Once you get the hang of the method, this oven-off roast beef will be one of your favorite recipes.
If you love roast beef but have only cooked well-marbled cuts like prime rib or chuck roast, give this recipe a try. It sounds a bit crazy, but it works, I promise. Here is one version of the recipe, and you can find several others if you search for "oven off roast beef."
Preparing the roast
Start with a 3-pound eye of round roast. If your grocery store doesn't have this exact cut at this exact size, ask the butcher to cut one for you. Somehow, this doesn't always work if you go bigger or smaller, even if you calculate your adjusted time to the minute -- something about the residual heat not working the same way.
This is an extremely lean cut which lends itself well to this method due to its lack of excess fat. Create a dry rub of your choice. I like a simple mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Rub it all over the meat and refrigerate it until you are ready to cook. Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to cooking, to take the chill off the meat.
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Cooking the roast
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Put the roast on a foil-lined pan for easy cleanup, slide it into the oven, and immediately lower the temperature to 475 degrees. Sear at this high heat for 7 minutes per pound, 21 minutes total. Once the searing is done, turn the oven off. That's it. No peeking, no opening the door.
Leave the roast in the slowly cooling oven for 75 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing it thinly. This will result in a medium-rare roast that is more well-done on the ends.
Preparing the sides
While the roast is cooking, make your sides on the stovetop. We like mashed potatoes, peas, and glazed carrots or corn. You're going to need a plan for gravy, since you won't have pan juices until the very end of the cooking time, after slicing the roast. I usually get a packet of au jus or brown gravy, add some sliced mushrooms, then pour in the pan juices at the last moment.
Photo by Sarina Petrocelly
Potential oven issues
If your roast is somewhat undercooked in the center, you may have some oven issues (incorrect temperature calibration or a compromised seal). The ends of the roast will be more well-done than the center, so you may have to return the part that is slightly under for some more cooking. The next time you try the recipe, instead of turning the oven all the way off, put it on the lowest possible temperature, usually 175-200 degrees, for the 75 minutes. You can always slice as much of the roast as you can until you get to the rare part, then cut that portion into thin slices for quickly sauteeing with onions for the world's best steak and cheese sandwiches.
Have you used this method to cook a roast beef before? Tell us your tips or tricks in the comments below!