I made roast beef! And sliced it myself! Earlier in the week I was reminiscing the classic dinners my mother would cook when I was young. Roast beef, mashed potatoes, with mixed veggies was a typical dinner. The roast was always cooked well done. On the contrary, when my dad barbecued steak, it was always rare (which I didn’t like then, but love now!). So, when I was preparing the roast, it didn’t cross my mind about how well to cook it because 1. I have always eaten roast beef well done, and 2. I don’t know enough about which cuts of beef taste best at which temperatures. I know that stewing beef is best cooked low and slow, but that’s about it! The only red meat, other than steak, that I have eaten rare is prime rib. So, I figured I would just follow the cooking times with this recipe.
When I moved away from home for University, my red meat intake plummeted. It was expensive, and eating a roast to one person is a bit monotonous. I still don’t cook red meat that often, so of course I called my mum in the grocery store asking her what cut of meat I should buy, and I even went so far to describe the marbling of the fat in a few different roasts. I wished she was there to help me through it! These are the questions I never thought to ask her when I was 12 years old, accompanying her on a shopping trip. If only I knew then what I wanted to know now! On her advice, I settled on a 2.5 pound rump roast and cooked it fat side up (as the fat melts it runs down the sides and sort of self-bastes).
As I was thinly slicing the meat, I thought to myself, “wow, you have never carved a roast before.” Thinking back, it makes sense. There were lots of people in line in front of me to do that job. I have two older brothers who would most likely carve the roast if my parents needed an extra hand. I never argued with the hierarchy in my household, it’s also the same reason I never mowed the lawn. But don’t worry – I had other chores that took the place of yard work!
The day after a roast dinner we enjoyed hot roast beef sandwiches. Yum! I loved creating my own – a piece of white bread, re-heated beef on top with a bit of gravy, the second piece of bread, and then a good dose of hot gravy to cover the top of the sandwich. We ate the sandwiches with a fork and knife. Delicious!
I decided to make au jus with 1 cup drippings, 1.5 cups beef stock, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and fresh ground pepper. I used the sourdough I baked the day before and made sandwiches to dip in the au jus. Oh, and when the beef was roasting I candied orange slices just for fun!
As a warning, this recipe requires 48 hours of marinating time. I like that because I usually plan dinner the day of, and this makes that decision really easy, as it was planned 2 days prior!
Orange Marinated Beef
4 lb boneless roast (bottom round or rump)
1 Tbsp pickling spice
1 bay leaf
2 cups orange juice
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 small onions
Pierce roast all over with fork.
Put pickling spice, peppercorns, and bay leaf into a tea caddy or muslin bag; put this into a pot with juice, vinegar, and onions. Heat to the boil and simmer 5 minutes. Cool the marinade. Remove the spice bag.
Set roast in large glass bowl; pour marinade over roast. Cover and refrigerate, turning a few times, for 48 hours.
Put marinade and meat in roasting pan. Roast at 350°F (180°C) for about 2 ½ hours. Cool and slice as thinly as possible. Arrange slices on platter for a buffet or potluck. Makes 8-10 servings.
Note: I cooked my 2 ½ lb roast for 1 hour at 350°F. I can see this roast recipe working for a springtime dinner with friends!
*Recipe from the Farm and City Cookbook