Roast Beef for Church Dinner
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.