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Roast meat for 9 people

Hi, I'm trying to prepare some type of roast beef for a group of 9 people. Tried searching on the board for suggestions, but didn't get a clear answer. I have a few questions:
1. How many pounds of meat for 9 people? I'm thinking about 1/2 lb per person so about 5 - 6 pounds? Planning on serving salad and potatoes on the side. Maybe some dips.
2. What type of meat should i use? I'm trying to keep it on the cheaper side and I'm not a very good cook. Maybe tri tip?
3. Anyone have an idea for recipes/cooking tips? How long should it be left in the oven (abour 6lbs of meat). This looks good: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo.... It seems that tri tip only comes in about 3 lbs sizes, so I'll be roasting 2 at once. Any tips or how it would affect cooking time?

Any tips would be appreciated. I suggested this to my roommate without actually thinking if we can do it. Are there other cuts of meats that will be better? We really want to serve some type of roast beef. Thank you!!

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  1. 7 bone standing rib roast will do the trick for 9 people.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monku

      Poor Man's Roast Beef, using Top Butt Sirloin...slow roasted at 225*



      If you can gain access to Costco or a wholesale meat/restaurant cash and carry location, you can purchase it for less than $3.00/lb

      You could also do a whole pork loin, with or without bones. also slow roasted.....whole loins should cost in the $1.99-2.49/lb range at most supermarkets.

    2. Tri-tip tends to be very dry, so I would only suggest it for braised preparations. If you have access to a grill, you might consider sirloin steaks, as they are fairly cheap, and can be sliced up for serving.
      Ribeye, rib roast, strip steak, tenderloin will all be pretty expensive per pound, so I think you should just forget that, though there are great preparations you could do for each.
      Have you considered a pot roast? It's not the same sort of roast, but it's fairly forgiving, and you can work your veggies into the same pot if you like.
      Does it have to be beef? A pork butt (shoulder cut) practically marinates itself, and comes out of the oven nice and tender every time.
      Seasoning depends on your preparation, but for roasting, salt and pepper tend to be enough. As for portions, I bet you could cut back to 6 oz. and still fill everybody up.
      Best of luck.

      1. 6 pounds of meat sounds good with salad and potatoes!

        I am not too much a fan of tri-tip.

        This recipe has been raved about, which uses eye of round. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/608907 The keys are to pre-salt at least overnight, two days is even better (after that, I don't notice much difference,) and don't overcook it.

        Remove from the fridge at least two hours before putting it into the oven.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jaykayen

          eye of round is a reasonably-priced cut of meat, and can be very tasty, served rested from the oven and in sandwiches, as leftovers. just don't overcook it. this week, it is, e.g., $4/# here at my harris teeter grocery store. that cook's illustrated recipe cited just above in jaykayen's post sounds quite nice, indeed. the CI folks are very par-ti-cu-lar, as you know, with technique, but they test and test and test again for the optimal result.
          i thought tri-tip might not be suitable -- doesn't it need to be sliced in a particular way so as not to be tough? like angle cuts? ...but i'm no meat expert.

          here: this beef chart says you'll get four "3 oz. servings" per pound of tri-tip. http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tip...
          it has other guidelines for various cuts of meat. (actually, lots of charts for all sorts of food).

          you know, i'm very happy with tender, moist pot roasts. they are really comfort food -- and the braising technique to cook one properly is much more forgiving than dry roasting. plus, with the collagen-rich "tougher" cuts used for pot roasts, you'll get more unctuous texture and good beefy flavor.

          i'm also a fan of "the oven roasting bag" for tougher meats that need a moist environment. i say this because i had the best venison roast i ever ate, cooked in an oven bag with some aromatics and a wee bit of wine. or you can use a well-sealed dutch oven. others will pooh-pooh the roasting bag. that's how they roll. make your own decision.

          here are some roasting bag recipes: http://www.reynoldspkg.com/reynoldski...

          my mom used to do this homestyle pot roast with the dry lipton's french onion soup packet (though she sometimes used a pressure cooker): http://www.reynoldspkg.com/reynoldski...
          the recipe says that a 3-1/2 pound roast serves 7-9 persons (with a 3 oz. serving. -- which is my "snack size." ;-).

