I have a confession to make. I am a meat hoarder. Don’t laugh! I’m serious! Ok, I’m laughing too. Our freezer is packed with various meats. I think it comes from a combination of Alex eating his weight in protein everyday and my lust for a good deal. Anytime a specific cut is on sale I will stock up. Our local commissary had bacon on sale the other day for .29 cents a package (they were about to expire), I bought twenty packages and froze them.
All the way in the back of the freezer I found a 3.5 pound topside of beef. Normally, I save these big cuts for days when I am way too busy to make a thought-out meal. This is when I bust out the trusty crock pot and set-it-and-forget-it. Today is not one of those days! I have been wanting to dabble around with making homemade lunch meats, store bought ones are just so full of sodium and preservatives. So I made this simple medium rare beef roast and I’m using the left overs (thinly sliced) as lunch meat snacks for Alex…and maybe Axel if he’s a good boy.
This recipe actually wasn’t much harder than my crock pot roast beef. I use a digital oven thermometer, so once the beef hit 120 degrees, I took it out of the oven. I definitely recommend one of those bad boys-less probing the meat and checking constantly to see if your roast is done. You can even get fancy and get a remote controlled one!
I love these easy dinners that you don’t have to watch like a hawk. They give you time to relax…or lay in bed with your husband and dog and take super cute pictures…
So back to the task at hand. Making a proper roast beef! With such simple ingredients, I would recommend getting the best quality meat and freshest veggies you can find. I even used fresh herbs from my patio garden! Here is a great link to a list of different types of cuts that are great for roasts from Canadian Living.
Don’t worry too much about getting your mirepoix cut too small, since it’s roasting in the oven for around an hour you want them to be more bite-sized so they don’t end up burning under the beef. I even leave the garlic whole, just smashed. I also love fresh herbs….in the words of the great Chef Travis Brust: When in doubt, herb it out.
From past experience working in a hotel that served banquets to hundreds of people a night, one of the biggest mistakes cooks make with meat is seasoning. Especially on thicker cuts, you really have to season them well. Just think about all the meat on the inside that doesn’t get seasoned, you have to make up for that on the outside. Also, only use kosher salt or natural sea salt. In all seriousness, iodized salt is the devil. Yes, the devil.
Basically, your veggies on the bottom of the pan are going to make an edible rack to hoist up the beef. All those yummy beef juices will drizzle down and the flavors will mingle with the fresh herbs, carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic, shallots and celery. Not to mention your house will smell amazing. I normally serve these roasted veggies as a side to the beef, but if you are feeling a little adventurous you can always use them to flavor a pan sauce to serve with the roast. I find that the meat is juicy enough that I don’t miss a sauce.
Proper Roast Beef
- 3ish pounds quality topside of beef
- 2 medium onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
To prepare your beef:
Take your beef out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat your oven to 475°F. Wash, peel and roughly chop your vegetables. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, remove still but leave whole.
Pile all the veg, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle the beef with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the meat. Place the beef on top of the vegetables.
To cook your beef:
Place the roasting tray in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down immediately to 400°F and cook for 1 hour for medium beef (if using a thermometer set timer to 120 degrees).
Baste the beef halfway through cooking and if the veg look dry, add a splash of water or stock to the tray to stop them burning.
When the beef is cooked to your liking, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the beef to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. If the veg still looks like it needs a little color, place the pan back in oven until the beef is done resting.
Slice beef against the grain & serve! It goes really great with a nice low-carb cauliflower mash!