For some reason, people are always surprised when I tell them I don’t really know how to make something. While I am definitely more proficient in the kitchen than most people, I’m not too proud (or foolish) to admit that I know how to make anything you could possibly think of, however simple it may be. Take coffee, for example: I’m great at ordering it, not so great at making it. If you come to my house, I’ll make you tea. If we go out, you can buy me a latte. Sounds fair to me, so do we have a deal?
Beef is one of those things that I’m not very experienced with. I eat more chicken and fish than red meat, and while I enjoy a good steak I don’t have one often…and if I do, it’s usually not prepared by me. When I do feel like cooking beef, I usually just grab a beef tenderloin at the butcher because I know it will be super tender. Unfortunately, it is also a pricey cut of meat so I figured learning how to turn a more economical cut (read: cheap) of beef into a tender roast would be a good idea so that I could buy more shoes with the difference.
The last time I made roast beef (not beef tenderloin) I tried a method I had read about whereby you heat the oven up and then turn it off as soon as the beef goes in…the theory is that the residual heat in the oven will cook the beef. After a few hours, it was ok, but not great. I’m not sure if it was the cut I used or the method, so I figured I’d try something else this time in pursuit of the perfect roast beef. Besides, I probably only cook with beef once every few months, and I forget the specifics in between attempts….so you are about to (visually) participate in one of those times so that next time I feel like beef I can pull up my blog and remember what I did.
Exhibit 1: Baron of beef:
Sidenote: you know how you should always trust your intuition? I went to the butcher with the intention of purchasing a sirloin roast, but walked away with a baron of beef because he said it would be equally good, and they were the same price. I think I’d go with the sirloin next time because it’s more even in shape and would therefore cook better.
I don’t know for sure though; next time I might buy beef tenderloin.
Exhibit 2: Seasoned beef:
Exhibit 3: Hot oil + cold beef:
Exhibit 4: Seared beef:
Exhibit 5: Hot oven.
Sidenote: “hot” is a relative term here – this time, I thought I’d keep the oven temperature fairly low (250 degrees) so that the connective tissue in the beef had ample time (1 hr) to break down without drying it out. Since I had already seared the exterior, I wasn’t needing any browning to happen.
Exhibit 6: Temperature time:
Since it had reached 110 degrees, I cranked the oven heat to 500 degrees and continued to let it roast for another 20 minute or so until it reached 130 degrees in the thickest part.
After resting for about 20 minutes (the beef, not me), we had dinner.
Exhibit 7: Roast beef!
And it was good, very good actually. Sometimes, I impress myself!
Come back next week, we’ll talk about how to make tofu taste good. Or maybe we’ll talk about cake; I’m on the fence.