Showing posts with label roast beef. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roast beef. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bottom Round Roast

It sounds dangerous, doesn't it? Bottom round. Things that are at the bottom are usually not the best. And that's actually accurate. Bottom describes the location of this cut. And it's the tough guy of roasts. For that reason it's also very economical compared to other cuts of beef.

I bought one recently, and checked out some recipes, most of which said to sear it and toss it in the crock pot. I didn't sear it but I did toss it into the crock pot. On the bright side, it shredded like pulled pork and was definitely edible. Even better, I had poured in enough water to cover it and added carrots. The resulting liquid was an absolutely delicious beef broth that is now in my freezer waiting to be used.

As though the folks at Cook's Country magazine knew I was confused by this particular cut, they sent a new edition with a recipe for, you guessed it, Bottom Round Roast Beef. And I had just bought another one. Perfect timing.

Now, in all honesty, this is more about timing and treatment than it is a recipe. Cook's was kind enough to include a Zip-Style Sauce, but I found I didn't even need it. After all, you can make any kind of sauce you like. The crucial thing here is the temperature and a couple of little tricks that result in a mighty fine roast!

They suggested using fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. It's March and the garden is still slumbering, so I used dried thyme and, since I didn't have rosemary, I substituted marjoram, which turned out fabulous. The scent from the roasting meat was wonderful and the flavor was terrific.

It does have to be sliced against the grain, which was a little confusing. You'd think it would be so obvious. Do other people have discussions about which way the grain runs or is it just us? And it must be cut very, very thin.

In Cook's recipe, they call for salting the meat, wrapping it in plastic overnight and refrigerating 1 to 24 hours. I didn't see the reason for that in the article. Maybe it's something everyone else knows? I assumed it was a method of brining so I skipped that step entirely.

Before starting this, note that this is another recipe where you need a good temperature probe.

Will this be my go-to roast beef? Probably not for fancy dinners, but I will definitely be making it again. And while I know most of your dogs eat dog food, it did occur to me that it's such a nice lean cut that it would be great for doggie birthday parties and celebrations.

Bottom Round Roast Beef
(from Cook's Country April/May 2016)

1 4-pound boneless beef bottom roast
salt and pepper (to taste, I used about 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper)
olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram or dried rosemary

Preheat the oven to 250.

Combine the salt, pepper, thyme, and marjoram in a small bowl. Wash the beef and dry it. Rub all over with olive oil. Sprinkle the herb mixture over the beef and rub it in. Place the roast on a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.

1.  Roast 1 3/4 hours to 2 1/4 hours until center reaches 120 degrees.
2.  Turn off oven and leave roast inside 20 to 30 minutes until center reaches 135 degrees.
3.  Remove roast from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest 30 minutes.

Slice thin to serve.

Rub with olive oil and herbs.
Tent and let rest.

Be sure to slice thin!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Does this Meat Dress Make Me Look Fat? Roast Beast with Horsey Sauce from Cleo Coyle

Lady Gaga's meat dress sent the world into a tizzy last year. Maybe you noticed. Maybe you didn't. As a professional observer of human action and reaction, I noticed, and found the varied responses fascinating. (I also loved the meat shoes and matching meat hat and handbag.)

Starlets and singers are supposed to show up at awards ceremonies with designer frocks and big rocks. "What is Gaga doing?" people wondered. "What is she trying to say?!" The stunt unnerved many (as things off the norm scale sometimes do). 

Was Gaga making a pro-vegetarian statement? Or an anti-vegetarian statement? 

Ellen DeGeneres, a fan of Gaga's (and a vegan like Gaga herself), officially presented the singer with a vegetarian version of the outfit: a bikini made of kale and skirt made of bok choy. (Could be some celery in there, too. You be the judge.)

In the end, Gaga said the dress meant many things, among them, an ironic statement about not being seen as just another piece of meat. (Pretty clever, actually.)

So why am I sharing this with you today? Because blogging about a big hunk o' beef, let alone cooking it publicly, will make some people a little bit nervous and others a little bit crazy. (I'm sure Gaga herself would not be happy with me.) My advice: ChillAx.

While Marc and I thoroughly enjoy vegetables, fruits, and legumes, all of which are superbly healthy; and while we have friends and family members who are vegetarian (and we absolutely respect that choice and are grateful for the many culinary ideas that we hear from them), we also enjoy meat. 
Eating, of course, is not always about health or politics. From the bison ribs at 
Tocabe, a Denver eatery run by Native Americans, to the roasted lamb at one of Astoria's many family-owned Greek restaurants, meat is often a part of a culture's culinary heritage; and the cooking and consuming of meat dishes can be a wonderful celebration of tradition. If you are an omnivore, then this post might be of interest. And for our vegetarian friends, our Homemade Horsey Sauce is a delicious dip for raw veggies, too. :)

To read my Poor Girl's
Hot Butt
post, click here.

