There is something special about Sunday dinner. I could cook and serve the exact same roast beef recipe any other night of the week, and the effect would be lost. Maybe it’s the full 48 hours of relaxation leading up to the tradition. Or maybe it’s because Sunday is our Sabbath, or maybe a bit of both.
Perhaps the best part of a Sunday roast plan evening is if you play your cards right, you’ve got leftovers for days.
In the interest of not having to clean out our huge roasting pan by hand (we are our kitchen’s dishwasher), I’ve taken to cooking beef roasts in a cast iron skillet. A quick sear on the stove, and a hour or so in the oven yields a great crust and tender, juicy slices.
Season like you mean it
Another secret to great roast meat is in the seasoning. I’ve learned in school and by working in restaurants that being shy with salt and pepper equals bland meat. With whole cuts of meat, especially large roasts, you can’t season the meat on the inside. SOOOO you have to liberally season the outside. Salt, pepper, or spice mix should be rubbed “excessively, evenly and everywhere”, to quote one of my favorite chef instructors, Michael Garnero.
I also stole a notion from the butcher at my local farm market, and use a top round cut of beef. It is usually offered in a manageable size and priced nicely. And this particular cut has great marbling (fat dispersed within the meat) to keep it moist during cooking. Especially key if your guests prefer their roast medium-well. Or like my mother, well-done (yes, that’s me you hear sobbing).
Don’t leave the best part in the pan
The sauce can be made in the same skillet, super easy. Simply simmer beef stock on the stove in the roasting skillet, and scrape up the flavorful drippings.
For the love, just give it a rest
Most importantly, let the roast rest before slicing it (it is Sunday after all). Take it out of the oven and forget about it for at least 10 to 15 minutes. If you slice immediately, all those succulent juices will end up on your cutting board, and not in your mouth. And trust me, leftover, but still juicy roast beef makes a great meal any day of the week.Print
A crowd pleaser and a great way to end a Sunday, or any day really!
- 3–4 pound beef top round, tied and at room temperature
- 3 tbsp avocado oil or pastured lard
- Kosher salt, black pepper, or spice rub of choice
- 2 cups unsalted beef stock
- 2 large red beets
- ½ cup apple cider
- 2 zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise, then into ¼-inch half moons
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved (10–12 tomatoes)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- Butter or ghee, as needed
- 1 tsp sea salt, to finish
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Season beef generously with salt and pepper or spice rub.
- Tie with butcher’s twine in three places, evenly spaced apart.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat, and sear beef on all sides to a dark golden brown.
- Transfer beef to oven, and cook to desired internal temperature, about 40 minutes for medium (internal temperature of 140° F). When squeezed on both sides with two fingers, the meat should give to pressure, but not feel flimsy or too soft.
- Remove from oven, and rest covered with foil for 15 minutes.
Pan Jus (sauce)
- After removing beef from oven, place skillet over medium-high heat on stove and add beef stock.
- Reduce the stock by half, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to release drippings (yummy bits!).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Boil + roast beets
- Boil beets covered by two inches of salted water until they are tender. Or roast wrapped in foil at 400° F until tender.
- Cool, and remove skin with peeler or side of a small spoon.
- Slice and reheat in a pan with apple cider and a few pinches of salt.
Squash + tomatoes
- In a small amount of butter over medium heat, sauté squash until it begins to brown.
- Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to wilt. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.
Lookin’ for dessert?
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It was a roast beef recipe, so go figure.