Home Beef Recipes How to Make the Best Roast Beef | Serious Eats

How to Make the Best Roast Beef | Serious Eats

How to Make the Best Roast Beef | Serious Eats

– So we’re talking about beef today. We’re making, uh, we’re… gonna intro better than that. We are making a beef roast/roast beef with a nice, quick, easy shallot jus. So those things are a little bit at odds.

What makes a really great roast beef is different from what makes a great beef roast. A great beef roast, you think of prime rib, lots of great intramuscular fat makes it really, really delicious when it’s eaten warm, but you chill that down and that fat becomes really unpleasant to chew on.

Roast beef, on the other hand, is usually made with something like eye of round that is very lean. You’ve got nice beef flavor, but you don’t have any of that intramuscular fat that’s unpleasant to chew on when the beef is cold.

In trying to find the best of both worlds, I tested with a bunch of different cuts of beef. Chuck roast, eye of round, top sirloin, and the eventual winner, tri-tip. So I went down to one of my favorite butcher shops in the Village and picked up a tri-tip I love.

Everything about this place, it’s got sawdust on the floor, and then they do helpful little things like just give you a little drawing in case you forget what you bought. And it’s a little tri-tip, a little triangle.

And tri-tip, we open it up here. So tri-tip, little triangular, tri muscle from the tip of the sirloin primal, the bottom tip of the sirloin primal. If you can find one with the fat cap still on it, it’s really great to keep it on there.

And you can see, it’s got pretty decent marbling. When you’ve got a thin, flat muscle like this and you wanna do a roast, a good idea is to truss it with some butchers twine. The reason you would truss a roast is, you might have something that is not perfectly uniform in shape and you want to cook it as evenly as possible.

The idea behind reverse searing, behind sous-vide, if you want evenly cooked meat from edge to edge, and when you have something that’s irregularly shaped, that’s harder to do. Trussing puts it into a nice tight little shape that keeps it even during the cooking process and you get better results of edge to edge cook on the meat.

That works, right? Yeah, we talked about it, perfect. Here you can see two different ways of trussing. You’ve got individual butchers knots or you can go the sort of more fancy route of using one continuous piece of butchers twine to make this nice little net of trussing here.

Before we tie up our tri-tip here, we’re gonna season it. And as with most of our recipes here at Serious Eats, we recommend seasoning your meat and pop in the fridge overnight. We call this dry-brining.

Be liberal with your seasoning here. I know that people are always freaked out over the amount of salt that I use. That’s good stuff. Pepper. (humming notes) As with all fat scoring, you don’t wanna cut through to the meat, you’re just scoring the fat.

I’m doing a little crosshatch pattern so, little crosshatch (stuttering). I said crossass. Little crossass. Little crosshatch, NOT crossass. Crosshatch action, then again, season liberally. Salt, pepper.

If you have the fat cap on, fat cap side is the outside for the trussing. You don’t wanna truss this way, that’s no bueno. If you’ve ever made Kenji’s All-Belly Porchetta, similar type deal. Get into nice little compact cylinder thing like so.

And it’s not gonna be perfect. You’re gonna have this little dimple in there in the middle. That’s okay. And you just need some butchers twine. If you are not comfortable tying a butchers knot, no big deal.

Just take some string and tie some knots. Not a problem. Badoom! Trussed. It is ready to get popped in the fridge overnight. Oh, (exclaiming). Watch out Joel! Watch out Joel. So this is a tri-tip that I salted and peppered last night, and as you can see it’s dried up.

The salt that was sprinkled on this side has been absorbed into it. So if you have one of these leave-in probe thermometer thingamajigs, now’s a good time to use it. I like to always set the upper limit alarm if you’re using that function, to a few degrees below your target temp, ’cause I don’t find that these are always the most accurate, but it’s a good sort of guideline temperature read on a roast.

So I set this one to go off at 110°, and we’ll just pop it in the oven and get to the rest of the recipe. With the roast in the oven, we can turn our attention to the shallot jus for this dish. And au jus, fancy French word for just a little meat gravy action going on where you’ve got a nice reduced stock, usually fortified with a little wine.

So for making this jus, you can use a homemade stock, a beef stock. In this case if you have that, or even a nice, rich brown chicken stock. But you could also go the store bought route. To get the jus started, we’re gonna get the stock and wine reducing in a saucepan.

When you have a recipe that calls for reduction to a set amount, I like to give myself a ballpark estimate of that finished amount by measuring out before I get started. So we’ve got a quart of stock here and one cup of wine.

