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Roast Beef for Church Dinner

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Sarika Aug 28, 2013 01:18 AM

OK all since you were of such great help with my Chicken Pot Pie dilemma; here's a question.
I'm doing a church dinner in October. Roast Beef is on the menu. Now, since I do a small catering out of the lower level of my home ( never did a quantity of roast beef; since the area where I live people crave stuffed cabbage and pierogies) I would like to roast the beef home; slice it and be able to reheat it in an au jus hoping it wouldn't get tough or fall apart and then serve a gravy on top of the slices since the meal will be plated at the kitchen and not served at table. I was think along the lines of Top Round or Sirloin Roast. I've done eye roast on a smaller level but it just doesn't seem to have the taste either one of the two I mentioned have. Any ideas? It will be for approx. 150 people. Thanks ahead.

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  1. Robin Joy RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 01:47 AM

    Whoever chose roast beef? Apart from fish there can't be many things less suitable for this type of operation!

    Anyway, I think that sirloin taken fairly slowly to about 125 internal and allowed to cool is your best bet. This could be done a day ahead. I guess you'll need about 60 to 70 pounds. More if the football team's coming.

    Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robin Joy
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      Sarika RE: Robin Joy Aug 28, 2013 05:16 AM

      Our pastor chose the RB. No ;-) no football team - mostly middle aged. Thanks for the tip though.

    2. monavano RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 04:23 AM

      I think you'll be fine with top round or bottom round. Even the eye roast will be fine with a nice jus, and with your experience, I'm sure you'll be able to get some nice flavors on the plate!
      I'm sure cost and availability come into play, too, so know that you can choose from several cuts and go with what works for you.
      That's a lot of beef!

      4 Replies
      1. re: monavano
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        Sarika RE: monavano Aug 28, 2013 05:15 AM

        LOL. Thanks for the input. I'm leaning toward top round. Probably will sliver some garlic here and there, brown and roast. I'm really very apprehensive when I do have to serve RB. Aside from Rib Roast one can never tell. Yep it is a lot of beef. Ugh the thought.

        1. re: Sarika
          monavano RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 05:51 AM

          Was going to suggest the garlic slits and maybe a nice herb rub. It'll taste great-- I just don't envy all the slicing!

          ps... serving rolls or good ole' white bread with it? Must sop up the juices!

          1. re: monavano
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            Sarika RE: monavano Aug 28, 2013 08:42 AM

            M-M-M-mmmmmmmmmm. Fortunatetly I do have a pro slicer so it shouldn't be as tedious.

            1. re: Sarika
              monavano RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 08:51 AM

              You are golden then!

      2. d
        dfrostnh RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 05:28 AM

        Maybe you should check with the pastor. Around here, when the church suppers advertise roast beef, they really mean pot roast. BIG difference. Maybe your pastor really means pot roast.

        1. Robin Joy RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 06:08 AM

          Any benevolant butchers or farmers in the congregation? That might help with the raw materials quality and budget.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robin Joy
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            Sarika RE: Robin Joy Aug 28, 2013 08:41 AM

            Ahaaaaa...usually "I" wind up doing a good bit of that; rather my husband and I...but on the Q-T :-))))

          2. PHREDDY RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 06:14 AM

            Many years ago I was kitchen help in a day camp and we roast beef for 800 kids and about 125 in staff. What I learned: Two days before.
            The top round was rubbed with salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, placed in large roasting pans, with a celery, onion, carrots and an inch of water. Roasted until an internal of 120 degrees.
            One day before: slice the cold roasts very thin, and pile slices in vertical stacks, in clean foil serving pans,with the more well done slices on the bottom, rare in the middle and the balance of the well done as you did on the bottom. Remove fat from roasting pans, reserving for a roux for your final gravy. Cover stacked beef with foil and add one cup of low sodium beef broth per 5 lbs of sliced beef in panbottom.return to fridge.
            Day of:

            5 Replies
            1. re: PHREDDY
              monavano RE: PHREDDY Aug 28, 2013 06:22 AM

              Ah! Don't leave us hanging. This is very informative!

