Cooking a Roast Beef is one of the easier recipes a home cook can easily master, though patience and know-how are important. Here are the tips you’ll need.

The class of animals known as bovines includes cattle such as cows, steers, bulls, oxen and heifers. Their meat is generically called beef. Their meat may be cut into steaks, roasts and so many other specific cuts.

How to Roast Beef

Beef contains high levels of proteins, fat , vitamin B12, and fat. Additionally, it has iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and considerable amounts of zinc, along with traces of vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B9 and vitamin B3.  Beef is one of the healthiest single foods that is available.

Roast beef is one of the most commonly served cuts, and most popular after ground beef.  Preparing a roast beef has scared many a home cook, and the secrets of a successful roast are simple.  First, and most critical, is for the cook to pay attention to timing.  Too many have put their roasts in the oven and forgotten it, only to discover a burnt mass when they open the oven door.  A timer helps with that.

Another issue for home cooks is how to get the various cooking levels.  Some family members prefer well-done, others rare or medium-rare.  Actually, the beef can help with this, as it will cook more on the ends than in the middle.  To ensure you get the right conditions, we recommend using a meat thermometer, inserted into the middle of the roast, down to the center.  This way, you can be assured of the color and condition inside the roast.

If everyone at your table likes their roast beef the same, then use a tent of aluminum foil to ensure that the roast is evenly cooked, removing the tent only in the last 30 minutes.

Another wonderful trick most cooks don’t think about is ‘searing’ the roast before roasting, giving a nice crisp crust to the beef.

To do this, put your roasting pan on the stove top on high heat.  Then, add some oil (usually vegetable or canola) and place the beef in the hot oil allowing it to brown for a few minutes on each side, making sure the whole cut is evenly browned.  Once it is, season the meat and add your vegetables to the pan, and roast it. Like the foil tent method, this also helps maintain an even internal temperature, and yields a much juicier, succulent result.

Remember too, that one may add flavor to the beef in a variety of ways.  One is to create little slits in the exterior of the top half of the roast and insert sliced garlic clove into each slit.   Adding fresh herbs, such as thyme, sage, oregano, bay or rosemary can also infuse flavor into the meat.

The vegetables you add to the pan will also enhance its flavor, as well as the flavor of the gravy you’ll make after the roast is cooked.  The ‘holy trinity’ of celery, onion and carrot are standard, however, some have also used fennel (very aromatic) in place of celery, parsnips in place of carrots, and shallots or whole heads of garlic in lieu of onion.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Place the roasting pan with beef and vegetables on a middle rack.  Roast for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F.  Roast at 15 minutes per pound for medium, 12 for rare, 13 for medium-rare and 20 for well done.

Here’s a chart of the temperatures that you’ll find helpful:

Rare : 120 – 130 degrees – bright purple red, tender, juicy

Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees – bright red, warm, tender very juicy

Medium: 135 -145 degrees – rich pink, slightly juicy

Medium well: 145 – 155 degrees – tan with slight pink, firm, slight juice

Well Done: 155 and above – tan to brown, very little juice, meat can become tough

If you want a medium-rare roast remove it from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 120, it will rest for 15 minutes. The internal temperature will rise while the meat is resting. It is always best to use a meat thermometer to ensure you cook the roast to your desired level of doneness.

When seasoning the roast, use simple Kosher salt and ground black pepper.  Really, that’s all you’ll need or want.

After the roast is cooked to the desired temperature, remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a platter.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables.  Drain the pan juices into a heatproof measuring cup (a large one, preferably) and allow that to sit for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, measure two tablespoons of butter in a bowl with two tablespoons flour. Place it in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt the butter. Using a spoon, mix the butter and flour into a smooth paste with no lumps.  Pour off the melted fat that has risen to the top of the measuring cup so you have primarily concentrated beef juices.

Place the roasting pan on the stove top on medium-high heat. Pour in 1/2 cup red wine or brandy. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spurtle (scraper end) and deglaze the pan. Add the beef juices, and 1 cup of beef broth (canned is fine). Add half the butter/flour mixture (Beurre Manie) and reduce the temperature to low-medium. Using a whisk, blend the Beurre Manie into the other liquids until a thickened gravy has formed.  Add more Beurre Manie to make the gravy thicker, and add more beef broth to make it thinner.  You may flavor the gravy while it simmers with things like a bay leaf and ground matching herbs (to match the ones you may have used in roasting).  If you’re adding more, such as onions, shallots or mushrooms, add them, already pre-cooked to the gravy before simmering.

Once fully incorporated and thickened, turn off the heat, add 1 Tablespoon butter and gently whisk it in. Pour the gravy into a boat for serving.

Now, slice the beef. Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes, rice, polenta, or any other desired starch, accompanied by the sauce.

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