Simple Rump Roast Beef Recipe
I was in our local organic supermarket called Mom's for the best blueberry muffins in the township and noticed they had some organic meats on sale for 50% off. I don't typically purchase organic meats for several reasons, all of which probably don't make any sense and I'll revisit this one day, but how can you pass up 50% off?
Shopping Tip - If you find a great deal on meats or chicken when shopping, take advantage of it but check the labels and if you have any questions, ask the butcher. Typically, these meats are on sale because their "Best Sold By Date" is fast approaching or the market over-purchased an item and they need to move it.
Also, sometimes supermarkets get a great price on items from the distributor or they are using it as a loss leader to get you into the store. No matter what the reason, be sure to use the meat right away or vacuum seal it and stick it into the freezer for a future meal.
Best Cuts of Beef to Roast
I suppose any cut of beef thrown in the oven can be called "roast beef". Think whole Filet Mignon or prime rib roasts.
These are tender cuts of beef and when cooked properly are delicious but also very expensive and not what I'm thinking about when I say roast beef. I'm thinking more about the Sunday roast my mom would prepare with a much less expensive cut of beef like sirloin, bottom round or eye round.
When she cooked it just right, there would be a salty, crusty exterior with a tender, juicy interior. If she got distracted, it would still have the nice crusty exterior but the interior meat was as tough as an old leather baseball glove. It doesn't take long to go from the sublime to shoe-leather as I found out last night.
Another great cut of meat for roast beef is rump roast and this is the meat I used in this recipe. The rump when cooked properly is full of flavor and can be very tender and juicy.
The trick is not to overcook it! And when purchasing a rump roast, try to get one with a thin layer of fat on top. As the meat roasts, this fat will melt and give the beef even more flavor.
Hey, We All Make Mistakes
Last night I learned from my mistakes and want to share them with you so you don't have the same experience.
Mistake #1 - Over-Cooking the Beef
My number one rule for cooking roast beef is not to overcook it and as careful as I was, I overcooked it. Ideally, most of us would like our roast beef medium rare and according to my Meat Doneness Chart, this would be accomplished by removing the meat at 125°F and letting it rest to 130°F.
Last night I checked the meat thermometer several times. When it reached 120°, I really started paying attention but 10 minutes later, it was at 130° and by the time it finished resting, 5 - 10 more minutes, the internal temperature reached 138°/139° degrees. Overdone in my opinion.
Funny though, if you went by the meat thermometer (see photo), 140°F represents "Rare", 160°F = "Medium" and 170°F = "Well" or "Shoe-leather". This must be an old meat thermometer my wife or I grabbed from our parents.
Cooking Tip - Buy & Use a Quality Meat Thermometer - Beef prices are going up even for the less expensive cuts. Heck, butchers tell me there was a time they couldn't give away flank steak but now with the popularity of fajitas, the price is through the roof.
Doesn't make sense to buy a good piece of meat and then overcook it like I did, so buy a good quality meat thermometer and instant thermometer and use them.
Mistake #2 - Under-Cooking the Vegetables
This recipe has you start by browning the meat in a hot oven for 20 minutes and then reducing the heat and continue cooking until you reach the right internal temperature. I waited for the second phase of cooking before adding the vegetables to the pan.
Not sure why but I originally thought this second phase would take longer giving the vegetables plenty of time to cook. I was wrong.
After going back online and looking at other roast beef recipes with roasted vegetables, I noticed many of them parboiled the potatoes, carrots and other vegetables like Brussels sprouts before adding them to the roasting pan.
Next time I prepare this dish, I'll first try adding the vegetables to the pan during the first phase. If this doesn't work, I'll try parboiling them but I prefer not to add this extra step.
Mistake #3 - Cutting the Beef Too Thick
Because the meat was overcooked in my opinion, I think if I sliced the roasted beef really thin, it would have been easier to cut and eat. Think of the roast beef you get at the deli for sandwiches.
They throw it up onto a meat slicer and cut it into really thin slices. If you look at the meat, it typically isn't that rare but it still tastes great on a sandwich.
Saying all this, my youngest daughter who shared this meal with me (mom and her older sister were out doing something else) loved it. She had no complaints about the meat's doneness or the vegetables "undoneness" except for the Brussels sprouts. (She's particular about her Brussels sprouts.) She even asked for seconds on meat and potatoes.
That's my girl.
Basic Roast Beef Recipe
- 12 small potatoes halved or quartered
- 12 Brussels sprouts cut in half
- 3 small onions coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots peeled & quartered
- 6 garlic cloves peeled
- olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 pounds rump roast
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Make sure you take the rump roast out of the refrigerator at least one hour before you plan to start cooking it. You want to get the meat as close to room temperature as possible.
- 15 minutes before you plan to put the roast in the oven preheat your oven to 450°F and get your roasting vegetables prepped by cutting them up, season with salt & pepper and combine in a big bowl. Add some olive oil and give them a stir with a spoon or your hands if you like that sort of thing.
- Remove the roast from its packaging. I suggest you do this over the sink to avoid any unnecessary mess from the juices. Pat the rump roast dry with paper towels and generously season with salt & pepper. Some people like to make a bunch of slits in the meat and place slivers of garlic into each cut. Great idea, one I'll try next time.
- Place the roast fatty side up on a roasting pan large enough to hold the beef and vegetables. If you don't have a pan big enough, use two separate pans. I have seen some people suggest putting the roast directly on the oven rack with a pan underneath to catch the drippings.Another great idea allowing the oven's hot air to circulate around the meat eliminating the need to rotate the roast while cooking. I don't want to have to clean the oven rack so I use a pan.
- Add the vegetables to the pan and stick a meat thermometer into the end of the roast, right in the middle.
- Add the sprigs of fresh rosemary on and around the meat. Place the roasting pan into the oven on a lower rack and roast at 450°F for 20 minutes to brown the meat.
- Reduce the heat to 300°F and continue cooking until the meat reaches the desired temperature and the vegetables are cooked.How long this takes will vary depending on the size of your roast, the type of oven you have, the amount of vegetables you're preparing and several more factors. Some people will tell you 20 minutes per pound, others 10 minutes per pound. I suggest you estimate somewhere between the two but use a meat thermometer and keep your eye on it.
- If the meat is done but the vegetables are not, remove the meat and transfer to a cutting board and place the vegetables back into the oven. Loosely cover the roast with some aluminum foil while it rests for 5 to 10 minutes.If the vegetables are done but the meat has not yet reached its desired temperature, transfer the vegetables to a bowl, cover with foil or clear wrap and return the roasting pan back into the oven.
- When the meat is done and rested and the vegetables are ready to go, thinly slice the beef and serve with a plateful of roasted vegetables.
Roast Beef Gravy
I didn't make a gravy for my meal with my daughter because she was hungry, it was getting late and she needed to get back to her homework. She wanted to eat right away but if you did want to make a simple sauce, you are basically making a pan sauce with any drippings from roasting the meat. Most will tell you to make the sauce right in the pan but I prefer to prepare it in a sauce pan. Yes, one more pan to clean but I find it easier.
Scrape any drippings from the roasting pan, into a sauce pan over medium high heat. When hot, remove the pan from the heat and add some red wine to deglaze the pan. When the red wine is cooked down to an essence, add some beef stock or demi glace and continue to cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Try adding a couple of tabs of butter (mounting) to give the sauce a little more richness and a nice sheen. Season with salt and pepper, to taste and serve with the roast beef. - See my How to Make a Simple Pan Sauce.