We want to reduce that down to two cups. So I’m just gonna pour two cups of the stock in to see what that looks like. Now I see that’s what two cups looks like in the saucepan that you’re using, file that away, snap a photo, that’s what we want to reduce this down to.

So you got everything in, and a cup of wine, and get that going over medium-high heat. While that’s going, slice up some shallots. A pound of shallots sliced up. – [Joel] Do you have any good shallot puns? – Shallot puns? I have not a shallot but a shalittle.

(audience boos) So the stock and wine mixture has reduced to around two cups based off my very precise, scientific eyeball measurement. And we’ve got the flavors are married together, it’s nice, a rich brown color.

Just gonna check my guesstimate here. (DJ horn blaring in celebration) Take it off heat. Keep it in the saucepan that you reduced in and set it off to the side. And we’ll come back to that later after the beef searing, we add in the shallots later on.

We’ll get there. All right, the roast is about to come out of the oven, it’s just about to hit that 115 mark, and we are going to get ready to sear it. Not much to look at, it’s kinda like sous-vide. It doesn’t look the best until you get the sear part on it.

So, a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil, a neutral oil. Get that baby smoking hot, and you’re gonna go in with the fat cap side down. And we’re looking to get nice, even browning all the way around.

The best way to do that, you want even contact with the meat and the pan. A weight is a great way to ensure that happens. I’ve got these nice little weights here that work, but if you don’t have these, no problem.

Take a small skillet, ideally another heavy cast iron one. Wrap the bottom with a little bit of aluminum foil, so you’re not getting any carbon residue onto your meat, and then just press it down like so.

I really like this tuning fork guy for turning meat. It’s a lot less cumbersome than a set of tongs, that I find you can easily misjudge or fumble it, splatter yourself with hot oil. Just stick it into the meat, it’s good.

– [Joel] Do you worry with losing juices with that? – No, see, a lot of times people say, “I’m worried about losing juices.” We’ve done tests, Kenji’s done them as well, where we’ve checked and you really aren’t losing a ton of meat juice using a meat fork.

And because we have this extended searing time, this is why we only took the roast to 115°, medium-rare beef is around 130° Fahrenheit. If we took it in the oven to 130°, this part of the cooking process we’d take it way over that.

All right, beautifully brown all over. Sizzling fat cap, that’s pretty darn tasty. We’re gonna let the beef roast rest for a few minutes, and during that time, we’re gonna finish up the jus. Same pan that you were searing the beef in, we now go in with the sliced shallots until you get all that beautiful beef fat flavor.

Season them with salt. Looking to get a little bit of color on the shallots. So some nice browning. Perfect. So, shallots into the jus. Cast iron always test the strength of your forearm. Don’t sear your rubber spatula.

And we’re gonna bring that back up to a simmer real quick. We’re gonna finish the jus with one of our favorite umami boosting ingredients with just a touch of soy sauce, quick little tablespoon really bumps up the flavor without you tasting it upfront.

Taste your food. Give it a taste see. Soy sauce, telling you, it really ties the room together. You got nice salinity here. You still have that sweet, slightly acidic component from the wine. You’ve got now the shallot allium flavor.

It’s really nice. And then running through all of that is the beef stock that you’ve reduced down. Carving time! Jus is done! Meat’s rested! It’s time to get slicing. And you don’t wanna serve anyone some twine, so first things first, get the twine out.

You don’t need that. For slicing, if you’re going beef roast, go half inch thick slices. You want some heft to them. If you’re going the roast beef route, slice your meat a little bit thinner. You don’t want people tearing away and have meat shrapnel flying around your kitchen table.

So go more quarter-inch territory. Any way you do it, nice sharp knife, confident cuts. Plating-wise, you don’t need to get fancy. Just take a couple nice slabs, get on the plate. (gentle music) So this is what we made.

You’ve got beef roast for those Sunday nights. Perfect, lovely, delicious. Got some nice jus. And then for Monday night, turn into nice little roast beef sandwich. A little roast beef sandwich, some broccolini, some jus on there.

Sloppy, beautiful, delicious. Perfect bite. You need that perfect bite dripping. Really well seasoned meat from the overnight salting, the sweetness from the shallots, that delicious jus. It sort of reminds me of a really great prime rib dinner, fraction of the cost, and then sandwich, you got bitterness there from the broccolini, the sweetness of the shallots, that beautiful jus, and the beautiful roast beef.

We said we weren’t gonna get a shot of trying this, but I just want to give it a taste see. You need to be well acquainted with whoever you’re having over for sandwiches for this. It gets a little primal.

But damn it’s good. It’s time to go, I got a sandwich to eat. Y’all can get outta here. I’m gonna get gross.


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