How to Cook a Really Stupendous Beef Roast
We found an excellent way to cook a Rancher's Choice Roast. In fact it works well with any roast. This is based upon data from Meathead Goldwyn's book,: "The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling".
Simply put: cook at 225 degrees until internal temp is 203 degrees. Steve got out two Beef Arm Roasts. These are pretty run of the mill Rancher's Choice beef roasts. Not a fancy cut by any means. They were about 2.5 lbs each.
They were brought in and Caroline said we should thaw them first. So they sat in a bucket under the hotwater and thawed.
Caroline got them out of their vacuum packing when they were mostly thawed and coated both sides with Lowry's Seasoned Salt. Then stuck them in her Dutch Oven with the juices thawed in the package and additional water (about 1/2 cup) until the roasts were half in liquid.
A Dutch Oven is basically a big Enameled Cast Iron pot that weighs about 15 pounds. It is made of heavy cast iron because it was originally meant to sit on a camp fire. The Cast iron would distribute the heat evenly onto whatever was in the Dutch Oven. A regular roasting pan could be used but Caroline thinks the weight of the lid on the Dutch oven sealed the steam much better than the looser fitting roasting pan. You could use the roasting pan if you put tinfoil over the pan then put on its lid. Whatever you use needs a lid of some kind though, the liquid needs to be contained to keep the meat moist.
Seasoning was: Lowry's Seasoned Salt sprinkled on both sides, not rubbed in. Just sprinkled thickly to make a coating. The saltiness is minimal. It probably would have worked to rub the salt mix in a bit. You can use whatever seasoning you want. We like to keep it simple. Oven set at 225 degrees. Pot goes into the oven. Caroline lowered the rack so the pot is centered in the oven.
Timer set for 4 hours. Caroline was going to check it at 4 hours to see if it were done or not. We were going to check the temp then. About 3 hours later, the house started to smell really good. "Leave it alone" she says, so OK, we will leave it alone.
Hour 4 goes by. She takes it out and cuts off a sliver from the edge of the roast. It is stupendous. We cut into the middle of the roast and it is stupendous all the way through. Melt in your mouth tender, not falling apart yet, just exactly right for a beef roast.
Note the uniform color. I have to say we are not 'pink meat' fans so bloody roast beef or red steaks are not our thing. We will have to do some more research to get how to make that kind.
We did NOT check the temperature, tucked into the roast right away. Steve had some with some boiled potatoes that he put some of the beef broth on. Most definitely a very good meal, though he didn't wait long enough to cook up a vegetable. Or make stupendous gravy from the broth.Let's do a little math: 4 hours is 240 minutes. Divide that by the 5 lbs of meat and you come up with 48 minutes per pound at 225 degrees.
If you don't have a meat thermometer, 45-50 minutes per pound of meat being roasted should work out pretty close to right. Caroline said once that it should take 45 minutes per pound, but that was at a different temperature. Our theory of what made this work so well was the meat wasn't being 'forced' to accept heat faster than it was able to. 225 degrees seemed to be the right temp for the heat to get into the meat in the correct time and bring the center of the roast up to the correct temp while keeping the whole thing moist. Gave the meat fibers time to relax and let the heat into the center. Next time we do this, We will remember to take the temperature of the middle of the roast.
For right now though, this is indeed a successful experiment!