Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weeknight Roast Beef with Dijon-Caper Sauce

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.


  1. First of all - the combination of flavors were perfectly matched. The vegetable, the potatoes, and the meat did, very nicely I might add, come out very tender. The icing on the cake was the late night leftovers of the potatoes with Dijon-caper sauce. Zzzzzzzzz C: Thanks Monte!

  2. Ana, you really are extraordinary! All best to you.