For success with a less expensive cut of beef, salt and pepper it 24 hours before cooking to help tenderize it, then cook it at a low heat (see instructions below). Low heat allows the meat's enzymes to break down its tough connective tissue, tenderizing the meat. You can choose a tender cut of meat (prime rib; fillet; whole strip), but for those of us watching the purse strings, less expensive cuts are:
- sirloin (aka center cut, butt, or baron of beef)
- round (top round, bottom round, or eye of the round)
- 5 1/2 to 6 pounds beef (boneless roast, sirloin, or top, bottom or eye of the round)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (ground)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Depending on the shape of your roast, to ensure even cooking you may want to tie the roast with kitchen string to make it a consistent thickness; otherwise, any thin, flat ends will become overcooked. Pat meat dry with paper towels.
- Combine the salt and pepper and pat over all surfaces of a paper towel-dried meat. For best results, do this 24 hours before cooking, cover meat and refrigerate. Remove meat 1-2 hours before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 250 F.
- Place the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meat for about 8 minutes - 2 minutes on each of its four sides.
- Place meat on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up. Roast the meat for 45 minutes per pound for a medium roast.
- Check the internal temperature by inserting an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. Check the temperature every few minutes until meat reaches the desired degree of doneness: 120-125 F for rare; 130-135 F for medium-rare; 135-140 F for medium; 140-150 F for medium-well. Cover with foil and allow to set for about 20 minutes. The meat temperature will rise 5-10 degrees while it is resting. (The USDA recommends a minimum safe internal temperature of 145 F Fahrenheit for a beef roast.)
For night 1: Thinly slice one-third of the roast, against the grain and on the diagonal.
For night 2 and night 3: Cool, cover and refrigerate the remaining roast.
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