Tips for roasting leaner cuts of beef.
Last month I had the privilege of visiting the folks at Certified Angus Beef. I love meeting the people that are behind the food I eat. I expected there would be a lot of talk about how much better Certified Angus Beef is than other beef. That is certainly a claim I believe. Instead I learned that their philosophy is to teach people how to cook beef in particular how to roast. They are about education, teaching people to cook. What a cool concept. Certified Angus Beef has many Chefs on staff and they get to be very creative in what they make. They are working on making charcuterie out of beef instead of pork. I am in love with that idea. I asked if they were going to sell any of the sausages and charcuterie they make, and was told no. It goes back to their philosophy, they want to teach Chefs and home cooks to make their own.
For those of us trying to eat healthfully, it is important to know what cuts are lean. There are about 29 cuts of beef that are considered lean by the USDA. My new favorite roast is a Strip Roast from the loin of the cow. While we were there, Chef Ashley made us a strip roast, simply flavored with salt and pepper. I was blown away by the flavor. The strip roast is tender, lean and full-flavored. It has become my new favorite, ahead of a tenderloin.
Next there is the “King” of lean roasts, the tenderloin from the loin of the cow. This usually is my go-to roast as it is lean, tender and mild flavored. It will also stay moist if you are serving it at a party. It is an expensive cut so look to serve it for special occasions.
Next comes the Top Sirloin Roast also from the loin of the cow. It is lean, juicy and tender. Crust it with herbs and spices and you have a delicious dinner.
Eye of Round Roast is one of the most economical roasts from the round of the cow. It is very lean and best cooked to medium-rare.
Sirloin Tip Center Roast is also lean, tender and inexpensive from the round of the cow. This is another cut best cooked to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain.
Ball Tip Roast is a new discovery for me. It is also from the loin of the cow and comes from the bottom sirloin. It is also economical and very easy to prepare. I recently used this cut in my Asian Beer Marinated Beef Roast.
You will find all of these cuts can be called different names in your grocery store. Download the RoastPerfect app and you can find the most common names for all of these cuts. It helps when you are at your butcher buying your roast.
Do you know that there are three grades of meat? Choice, Select and Prime. The grades are given based 10 science based factors including the marbling within the meat, not the fat on the outside. The more marbling, the higher the grade of meat. The marbling inside the beef is actually monounsaturated fat. That was a new fact to me. The grader actually puts a small camera into the meat to determine the grade. Only a small portion of beef is certified as Prime, the highest rating. Choice beef which has moderate to small amounts of marbling is the most prevalent.
How do you like your beef cooked? I personally love it medium rare. I was very surprised to find out that 72% of people prefer their meat medium to well done. We actually have a friend who likes his tenderloin butterflied (cut in half) then cooked well done. I cannot even imagine eating a delicious cut of beef like a tenderloin that well done. I think part of the problem is that people confuse the red juice coming from the meat with blood. It is not blood. It is simply liquid from the meat.
Lets get to tips for cooking a beef roast. Beef can take a lot of spices. Be sure to salt and pepper your beef well. Let it come to room temperature before you cook it. This will help the beef cook more evenly. Use a thermometer. I have one that goes in the beef while it is cooking. It beeps at me when the beef is cooked to the temperature I want it. Rest your meat! Let me say it again, rest your meat. Beef needs to rest for at least 20 minutes. Also remember that it will continue to cook while it is resting, that can mean an increase of 10• temperature. So be sure to take your roast out of the oven when it is about 10• to 20• lower than the temperature you want to eat it at. When you are cutting your beef, cut it against the grain. The leaner cuts also need to be sliced thinly.
Here’s some recipes to get you started on your roasting journey. Roasting beef is very easy and fantastic for a family dinner.
On a totally separate note, Certified Angus Beef had the most wonderful hot chocolate bar set up. My jaw literally dropped to the ground when we walked into their entertaining area. They have taken over a restaurant and made it into a place where they can bring large groups to teach them about cooking. It was decorated so beautifully for Christmas. I would love to make a Hot Chocolate Bar like theirs for a party.
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Happy Healthy Eating,