If you have a bit of time, making a roast is one the best ways to spend it. Although it takes a while, the results are undeniable. For this meal, I wanted to elevate a relatively inexpensive eye of round with a rich red wine sauce and decadent mashed potatoes. I also used a bunch of herbs, because that’s always a good decision.
This recipe came together somewhat haphazardly, but I have to say I was pleased with the way it turned out. The main lessons to be learned here are:
1. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to overboil potatoes when you’re going to mash them.
2. Red wine makes sauce delicious.
3. So do fresh herbs.
The first thing you should think about is your meat. If you are planning ahead, you should salt the meat thoroughly and wrap it in plastic wrap for 24 hours, then rinse the meat well before cooking it. This helps to tenderize what can be a tougher cut of meat. If you’re making it tonight, don’t worry too much — it will still be tasty as long as you don’t ruin everything.
To start with, take the meat out of the fridge well before you are going to cook it — at least 30 minutes is a good idea. Set the oven temperature to 225 degrees.
While the beef was coming to room temperature, I started with the potatoes. I peeled some Idaho potatoes, cut them into chunks of about one cubic inch, rinsed them, put them in a pot of well-salted water, and set the burner to medium-high. After that, I didn’t think too much about the potatoes for a while.
Salt and pepper on the beef is all you need, really — more flavors will come. Sear it on all sides in clarified butter or oil to get a beautiful crust. Remember, presentation is everything. Undersear the last side, as it will continue to brown in the oven.
So now that your roast is in the oven, you should make some mushrooms:
Mmmmmmm. Notice how each piece has room to breathe and be its own person and explore its dreams. This is essential to mushroom well-being. Butter is also important. Now put those mushrooms away for a little bit.
They’ll rejoin the fray later. Get your vegetables ready — I made asparagus again because it’s delicious. Quick recap: olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, single layer on a baking sheet.
Get ready for the sauce. Finely chop a shallot and mince a couple cloves of garlic.
Now’s a good time to mash the potatoes. They should be well-boiled by now, so drain the water, add a lot of butter, and mash well. You shouldn’t need to add salt, if the water was salted enough, but crack some fresh black pepper in there. Hold off on adding milk and/or cream until later.
When the roast has been in the oven for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on how big it is, how hot your oven is, and how well-done you like your meat — you should probably have a remote-read meat thermometer for situations like these) turn off the oven.
Make a roux in the mushroom pan — melt 2 tbsp butter, then whisk in 2 tbsp flour, and keep whisking.
Now take out the roast and put it on a cutting board to rest. Switch the oven to broil (for the asparagus).
Add two cups of red wine, or a mix of red wine and beef stock, to deglaze the pan that the roast was in, then transfer the liquid to the pan with the roux, add the herbs, shallots, and garlic, and set it over low heat to simmer.
Put the asparagus in the oven for about three minutes, then shake the pan and put it back in for two more.
While the asparagus is broiling, finish the potatoes. I had some sour cream that wasn’t going to be used anytime soon, so I stirred in about a half a cup, and that was all I needed.
At this point everything should be done, so slice your beast thinly and spoon some sauce over top.
PART TOWN THRIFTY ROAST – in brief
Eye of round roast
Fresh herbs — (recommended: rosemary, sage, and thyme)
Beef stock (optional)
1. Salt the roast thoroughly, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours.
1. Take the roast out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before putting it in the oven. Speaking of ovens, preheat yours to 225.
2. Start boiling the potatoes in well-salted water.
3. Rinse, pat dry, then salt and pepper the meat. Sear it, top with some herbs, then put it in the oven.
4. Saute the mushrooms in plenty of butter. Put them aside.
5. Mix the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, then put them in a single layer in a baking dish or pan.
6. Chop the shallot and the garlic.
7. Strain and mash the potatoes, adding lots of butter and fresh black pepper.
8. Make a roux with equal parts butter and flour in the mushroom pan.
9. After about 45 minutes to an hour, take out the roast and put it on a cutting board to rest. Switch the oven to high broil.
10. Deglaze the meat pan with red wine or a mix of red wine and beef stock. Add the liquid to the roux, stir well.
11. Add the herbs, shallots, and garlic to the sauce, turn heat to low.
12. Put the asparagus in the oven for three minutes, then take it out, mix them up a bit, and put them back in for another two minutes.
13. Add sour cream to the potatoes and mash and mash and mash. Keep them warm over a bain-marie, if possible. Otherwise low heat is fine as long as you stir relatively often.
14. Whoa, make sure you take out those asparagus.
15. Slice the meat thinly and spoon some sauce on top.