Easy & Delicious Roast Beef

When it comes to cooking beef, my self-confidence is pretty much close to zero.  I didn’t eat a ton of beef growing up, so I just never really got the hang of how it should taste or how to cook it.  Plus, my mom likes her meat ruined VERY well-done, so I grew up thinking that chewy, dry meat was the norm (love you, Mum!).  I was pretty much a poultry-only girl through college until I met John, and he introduced me to what meat should REALLY taste like.  Tender, juicy, and full of flavor.  It should also be pink, not black. 😉

John and I usually take turns cooking dinner, and I usually have him take all responsibility for cooking beef (or anything on the grill).  So when he called me last night and said he was running late, could you please take care of the roast, I panicked as I recalled the last roast I made.  The horrifyingly dry pot roast that I cooked for FAR too long (remember that scene from Christmas Vacation where they are all choking down the turkey? Yep that was my pot roast). I reluctantly agreed and got started right when I got home.

I chose some of the best seasonings that go with this type of beef (thyme, rosemary, sage, onion flakes), and decided to sear it before putting it in the oven.  Searing it ensures that all the juices stay in and don’t seep out while cooking (I didn’t sear it last time, so the juices all came out, making it super dry).  I also decided to roast it at a lower temperature than usual – 350 °F – again, to prevent it from drying out too quickly.  I checked it after an hour, and NO juices had come out (win #1), the temperature of the roast was hovering just below 130 °F (win #2), which means that by the time it sat out for 10 minutes, it would be at the perfect temperature for a medium-rare piece of meat – WHICH IT WAS (win #3)!!!  And oh my goodness it tasted SO GOOD.

If you’re like me and lose sleep over the mere thought of cooking beef, this is your recipe!  Quick to prep, tastes amazing, and looks quite impressive!  I can’t wait to eat more of this tonight!

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East & Delicious Roast Beef

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60-75 minutes, depending on roast size
TOTAL: ~ 1 hr 25 min

Yields: 1 roast, about 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 4 ½ lb round roast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp dried sage
  • 1 ½ tsp dried onion flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Season roast generously with salt and pepper (hint: when you think you’ve added enough salt, go ahead and add some more!).  Season with remaining ingredients.  Be sure to get all sides of the roast.  You may have to pat on the onion flakes.
  2. Heat about 1 Tbsp of oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron pan over high heat. When oil is smoking, using tongs to place roast in pan.  Hold for 30 seconds to sear, then rotate to sear another side.  Repeat with all sides of roast until completely seared.
  3. Place cast iron pan with roast directly in oven. Roast at 350 °F until it reaches desired doneness, about 60-75 minutes.  For medium-rare, you’ll want to remove the roast when internal roast temperature reaches 125-128 °F (this was 60 minutes for me but will vary depending on roast size).
  4. Immediately transfer roast to carving board and tent with foil. Let sit for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Beef Lo Mein

Are you ever stuck at home on a snowy day and NEED Chinese food, pronto?  But there’s too much snow to go anywhere and your favorite Chinese food place doesn’t deliver?  That was me last night!  Luckily, we love making this cuisine so much that we have most of the sauces and spices in our pantry already.  If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, I highly recommend stocking up on some of these ingredients.

This recipe is super versatile – you can substitute chicken for beef, or even make it vegetarian.  Sometimes I don’t have sugar snap peas, so I’ll throw some green beans into the dish.  Really any vegetable you like!  Don’t have Chinese noodles?  I’ve used Thai noodles and even spaghetti or linguine.

I like to prep and measure all the ingredients ahead of time, because once you start cooking, the entire recipe is pretty fast-paced and hands-on.  It makes the wait go by so quickly!  It’s the flavor of this dish that will make you feel like you just ordered your favorite take-out. I like to serve this with my homemade baked chicken egg rolls, but it’s fine just on its own, too!

NOTE:  I have been making this recipe for several years and have since lost the original source of this recipe!  If you recognize this as yours, please let me know so I may give rightful credit.  Thank you!

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Beef Lo Mein

Prep/Cook Time: 45 mins

4 servings

Ingredients:

– 3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
– 2 Tbsp soy sauce
– 2 tsp sesame oil
– 12 oz top round steak, trimmed and sliced thin
– 1/3 c chicken broth
– ½ tsp corn starch
– 1 clove garlic, minced
– ½ tsp ground ginger
– 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
– 6 oz sugar snap peas
– 3 Tbsp water
– 1 red bell pepper, cut into ¼ inch strips
– 1 bunch scallions, sliced (~1/2 cup)
– 4 oz dried Chinese noodles
– 1 ½ tsp Asian chili garlic sauce

Directions:

  1. Whisk the Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil together in a small bowl. Measure 2 Tbsp of the mixture and add to small sealable plastic bag with beef strips, coating beef.  Allow to marinate for at least 15 min.
  2. Whisk corn starch and chicken broth into remaining sauce mixture. In a separate small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, and ½ tsp vegetable oil.  Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tsp vegetable oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat until smoking. Add beef and cook until medium rare, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to large bowl.
  4. Add ½ tsp vegetable oil to skillet and heat until smoking. Add sugar snap peas and cook for ~30-60 seconds.  Add water; cover and steam for 2 minutes.  Uncover and continue to cook until water evaporates.  Add to bowl with beef.
  5. Add 1 tsp of vegetable oil, scallions, and bell pepper slices to skillet. Cook until peppers are tender, about 2 minutes.  Stir in garlic/ginger mixture, vegetables, and beef.  Add Hoisin sauce mixture and simmer until sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  Keep covered on low until noodles are ready.
  6. Prepare Chinese noodles according to package directions. Drain and add to beef mixture.  Add chili garlic sauce and toss to combine.  Serves 4.