Pak N Save had round roasts for $1.79/lb today. That means only one thing - it's time for roast beef! I LOVE roast beef. It doesn't matter if it's hot or cold, but it does have to be nice and rare, with a hint of salt. Even when I was mostly vegetarian back in grad school, ever so often I'd get a beef craving and go get a roast beef sandwich. I like to make a roast on Sunday, so I have lots of leftovers for the week. It's tasty when reheated, in salads, burritos or wraps, sandwiches, and, if you get really bored of it, use the leftovers in soup. My coworkers always gave me envious looks or comments when I would bring it in for lunch.
Fortunately, it is easy and inexpensive to make. I usually use round roasts, which tend to be pretty cheap and have good flavor, but this method works for other lean cuts of beef too. Look for one without a lot of internal fat. The round roasts sometimes have a layer of fat on the top. That's ok. If it's really thick, remove it. If it's not so thick or if you are feeling lazy, just leave it. Rub the roast with a little bit of olive oil, and then rub it with a little bit of salt and pepper, or a herb blend. Sometimes I use thyme, or a beef rub that I have. Today I was out of thyme, so I used some herbes de Provence (thyme, savory, fennel, basil, and lavender). For a garlic flavor, make little cuts in the roast and insert slivers of garlic. Preheat the oven to 500F. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan and put it in the oven. After 15-20 minutes, lower the temperature to 250F and cook until it's done. (I like it rare but will cook it a bit longer if people other than me will be eating it.). The low temperature keeps it nice and tender. It usually takes about an hour to cook a 3-4 lb roast in my oven, but mine's fast since it's a convection oven. Use a meat thermometer to be safe. When it's done, take it out and tent it with foil for 15 minutes or so before slicing. This helps keep it moist. If you want to slice it really thin for sandwiches, it helps to chill it in the fridge first.
Today's roast was nice and tender, and had good flavor. The herbes de Provence are pretty herbal smelling, so when it was cooking I was afraid it might tasty soapy from the lavender, but the flavor didn't really permeate too much. The cats liked it too, which is a sure sign that it's not over-seasoned. However, the roast was completely overshadowed by the sweet potato rolls, which were hot out of the oven. (No, I wasn't being Martha Stewart - I had some frozen dough left over from when I made them in November.)