Friday, April 26, 2013

Where's the Beef of My Dreams?

What is it about a roast beef dinner that just seems to bring back memories of your childhood, or those special  occasions when we were growing up. Roast beef happens to be one of my all time favorites, just don't seem to make as often as I like I always feel it should be for some fancy dinner party or holiday.
 But I just happened to be in the market and saw a piece of top round and said oh what the heck, and bought it.  Little did I realize it would rekindle my passion for roast beef and got me craving it once again! With a few pantry items I transformed this piece of meat into a classic without much work at all.  So whether you make this classic roast dinner for just a few, or feed the hordes it is perfect with minimal fuss. 

Herb Crusted Roast Beef With Pan Gravy

1 beef top round, about 4 to 5 pounds
1 Tbsp olive oil
Tbsp garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme
1-1/2 tsp dried leaf sage
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 to 3 cups beef broth, low sodium
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat oven to 450°.
  2. Place the roast, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. (I sometime scatter some cut up carrots, celery, and onion on the bottom of the pan just for added flavor).
  3. Combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary, sea salt, and pepper; stir to blend. Rub all over the roast.
  4. Roast the beef for 15 minutes at 450°.  Then reduce oven heat to 350° and continue to roast for about 35 to 45 minutes longer, or to 130° to 140° (for medium) on an instant read thermometer or temperature probe inserted in the center of the thickest part of the roast. See below for more detailed temperature guidelines.
  5. Let the roast rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
  6. Arrange the beef on a platter and serve with the pan gravy.

Pan Gravy

  1. Strain the pan drippings into a saucepan and stir in 4 tablespoons of flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. 
  2. Add the beef broth and continue cooking, stirring, until thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Beef Roast Temperatures
125° = Rare
130° to 140° = Medium Rare
145° to 150° = Medium
155° to 160° = Well Done

Fanned Potatoes with Bacon and Onion

4 russet potatoes, scrubbed
1 small onion, sliced thinly
3 slices bacon, chopped
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Heat oven to 450°. 
  2. Peel then cut 1/4 inch from bottom and ends of potatoes, then slice potatoes crosswise at 1/4-inch intervals, leaving 1/4 inch of potato intact. 
  3. Gently rinse potatoes under running water, let drain, and transfer, sliced-side down, to plate. Microwave until slightly soft to the touch, 6 to 12 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through cooking.
  4. Arrange potatoes, sliced-side up, on foil-lined baking sheet. 
  5. Then in a bowl toss onion, bacon, oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over potatoes onion and bacon crisp and potatoes are beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.

**Prepping potato fans these potatoes may look difficult to make, there are a few simple, no-fuss tricks to ensure perfect potato fans every time.**

  1.  Trim 1/4-inch slices from the bottom and ends of each potato to allow them to sit flat and to give the slices extra room to fan out during baking.
  2. Chopsticks (placed along each side) provide a foolproof guide for slicing the potato petals without cutting all the way through the potato.
  3. Gently flex fans open while rinsing under cold running water; this rids the potatoes of excess starch that can impede fanning.