Roast Beef

There’s not much I like more than some medium-rare beef with Yorkshire puddings and gravy! The cut I got today was a standing rib roast, half-price this week at Safeway so I got a 1.8kg (3.8lb) roast, which should feed us for at least two full meals and probably more. Even at half-price it costs $25 so you don’t want to mess it up.

First I added a rub, then let the meat stand for a couple of hours to bring it close to room temperature. Here are my rub ingredients:

– 6 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 tsp dried basil (would have used fresh but I forgot to buy some!)
– 1/2 tsp onion powder
– Enough coarse kosher salt and black pepper to cover

There are a few ways to cook the roast, and each one has its proponents:

1) Sear on a stove-top skillet, or in the oven at 500 degrees, then roast in the oven at 225 degrees for a few hours. Slow, but maintains a similar doneness throughout the meat, unlike the other methods where the center is less done than the ends.
2) Cook at 325 degrees throughout until done.
3) Sear in the oven at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, then cook at 325 until done. Quicker than method #1.

I went with the third method this time, and it turned out pretty good. It would have been better had the internet sources (just about all of them) and my Good Housekeeping book not disagreed on the doneness temperatures. Almost every internet recipe I looked at had rare being 125 degrees, but the cookbook (and my oven thermometer!) has rare being 140 degrees. I ended up pulling out the roast at 135 degrees to split the difference, after which the internal temperature kept rising as the meat rested to a high of 145 (not unexpected). The beef was a little overdone, with some rare parts but most at medium, so next time I plan to take it out of the oven at 128 degrees or so.

Here’s a really unattractive picture showing how it turned out; I was in a hurry to eat!

I also made roast potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings using the rendered beef fat which turned out nice, and Louise prepared some carrots and broccoli. One thing that didn’t work out this time was the gravy; I’ve had some leftover Bisto granules kicking around for a few months (sealed up), which I combine with some red wine, the beef drippings and a bit of water, and it always tastes great. This time though it was revolting; I tried again without the wine and beef drippings and it was just as bad, so I think the granules had gone off or something. So we made do with lots of mint sauce. Anyone who says mint sauce is just for lamb has clearly never tried it with beef!

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