I spent the majority of my childhood as a non-meat eater. I wouldn’t touch any type of pork, beef, or chicken, and the fish varieties I ate were pretty limited. I took a corn muffin for lunch every day, and lived on pasta with butter and cheese or my mom’s tomato sauce nightly for years (clearly, she is a saint for putting up with this!) It’s kind of amazing I wasn’t sickly, though I can assure you I looked completely malnourished.
I began to eat more variety in high school, and by the time I got to college I was eating fish, chicken, and sausage- everything but red meat. And by the time college was over, I was in love with meatballs, short ribs, and beef stew. In fact, just the other night, I snacked on octopus and braised goat at a restaurant in NYC. I am a recovered picky eater, and much better off for it.
My only remaining holdout is steak. I really want to like it, but I just can’t get into it.
The downside of my longtime meat aversion is that there’s so many recipes and techniques I haven’t gotten around to trying, let alone perfecting. I’m still trying to duplicate my grandmother’s pot roast, I’ve never had meatloaf, and until this weekend, I also never had roast beef.
I did a bit of research on cooking roast beef, in terms of time, temperature, and cut, and opted to start with an eye-round roast. It’s from the back leg of the cow, and is a pretty lean cut, which means it’s not the tenderest. The trick is in temperature- you don’t want to let it go past 135 (medium rare) after resting.
Roast Beef, technique from Cooking Light
Serves 4 for dinner, much more if using for sandwiches
2lb eye round roast beef
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Let your roast come to room temperature an hour before cooking. This will help it to cook more evenly (I do this also with roast chicken and turkey).
Preheat your oven to 475 and line an aluminum baking sheet with foil.
Brush the roast with olive oil and cover generously with the salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet
Roast at 475 for 20 minutes, turning after the first ten.
After 20 minutes, turn the temperature down to 300 and let it cook for another 30-40 minutes, until the temperature reads 130. Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest ten minutes until the temperature reaches 135. (If you want it rarer, take it out at 120 and rest till 130).
I combined mayo with a little bottled horseradish and served that on the side for dipping.
My husband ate a generous amount of this, but I have to admit I preferred it cold. I refrigerated it overnight and then shaved thin slices off and had them on whole wheat bread with the horseradish mayo and arugula.
Will last 2-3 days cold in fridge.