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Pretty basic cooking question...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I can't make a decent roast beef. I am a pretty good cook most of the time, but when I try to make roast beef with potatoes and carrots - well, let me just say that my husband is on his way to McDonalds to get something palatable right now.

Does anyone have any advice on how to make one that is not tough and tasteless?

I do have to say - Simba seemed to like it. So did the dogs. So they might all prefer if I never get this figured out...
post #2 of 23
Here is the cooks illustrated recipe, I think they are the best.

Roast Beef Tenderloin
Serves 12 to 16

To age the tenderloin, set it on a rack over a roasting pan and refrigerate it 3 to 4 days. If you do age the meat, you can reduce the post-roasting resting time to 15 to 20 minutes. To give the tenderloin a more pronounced pepper crust, increase the amount of pepper to 6 tablespoons and use a mixture of strong black and white and mild pink and green peppercorns. Be sure to crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or with a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet. Do not use a coffee or spice grinder, which will grind the softer green and pink peppercorns to a powder before the harder black and white peppercorns begin to break up.

1 whole beef tenderloin peeled, (5 to 6 pounds), thoroughly patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarse-ground black pepper

1. Remove tenderloin from refrigerator 2 to 3 hours before roasting. Use a sharp knife to carefully nick the silver skin on the side opposite the tail with shallow slashes at 1 1/2-inch intervals. Tuck tail end under about 6 inces to ensure that the tenderloin roasts evenly and tie roast crosswise, knotting at 1 1/2-inch intervals.

2. Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Set meat on a sheet of plastic wrap and rub all over with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; then, lift plastic wrap up and around meat to press on excess.

3. Transfer prepared tenderloin from wrap to wire rack set on shallow roasting pan. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers about 125 degrees (meat will range from medium-rare to medium in different areas of the roast), about 45 minutes. Let stand for about 30 minutes before carving. (Can be wrapped in plastic, refrigerated up to 2 days, sliced, and served chilled.)

4. Cut meat into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with the following sauce or another sauce of your choice.
post #3 of 23
do you have a slow cooker/crock pot type thing? This makes it VERY tender and juicy.. Even if you just stick the roast in by itself it will come out good, but I like to add a can of beef broth and a packet of onion soup mix, then add vegetables an hour or two before it's done.. yummy 7-8 hours on low is plenty of time.. Everytime I made it in the oven it turned out bad, so I don't do that anymore..
post #4 of 23
what temp are you cooking it at? in order for something to stay tender and juicy, you need to cook it for longer, but at lower temps; too high, and you'll dry it out....

MMMMM...that recipe looks pretty good!!
post #5 of 23
I do my grandmother's waterless cooking, works every time.

Take a large skillet (iron works best) heat up a little bit of oil in it, place the roast in the hot oil, sear all sides, remove. Place in large cooking pan with tight cover. Put the burner on the lowest it can go (gas burners are better for this) and let it cook all day. MMMMM nice and tender, cooks in it's own juices retains the flavors and doesn't get tough
post #6 of 23
also...marinate, marinate, MARINATE
post #7 of 23
Well, with a cooking bag you just cannot go wrong. And cook it as directed, then turn the oven way down and just let it be, and it will really be tender! The next suggestion is go buy one and be sneaky and pretend you made it! LOL
post #8 of 23
post #9 of 23
Ooh I forgot about the cooking bags.. everything tastes yummy in those
post #10 of 23
I was going to suggest a cooking bag as well. Those things are WONDERFUL!! Also, be sure to add water to the pot and cook it at a fairly low temperature. Takes longer, but it is SO good!
post #11 of 23
Suzy, here is what finally redeemed my attempts at making a good roast beef. I owe all the tips below to Alton Brown, of Good Eats tv show fame(the italian seasonings and garlic are my personal touch).

1 - I bought a roasting pan with a rack, 2 - I bought a digital meat themometor that has a probe, long length of heat-proof cord and attachs to a digital thermometor and alarm. You set the temperature you want to have your roast reach and then set the alarm to go off when that temperature is reached. The alarm/thermometor attachs by way of a magnet to your oven door (in my case I pop it on my refrigerator as it's next to my oven).

