Monday, May 24, 2010

Coriander Dusted Roast Beef

When I was growing up in Canada, Sunday was almost invariably the day when a giant roast beef would appear at the dinner table surrounded by crisp, brown roasted potatoes.  My personal preference was to eat as much rare roast beef as my father would give me.  And I also loved to consume the crisp layer of fat on the roast. Heavily salt and peppered, it was among my favorite things to eat.  How my arteries survived the amazing amounts of beef fat I consumed before I left home, is likely some kind of medical miracle.  But once out of the house, a roast the size of the one consumed by my family, was relegated to major holidays, Christmas in particular.  This was nothing about eating healthier, it was much more a matter of economics.  It was just too rich for my blood.  Then along came this recipe from Grace Parisi.

I often wondered about inexpensive cuts of roast beef.  The eye of the round, the rump roast, how could they be cooked and come anywhere close to the Standing Rib Roasts and Roast Sirloins of my childhood?  Then, a recipe from Grace Parisi, the amazingly talented recipe developer at Food and Wine, appeared using Eye of the Round.

         I waited over a year to try it and then, only because Costco had it for sale for very little money.  I thought if I ruined it, I wouldn’t wrestle with my financial conscience very long.  I’m happy to say, I didn’t ruin it and I’m sorry I haven’t cooked it sooner.  It was simply delicious. The Coriander gave the meat a beautiful finish and color and a very subtle flavor that's a little more exotic than what I used to eat every Sunday.  And it's amazingly quick cooking making it a perfect roast for a weeknight.  And finally, for those of you who worry about your arteries, the Eye of the Round, isn’t a very fatty roast at all.   I served it with some fresh asparagus and peas and yellow and orange peppers with pinoli nuts. 
Here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Coriander Dusted Roast Beef

One 3 3/4-pound beef eye of round roast

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, coarsely ground

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups beef stock, preferably homemade

Preheat the oven to 350°. Rub the roast with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. In a small bowl, combine the ground coriander seeds and paprika with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Rub the spice blend all over the roast.
In a medium roasting pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the roast and brown it well on all sides over moderate heat, turning with tongs, about 5 minutes. Turn the roast fat side up. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the meat for 10 minutes a pound, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thinner end registers 120° for medium-rare meat. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes.
Set the roasting pan on the stove over high heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the stock and boil, whisking, until the gravy has thickened, 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the roast 1/4 inch thick and serve with the gravy.


  1. I just never seem to get that pinkish look to my beef no matter what I try. I always get it horribly undercooked or hopelessly overcooked. Maybe I should just keep practicing, at least I now know the look I am looking for is possible.

  2. Arnold, I think the Coriander Dusting may help keep your roast pinkish and this was really cooked very quickly. The use of the internal thermometer also is key. You need to take the meat out of the oven the minute it hits the desired temperature. Remember, it will keep cooking after it's taken away from the heat. I hope this helps.