Updated June 24, 2017
You’ll love this easy roast beef recipe; it takes a tough hunk of meat and turns it into a tender main dish loaded with goodness.
Tough meat cuts are prized for their wonderful “beefy” flavor. When cooked right, an otherwise tough meat can be transformed into a tender dish, savory and mouthwatering, like this easy roast beef recipe.
Where the cut comes from on the beef determines its tenderness or toughness.
Muscles meats that get the most acitivity, such as walking or running, are usually tough, such as cuts from the round . . . rump roast, rolled rump roast, top and bottom round steak, London Broil, eye of round, cubed steak, heel of round, bottom round roast or steak, tip roast or steak, ox tail, shank cross cuts and stew meat.
Other tough cuts of meat come from areas on the beef that are filled with stringy sinew and rubbery connective tissue, such as flank steak roll, flank steak, skirt steak, short ribs, brisket, corned beef, blade steak, chuck short ribs and cross rib roast.
In general, tough cuts of beef are less expensive than the highly desired tender cuts such as porterhouse steak, prime rib roast or “T” bone steak.
USDA grade substantially affects price: Prime, Choice, Good, Standard, Commercial and Utility. USDA Prime cuts are mostly found in fine restaurants. Local grocery stores usually feature USDA Choice cuts, a lower grade than Prime, but far more affordable, and many times just as good when cooked right. Grades below USDA Good are not sold by grocery retailers and are used for other commercial products.
Plan your menus around meats on sale. One way to save big on meats is to purchase deeply discounted cuts with pull dates about to expire. These meats are safe to eat and fully aged, making tough cuts a little tenderer and very flavorful. The caveat is they must be cooked or frozen the same day to avoid spoilage.
Purchase about ¼ to ½ pound per person you will be serving. For a family of four, a two to three pound roast will suffice, unless you are trying to quench the bottomless appetite of fast growing teenagers or you wish to have leftovers to nosh on for the next few days.
Remember, the larger the cut of meat, the less cost per pound. Buy bulk cuts when they go on sale. Cut it into useable portions at home, and then freeze them until ready to use.
For example a thick large bone-in rump piece can be cut to serve three different meals. The best part of the meat can be carved into cutlets for a Swiss steak dinner. The worst of the meat can be cubed and used as soup or stew meat. The bone-in portion can be cut into a three or four pound pot roast. All these cuts from bulk hunk of meat create dollar stretching meals with plenty of leftovers for everyone to enjoy.
Sear the meat on all sides in hot fat before roasting to help seal in the juices, develop rich meaty flavor and to make nice brown drippings.
Always place the meat fat side up in the pan. As the fat melts during roasting, it self-bastes the meat adding a rich depth of flavor and helps hold flavorful juices inside the meat.
No two roasts are the same; each has a different shape, weight, density and fat to meat ratio. Some roasts have bones.
All these factors affect “doneness”.
Start by cooking a beef roast for about 18 minutes per pound in a preheated 325°F oven. To achieve desired “doneness” use a meat thermometer to check internal temperature upon removal from oven.
140°F = rare
160°F = medium
170°F = well-done
When the roast reaches the desired temperature, cover it with a lid or foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. During this time the roast will continue cooking, the internal temperature rising about 5°F and juices redistribute inside the meat, making the resulting product much moister and easier to carve.
Let nothing go to waste. Save the drippings to make au jus for French Dip sandwiches, tasty gravy, or freeze in an ice cube tray to be later added to broths for soups and stews. If the roast is bone-in, save the bone and freeze it to be later used to make calcium rich soup stock.
For a meal filled with complete nutrition, serve this easy roast beef recipe with roasted garlic toast, a tossed salad made with dark leafy greens, dill pickles, and fresh peaches and cream for dessert.
Time: about 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 6 to 8