Wednesday, March 3, 2010
On the menu tonight is a beautiful Roast Beef that I got from the store on sale on Sunday. It is a Top Round Roast and it was big. I thought that I would cook it all and then slice the leftovers for, well, leftovers - sandwiches and dinners but then I thought that we probably don't need to eat that much beef in one week so then I thought I would cook it all and freeze the leftovers. The thought of cooked beef being frozen and reheated wasn't appetizing to me so I went with option #3 Cut some off this raw roast and freeze the uncooked meat. Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding! The winner! I cut about 1/3 from the roast and then cut that into cubes for future beef stew and proceeded to roast the remainder for tonight's dinner.
Here is the game plan:
For the roast, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Obviously you will need 1 Beef Roast - pick one that looks lean and beautifully red. I honestly cannot tell you how big my roast was but it was well over 2 pounds and the recommended serving size is 3 ounces (for a healthy diet). That is about the size of a deck of playing cards. We go a little bigger than that in our house but you do what you think is best for yours. For a good reference guide on how much of certain items you need to plan for each meal, check this out If it is too big like mine was, you can take any of my above suggestions for dealing with that but I recommend option #3.
Obtain a roasting pan. You don't need to go out and buy a giant roasting pan with a rack (although for even roasting, the experts recommend cooking on a rack) and lid for this meal and if you can avoid hosting a large-scale event at your house, you may never need one at all. I have an old corning ware roasting pan that my mother passed to me when I started keeping house and I love, love, love it. Since it is safe to use on the stove top, I put it right on the eye of the stove and bring it up to a medium-high heat along with 1 T of Olive Oil.
If your roasting pan doesn't like the stove top, use a large skillet for this step. After a liberal massage of Salt and Pepper I placed the roast onto the hot pan and seared each side. While that was working, I cut 1 Medium Onion into large pieces. I added 1 C of Water to the pan to deglaze (loosen the meat that has started sticking to the pan) the pan.
After that, I added the onions along with 2 C Whole Baby Carrots to the roasting pan and placed it all into the preheated oven. You can also add celery and/or garlic cloves now but if you want to add potatoes, I would wait about 15 minutes to add them or they will fall apart on you.
Cook the roast until an instant read thermometer says 150 for Medium Well to Well Done. You can't know for sure without a thermometer but I don't use one. I just cook it for 45 minutes to an hour and go with what I have. Sorry, that is what I do. Once it looks right, I know.
For the gravy, pour the pan drippings into a saucepan over medium high heat. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, add 2 T All Purpose Flour to 1 C of water or broth and mix with a fork until there are no lumps. Pour the flour mixture into the pan with the drippings and season with salt and pepper. You have to bring it to a boil before it thickens up completely and you should let it simmer for about 5 minutes to make sure the flour cooks thoroughly. Congratulations, you have gravy.
Follow the package directions for rice and serve a vegetable side that you like and hope that the kids won't fight about having to eat it. Tonight, we are having okra, tomatoes, and corn from a can. They will never go for it but I don't care :)
Notes: You can always jazz up your roast with garlic studs (cut lots of deep slits into the meat and stick in whole cloves of garlic) or adding other seasonings into the initial massage of salt and pepper if you want.