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Dec 19, 2013 10:01 PM

Roast beast

I was asked to bring roast beef to the family Christmas gathering. I've never made this but I'm pretty confident I can do it with the help of my probe thermometer and my adequate cooking skills.
Now this is kind of dumb but I don't know what cut of meat "roast beef" comes from. Am I right that this isn't the same as pot roast? I hope it doesn't strictly mean prime rib because I don't think it would be appreciated enough to make it worth the expense. Can anyone tell me what sort of beef to buy? And any pointers would be great too.

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  1. Chuck eye, eye of round, shoulder clod roast, prime rib, strip roast to name a few. For more tips, go to

    1. Eye round is a nice choice if you don't want to break the bank, Prime Rib would be the higher end choice.

      The Texas Beef council has a few good recipes, I like their one for 500 degree Eye Round, but it depends on how many people you serve because you're limited in the size of Roast you can make that way.

      1. Try to get a boneless cross-rib roast at $2.99 a pound and roast it just until medium rare inside and nice and crusty on the outside. Delicious. Or a tri-tip but that is more expensive maybe $3.99 per pound.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MamasCooking

          I WISH I could get that meat at those prices....more like $5.99 lb and up.....

        2. If you & your family likes med/rare beef, try a rump roast. It's not one of the expensive cuts. This recipe tells how to cook a rump roast in the oven and produces a delicious, tender, juicy meat.

          If your family prefers well done beef, then I suggest you make a pot roast.

          1. What's your budget? How many are you feeding..and last, where do you reside? The atter is pertinent to get an idea of where you can shop for the best deals on beef for a roast and the type of cuts available to you.

            4 Replies
            1. re: fourunder

              Thanks, all good questions.
              It'll be a large crowd but a potluck, with lots of little kids. (All my in-laws have 5+ kids each)
              I live in California and have access to a lot of good groceries.
              I'm not sure about budget but I can say that these folks wouldn't know the difference, so it's not really worth it to buy the nicest cut.

              1. re: iheartcooking

                I reference the budget, simply to steer you in a's like buying or leasing a car. You get a lot a recommendations as to what the best car is... yes they are all nice cars, but is it really practical or in your budget? The budget aspect of my question is this. Let's say you only want to spend $5 per Pound, or about $40 total for about 7-8 pounds of beef....That gives you options and limitations as to what to purchase. I believe in making the best purchase for the price point needed. Here in New Jersey, all the supermarkets have Prime Rib roasts on sale for $5/lb this week, but the actual yield of meat will be less because of the bones. Instead, you have the options of Eye Round, Top Round/London Broil, Top Butt Sirloin, Bottom Round Sirloin, Rump Roast, Knuckle, Cross Rib, Shoulder Roast/Clod, Silver Tip. Santa Maria, Newport, Blade. Tri Tip......some of these cuts are the same, just different names depending on where you Live. Santa Maria is Newport/Tri-Tip, Bottom Sirloin is also Knuckle or Sirloin/Silver Tip. Blade is also UnderBlade or Top Blade/Flat Iron. Although all these cuts are options, only a few are worth considering unless you like dry, tasteless beef.

                In California, if not mistaken, Cross Rib is readily marketed and available and it's an excellent Choice for a budget minded roast. It's tender and flavorful. Here's a thread i started that shows you the difference between the Cross Rib, or Shoulder Clod Roast, they are one in the same, and a Chuck Roast. I do not recommend the Chuck Roast for this party. Although the directions are for these particular cuts of beef, roasting any kind of beef is the same to attain a desired temperature. If you want a TENDER roast, I suggest you go with Low and Slow temperature roasting at 200-250*. I use 210-225* myself. Some have mentioned serving temperature. Unless you are serving a sit down dinner, I would not be concerned about serving the Roasted Beef hot. It's very common and acceptable to serve the meat warm or at room temperature. You can have hot gravy to accommodate those who like hotter beef.


                Other Roasts that have been mentioned that are excellent choices as well:

                * Blade/Top-Blade/Flat Iron. (You will need at least 3 separate roasts, as these are usually under 3 pounds each


                * Whole Top Butt Sirloin, aka "The Poor Man's Prime Rib".

                The Whole Top Butt Sirloin can be had easily for under $4/lb. If you have access to Costco, they sell them. You may have to learn how to trim a piece of beef, but as a roast, it only requires removing a little fat. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that shows how it's done. Unless you want to show off the whole roast at the table and carve from there.....To reduce your cooking times and make it easier to slice from the kitchen, I recommend you seam out the roast (3 separate muscles), or simply butterfly in half. It will make for easier slicing.

                1. re: fourunder

                  Professor fourunder is (IMO of course) the undisputed Ruler of Roast Beef on this board, I cannot recommend strongly enough that the OP takes fourunder's expertise to heart. Many of us have benefitted from it greatly. :)

                  1. re: GretchenS

                    Gretchen, we really should meet one day so I can thank you for all the kind words......btw...Have you seen my two new posts on Turkey and Steamship of Pork

                    Thanks for the support.