Saturday Menu: Roast, Ginger Glazed Carrots, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

I rarely cook a roast, unless it’s a pot roast and I can put it into the slow-cooker and leave it.  Usually if I’m looking to cook nice beef, it’s grilled steak. But while I was shopping the other day, I found an excellent deal on a sirloin tip roast and decided to give it a try this weekend.  I was unsure how to cook it because I wasn’t sure what type of roast it was.  Was it the type that needed to be braised or roasted?  Could it be served rare-to-medium rare or did it need to be medium-to-well in order to be fork-tender?  I did a little research and found what I needed.  And with a little help from Kirk, I had enough confidence to roast this roast.  NOTE: This cooking method is for rare to medium-rare only.  If you like your meat more medium to well, you’ll need to use a slow cooking method.  Here’s what I did:

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees

My 4-lb roast came in a little mesh coat, which I removed, then rubbed salt, pepper and crushed garlic over the entire roast, followed with a bit of olive oil.  I then redressed it into its mesh coat and placed it into my roasting pan uncovered.  When the oven was heated, I placed the roast in and set the timer for 20 minutes.  The instructions were very specific about not opening the oven door until the 20 minutes were up.  When it was, I turned the oven down to 350 degrees and put in the meat thermometer.  When it reached 125 degrees (about 40 minutes later), I removed the roast, placed the lid over it and let it rest while I finished cooking the remainder of the meal.  It reached 140 degrees by the time it was served.

This is where I love having a pressure cooker – mashed potatoes took 15 minutes from start to serve and finished up right in time with the ginger glazed carrots, gravy and the resting roast.  Potatoes were mashed with milk, roasted garlic, butter, salt and pepper.  Everything really came out perfect and the roast was tender and juicy, with a nice crust on it.  I would do this again without hesitation.

So how did Kirk help?  My question was about the slower stage of cooking, should I cook it uncovered or covered?  My fear (and the reason I rarely cook roasts) was that it would dry out.  Here’s what Kirk had to say on this subject:

Crusty, crisp-ish exteriors get soft when exposed to moist environments. Soft, velvety surfaces will dry up if not kept in moist environments.  Since you’re going 500 then 350 I’m guessing you want a crust (of sorts) on the exterior – a roasting-created maillard reaction. Because of that I’d indeed go with uncovered.

Oh – the risk and problem happens if/when you head through medium. It’s not really the interior that is then the problem, it’s the exterior – that  “crust” will start moving inward and become “dry and tough” because of its thickness. When you pull it out and let it rest, the remaining moisture in the middle will try to equalize, leaving you with a dry chunk of beef. So if you’re going above medium-rare in a medium to hot oven, plan on covering the pot.  – Kirk

 This was invaluable information, thanks Kirk!