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The Best Grass-Fed Beef Roast….Ever

November 12, 2010

This post is submitted to Real Food Wednesday and the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!!

I’ve made a few grass-fed beef roasts in the past, and let’s just say they’ve left something to be desired. Grass-fed beef is not at all like conventional beef in its properties, as you may know. When I last attempted cooking a grass-fed beef roast, I basically had to boil it in beef broth to get it right, and the meat was still fairly tough, but it was palatable because of the delicious sauce. If you’re new to grass-fed beef, you can read about its many benefits here.

Well, that’s all in the past, now! Last night, I followed a recipe from Shannon Hayes’ Grassfed Gourmet cookbook, and it was tender, juicy, and delightfully seasoned. If you have the book, you can see the recipe for “Super-Slow-Roasted-Beef” on page 30. I’ll walk you through the way I made it:

You need to take the beef out of the fridge (assuming you let it thaw overnight from frozen) and let it come to room temperature while you get the rub ready. I used a round roast that was somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds. This is a total estimate – my beef from my farmer just comes in old fashioned red paper with a check beside the cut listed on the taping that seals it, and I don’t have a food scale (though I do want one!).

I wanted to make the herb and garlic rub (described in the back of the cookbook), but I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I improvised. I made a mixture of basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano (all dried) and I minced 4-5 garlic cloves, and added about a teaspoon of salt and 2 tsp. of pepper to the mix. I worked the mix around with my hands to break up the bits of herbs, and then rubbed it over the whole outside of the roast (sorry for the bad quality picture – I just want to give you a sense of the volume of the rub – it was a LOT – I would say more than 1/2 cup of rub in total – it’s all over the bottom too):

Then I loosely draped the roast with plastic, and let it sit on the counter for 2 hours. Next, I cooked it at 250F for 30 minutes, then brought the temperature down to 170F for close to 3 hours, but I wasn’t watching the clock, I was watching the meat thermometer. The recipe mentions that the ideal internal temperature for the roast is around 120-125F, but of course, my meat thermometer’s dial markings start at 130. So, I just cooked the roast until the marker was just below the 130 mark. Here it is fresh from the oven – note how dry the bottom of the pot is – all of the juices remained inside the roast:

I let the roast rest on the counter once it was done for a good 20 minutes (at that point, I put the lid on). It was juicy and a perfect medium-rare. I served it with mashed sweet potatoes whipped with butter, steamed spinach, and boiled beets (with lots of butter at the table). It was a delicious meal for the cold weather outside, and the best grass-fed beef we’ve ever had in our home.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2010 12:46 pm

    I’m so glad you shared this, it sounds delish! I have 3 or 4 grassfed roasts in my freezer, and this will help me decide what to do with them this winter. :)

    • November 17, 2010 1:25 pm

      Excellent! :) I felt like this success was a huge step forward, because I was starting to feel a bit of buyer’s remorse over all the grass-fed beef in my freezer – if no one likes eating it, its health benefits are pretty unhelpful! But for us, this turned it all around. Enjoy!!

  2. claire permalink
    November 24, 2010 9:47 am

    looks amazing! i hope to try this soon!

    • November 24, 2010 10:04 am

      You won’t be disappointed! This method changed my whole outlook on grass-fed beef :) I hope you enjoy too.


  3. November 24, 2010 10:51 pm

    I usually just stick my roasts in the crockpot and hope they turn out good – I cannot wait to try cooking one this way! Thank you for sharing this with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

    • November 24, 2010 11:02 pm

      Thanks for hosting! The Hearth and Soul blog hop has just a ton of amazing recipes – I am excited to be a part! I hope you enjoy this roast-cooking method!

      :) Shannon

  4. December 12, 2010 9:40 pm

    Hey! I made this today, but I had a few questions.

    Did you have a lid on it in the oven?

    I followed the timing and temp recommendations, but it was nowhere close to being done yet…still very bloody. I guess my oven is different. I think I need a new thermometer as well. When I tried to check the meat the first time it only got up to about 30 degrees! When I finally took it out and proclaimed it good enough it read about 60 degrees. lol

    • December 12, 2010 10:08 pm

      Oh, dear. No, I had no lid on it in the oven.

      Perhaps your roast was much larger than mine was? This is really the only thing I can think of. The pot in the picture is a 5.5 quart creuset, in case you have a pot the same size, to picture how large your roast was sitting inside it. Mine couldn’t have been more than 4 pounds at the most, maybe 3? I really don’t know the weights of my cuts of meat because they just come wrapped in red paper without any measurements on them. Was the roast completely at room temperature when you started?

      Also, I left the thermometer stuck in the middle of the roast the whole time it was cooking, so each time I looked in, I could see how much it had come up in temperature. I started it way early in the afternoon and then just started cooking everything else once I took it out to rest (I had no idea how long it would take).

      I’m not sure what happened! I am so sorry it didn’t work out! Have you tested your thermometer at all maybe with a pot of water in the oven, or on the stove top, just to make sure it registers properly?

  5. December 12, 2010 11:30 pm

    Oh, don’t worry, it turned out great and was yummy. I loved all the herbs and garlic. It was a pretty small roast. I did leave it out at room temp for a while. And I’m pretty sure my thermometer is busted, I need to get a new one soon. Good to know the lid was off..I thought that was how it should be. I’ll try it again soon and figure out the oven temp and time thing.

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