“Thinner Sal, thinner!”
Most Sundays my mother would roast a couple of chickens. Every now and again she would make a roast beef. We usually started Sunday dinner with some kind of macaroni and her delicious sauce. The roast would be cooking in the basement oven because my mother never used the oven in the main kitchen. She said she didn’t want to heat up the kitchen. I could never understand why she used that policy in the wintertime. I believe she had so many pots and pans and paper bags stored in her main oven that it would be to much of a bother to relocate all that stuff. It was just as easy to use the older and smaller oven in the basement all the time.
My mother would always complain to my father that he would cut the slices of the roast too thick and it was hard to chew. To my father it didn’t matter, that’s what teeth were for, but my mother would constantly tell him to cut the meat thinner. My mother did everything to achieve a thinner slice of roast beef, including supplying my father with sharper knifes and even purchasing an electric knife. All the electric knife did was make it easier for my father to cut thicker slices. They never really got any thinner, and it made an awful lot of noise. She would yell over the noise of the electric knife, “Sal, you got an electric knife now, CUT IT THINNER!”
Rump roast, sirloin tip roast, eye round, these were the typical cuts of beef my mother would buy. What I remember most about my mother’s roast beef were the caramelized onions that were at the bottom of the pan. She would season her roast with salt and pepper, and garlic, but it was the onions she used in the pan that would add all that flavor to the gravy. And for us, the gravy was just the juices at the bottom of the pan. If the pan became too dry she would add a little water to keep it moist.
Mom’s Sunday Roast Beef
- 1 3-4 pound rump roast, eye round or sirloin tip roast
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large onion sliced in 1/8′
- 1 tablespoon “Gravy Master” seasoning and browning sauce
- 1/2 cup water
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. This is very important…take the roast out of the refrigerator and leave at room temperature for an hour. This will allow the beef to roast more evenly and you will not have a cold spot in the center.
Slice the onions and place at the bottom of a roasting pan.
Coat the entire beef roast with the olive oil. Now cover the entire beef roast with the Gravy Master seasoning and browning sauce. Either brush it on or pour it over the meat and spread it around with your hands. You will need to wash your hands after that.
In a small bowl add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well. Sprinkle all sides of the roast with the mixture. Rub it in with your hands to coat evenly.
Place a roasting rack on top of the onions and place the beef roast, fat side up, on top of the rack. Put the water in the roasting pan.
Place in the lower third of a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees and continue cooking till a thermometer reads 130 degrees for rare, 140 degrees for medium rare and 160 degrees for well done. The food police recommend all beef be cooked well done.
I recommend taking the meat out just before it reaches the ideal temperature because while the meat is resting it continues to cook. What ever level of rareness you prefer, remove the meat from the oven at that temperature and cover with foil and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. You can roughly figure 20 minutes per pound for rare. So a 3 1/2 pound roast will take about 1 hour to cook. During the cooking time, check the pan and add more water if the bottom dries out.
While the meat is resting covered on your cutting board you can pour off the pan juices along with the onions and place in a gravy boat. Taste for salt and pepper and add some if it needs any.
Use these juices and onions to pour over your sliced beef. My mother never thickened her pan juices with anything, we used it au jus.