        2. Unfortunately, a roasting cut of beef is not "on the cheaper side". Rib roast with or without bones and tenderloin are best for roasting but they are the most expensive. You could possibly do 1 or 2 top sirloin roasts but they will certainly be tougher than rib roast.

          I would be tempted to braise something like a couple of chuck roasts. You could even do them in crock pots. Braising is pretty forgiving when it comes to skill required too. Check out a recipe for pot roast.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hank Hanover

            If I was going to braise right now, it would be Sauerbraten made with bottom round. A little more impressive than pot roast since you're having company. I've been seeing it on sale for the last month or so.

            Rule of thumb, you loose about 25% after cooking, due to fat etc.

          2. Depends on what you consider cheap, but like monku said, nothing beats a rib roast. I follow alton's technique, and always have great results. A whole tenderloin would work as well, tho I find them less flavorful. Both cuts aren't as expensive as you might think. Then again, as a guest I absolutely wouldn't mind being served pot roast

            1 Reply
            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              Next time you make a rib roast, you should try the Thomas Keller Ad Hoc at Home recipe. I will warn you that it involves a blowtorch (a real one, not a Sur La Table brulee one). We've only done it once, but it was superb. I've seen the recipe online, so you should be able to track it down easily.

            2. Thank you everyone for the replies! These are some great tips. I’m now slightly intimidated by the responses and have switched gears on the dinner planning – will now be doing a sushi party.

              I will probably be making the eye of round/slow roasted beef for dinner at home with no guests soon (Thanks Jaykayen!). I just can’t afford serving tough beef this weekend and would prefer to practice first!

              Thank you!!

              7 Replies
                1. re: alkapal

                  Neither will the Top Sirloin Roast....... and it's far more flavorful than an eye round

                  1. re: fourunder

                    Unfortunately my dinner guests are not big fans of pot roast/stewed or braised beef - they also don't eat pork, making it really hard on the budget for a meat dinner.

                    Fourunder -- any tried & tested recipes for a top sirloin roast?

                    1. re: chocomel

                      Depending on whether you seam out the three meat pieces, or not, normally in a whole piece that's usually sold in cryovac packaging...all you really need to do is Season with Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. You may like something like a horseradish crust or garlic paste crust. The only problem with the latter is....your home may smell like garlic for a while, but people swear by it. I'm more of the less is more approach and prefer a simple salt and pepper seasoning and prefer to have a horseradish cream on the side. You could also make a Yorkshire Pudding from the pan juices.

                      As for cooking/roasting directions for time, it depends on how large the piece of meat is, i.e. seamed out or not. There's a famous place in Connecticut that makes whole butt sirloin grinders, which I believe Bobby Flay featured on one of his many show. The shop cooked their meats @ 190-200* for 20-22 hours. There are many who feel 170* is the ideal temperature, but unless you have an electric oven, this is very hard to do as most gas oven will flame out. Personally, I do not feel the extra time produces noticeable results from slightly higher temperatures to warrant the extra time in the oven. I find overall, 225* works best for me, and you can expect the roast to take somewhere between 4-6.5 hours mor medium-rare to medium temperature. It's been a while since I reviewed the threads I referenced above, but I'm pretty sure the threads have good information and notes. The beauty of slow roasting at a low temperature, is it naturally breaks down the meat and mimics the dry aging process to concentrate the beef flavor, Read the information on <altoshaam.com> for an easy introduction




                      All you really need to do is take the meat out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before placing in the oven, place on a rack and roasting pan, set your temperature and brown at the end on high heat for 10 minutes. It's really almost foolproof to achieve medium-rare temperature....or your desired temperature preference.

                      If you have any specific questions after reading the information in the links I have provided, just ask.

                      Btw.....You should be able to purchase a large roast for less than $30 and a good sized one for $25 or under.....even at retail. just ask your butcher in your regular supermarket if he can provide you with one....or wait for a sale on beef. Wholesale prices are around $2.25/lb.

                      1. re: fourunder

                        Fourunder, thank you for the detailed information!

                        1. re: chocomel


                          I should have noted to you the difference between a sirloin tip roast, and a whole top butt sirloin....which is simply that the sirloin tip roast is from the top butt(whole piece) that has been seamed out, or butchered into smaller pieces. That's why you will see recipes for roasts weighing anywhere from 2-7 pounds. Below are a few links with pictures to give you an idea of what you are up against. The process for low temperature slow roasting are the same for Prime Rib Roast, Sirloin Roasts or any cheaper/tougher cuts as well.




