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Old 03-08-2007, 08:36 AM   #1
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Making Roast Beef well done (Not Prime Rib)

Hello All;
If you'll recall, I posted a message a week or two inquiring about the best way to make tender Roast Beef like the restaurants do. I posted my question on several cooking forum's and got many excellent suggestions. All of the suggestions involved cooking Prime Rib to Medium doneness. So I went out and bought a Prime Rib for $30 for a 3.5 pound size and cooked it to Medium doneness like you all suggested. It was OK but I would prefer to cook a beef to medium-well or well doneness. I have learned from one of the responses that if I want to cook a beef well-done, I should use a cheaper cut of beef (Other than Prime Rib).

So I am re-asking this question. Say I want to cook a beef to WELL-DONEness that I can thin-slice with a slicer. What cut of beef would you suggest and what is the preferred cooking method ? I would like to obtain results like the restaurants do. Most of my beef I have cooked in the past turn out somewhat dry and not very tender.

Thank you very much for offering some additional suggestions.



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Old 03-08-2007, 09:26 AM   #2
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The "dryness" and "toughness" factors are the major reasons why restaurants cook large cuts of beef to medium. The more "done" a large cut becomes, it dries out, and the exterior can actually burn. "Well done" is best for steaks that are inheritly tender to start with. The more you cook beef with dry heat, the tougher it becomes as the protein coagulates.

I worked a party a couple of months ago, where a crowd of about 100 folks were getting a steamship round. This is a sub-primal cut, from the hip to the knee, on the rear leg of a cow. It weighed 90 lbs before being cooked. The people that booked the party insisted it be cooked "Well Done". Well, it was done, all right. Can we say "Beef Jerky"?

IMHO as a food professional, the only way to fix a roast, cook it well done, and have a moist, tender, product, is to cook a pot roast. This is a "moist heat" method, since it's cooked in a covered pot or roaster, with a liquid of some sort, usually beef stock. The steam and moisture work together with the heat to break down the connective tissues into gelatin, making the end result tender, juicy, and more flavorful.

Just get a nice roast, like a chuck, season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and some rosemary. Sear in a cast iron skillet (or preferably, a dutch oven), on all sides. If you are using a dutch oven, once the roast is seared, add 2 - 3 cups of good beef stock to deglaze the pan. Cover, and cook in a 350 degree oven for 3 - 4 hours. Add to the roaster or dutch oven a quartered, peeled, onion, a few stalks of celery cut into 3" lengths, a couple of carrots, peeled, and cut into 3" lengths, and a few potatoes, peeled, and cut into quarters lengthways. Cover the roaster/dutch oven, and return to the oven for another hour. I've found that if you give a pot roast a total cooking time of 4 hours, you can slice it, but not very thinly. If you cook the same cut for a total of 5 hours, don't even worry about slicing it. Just break off hunks of meat with a couple forks. When it's done, remove the roast to a plate or platter. Remove the veggies to a different serving plate or platter. Strain and degrease the broth, then tighten with cornstarch into a most delicious gravy.

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Old 03-08-2007, 09:36 AM   #3
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You coud try a Eye of round roast, either dry roast uncovered at a high 450' for 20 mins. turn off oven (do not open oven door)an let sit in oven20. mins per pound. Or cover in dutch oven with liquid, (1-2 cups) at 350' for 3hrs. or until tender. Searing first both ways with your seasonings of choice. Chill, before slicing then reheat in your broth or gravy before serving. Good luck.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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I use a "top round", it is far cheaper than prime. I braise it for a couple hours using a home made chicken stock, (just enough to cover) with a lid on. Then I thin slice it and use if for philly cheese steak sammiches. Works great and will save some major money.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:30 AM   #5
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If you cook a 3 to 5 pound roast to medium rare doneness inthe middle, you will still have two well done slices on each end.

The law of averages says that not all your diners are going to want that old shoe-leather well-done beef.... (sorry, I can scarcely stand to see someone overcook good meat ) but those who do want their meat well done will still be satisfied.

I grew up in a household that had to operate that way, as neither my Grandmother nor my Dad would eat other than well done meat. But that works, every time.

Just a suggestion.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:11 PM   #6
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Since you have a slicer and you want to do this to a perfectly good piece of meat (now, don't lose your sense of humor here!!) I suggest you get a sirloin tip. This is a nice flavorful piece of meat that can be cooked rare and cut on the bias and have it be quite delicious. Cook it to 145* and let it rest. It will be well done but not ossified! Slice on your slicer but do slice it thin.

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