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Old 02-25-2007, 03:23 PM   #1
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Inquiry - Questions about how to make a perfect, Tender Roast Beef

Hello All;
I have been a home cook and a cooking enthusiast all my life ever since my mother taught me how to make and cookies when I was young.

For the longest time, I have been trying to master the fine art of making tender, thin sliced roast beef like I'd get in a restaurant.

I have heard often that one key to making awesome it to cook it at a low temperature for a long duration (210-degrees for 4 to 5 hours as an example).

I have also heard that packing the roast with salt all over seals in the and improves flavor and tenderness. I have a bunch of questions about this part.

First, how is this done? I have done some research on the internet and have found that the usual way is to make a paste with a lots of and some water and then encase the roast in it. Is this the way and is this the best way ?

And second, Even though I know we're supposed to remove this cap of salt after the roast is finished and before carving, wouldn't this make the roast very, very salty ?

And next, if your answer to the last question is "YES", is there another way other than using salt that would get the same or nearly the same benefit ?

And finally, do restaurants actually use this method of using salt like this ?

Thanks much for answering my questions.

Tim

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Old 02-25-2007, 06:18 PM   #2
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Tim, I don't think the salt-crusted technique is a common one in restaurants. I've never done one. And I've never cooked a roast beef low and slow that has come out rare.

The best way to make a tender, rare roast beef is to start with a great cut of beef. Tenderloin and rib roasts are expensive, but virtually idiot-proof, as long as you only cook them to say 130 degrees internal temp (depending on how rare you want it).

You can make a good roast of beef with lesser cuts, too, slicing it thin helps.

Cooking beef a long time is usually done with tougher cuts, like those used for pot roasts, and briskets. They will be well-done when they are finished.

Lee
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Old 02-25-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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Qsis is right about starting with a great cut of beef. We have a friend whose sister owns a restaurant...which mean he has access to real prime rib.
His wife cooked a boneless rib roast for us last time we visited.

Here are her instructions:
Place roast fat side up on a 1" layer of rock salt. Insert garlic cloves in ends, pack completely with 1" rock salt, and cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or till med/rare on meat thermometer.

And no, it doesn't taste salty...the salt just seals in the juices.
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Old 02-25-2007, 08:28 PM   #4
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Cook a tender piece of beef to the proper rare to medium rare temp and it will be tender and delicious. The rest if showmanship.
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Old 02-25-2007, 09:39 PM   #5
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Hello All;
Thanks for all of the very, very helpful suggestions. I like the fact that Constance actually provided a step-by-step procedure though I learned something from each of your posts. By the way, I am not necessarily after a rare Roast beef in the end but more likely a Medium, Well one actually.

I figured that the long roasting time was important because everything I take out of the crock pot is always tender.

I have a few more questions ...

1) Is there any way for home chef's to get restaurant-grade cuts of beef or do you have to buy in quantity or something like that ?

2) What is the best cut of beef to get from a supermarket if I want to cook it medium-well and have it come out tender and what would be the appropriate time and temperature to cook it at ?

Thank you very much for these additional tips.

Tim
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:11 PM   #6
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If you want to cook it to medium well, your best bet is to buy a whole tenderloin from a local butcher or supermarket. Unfortunately, this leaves you with a decent amount of silverskin, etc. before you actually to get the "filet" part of the tenderloin. A whole, bone-in rib roast would probably be easier, but would also benefit better from being cooked to med-rare or med. at the most. Choose whichever option you think best.

As for roasting, I do all of mine at 200 degrees, and I don't pack my meat in salt, but I do season it VERY liberally with salt and pepper ( sometimes pepper melange). The best way to get the desired doneness is to get a digital-read remote probe thermometer. It will probably set you back $25-$30, but it sounds like you roast often, so it would be a worthy investment. Any probe thermometer would do, really, but this has the benefit of being able to be left inside the meat, in the oven, and you can set an alarm to go off when your meat's internal temp. gets as hot as you want it.

Remember that when resting, your roast will cook for another 5-7 degrees, depending on size, so take that into account when you are deciding what doneness you want.
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:29 PM   #7
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wtdedula - are you talking about roast beef or pot roast? It sounds to me you are talking more about a pot roast. Low and slow is right for pot roast.
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:40 PM   #8
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Thank you very much college_cook for the additional tips. Ah Ha ... you must have read my mind because I actually do have a digital thermometer where I can leave the probe in the meat throughout the entire cooking cycle and also even carry around a receiver unit where I can read the temperature anywhere I am ... even when away from the kitchen.

Sounds good that you want to do yours at 200 degrees. It sounds like a rib roast is a popular cut to roast - just curious what will happen if I try to cook it to medium-well ?

In answer to kitchenelf's question, I am looking to make tender Roast Beef, just like in a restaurant which I can thin-slice and is served with mashed potatoes and gravy.

I also make pot roast from time to time and usually when I do, I use the crock pot so I know what you mean about the long cooking times for a Pot Roast.

Thank you much, all for all of these great suggestions.

Tim
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:42 PM   #9
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Got it - I just had to ask though.
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Old 02-25-2007, 11:18 PM   #10
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Thanks, Kitchenelf.

By the way, all ... I found this interesting procfedure while doing a search today -

Simply Recipes: Roast Beef Recipe

I think what I am intriegued by is the method of roasting less tender cuts of beef - more of what you'll likely buy in a supermarket rather than from a butcher or Restaurant supply. I agree with the several who said that if we roast prime (expensive) cuts of beef, a longer cooking time isn't required and as the above article stated, roasting prime grades of beef using the slow cooking method could make them mushy.

However, I am intriegued by the possibility of trying to roast prime cuts and the best I can get my hands on for a shorter cooking duration so I will be on the lookout for places that offer these in my community.

Tim
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