                          Notice in the last link the whole piece of sirloin. To seam it out, all you do is run a knife down the middle against the vein of gristle. If you want to reduce the roasting time, two smaller pieces can be done in as little as 2.5 hours, as opposed to a whole piece which usually takes 5-6 hours......depending on the idiosyncrasies of your home oven, i.e., the calibration of oven temperature and which rack you may roast on. I always use the lowest rack possible myself, especially for large roasts, but small roasts on the middle rack are recommended. Slow Roasting should never be done on the top rack setting.

                          When roasting mulitple pieces of meat or poultry, just make sure there is separation between the meat to allow air/heat circulation. for even roasting.....and always on a rack is preferable.

                2. re: chocomel

                  I made pot roast with inexpensive bottom round. Recipe on epicurious for pot roast with carmelized carrots and onions. Did not do the carmelize part and it worked fine,.

                3. Last week I prepared a 6 lb pork rib roast that turned out very well. It was prepared in a "porchetta" style, rubbing it with sage, rosemary, garlic, and fennel pollen, then roasting it in the oven. It's one of my go-to dishes for large-ish gatherings. For 9 people, you could ask for a roast with 9 ribs, which should be in the 6 lb range (which is fine considering the bone content). Depending on the roast, if there's not a good layer of fat on it, it can tend to dry out, but you can remedy that issue by draping a few slices of bacon over the roast and by cooking to an internal temp of 135F, taking out of the over, and letting it slowly rise to 140ish. Problem solved.

                  If you're interested in this option, see if you can get your hands on the (I believe....) June or July issue of La Cucina Italiana, which has the best porchetta recipe I've seen to date.

                  EDIT: Whoops, sorry, didn't see you had originally posted you wanted roast BEEF. Never mind on the pork suggestion...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foreverhungry

                    I'd do an oven roasted brisket. I have a simple recipe by Joel Segal's jewish mother that is delicious. I have served it to groups multiple times to rave reviews. Let me know...

                  2. If price is your main concern, go for a eye round roast using the Cook's Illustrated method. For the money, it's hard to beat - I like to call it fauxlet mignon. :D Here's a discussion on it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6089...

                    The next step up is a sirloin roast, but I've never been able to find one in markets around here...

                    Of course the best would be a rib roast or strip roast...but those are like 2x the price of a round.

                    It depends on the appetite of your guests but I personally like to prepare at least 12oz per person (when's the last time you went to a restaurant and got excited about a cut of meat less than 12oz?)- so for you that would be about 7 lbs.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: joonjoon

                      eh, joon joon -- she's already switched to a sushi menu!

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Sorry about that! But this info wil definitely be useful once I make a tiny version of the eye of round roast - I just don't trust myself yet. Thanks for the responses! I'll definitely be looking out for a sirloain roast when I shop too.

                        1. re: chocomel

                          there are lots of good ideas here. i've bookmarked it.

                    2. When we have people over I like to do things that don't require much of my time when guests arrive. I like to do a braise. Some of my favorite things to braise for company are short ribs and lamb shanks. One per person. If you decide to go this route look for meaty short ribs or shanks that are similar in size. When buying short ribs in packages in the store it's common to find them in four packs with one or two that have very little meat on them. Don't hesitate to ask the meat guy to select the number you need that are as thick as you need. Same with the shanks.

                      Why this is so easy is that if you plan your time correctly when your guests arrive they will get hit with a great aroma as they walk into your home and when it's time to serve you can just pull out of the oven and plate. Not a lot of last minute prep so you can spend time with your guests. You also don't have to worry about over cooking a roast that you had planned on being med-rare or that one person likes rare and another likes well done.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: scubadoo97

                        they don't care for "braised" meat.

                        1. re: alkapal

                          Didn't see that in the original post.

                          1. re: scubadoo97

                            it's not. it was posted by OP in the thread on 9/30: ""Unfortunately my dinner guests are not big fans of pot roast/stewed or braised beef - they also don't eat pork, making it really hard on the budget for a meat dinner.""""