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Roast Beef

Other than prime rib or a tenderloin which is the best cut of beef for roasting? Ask usual, I am thankful for all replies.

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  1. Top sirloin, but you can search on this board and on the net for the Cook's Illustrated slow roast eye round, which gives excellent results. That method can be used on even cheaper cuts from the round. Chuck eye, and blade (tri-tip) will also work, with the right handling.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      I agree, a slow roasted cut from the sirloin or round is very tasty and festive. Red wine and mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes... My go to dinner.

    2. Top ButtSirloin is known as the Poor Man's Roast Beef, but I find it lacking in much beef flavor. The Knuckle, or Hip Joint is part of the Steamship of Beef you may see being carved at Buffets or Catered affairs.

      While I like a Chuck Roast for an inexpensive beef roast...I've also come to enjoy the Shoulder/Clod Roast, also known as the Cross Rib Roast in the West Coast. Flap/Tri-Tip/Newport are excellent, but I prefer them grilled.. If you want a really tender roast, consider the Top Blade Roast, which is where Flat Iron Steaks come from.



      I wouldn't feed Eye Round to the dog.....: 0 )

      1. Recently cooked a 4 1/2 # top round that my butcher cut from a honkin' big piece of beef.He trimmed it,rolled and tied it and advised to cook it low and slow....200 degrees.
        Never did this method before and it came out great!
        Took about 2 1/2 hrs. to reach 125-rare-rested(loosely covered w/ foil) for 1/2 hr. and carved the most flavorful,delicious,moist and juicy RB we've had in ages.
        I used a probe thermometer left in the entire time to monitor cooking progress.

        1. The next best is the "chuck eye" - the part of the chuck immediately in front of the fore rib.. It's a cut that's easily recognised; there are 2 muscle groups, one roughly circular or elliptical and densely marbled perpendicular to the cutting axis, the other wrapped around this group like a crescent and striated/marbled along the crescent.

          You absolutely *cannot* roast this is the same way you might for a rib or tenderloin, i.e. at high heat. It must be slow-roasted. You can sear the outside if you want, probably a good idea in fact, but don't sear it any longer than just to brown the very outside.

          Another popular cut is the "sirloin roast" - this is NOT the US "top sirloin" but rather the piece that is frequently called "New York Strip" (but bafflingly in the US seems to lack clear and unambiguous naming even though it's one of the very primest of the beef cuts. Here in the UK it's always called sirloin). You won't save any money with this one though, if that's your objective. Cook just like a rib roast.

          Many people here in England also use "Topside" - known in the USA as "Top Round"; I would criticise it for very low fat content but it's good if you want cold roast beef later. It can be roasted, with care, like the rib or the fillet (tenderloin) Slices easily too, which can't be said of chuck-eye; for the latter you need a very sharp knife and lots of practice.

          1. Looks like most of the cheaper cuts have been discussed so I will go another direction.

            If you purchase beef in sub primals which come vacuum sealed in cryovaced bags you will be paying about 20% above the daily trading price. As long as the bag is tight to the meat, adding (30 days age from the case date) in the rear of the bottom shelf of the fridge is not an issue. Like all commodities, beef prices can fluctuate significantly over a relatively short period of time. If you time it right (off peak barbecue, non holiday period) you can score a lot of beef at a good price. Most club stores and private butchers sell sub primals.

            Here is an example of the price spread between 2 PREMIUM cuts last week:

            1. 0x1 choice boneless strip loin (NAMP #180) sub primals were selling for $6.50 lb (13 - 15 lb avg).

            2. Choice Boneless Rib (NAMP #112A) sub primals were selling for $9.80 lb.

            Both of these cuts made great roasts but at this time, one is $3.80 cheaper.

            For a real big group you could roast the whole sub primal. For a medium size group you could cut the sub primal in half and roast the end half and cut the 1st half into beautiful steaks of whatever thickness you like, triple wrap and freeze. For a small group, you could cut into thirds....1st 1/3 roast..... 2nd 1/3 into nice center cut steaks.....3rd 1/3 end roast.

            If you grind your own beef, save some of the fat cap and add it to the grind :-)

            1. Pleading ignorance here: what is a subprimal cut of meat?
              Any meat that is not prime? What I've noticed recently is that the meat in Costco graded Choice was more tender then what they are selling now. For the same tenderness, I need
              to buy Prime, which is quite expensive, even at Costco now.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Bashful3

                I've been happy with Costco's prime sirloin in both taste and price. Also, their flap steaks are my new go-to weeknight steak.

                1. re: Bashful3

                  No, that does not refer to grade of meat. PrimAL, not prime, cuts are the large sections into which the meat cutter initially separates the cow.