              1. re: PHREDDY
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                Sarika RE: PHREDDY Aug 28, 2013 08:39 AM

                Day of: ???? Puh-lease continue. Interesting. :-))

                1. re: PHREDDY
                  PHREDDY RE: PHREDDY Aug 28, 2013 09:06 AM

                  To finish my previous post:
                  Reserve pan juice and veggies . Reheat pan juices and strain juices discarding veggies. Make a roux with pan fat and flour, add hot pan juices for a nice gravy to be served alongside. This should be done a few hours before serving.
                  Next take pans of sliced meat and place them in a 300 degree oven for one hour or when you get an internal temp between the innermost slices of 125... It might take a bit longer depending on the height of the sliced stacks.

                  When you serve place pans of beef on a heated serving station , of course the hot gravy along side. If people like well it is on top, rare in the middle, Au jus in the pan , thick gravy along side.
                  You should need about 4oz of gravy per person or about 3 gallons total gravy. My estimation four tablespoons of equal part flour and fat per quart of gravy. You will definitely supplement with two gallons of beef stock, along with some kitchen bouquet or the likes.
                  What's nice about this method, if the meat is tough , slicing it thin, resolves that issue. Cooking and slicing it cold the day before affords you the luxury to stacking meat in trays of well, med, rare. Worked for 900!
                  Sorry about the in complete post, one of my employees reminded me I was late for our Wednesday senior execs meeting!
                  Let me know if you need more detail and remember good planing equals a good meal!

                  1. re: PHREDDY
                    suzigirl RE: PHREDDY Aug 28, 2013 09:13 AM

                    Waiting with baited breath...

                    1. re: PHREDDY
                      Berheenia RE: PHREDDY Aug 29, 2013 06:07 AM

                      You have incredible food memory- like an elephant! Wowzer!

                  2. Niblet RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 09:42 AM

                    dfrostnh mentions it, but I would consider the humble pot roast.

                    I made one from the James Beard American cookbook, and it was so much like roast beef I was floored. I personally have an aversion to the idea of pot roast, I think of it as stringy meat in gravy, but this sliced up just like roast beef. And of course it's much more cost effective for a crowd.

                    To summarize the recipe, which you would of course need to increase:
                    Dust with flour a 4-5 lb rump, chuck or round. Brown it on all sides in butter & oil. Then add pieces of an onion stuck with cloves, bay leaf, s&p, thyme, 1 cup water or broth. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low heat stovetop (which I did) or in 300 degree oven ~2 hours. I think I went longer.

                    When tender, cool it down; next day skim off the fat before reheating. Thicken the gravy with buerre manie if you'd like.

                    ETA: This sounds similar to PHREDDY's proven method; I'd go with his/hers!

                    1. r
                      robt5265 RE: Sarika Aug 28, 2013 08:44 PM

                      What about roast Brisket? It can be done days ahead, chilled and the gravy defatted. It is easy to slice cold and reheats perfectly in its gravy. I would count on 5 oz. per serving along with sides of vegetable and potato.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: robt5265
                        PHREDDY RE: robt5265 Aug 29, 2013 01:17 AM

                        Might be a cost issue. BTW what is the budget pp for the meat?

                        1. re: PHREDDY
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                          Sarika RE: PHREDDY Aug 29, 2013 01:34 PM

                          PP budget 7.00

                        2. re: robt5265
                          monavano RE: robt5265 Aug 29, 2013 05:41 AM

                          Agree, could be a cost issue. I think you get more shrinkage too.

                          1. re: robt5265
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                            Sarika RE: robt5265 Aug 29, 2013 01:33 PM

                            Sounds like an incredible possibility. Thanks.

                          2. porker RE: Sarika Aug 29, 2013 05:55 AM

                            I think PHREDDY has your back.
                            My only suggestion: replace the garlic or seasonings with Montreal steak spice - rub well a day or two before cooking, wrap, and fridge it.
                            Perhaps let the roasts come to room temp a few hours before roasting as well.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: porker
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                              Sarika RE: porker Aug 29, 2013 01:36 PM

                              I think Phreddy has it down. I do know that rubbing it and slits with garlic does an amazing job. I'm making a roast for family and I'm going to try the Montreal steak sprice. Thanks.

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