For a downloadable
PDF recipe on how to prepare
a mini ham click 

A brief note
on today's recipe... 

A fresh roast beef sandwich is a thing of beauty to us, but with deli prices so high, we've taken to roasting our own beefs--and mini hams. 

Last fall, I blogged about making these little hams (see the caption at right for links to the recipe). 

I love how the slow roasting process warms our cozy Queens' row house on chilly fall days, and I often serve these beef and ham roasts with a creamy, tangy horsey sauce, which also livens up our sandwiches.

A Note on Meat Cuts
I'm not sure what cut Gaga used for her little red (meat) dress, but beef rump roasts are our preferred choice for roasting. (For more info on beef cuts and how to cook them click here.) Beef rump roasts have less fat and are less pricey than tenderloins and prime ribs so (unless your name is Trump), they're a great choice for families on a budget (like ours :)). Rump roasts contain three major round muscles: top round, eye of round, and bottom round. Eye rounds are our favorite and today I'm sharing with you the way we prepare ours... 

A roasted beef eye round encrusted with
sea salt and two peppers. See recipe below...

Cleo Coyle, who does not
own a single little red (meat)
dress, is author of the
Coffeehouse Mysteries

Cleo Coyle’s Pepper-Crusted Roast Beef with Homemade
Horsey Sauce 

Tip: Cook two roasts at a time. Serve one for dinner and use the second for a week of sandwiches and snacks. 

This recipe is now available in my culinary mystery novel, Holiday Buzz. To see what other delicious recipes are featured in my 12th Coffeehouse Mystery, click here to view the recipe guide.



One of my favorite blogs,
Dying for Chocolate, is hosting me
as a guest today. Drop by to get my recipe
for Chocolate Fudge Pumpkin Cookies,
and hear the story of how a reader's e-mail
inspired the recipe... 

Eat with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle author of 

To get more of my recipes, sign up to win
free coffee, 
or learn more about the two
bestselling mystery 
series that I write with my
husband, visit my online coffeehouse at...

Shameless Plug...

"A Favorite Book of the Year"
Reviewer's pick 2010 ~ 

For a peek at some of the firehouse-inspired recipes featured in Roast Mortem, click here.

Now a national bestseller
in paperback

To purchase the book, 
click here or here or here.


"...a tasty tale of crime and punishment,
lightened by the Blend's frothy cast of
lovable eccentrics." ~ Publishers Weekly

For a peek at some of the chocolate 
recipes featured in Murder by Mocha,
click here

Now a national bestseller
in hardcover 

To purchase the book, 
click here or here or here

Audiobook produced by AudioGo (BBC Audiobooks America) Available at iTunes and


Friday, August 19, 2011

Week-end roast - two ways

I am a big fan of vegetables, but every now and then I want a lovely, juicy steak. I love steaks with spicy rubs, but my darling husband can’t bear the taste or smell of cumin or coriander. So when I came across a recipe for a very easy ‘week-end roast’, it sounded wonderful except for the cumin and coriander part. What to do but improvise. And improvise I did. Maybe this breaks all the rules of steak rubs (I don't know what they are), but it’s become a favorite here. I made the necessary substitutions, tinkered with the procedure and we were away to the races. It's been a hit with us and it gets great reviews from company.

I like this because it’s really a cross between a steak and a roast. It’s good on the grill (charcoal or gas) in the summer. It’s good in the oven the rest of the year. And it’s very good left over, if there is any, that is. You won’t believe the open-faced sandwiches it makes! Oh well, they were gone before I could take a picture. I hope you’ll take my word for it.

For the rub:

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon sweet Spanish paprika

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons mild New Mexican pepper flakes (I suppose you could substitute other red peppers, but tread carefully)

For roast

1 sirloin tip roast, approximately 3 pounds (I hear this is sometimes called a Tri-tip, but not in my part of the world)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or light a charcoal fire on one side of a large kettle grill, using a small pillow’s worth of briquettes or heat up the gas grill. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Place the roast in the bowl and rub the spices all over the meat, pressing down so they adhere.

3. Place the roast on the baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until the meat registers an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and let sit, loosely tented under foil, for 15 minutes before slicing. If you are using the charcoal grill when the coals are covered with a fine ash, place the roast on the side of the grill opposite the fire. Cover, cracking the vent open a little, and cook for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees for medium-rare. I am too embarrassed to mention that our new digital meat thermometer registered 288degrees and turned black, No doubt something I did wrong. Remove roast from the fire and let sit, loosely tented under foil, for 15 minutes before slicing.) Same procedure for the gas grill. Don’t cook it directly on the heat.

