The method: Sear, then roast slowly at a low temperature.
In general, roasts cooked using the slow-low method will follow the doneness temperature guidelines of 125 for rare, 130-135 for medium-rare and 140 for medium; that is particularly true of roasts from the rib or loin, especially the tenderloin. However, when you are roasting shoulder, round or rump roasts, the doneness temperatures should be adjusted 5 degrees higher; for best results, cooking beyond 145 degrees is not recommended.
For narrower-shaped cuts of beef, such as eye of round, roast at 170 degrees for 2 hours per pound. Boneless shoulder roast is available locally at Giant Food stores.
Meat that has been seared or covered with olive oil might not brown as well in slow-low roasting; if you would like to use some fat, try 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil or bacon fat in the skillet.
Servings: 8 - 12
- For the meat
- 4 to 6-pound beef roast, such as a boneless shoulder roast, top round roast or eye of round roast
- For the meat and sauce
- Kosher salt or celery salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 carrots, trimmed, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 onion, quartered
- 1 head garlic, top 1/2 inch trimmed off to expose the cloves
- For the sauce
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup store-bought or homemade low-sodium beef broth
For the meat: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Have ready a large roasting pan and a skillet large enough to hold the roast.
Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high or high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper to taste, then sear on all sides until well-browned.
Spread the peeled and cut vegetables in a single layer on the bottom of the roasting pan or on a flat rack inside the pan, then place the roast on top, fat side up. Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 170 degrees. Cook for 2 1/2 hours per pound (for medium-rare).
Transfer the roast to a platter or cutting board, tent loosely with aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes before carving. (At this point, the cooled roast can be covered and refrigerated to carve later.) When ready to carve, discard the fat layer and cut the meat against the grain into thin slices.
For the sauce: Discard the garlic's papery skin and peels; combine the carrots, celery, onion and garlic cloves to taste in the bowl of a food processor; pulse just until finely chopped. (This also can be done by hand.)
Combine the wine and broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just bubbling at the edges. Add the chopped vegetables and stir to mix well; let the mixture return to bubbling at the edges and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, discarding the solids; return the sauce to the saucepan. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; for a slightly richer flavor, cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve the sauce on the side with the warmed slices of roast beef.
Adapted from Jim Swenson, executive chef at the National Press Club.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.