Full-flavored and lean, top round roasts lack fat and marbling. This makes these roasts moderately tough, especially when cooked too quickly in a dry heat. Cooking them for hours in a slow cooker causes the collagen in the meat to break down, tenderizing the roast. If you add sauces to the slow cooker that promote the breakdown of collagen, such as tomato sauce or wine, you enhance the tenderness. Here are a couple of recipes to try.
Pot Roast with Cider Maple Gravy and Butternut Squash
Bottom Round Roast (3 to 4 pounds)
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup beef broth
3/4 cup apple cider
2 medium butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, seeded
3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and pepper
Press 3/4 teaspoon pepper evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Place roast in stockpot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings.
Season roast with 1 teaspoon salt. Add broth and cider; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours or until roast is fork-tender.
Meanwhile heat oven to 375°F. Brush cut sides of squash halves with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Place squash, cut sides down, on metal baking sheet. Bake in 375°F oven 45 to 55 minutes or until fork-tender. Cool slightly. Scoop squash flesh into large bowl; discard shells or use for serving, if desired. Mash squash with back of spoon or fork until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper, as desired; keep warm.
Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Stir in cornstarch mixture and maple syrup; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Carve roast into thin slices. Serve with gravy and squash.
1. Hold your hand out, palm up. Poke the base of your hand by the base of the thumb. What does it feel like? If you guessed raw meat, You're right.
2. Now, make an OK sign with your hand by touching your forefinger and thumb together. Feel the same part of your hand. It’s a little firmer. This is how meat feels when it’s rare.
3. You’re now going to move to your other fingers, and as you do, you’ll notice the pad of your hand will get progressively firmer.
4. Touch your middle finger to the tip of your thumb. That’s how a medium rare steak feels.
5. Next, touch the tip of your ring finger to your thumb. This is what a medium-well will feel like.
6. Last but not least, touch your pinky to your thumb. That’s the equivalent of a well-done steak.
Slow Cooked Whiskey and Molasses Shredded Beef
Bottom Round Roast or Chuck Center Roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup whiskey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
1 (6 ounce can) tomato paste
4 tablespoons packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups diced Granny Smith apples
Place roast in 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart slow cooker. Combine whiskey, 1/4 cup vinegar, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, molasses, salt and pepper; pour over roast. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 6 hours or on LOW 8 to 10 hours, or until beef fork-tender.
Remove roast from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks. Skim fat from sauce as needed. Return beef to slow cooker.
To make the slaw: Combine remaining 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and mustard in large bowl. Add carrots and apples; mix well. Season with salt and black pepper as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serve beef with slaw.
Note: Can also be wrapped in a tortilla.
Who doesn't love meatloaf. For many, it's an all time favorite food. Next time you are thinking of a great meatloaf dinner, try this easy recipe that was inspired by Iron Chef, Michael Symon
World's Greatest Meatloaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1medium onion, minced (about 2 cups)
1tablespoon kosher salt
2cloves garlic, minced
1teaspoon chipotle powder
2 cups day-old bread, removed, small diced 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
8 ounces ground bacon
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/2 cup ketchup and 1/2 cup brown sugar mixed together for glaze
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray. Melt the butter in a medium saute pan and add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Sweat the onions, and then add the garlic and continue to cook. Stir in the chipotle powder and lightly toast with the onion mixture. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, soak the bread in the milk until completely soft and hydrated. Squeeze out the excess milk and transfer to a large bowl along with the onion mixture, ground beef, bacon, parsley, black pepper, eggs and remaining salt. Mix together. Pack this mixture into a loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. When the meatloaf is almost done, spread the glaze and bake until done. Let cool slightly Slice the meatloaf and serve it with your favorite mashed potatoes and green vegetable.
All Natural Premium Hereford Beef
How to Cook a Boneless Ribeye Steak
If you don’t have a meat thermometer you can use the Finger Test. See illustration.
Are you wondering what to do with that Chuck Roast that's been sitting in the freezer?
Are you looking for a totally satisfying braised beef dish that you will never forget? Try Ina Garten's excellent recipe for Beef Bourguignon. There are multiple steps to go
through but there is nothing complicated about this recipe. Best of all, once it's complete you throw it in the oven and forget it for a while.
Ina Gartens Beef Bourguignon
1 tablespoon good olive oil
8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine. Do NOT use cooking wine ever. It's full of
additives an adds nothing good to your dishes.
1 can (2 cups) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 bag frozen whole pearl onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for
10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon
with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
**This is one of the most important steps. Take your time and get your beef nicely
browned on all sides. There is a lot of flavor to be had by doing it properly. Dry the
beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in
single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.
Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the
beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat.
Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting
lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are
very tender when pierced with a fork.
Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add
the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until
lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove,
then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
This can be made several days ahead of time.
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