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Roast Beef

If you are looking for a simple beef roast recipe for the most delicious, tender, tongue-slap your brains out awesome goodness, look no further. I can show you how it is done and your taste buds will not regret it.

Tomorrow is Father's Day and when I think of the happiest days with my Dad over the years many of those days are associated with a good meal. My father was what we call a 'meat~&~potatoes' man. Gifts can be very special, especially when they represent a meaningful message to the giftee. More often than not they tend to appear a little more than an absentminded afterthought of obligation. Considering my own father, there aren't many items in a store that can bear more meaning than preparing one of his favorite meals for him. Cooking for someone is a beautiful act, in my opinion. Cooking is a labor of love, preparing food, sustenance, nourishment. Leaving one with a feeling of contentment and satisfaction. That's difficult to match with a store-bought item. Difficult but not impossible. Sadly, my father has passed on and I can no longer cook for him. One thing I can do is share some recipes and cooking methods so others can experience that feeling of contentment and satisfaction either for others or themselves.

Beef Roast

Beef roast, pot roast, chuck roast, meat~&~potatoes, or whatever you choose to call it, is one of the simplest dishes that can go either way. It can either be extraordinary or boring. Depending entirely on how it is prepared. It can be cooked in an oven, slow cooker, or crockpot. The amount of cooking time is pretty much the same whichever route you choose. This recipe can be adapted to either method. I usually have a lot going on at any given time so I like to prepare meals in a way that requires my minimal time and attention. A beef roast is something I can throw together quickly and it will be ready when I need it to be. I'll show you how I do it, using a crockpot.

Why is my beef roast tough? Why is it not delicious?

I don't know the answers. Meaning, I haven't watched you prepare one so it's difficult to say what it is you are doing or not doing that has an undesirable outcome. Nor am I an expert chef but I can offer some tips to improve your beef roast experience.

  • It could be that you are cooking it too long at too high a temperature. Low and slow is the best way to go when cooking beef.

  • Did you add water? Ok, don't. From now on use beef stock, wine, bouillon, or even chicken stock. Anything is better than water.

  • It could be the type of meat you are using. A chuck roast is an excellent choice for a good beef roast. Some choices are better than others given the dish but I believe just about any cut can be used effectively if you are familiar with how to cook it properly to bring out the best in it.

  • Sear it on all sides before cooking it. This seals in the juices and adds flavor.

  • Don't overcook it. Beef can be eaten safely (according to the USDA) with an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep that in mind as the temperature for medium-well. 120 F for rare, 130 F for deep red to pink, 135 F for light pink, 140 F for light pink with gray edges, 150 F for no pink. A meat thermometer is handy to have around.

  • For the best results, allow the meat to arrive at room temperature before cooking and also allow it to rest after cooking. It's all chemistry. You spend good money for a good cut of meat, you'll want to bring out the most in it. In this case, flavor.

Here's what you'll need

  • A good-sized chuck-roast, be generous

  • A couple of medium-sized onions

  • Carrots, four or five

  • Potatoes, twelve to fourteen small ones or if you are using large ones, maybe four of five. Use your best judgment and consider the size of your crockpot

  • A carton of beef stock. I use Swanson's low sodium

  • Salt and pepper

  • Olive oil, two tablespoons

Let's do the thing

The first thing I do is set the meat out so it can arrive at room temperature. Peel and wash the onions. I quarter them into fourths and toss them in the crockpot with some pepper to season them.

Then I add the beef stock and set it on high. Take a large skillet and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Set the stove eye on high to heat the oil. Season the meat on all sides with pepper and set it in the skillet. *Those two-prong forks are good for safely lifting the meat and moving it in and out of the skillet. Sear the meat on all sides and place it in the crockpot on top of the onions. Secure the lid and let it cook on high for an hour and then set it to medium or low for another hour.

Many crockpots only have low and high choices. If you have that third setting you may want to cook it on medium for a couple of hours. I use high and then either medium or low depending on the size of the meat. I have a large chuck-roast for this event so, I used high and then turned it down to medium. Now for the potatoes and carrots.

After you've allowed the meat to cook for a couple of hours, it's time to add the vegetables. Some people add them at the start and cook them the whole time. They really don't need that long and they'll get mushy. That's why I cook the meat first and then add the carrots and potatoes later.

I scored some nice-looking veggies at the market. Get fresh veggies, they add better flavor. These new potatoes have thin skin, I gave them a good scrubbing but didn't peel them as I would with potatoes like russets. Clip the ends off the carrots and peel them. Wash them all really well. I chopped the carrots roughly and the potatoes in halves. Place them in the crockpot and season with pepper. Turn the crockpot to high, maybe medium for a smaller cut of meat. What you'll need to do is take those forks and lift the meat on top of the carrots, potatoes, and onions. Like so, below. This will ensure the potatoes and carrots cook properly without overcooking your meat.

It will take forty-five minutes to an hour. Test them for your desired doneness. I like mine cooked well but still firm. While it cooks, it's a good time to prepare your side items. For this, I strongly recommend cornbread. You can find my recipe here Simple is best and this goes so well with slices of fresh cucumber and tomato. Southern cooking is rarely better than this.

I hope you serve this up sometime. If you have been put off by roast beef, please give it another chance. Perhaps making a few changes here and there can make all the difference in the experience. Maybe you can cook this for your dad or loved ones. Enjoy and if you like it, tell me about it.

Have a great weekend and thank you for reading.

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