I want to sort out is the difference between roast beef and pot roast. The names of these dishes are pretty similar so I do understand why a lot of people get them confused.
The easiest way to differentiate between the two is like this:
Roast beef is cooked dry while pot roast is typically cooked in moist heat. In fact, pot roast is likely to be cooked in the same manner as you would a stew.
When it comes to roast beef, you can actually use a wide variety of cuts. With pot roast, though, chuck roast is the most common cut used.
Before you can move onto the recipe, you need to know what kind of cut to buy and use.
Well, as mentioned above, there are a few different cuts that you can use. The most common options are:
The reason that you have so much choice with this recipe is due to the cooking process. As you are essentially slow cooking the meat, even tougher cuts have the time to break down. This produces a nice, tender dish.
That being said, I would look for a meat that has a bit of marbling running through it. This prevents the beef roast cut from being too lean. In turn, this reduces the risk of the meat drying out as it is roasted.
Not to mention, fat always adds flavor!
Personally, I like to use the eye of round roast as it has that nice beefy flavor that translates well when roasted.
The most traditional option for roast beef has been a boneless cut. I like to use a boneless cut as it is easier to cook. The meat cooks faster and more evenly.
Plus, when slicing into the roast beef, there is less hassle involved.
That being said, the bone in option does offer flavor and moisture. So, this is something that you might want to consider.
Take the eye of round roast out of the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before cooking.
Preheat oven temperature to 275 degrees F.
Combine the olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
Use your hands or a pastry brush to apply this rub all over the beef roast.
Heat a large cast iron skillet and add in a pat of butter. Once the butter has melted, add the roast.
Sear each side of the roast until browned but don't cook for too long or you will risk burning the meat.
Take the roast off the heat.
Place a roasting rack in a roasting pan.
Place the beef roast in the roasting pan.
Place the pan in the oven and cook roast beef until the internal temperature registers at 120 F for rarer roast beef or 125 F for a roast beef that is more medium rare.
Set the roast beef on a wooden cutting board and let rest for up to 30 minutes.
Reserve the beef drippings to use in the gravy.
Cut into thin slices and serve.
Place the beef broth and the beef drippings in a pan. Place over medium heat. Stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce.
Combine the water and the cornstarch in a bowl.
Add to the sauce in the pan and mix well.
Stir until the gravy has thickened.
Add salt and pepper to taste, stir, and take off the heat.
As I have stated in the recipe, try to take out your roast about 45 minutes before you plan on cooking it.
Place it on the counter and then cover it. This gives the meat time to warm up a little. In turn, when placed in the oven, it will cook more evenly and at a faster rate.
Don't let the roast sit out for longer than an hour, though, as this increases the risk of food poisoning.
I always find that it is best to stick to simple seasonings when it comes to roast beef. This is especially true if you have chosen a particularly flavorful cut of meat. You don't want the herbs and spices to overpower the meat, do you?
That being said, there is no reason to stick to the ingredients that I have chosen for my recipe. For instance, you can swap out the herbs that I have used with either parsley, oregano, or any other ingredient that you like.
I know that some people prefer to use garlic powder instead of garlic cloves. Then, there are those who like to add aromatic spices such as cumin or fennel.
I would advise you to try out different flavor combinations to figure out which ones you like. You can even swap out dried herbs for the fresh ones.
Some do like to stick to just salt and pepper but I would just getting a little bit more creative so that your roast beef doesn't fall flat either.
I do prefer seasoning meat the way that I have mentioned in the recipe - mixing the herbs and other ingredients in the olive oil and then spreading or rubbing them into the meat.
Others prefer to make nicks at various points throughout the roast and then place slivers of garlic inside. Then, the rest of the herbs are applied to the roast.
Now, this is something that you absolutely can do. I prefer my method as it is faster and involves less prep work.
Not to mention, placing the slivers of garlic cloves in the meat doesn't add all that much in terms of flavor.
Is your roast an uneven shape or size? If so, securing the meat with butcher twine can be a good idea. This isn't just done for presentation - tying the meat like this can also help the meat to cook at a more uniform rate.
There are a lot of different fancy ways to tie up the meat but I feel like you should go with whatever works for you.
For instance, you can tie several loops of twine around the roast at even distances. Then, loop the twine around the bottom and secure it at the top of the roast.
The only thing that matters is that the twine secures the meat in a uniform shape.
I like to brown the roast beef in the pan. There are some recipes that will do this in the oven instead.
Now, the reason that I like browning the meat in the pan is because I get a better result - the exterior is nice and crunchy.
As an added bonus, there is less risk of overcooking the meat here. As the roast beef spends so little time in the pan, you can guarantee that the center will not cook.
If you would prefer to do this in the oven, then you have two options. You can start off with a higher temperature - around 325 F and then lower the temperature about 30 minutes later. Or, you can start with the regular temperature and then raise the temp 30 minutes before the meat is done.
The choice is yours.
You are going to find a lot of different guidelines when it comes to temperature. Some roast beef recipes will tell you turn the temperature up to 450 F for about half and hour and then bring it back to 325 F after this.
Then there are those that start off the temperature at 375 F, let it brown for 30 minutes, and then drop it down to 225 F.