4. After it has tented for 15 minutes, carve in thin slices across the grain.

Serves 4 with leftovers if you're lucky. Or six if you're careful. But you probably won't be.

One of the nice things about this roast is that you could substitute your favorite spices and flavors. Another is that it's very easy and my DH will take over grill duties. So I think it's a great idea for a busy woman like me. And it would even work for my organizer sleuth, Charlotte Adams. It could take her mind off ice cream for a short time anyway. I'll pass on the recipe once she's sorted out her latest problem in The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder. Find out more about Charlotte (and me) check out

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prime Time - Dinner Time

Let’s welcome our Sunday guest!

Award-winning investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan is on the air at Boston's NBC affiliate. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution. Along with her 26 EMMYs, Hank’s won dozens of other journalism honors. She's been a radio reporter, a legislative aide in the United States Senate and an editorial assistant at Rolling Stone Magazine working with Hunter S. Thompson.Her first mystery, the best-selling PRIME TIME, won the Agatha for Best First Novel. It was also was a double RITA nominee for Best First Book and Best Romantic Suspense Novel, and a Reviewers' Choice Award Winner. FACE TIME and AIR TIME are IMBA bestsellers, and AIR TIME was just nominated for the AGATHA Award for Best Novel of 2009. (Of AIR TIME, Sue Grafton says: "This is first-class entertainment.") DRIVE TIME, February 2010 from MIRA Books, just earned a starred review from Library Journal.

Hank's short story "On The House" is now an AGATHA nominee for Best Short Story of 2009. Hank is on the national board of Mystery Writers of America. Her website is Hank Phillippi Ryan.

For fun, Hank would like to offer copies of her books to three commenters today! Wahoo!!!! [They’re great, by the way.] She said you get to pick the TIME book of your choice. So comment to your heart's content!

Take it away, Hank!


What did you have for dinner when you were a little girl? Did your mother cook? I have a vague memory of--pot roast? And little tiny peas from a can. Big standing rib roasts on holidays. Stringy turkey. (Sorry, Mom.)

And oh--yes, of course, fried chicken made in an incredibly heavy cast iron pan where the top was just like the bottom, and the kitchen smelled like chicken and oil (which is not that bad!) for days. Thinking back--we had a big greasy deep fryer thing, that you plugged in. My little sister and I had the idea to make batter dipped onion rings, which was truly the messiest thing ever. There were batter splatters in the kitchen for--months. And you can imagine how indelible the batter dots were, once they dried.

We used to make pizzas from a box, and we thought it was delicious. Put water in a bowl of floury mix, mix until it was sticky, and roll it out onto a pan. Dump on that canned tomato sauce and a packet of cheese. And sometimes fried hamburger. We thought it was a huge treat! It must have been before there was carry-out pizza. (Who else remembers that?)
I don’t think I’d cook any of that now. Too greasy, too fried, too pre-fab. Although I’ve been known to sneak an onion ring or two from my husband’s plate in restaurants. (Do you sneak bites of your companion’s food? We'll talk about that another day.)

Cooking now is so different from my mom’s day. It's all about doing it fast--in my world, at least. I have a full time job as a reporter, and ANOTHER full time job as a mystery author. And another full time job as a wife. So something’s gotta give.

I will confess, cooking was one of the first things I had to cut back. Used to be? I’d come home from working at Boston’s NBC affiliate, and unless there had been big breaking news or an especially tough story, cooking dinner was one of the few things that would really relax me. It’s fun, it’s rewarding—but you do have to concentrate, and the craziness of a day in disguise or going undercover with a hidden camera or scouring through court records would fade away as I calculated what to make for dinner. I came up with some fantastic sauces, great toppings for grilled fish, and exotic new pasta combinations.

And dinner parties? Back in the day I used to go all out. Elaborate, experimental, no holds barred.Soufflés, beef Wellington, pommes Anna, poached fresh pears with wine and cinnamon. No recipe was too complicated, no prep too difficult. I loved it.

Today? Forget about it.

Now, let’s just say it’s lucky that my dear husband is patient. There’s a lot of pizza. And brown-rice sushi. And carry-out grilled salmon.

But there’s got to be a way, I thought, to make it fast but still healthy and delicious.

One way--is to add fresh ingredients to prepared items. Does your grocery carry-out counter have orzo salad? It's orzo, and red onions, and black olives—you’ve seen it.
Perfectly good, but unquestionably pre-fab. But here's how to make it fresh and wonderful...just add fresh crumbled feta cheese and chopped up fresh basil. Suddenly, the flavors pop. It also looks beautiful.

