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Jan 27, 2012 01:00 PM

Roast beef--help!

I want to make a beef roast this weekend--as in, nice and pink in the middle, thin-sliced. I went to my local fancy-pants butcher (where I've had great experiences before and the emphasis is on high-quality, humanely raised animals). My knowledge of beef cuts is not great, so I asked what they had that would be appropriate. The only roast-like cut of meat they had was a chuck roast, and the woman helping me told me it would be great for pot roast. No, I clarified, I wanted to make roast beef. "Oh, it's great for both" she said. I replied that usually one cut is not good for both--cuts that do well in lots of liquid on a long, slow cook don't produce tender roast beef. She asked the guy standing there butchering a whole animal and he said, "Definitely chuck roast."

I figured it must just be my ignorance and bought 3#. Now I'm doing research and when I look for chuck roast recipes *all* I come up with is long-braise stuff--stews, pot roasts, etc.

Do I have to change my plans to beef stew? Or can I really roast this thing medium-rare and come out with a good meal?

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  1. You can. Cook's Illustrated has a slow-roast method for chuck or other cheap cut that has you brown it first, then slow-roast at 200F until it hits about 125 inside.

    Fantastic. I just butchered a 25 pound shoulder clod from Costco and netted two of these beautiful roasts and will do them this weekend.

    Just checked and Cook's wants you to brown it first, then roast at 250 until the roast hits 110, then turn oven to 500 and go for another 15 minutes or until it hits 130. But my experience is that if the initial browning looks good, you can go the whole way at 200 until it hits about 125 and the whole thing will be evenly pink and juicy.

    Even if it is a little chewier than Prime Rib, it's immensely flavorful and if you slice it across the grain thin enough it eats like butter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: acgold7

      and you can still blast it under the broiler for a few minutes for a nice finish.

      be certain to let the beast rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.

    2. ATK has a terrific method for making a beautiful rosy roast from the eye.

      1. Found the CI recipe--Thank you! This looks great. I'll report back . . .

        1. I used the low-and-slow technique and it worked beautifully. I needed to take it out of the oven so I could get cabbage and potatoes in, so I went to 130 internal temp then took it out and it was perfectly medium rare, and very tender.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pistou

            I just had a nearly identical experience at our local fancy butcher. Got the chuck roast, browned it then cooked it at 225 for about 5 hours, and let it sit for about 45 minutes. It came out tasting great, but was a little difficult to slice thinly, (maybe because of my poor carving skills), it just kept falling apart. Also, not much in the way of juice or drippings for gravy. However, considering prime rib or top sirloin costs three times as much, I would definitely make it again.

            1. re: nateb

              Also, not much in the way of juice or drippings for gravy......


              You are never going to get juice or pan drippings from a low ans slow roast ...unless of course you puncture the meat before allowing it to rest., which is not recommended. Below is a thread where I did experiments with different size Chuck Roast cuts at different temperatures and times. You can see the results in pictures.