I prefer to cook roast beef at 275 F as I like browning it in the pan first. This reduces the hassle involved in cooking the meat. At the same time, cooking the meat at a lower temperature reduces the risk of an overcooked roast beef.
The only tip that I will offer you here is to avoid anything above 350 F for too long. Sure, your roast beef will cook a lot faster at a higher temperature but you are also more likely to end up with a dry cut of meat.
This is not a chance that I want to take.
Is there a thin layer of fat on your roast? If so, place this side towards the heat source.
The fat acts as a barrier, preventing the meat from getting the full brunt of the heat. In turn, it is allowed to cook more slowly, giving the tissues time to break down so that the roast can be more tender.
It is best not cover the meat while roasting. When you do this, there is a build up of moisture inside.
In turn, your roast beef is more likely to steam rather than roast, resulting in a mushy and unappetizing texture.
The key to a tender roast beef recipe is a meat thermometer.
If you imagine that a meat thermometer is useless or is only good for grilling or smoking beef, think again!
See, the thing is, when you are roasting beef, there are a lot of different variables that can alter cooking time. This includes the size and cut of beef, the operating temperature of your oven, and even the ambient temperature around you!
Due to this, it can be nearly impossible to accurately pinpoint when your roast beef will be cooked to perfection.
What you can do, though, is track the internal temperature via a meat thermometer. Simply insert the probe into the thickest part of the roast and monitor the temperature.
The other trick to tender roast beef is taking the meat out at the right time.
If you like your roast beef on the rare side, then take it out when the internal temp is at 120 F. If you prefer it closer to medium rare, then take it out at 125 F.
Now, it is important to take the meat out when it registers at either of these temperatures. This is due to a process known as carryover cooking.
This is what happens when the meat continues to cook even once it is removed from its heat source. During this period, the internal temperature can go up by as much as 10 degrees!
So, if you take out your roast beef too late, it may end up overcooking and drying out.
This is a step that I urge you not to skip. I know that a lot of people don't feel like the resting process makes a difference but I assure that it does!
See, when the meat is expose to high temperatures, the tissues begin to contract. As they do, the liquid from the meat is squeezed out.
When the meat is taken off the heat and allowed to rest, the meat cools down and the tissues relax. They are then allowed to reabsorb the liquid that has been lost.
For the best results, let the roast beef rest for 30 minutes. If you absolutely can't wait this long, then let it rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Some people do like to loosely wrap the roast beef in foil while it rests. I don't find this necessary if you have taken the meat out at the right point.
You should only consider this if you have left the meat in for longer than you anticipated. The moisture created by the tenting process may help to soften the meat up a little.
Believe it or not, there is a right way to cut roast beef. To ensure that the meat is tender and has a great texture, cut the meat against the grain.
To do this, look at the direction that the muscle fibers are running in. Then, cut the meat parallel to these lines. Make sure to cut the meat rather thinly too.
Now, be careful when cutting your roast.
In some instances, the direction of the grain can change. If you notice that this is the case with your cut, then simply turn the roast around and cut parallel to those lines.
Let's face it, there are few thing better than a homemade roast beef sandwich. Now, that you have cooked a delicious roast, here is how to make your very own sandwich:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and combine well.
Slice the hamburger buns in half and apply the dressing to each side.
Layer on the roast beef and cheese and place the top side of the bun on the bottom.
Wrap each sandwich in foil and place in the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve while hot.
Once the leftover roast beef has cooled down, you can then store it in the refrigerator.
You can choose to store the roast beef as a whole cut or slice it first.
If you are planning on storing it whole, make sure that you can find an airtight container large enough for the cut.
Arrange the roast beef in an airtight container and seal tightly. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
If you would like to keep the roast beef for longer, then you will need to freeze it.
A freezer safe, airtight container will work here. However, if you wish to save space in your freezer, then you should keep the meat in a Ziploc or freezer bag.
Place the meat inside and squeeze out all of the excess air. This step prevents the meat from developing freezer burn.
Then, write the date of freezing on the bag in market. It is also a good idea to label the meat so that you can identify the contents of the bag more easily.
Then, freeze for around 2 months for best results.
If the leftover roast beef has been frozen, then it is important for you to first defrost the meat completely before you reheat it.
The best way to do this is to let the roast beef sit in the refrigerator until it has thawed all the way through.
The reheating method will depend on whether the beef has been stored whole or sliced.
For a whole cut, preheat the oven to 275 F. Then, place roast in the oven and cook until the internal temperature registers at 120 F.
If the meat is sliced, then you can reheat it either on the stove top or in the oven.
For either option, place the slices of beef in a single layer in the pan or foil covered baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 275 and place the tray inside. For the stove, heat the meat over a medium low flame.
Cook until the thickest part of the slices registers at 120 F.
If you would like, you can add a few drops of water or beef broth for moisture while reheating the meat.
The best way to do this is to ensure that the roast is cooked at a low temperature. You should also use a meat probe to figure out when the meat is done.
There is no need to cover the beef while roasting especially when cooking at a lower temperature.
Well, there you have it - the roast beef recipe that is going to knock your socks off. So, go ahead and follow all the tips and techniques that I have provided here and you are sure to create an amazing dish! This is one that you are going to come back to time and time again!