If you want to get even fancier: pop two ears of corn, still in the husk! into the microwave.
Heat on high for about two minutes. The corn will steam itself! Carefully, carefully peel off the husks. (It’s okay to wait until it’s cool enough to do without harming yourself.) Then--brush a little oil on the corn on the cob, and put it under the broiler until about half the kernels get toasty. Cut the corn off the cob, and mix it into the orzo salad. Don’t worry if some of the kernels stick together, it’s prettier that way.
Suddenly, you have a fantastic fresh salad. And you boosted the delicious level in about 4 minutes. And it’s totally company-worthy.

Now, like my main character (and alter ego?) reporter Charlotte McNally, I’m figuring out ways to make food tasty and beautiful—but also, well, fast. And when friends stop by for drinks and chat—we sit out by the pool and watch the summer sunset and, as we say, “soak up the niceness.” And for that, you need appetizers. Here are three that are elegant, delicious, and of course, fast. And then, a never-fail dinner recipe that you can do with whatever you have in the fridge. Because—who has time to plan?

Charlotte NcNally’s Three Super-fast Appetizers—and one Dinner on a Deadline!

Built-in BLT’s

16 cherry tomatoes (sniff in the store to make sure they smell like tomato, not cardboard), halved
1-2 leaves romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
2-3 slices bacon, crisply cooked and broken into small pieces
Fresh parsley or basil

Scoop out most of the inside of each tomato half. Place a dollop of mayonnaise in each half. Stick a torn piece of lettuce into each. Pop in a shard of bacon. (These will look beautiful.) Arrange on a serving tray and garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley or basil.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Quick Caprese

Note: This is easy finger food, but if you want to provide little forks, it’s delicious for guests to dip each tomato into a pool of extra high quality balsamic vinegar. Splurge on the vinegar!

Fresh mozzarella cheese, in cherry tomato-size balls
Fresh basil pesto (may be store-bought, who’ll know?)
16 cherry tomatoes (sniff in the store to make sure they smell like tomato, not cardboard), halved
Fresh parsley or tarragon
Fresh basil, finely chopped

Slice each mozzarella ball into three pieces. Put a dollop of pesto on each tomato. Top with a slice of mozzarella. Arrange on tray with parsley sprigs, or stalks of tarragon and tomato halves for garnish. Sprinkle basil on top of the cheese. Done!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Quicktime Taste of Tuscany

Note: Consumer reporter alert - be sure to wash the outsides of the melons before you cut them to prevent salmonella!

1 cup bite-size chunks of fresh cantaloupe
1 cup bite-size chunks of fresh honeydew melon
30 strips prosciutto
Fresh herbs
Fresh basil, finely chopped

Wrap each melon chunk with prosciutto, and secure with toothpick. Arrange on tray with herbs from your garden (or the grocery). Sprinkle basil across the top to garnish.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Here’s one more secret--and it’s such a fast delicious dinner that Charlie McNally makes it all the time. Or--she would, if I didn’t do it for her.

Fast Pasta Primavera for two

Pasta for two
Vegetables—see below
1/3 or more cup olive oil
Garlic-infused oil if you have it
Garlic (crushed from a jar or fresh)
Red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh basil, chopped

Boil water for pasta
See what vegetables you have—maybe a lonely leftover zucchini or yellow squash? If so chop in chunks, add some olive oil and broil.
If you have spinach or broccoli, or broccoli rabe? Wash and chop.
Check the pasta water. Is it boiling yet?
In a cereal size type boil, dump in about 1/3 cup high quality olive oil, a dash of garlic-infused oil or basil-infused oil. Add a chopped up garlic clove. Or half a teaspoon of crushed garlic from a jar.
Shake in a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes. Put it in the microwave. But don’t turn it on!
Is the pasta water ready?
Dump in the pasta.
When the pasta is one minute from being done, dump the raw broccoli or broccoli rabe or spinach into the simmering pasta water.
Start the microwave! Heat the oil mixture on high for one minute.
Meanwhile, the pasta will cook for that final minute along with the vegetables.
When the pasta is done and the veggies are still bright green, drain in a colander.
Slide the pasta and vegetables back into the pasta pan.
(If you’ve broiled the zucchini, mix that into the pasta now.)
Pour in the hot oil, and stir.
Now you’ve got a delicious mix of pasta and vegetables.
Top with lots of Parmesan cheese and fresh pepper—add some fresh chopped basil if you have it.
Quick—and delicious!


Thanks, Hank! You've given us a feast. You're the best.


We have a NEW CONTEST. Win a set of
COOKIE CUTTERS from Wilton. To enter the contest, all you have to do is leave a comment!

Check back on March 2, when the cookie cutter winner will be announced -- oh heck, check back every day! There's always something fun going on ;-) But that's when Jenn McKinlay will launch her new book Sprinkle with Murder, as well as a new CONTEST. One you won't want to miss!

Also, don't forget to enter Jenn’s
Name the Cupcake Contest. Go to her website to enter. You and your cupcake might be the lucky ones to be written into BUTTERCREAM BUMP OFF.