3: I lightly oil the roast, rub kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper (and because I like Italian Roast beef from the deli..)granulated garlic and dry Italian Herb mix over the roast. I pop it into a 500 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes (until a crust has formed on the roast), then drop the temp to 350 degrees. I set the thermometor alarm to go off at 160 degrees (husband likes roast medium to medium well). When the alarm goes off, I take the roasting pan out of the oven and immediately tent it with aluminum foil. I then let the roast stand for 20 minutes. Just be sure you've inserted the temp probe at an angle so it doesn't go straight vertically down or too horizontally, you want to be sure it reachs the center of the roast.

I almost forgot, someone else mentioned this - very important, put the fat side up..this allows the fat to drip down over the meat as it cooks, and will help give you a nice crust on the roast.

Yum! My roasts tend to be 3 1/2 to 4 lb. size and this takes a couple of hours.
post #12 of 23
post #13 of 23
Originally posted by RaggieMom
LOL...we adore him!
post #14 of 23
I make really good pot roast! You can make it either in the oven or in a crock pot. If you make it in a crock pot, it is best to start it the night before. I just season it and ad a couple of oniions, garlic cloves and about 1/2C of water and let it cook overnight. Then the next day I add potatoes and carrots and let it cook until done. It turns out SOOOO tender and flakes off your fork.

You can also do it in the oven easily. I put it in a roaster with a small amount of water and season and add onion and garlic cloves. I cover it and cook it slowly at 325F forever Really just for a few hours. Then I add the taters, carrots etc. and put it back in the oven until done. Probably a few more hours. This way also turns out tender. And the longer you cook it, the more tender it is.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions!! The recipes look great, I'm going to print this off.

The one I made tonight was only about 2 pounds - I seared it in a hot frying pan with some worchestershire sauce and kitchen bouquet, then roasted it uncovered at 350 for about 2 hours. It was really tough and dry. I probably should have covered it and cooked it more slowly. I've never used the cooking bags, I'll have to try them. And I definitely want to try those recipes!

Thanks, everyone!!
post #16 of 23
I made a Roast Beef this weekend and it came out great - and soooo easy too!
Choosing a good cut of meat is always important. I like to use a nice fresh Eye Round (but they can get kinda pricey) or a Top Round. Get a medium sized aluminum disposable pan to roast it in. Place your meat thermometer in the thickest portion of the cut. I then made a simple dry mix of Garlic Powder, Dried Parsley and Dried Sage (about 1 tbl ea), rubbed it all over the meat, stuck it in the pan (fat side up) and put it in the oven! Remember to preheat your oven well at 550 degrees and then immediately lower it to 350 when you put your meat in. Cook it uncovered for about 10-50 per pound and, Viola! you're done!!!

Note: Remember, there is a big difference between Roast Beef and Pot Roast. Pot Roast is much more involved (I'm too chicken to try making it just yet - I already know it'll never compare to my Grandmothers!)
post #17 of 23
I use both the crock pot and cooking bags and I've NEVER had a bad roast.

This past weekend, I cooked a pork loin, on my Showtime rotisserie and it was wonderful: moist, tender and with a crispy outside. I'll never cook another one, any other way.
post #18 of 23
Ok, dumb question coming from a butcher's daughter. What cut of beef are you roasting? You are in corn-fed beef central and shouldn't have to marinade or tenderize a good cut of beef.

Just curious!?!?!?!
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

I generally just buy what's on sale - I honestly don't really know which are the better cuts of beef for roasts. (Steaks I know, but not roasts). So I have no idea what last night's meal (I'm using that term loosely) started out as...
post #20 of 23
Slow cooking for a long period of time (4 hours at least) is the way I cook mine. I flavor it with onions and garlic too
post #21 of 23
Suzy, just a quick note. Check your roast every few hours if you do it in the oven and make sure it doesn't dry out.
post #22 of 23
If you are using an inexpensive cut of's how I make a pot roast:

Place meat on a big piece of heavy duty aluminum foil. Cover with one can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup and one envelope Lipton's dry Onion Soup mix. Wrap tightly and securely in foil. Put in a baking pan and cook at 350, 1 hour per pound of meat.
post #23 of 23
Hubby doesn't like my cooking, but everyone else says I'm a good cook, but then Hubby isn't used to the spices I use. I was talking to one of his sisters this summer and she said, "What do you use?"

I said, "Oh, Oregano, Basil, Sage, Rosemary...."

"Oh Honey! No! Lawry's Seasoned Salt is the only spice he's used to." She patted me on the arm and turned back into the kitchen.

Hubby's southern and black. LOL I'm western and white. Now I tease him about his "spice".
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