Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Perfect Roast Beef and Gravy

There are few greater culinary feats than mastering the medium rare (or medium) roast beef. I know people who are terrified of roast beef, but once you get the hang of it (and learn to take kitchen catastrophes in stride), this is an impressive tool in any cook's arsenal.

I prefer using a round roast, but it's equally easy to prepare using a sirloin tip or rump roast. Whatever cut you use, note that all cuts cook differently in the oven, so you'll need to rely on your handy thermometer to tell if the roast has reached the desired temperature.

Another tip to note is that I do not use a roasting pan for my roast beef, so I instead plop the whole roast, fat side up, directly into the oven on the rack. All the sites I've read claim that this creates convection in the oven, but I prefer just to say that it creates deliciousness. I place the roasting pan below the roast so the drippings melt over the meat and bathe it in deliciousness. Once the roast is finished, you'll have drippings for gravy in the pan and a perfectly cooked roast to boot.

Roast Beef and Gravy

4 lb. roast (sirloin tip, rump, or round)
2 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
Salt and pepper
Oil (I prefer olive oil)
1-1/2 cups beef broth
2-3 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Take the roast of the fridge at least one hour before you plan to cook it. It should be at room temperature before you prepare it.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make incisions around the roast the size of the garlic slivers and insert each into the roast. Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper, and rub with oil (just enough to coat).
3. Place the roast directly on the middle rack of the oven, with a roasting pan below to catch the drippings.
4. Cook the roast for 1/2 hour at 375 degrees, and then turn the oven down to 225 degrees for around 2 hours, or until the roast reaches the internal temperature of 135 degrees. Let the roast stand for at least 20 minutes before carving.
5. While the roast is resting, place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat. Stir a couple of tablespoons into a bit of beef broth until fully combined, and add the mixture along with the rest of the beef broth into the roasting pan. Stir the gravy until thickened, and taste for salt and pepper.

Et voilà!

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