|Eye of Round...not the tenderest cut|
but one of the least expensive
To cook a roast beef during the week has always struck me as quite an accomplishment. Then I discovered the Eye of Round roast at Costco. Now I grant you this is not the most tender cut of beef—far from it. But it is exactly the right size at around 3 lbs that makes it perfect for a weeknight dinner. And it cooks very quickly taking under an hour from start to finish. To compensate for its lack of tenderness, this recipe gives you a great pan sauce that not only flavors the meat beautifully, it also works with sides really well. I chose to serve Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes with it—two easy sides both of which could use a little flavor themselves.
The only requirement here is a quick read thermometer. When you are dealing with this cut of meat, you really can overcook it very quickly and I’d suggest that even fans of well-done will be much happier with a medium rare center cooked to 130 degrees and no higher. The other thing that makes all the difference here is a very sharp knife so that you can cut your beef in thin slices. But what a nice surprise for whomever you’re cooking for to come home to a nice roast in the middle of the week. And what a nice surprise it is at how little it costs to make. This recipe was originally from Bon Appetit.
Recipe for Roast Beef with Dijon-Caper Sauce courtesy Rick Rodgers, Bon Appetit /January 2009
For the Beef:
1 3-pound eye of round beef roast, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 cups low-salt beef broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons drained capers
First, cook the Roast Beef:
Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix thyme, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Heat oil in large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with herb mixture. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 130°F, about 40 minutes. Transfer to cutting board; let rest.
Then, make the sauce:
Place skillet with juices over medium-high heat. Add butter; stir until melted. Add flour; whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth; bring to boil. Boil until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, whisking often, about 6 minutes. Whisk in mustard and capers. Season sauce with pepper.
Cut beef crosswise into very thin slices. Transfer beef to platter. Serve with sauce. Serves 4.