                  1. re: Bashful3

                    A "subprimal" is a large cut consisting of, in general, at least one whole muscle group. What happens is that after slaughter, an animal is cut first into very large pieces: "primals"; these go under basic names like "loin" or "chuck" - an entire region of the animal; e.g. the loin is the entire area round the middle of the spine.

                    A subprimal is the next series of sectionings from these "primals" - for example from the loin you would get the "sirloin" - the part on the top (what's being called "boneless strip loin" in the post above), and the "fillet" or "tenderloin" off the bottom. The sirloin is a large, square, flat cut; the tenderloin a slender, tapering cylinder. Per cow you'll get 2 sirloin subprimals and 2 tenderloin primals, one from each side.

                    I can sympathise with your confusion! Speaking from "across the pond", one of the problems about US nomenclature for beef is that they seem to have fallen in love with the word "Prime", using it in at least 3 separate ways.

                    There's "Prime" the USDA grade, generally the highest official grade of beef, based mostly on marbling and age of the animal;

                    There's "Prime" from "Primal" - the initial cuts made to butcher a carcase after slaughter,

                    There's "Prime" in "Prime Rib" - this appears to be purely a marketing term; certainly it's not connected with USDA grading or anything else - a "Prime Rib" is nothing more than roast beef, using what here in the UK would be called "Fore Rib" - the rib starting at rib 6 and going back to rib 12. Unlike English roast beef, though, "Prime Rib" seems to be generally served in a single slab, rather like a steak, rather than thinly sliced.

                    1. re: Bashful3

                      Sub Primals are pretty well explained by Alex Rast below.

                      In the case of a boneless 0x1 striploin, they avg 12 - 15 lbs which for me yields about 12 to 13 nice thick 16 to 18 oz steaks.

                      The choice grade covers a lot of ground in terms of quality and the marbling score can range from Small, Modest & Moderate.

                      Sam's Club used to carry Excel Sterling Silver which was Modest or higher and often borderline prime. Many fine dining restaurants serve this product. One day I walked by the meat case and the beautifully marbled meat was gone and sure enough when I went to the end of the meat case where the sub primals are kept the cryovacs were stamped Black Canyon Angus Beef which is a National Beef product with a "Small" marbling score. Party over :-(

                      Costco may have done the same thing and gone with a lower quality "Choice Grade".

                      1. re: Tom34

                        I guess I'm confused, because lately, I've seen a larger selection of USDA Prime in the Costco cases.
                        Filet Mignon
                        "Prime Rib"
                        Top Sirloin

                        As I wrote, we've only bought the Prime sirloin because it seems to be a good value and tasty.
                        I'm not a Prime beef aficionado, unfortunately ;-(

                        1. re: monavano

                          In my area we have Sams, Costco & BJ's. My wife picked BJ's after Sam's went down hill. The BJ's near me has pretty consistently carried "National Beef" commodity choice which can be very well marbled & also not so well marbled. They do have prime but it comes portioned and comes in vacuum sealed bags. The couple times I picked it up it seemed mushy and pretty wet looking through the plastic. Is this what Costco has or is theirs on a foam tray with plastic wrap?

                          1. re: Tom34

                            Foam tray for all the cuts I mentioned. They also sell cryovac'd meats.
                            Off topic, but around this time of year, they offer bone in pork roast which I've enjoyed treating us to.
                            Thanks for all the info on primal, vs prime, vs prime rib.

                            1. re: monavano

                              Thats great ( foam trays ) as it indicates they are cutting locally from sub primals.

                              I am very suspect of the individual vacuum sealed steaks. As I said, seems very wet and not very firm. Seems to have a long shelf life as well. All that makes me suspicious.

                              We love pork now that its ok to cook it to 145 deg (pink & juicy). Standing pork rib roast also a lot cheaper than standing beef rib roast.

                              1. re: Tom34

                                "We love pork now that its ok to cook it to 145 deg (pink & juicy). Standing pork rib roast also a lot cheaper than standing beef rib roast."

                                Yes, and yes!

                                1. re: monavano

                                  Most commercial kitchens will roast tenderloins to only 135 before pulling and resting for plating.

                    2. My Dad was a BIG fan of beef... medium rare. He also like watching EARLY cooking shows on PBS... Julia, Graham, Jeff Smith. He saw somebody make Beef Wellington and decided that's what WE would have and I would make. Was maybe 18-19 but pretty kitchen comfortable. Recipe looked simple enough!?! Wrap a BIG $$$ hunka tenderloin in pastry dough and into oven. Looked GORGEOUS going into oven and even gorgeousER coming out... like out of a cookbook! We could NOT cut thru the crust... like cement?!? ALmost hadda chisel it off, but luckily beef was PERFECTLY rare to medium inside... WHEW!!

                      Think tenderloin and prime rib are my favorites... but I leave steak house people to the preparation!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kseiverd

                        Leave the pastry, take the steak!