Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Recipe: Grandma's Roast Beef and Gravy

Based on a recipe from the January 2011 Cook's Country and served for Sunday dinner on May 26, 2013. Makes many servings.

This recipe was inspired by the roast beef dinner a Test Kitchen cook had every Sunday with her grandmother. It uses a relatively inexpensive cut of beef (you can use either top round or top sirloin) and with the gravy can provide delicious meals for a week or more. As a bonus, everything is cooked in a single skillet making the dish washer happy.



1 boneless top round roast, 4-5 pounds with a ¼ inch fat cap
table salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots
1 onion
1 celery rib
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 10.5-ounce cans beef broth
1½ cups water


  1. Pat the roast dry and tie it with kitchen twine spaced at 1-inch intervals.
  2. Rub the roast with 2 teaspoons of table salt, wrap it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1, and up to 24-hours.
  3. Peel the carrots and cut them into 2-inch pieces.
  4. Peel the onion and cut it into ½-inch rounds.
  5. Clean the celery rib and cut it into 2-inch pieces.
  6. Heat oven to 225° with a rack in the middle position.
  7. Pat the roast dry and season it with 2 teaspoons black pepper.
  8. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
  9. Brown the roast on all sides, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a plate.
  10. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the melted fat from the skillet, turn the heat to medium, and add the butter.
  11. When the butter has melted, add the carrots, onion, and celery and cook until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
  12. Add flour and tomato paste and cook until the flour is golden, about 2 minutes.
  13. Remove the skillet from the heat and push the vegetables together in the center of the pan.
  14. Put the roast on top of the vegetables and bake in the oven to an internal temperature of 125° (medium rare), about 2½-3½ hours.
  15. Transfer the finished roast to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and rest for 20 minutes.
  16. Move the skillet with vegetables to a burner on medium-high heat and cook until the vegetables are deep golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  17. Slowly stir in the beef broth and water, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate those delicious brown bits into the gravy.
  18. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  19. Strain the gravy through a fine mesh strainer into a serving bowl.

Pat the roast dry, rub with salt, tie at 1-inch intervals, and refrigerate for 1-24 hours.
Pat the roast dry, rub with black pepper, and brown on all sides.
Prepare the vegetables, butter, flour, and tomato paste
Lightly brown the vegetables in butter and juices from the meat.
Cook flour and tomato paste then roast the beef on top of the vegetables to 125°.
Set the beef aside to rest then brown the vegetables.
Add water and broth and simmer until the gravy is thickened, strain and serve.

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