Saturday, December 21, 2013

Top Round Beef Roast

Tis the season. For family. Good cheer. Presents. And glorious holiday meals. When it comes to holiday meals, I'm an absolute fanboy of Prime Rib. And judging by the hits on my blog this week, so are my readers. In the last seven days, nearly 2,000 people have checked out my three recipes for making prime rib:

The way Costco prices their prime rib at this time of year, it is an absolute bargain...typically around $7.99 per pound. Buy the dry-aged prime rib at Lunds or Byerly's, it will set you back $26.99 per pound. Ouch. But there are other great beef roasts out there for around $4.99 per pound.

Specifically, check out any of these three beef roasts: Top Round, Eye of Round and Bottom Round. They are bargain priced and have that tremendous beef flavor that makes my mouth water. The difference is that none of these roasts have the delicious (fat) marbling found in rib roasts. So to make sure the meat is moist and at it's most flavorful, they need to be cooked medium rare. Cook them more than that and you have wasted your money.

My readers know I hate meat thermometers. I hate piercing my meat before carving. I prefer to cook by time. And so I am going to share with you Mark Bittman's absolutely foolproof method for cooking a perfectly done round beef roast. If you have an oven and can read, you are about to serve your family beef roast akin to a work of art.

There are two things you must serve with this roast. The first is real horseradish. Not a horseradish sauce, but real horseradish. The kind that unleashes every drop of mucus in your head. The second is a delicious au jus for dipping. Not just any au jus, but the very best. To me, there are iconic brands you never stray from. For Worcestershire, give me Lea and Perrins or give me death. For rib rub, only Famous Dave's will do. For au jus, only Johnny's French Dip Au Jus gets the job done. You'll find it in the condiment aisle.

One, 3-pound beef roast, top, eye or bottom round
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 500ยบ.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes to create a paste. Rub paste all over roast. Place roast  in a roasting pan or cast iron skillet, fat-side up, and put in oven. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes (5 minutes per pound).
  3. After 15 minutes, turn oven off. Do not open oven door. Leave roast to continue cooking, undisturbed, for 2 hours.
  4. After 2 hours, remove roast from oven. Slice and serve.

Wine pairing: Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

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