A deliciously easy roast beef recipe that is the perfect comfort food for entertaining.
So when a boy comes over for dinner and you want to measure up to his impression of your mad cooking skillz, you should probably stick to a tried-and-true recipe. This way, you’re relaxed and calm, and can then focus on awkward small talk, chit chat, and not have to worry about how (or gasp, if!) a recipe is going to be successful or not.
Unless, of course, you’re me.
And you pretty much don’t follow rules and relish in being a rule breaker.
Or a non-comformist.
Welcome to my Saturday night a few weeks ago.
*although the recipe did come with high praise from a friend, so I wasn’t going in completely blind, so there’s that.
My dinner guest is a confirmed “meat and potatoes” guy (and shall forever be referred to as MPG). Simple enough. A friend of mine offered up a suggestion of her tried-and-true (via Cook’s Country) roast beef recipe, and I rounded out the meal with those Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers, roasted assorted vegetables, and a new brownie recipe (which, sadly, didn’t get enjoyed that night, but Nick has been slowly making his way through the pan ever since).
I couldn’t find the exact cut of meat that the recipe called for.
I didn’t remember to tie up the roast with string before cooking.
And since MPG arrived for the evening during the part of the recipe I had to concentrate on the most, I likely missed a step or six.
And, surprisingly enough, it all ended up ok nonetheless.
Which means that the recipe is forgiving.
Which is my favorite kind of recipe.
I questioned the recipe (and my friend) a few times during the process (really? No cover on the pot for all those hours? Are you sure?) and just held fast to the notion that I could throw in the towel at any time and make an awesome Spaghetti Carbonara on the fly or call for take-out.
Luckily the worry was all for naught.
The roast was done when the recipe said it would be. And it was tender, juicy, and made for an impressive hunk of meat.
And perfect for a meat and potatoes guy.
Mad cooking skillz reputation firmly intact.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the gravy. Awesome stuff, and even more awesome when used on an open faced roast beef sandwich the next day. Of course, I’m still not eating carbs, so I just pretended the roast beef and gravy were atop a piece of toasted sourdough. I will live vicariously through you.
So whether you’re entertaining dates, a crowd, or just your own family, tuck this one into your recipe files and use it judiciously.
For your own meat and potatoes people.
Grandma’s Roast Beef with Gravy
Recipe courtesy of Cook’s Country
1 (4- to 5- pound) boneless top-round roast
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 celery rib, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cans beef consomme
1-1/2 cups water
Pat the roast dry with paper towels and rub with 2 teaspoons of salt. Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 225 degrees. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and rub with 2 teaspoons of pepper. Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until it is just smoking. Brown the roast all over on all sides, about 8 to 12 minutes; transfer the roast to a plate.
Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan. Add the butter to the skillet and melt it over medium heat. Cook the carrots, onion and celery until they are lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the flour and the tomato paste and cook until the flour is golden and the paste begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, push the vegetables to the center of the pan. Place the roast on top of the vegetables and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook the roast until the meat registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Transfer the roast to a carving board, tent with foil and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, keeping in mind that the skillet handle will still be quite hot, return the skillet with vegetables to medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are a deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the consomme and water, scraping up any browned bits, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the gravy is thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the gravy through a fine mesh strainer into a serving bowl. Discard the vegetables. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste.
Thinly slice the roast crosswise against the grain and serve with the gravy.