I didn’t eat much roast beef growing up; the only place I ever really saw it was in sandwiches. In fact, my first encounter with this particular roast beef came about after a botched attempt at an Italian beef sandwich. See, I have a thing for sandwiches. I expect perfection: not too small, not too crusty, and each flavor component should burst with each bite. Unlike my reproduction of the BELT, my beef sando effort was doomed from the start. First I ruined the relish. Then I realized I wasn’t going to have nearly the jus required for an authentic, “wet” Chicago-style hoagie. Instead, I was left with a perfectly cooked, medium-rare eye-round roast — there are worse problems, I know. Now Lauren begs me to make this “failure” every couple of weeks.
Employing a few slow-roasting techniques that I’ve picked up over the years as well some overnight salting, I’ve refined this recipe into a roast that yields superbly seasoned, tender and juicy meat. Served alongside mashed potatoes with a horseradish cream sauce or steak sauce and you have a cheap dinner that definitely satisfies any serious beef cravings.
An instant read meat thermometer is a must for this recipe. When checking the meat for doneness, be sure to remove the roast from the oven and close the oven door in an effort to keep in as much heat as possible. When it comes time to sear the meat, turn on your overhead fan and open up some windows as it can get quite smoky. This searing process creates a flavorful crust and is well worth the effort of cleaning a blackened pan.
- 1 2.5 lb boneless eye-round roast, tied
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon plus one tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped to a paste
- The day before you plan to cook the roast, sprinkle the salt evenly over the meat, rolling it on your board to pick up excess salt that has failed to stick. Wrap with plastic wrap and refridgerate overnight.
- Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 250°. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and use paper towels to dry excess moisture from the meat. Rub all over with the teaspoon of oil before evenly sprinkling on the oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, pepper and garlic.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it just begins to simmer and slightly smoke. Add the roast and sear until richly browned on all sides (including ends), 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Transfer the roast to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the meat for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches 115° on a meat thermometer.
- Turn the oven off, leaving the roast in the oven for another 30-40 minutes, or until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 130° for medium-rare or 140° for medium. Do not cook the roast past medium or the meat will be too dry.
- Remove the roast from the oven to a carving board and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Slice the meat as thinly as possible and serve.