Have you ever tried to cook a roast? Did it suck? Did it involve a ton of searching for recipes of a cut you’ve never heard of, questioning Mom and Grandma, thumbing through the ancient recipe-scrolls of the Women’s League from a time when “Roasts” were synonymous with cooking supper and martinis were an appropriate palate cleanser, only to end up—usually after 5 hours of stressing out and opening and closing the oven 40 times—with a leathery knob of dried beef fit for a trans-Atlantic voyage to The New World? Well, I have. And yes, it sucked.
Accurately measuring internal temperature and a sharp knife are everything! Nothing else matters in Roast recipe lore.
There are recipes for slow-cooking some of these cuts, chuck in particular, but we are going to save those recipes for Winter and treat all roasts as equals for this one. I know, sacrilege. Whatever. I don’t believe in rules. I roasted a chuck roll last night and my crock-pot whimpered, wondering if it would ever see marathon slow-cooking sessions ever again.
Anyway, here’s what Grandma never told you. Back in the day, she bought fat hunks of roast because it was the cheapest way to serve all 8 kids and your chubby uncle. Whether it was top-block or leg of lamb she cooked them all the same. Also, Grandpa liked showing off how dope his stag-handled carving set was; he always shaved off a patch of arm hair right before slicing razor thin portions from the perfectly cooked center-piece. Here’s what else Grandma never told you, she used Kitchen Bouquet to aide the browning process (KB ingredients include caramel color, vegetable base, sodium benzoate and sulfiting agents) and her meat thermometer was perfectly calibrated at all times.
So, here’s all you really need to roast anything perfectly: Larder Meat Co. All-purpose Roast Seasoning, an accurate meat thermometer, and a ridiculously sharp carving/slicing knife. That’s it! Then, just follow my technique all the way to the table.
1 cast-Iron pan for searing, I’ve used this one from Lodge for years.
1 2-3lb Beef Roast: Chuck, Clod, or Top/Eye of Round
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 packet of Larder Meat Co. “All-purpose Roast Seasoning”
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- While the oven comes up to temperature, allow roast to come to room temperature.
- When roast is tempered, heat your cast-iron pan while throughly drying the roast with kitchen towels. You can even leave the roast uncovered in your refrigerator to dry out overnight for best results.
- With half of the oil, wipe the roast and season it liberally with the AP Roast Seasoning.
- Sear the roast on all sides and place on the roasting rack.
- Place the roast into the oven and cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, lower the oven temperature to 325 and roast for an additional 30 minutes.
- After 1 hour of total cooking time, remove the roast from the oven and check the internal temperature by inserting the digital thermometer into the center of the roast. It will probably be in the 100-115 degree range. Note: If for some reason your roast is in the 125-135 range, pull it, it’s done! If not, see next step.
- This is when you need to be like Grandma and start hovering in the kitchen because not everybody's oven heats the same and not all roasts are exactly the same size or shape.
- Put the roast back in the oven for 15 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 128-132 degrees. At this temperature range you are safe to remove the roast, lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes—the longer the better.
- After the roast has rested, be like Grandpa and slice that bad-boy as thin as you possibly can and serve it on a warm platter with a side of horseradish. Make sure to shave some arm hair off first to show how sharp your knife is.
- Enjoy this roast technique with virtually all roast cuts and when you’re comfortable with the technique, get at that martini!