Thursday, March 19, 2009

Savory Top Round Roast

I know-- all these meat posts are piling up in the middle of Lent. Go here for someone who can meet your Lenten needs.

My parents gave us a big hunk of beef they picked up on sale, and I finally cooked it last week. With limited experience, I'll say that I think it's very hard to make a slow-cooked hunk of beef that's not savory. This meal was flavorful and delicious.

Here's what I did.

3- lb. top round roast
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
generous amount of fresh-ground black pepper
a few tablespoons of canola oil

2 onions, sliced into rings
4-6 carrots, sliced into chunky coins
6-8 freshly pressed cloves garlic (I used half of a head of puny Aldi garlic)
4-5 potatoes, cubed, if desired (I put a few in and then made mashed potatoes, too. We like potatoes.)
1 cup beef broth (I cheated and used beef bouillon)
2 and 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I accidentally used apple cider. I'd meant to use red wine vinegar. Next time...)
salt and freshly ground pepper
dried oregano, shaken freely
additional garlic powder, if desired

On a shallow plate, mix 1/4 cup flour with 1 tsp. salt and freshly ground pepper. Pat the mixture onto all sides of the roast, coating it completely. In a heavy-bottomed pot or pan, heat a few tablespoons of canola oil. Sear the roast on all sides until nicely browned. This will seal in the flavor and moisture of the meat while it's cooking, as well as making it easier to make a thick gravy from the juices, if you desire.

Now, the cooking method is up to you. I've successfully used a cast iron Dutch oven before (Cook in a 275-300 degree oven for I-can't-remember-how-long-just-ask-Google), but this time I used my trusty slow-cooker, a.k.a. crockpot. I layered the onions on the bottom of the pot, topped by the carrots. Top with the roast. If using potatoes, spoon them around the meat. Mix the beef broth, apple cider vinegar, garlic, and spices together, and pour over the roast. Shake on more spices if you feel inclined. Cook on low for 8-12 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.

When meat is cooked to your preference (I like it falling apart), remove to a serving platter, cover with tin foil, and let rest for about 15 minutes. This allows the moisture to remain inside the meat when you cut it into slices.

Either use the juices to spoon over the meat after serving or make a gravy.

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