Sunday, March 2, 2008

Roast Beef with Tomatoes and Garlic

One of the cuts of meat we got with our side of beef order was a rump roast. I didn't really know what to do with it except snicker every time I said the word "rump." I was, therefore, very pleased to find a recipe for roast beef that specified rump roast (Real Simple, October 2007).
  • 2 pounds boneless rump or rib roast
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Season the beef with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and place in a large roasting pan. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Scatter the tomato mixture around the meat and roast until the desired doneness (about 1 hour for medium-rare, internal temperature 125 deg F). Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let it rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Of course, being the adventurous cook that I am I decided that a few shallots would make a tasty addition to the vegetable mixture, so I peeled 3 big shallots, cut them into rough wedges, and tossed them with the tomatoes and garlic. I love oven-roasted shallots! Additionally, I took four redskin potatoes, quartered them, and tossed them into the pan after 35 minutes had elapsed. The potatoes cooked with the roast and veggies for the remaining 30 minutes and were done perfectly.

Tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and fresh thyme tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Yum!

The rump roast and vegetable mixture, ready to slide in the oven.

The roast beef after resting for ten minutes and then carving. It was done to medium-rare perfection. I like my roast beef (and beef in general) on the pink side. The roast was two hemispherical pieces pushed together and bound with the string net visible in the ready-to-cook picture. When I cut the net away after the resting period was over, the roast parted by itself down the middle. I sliced one half and left the rest whole.

The finished meal. It took about an hour and 5 minutes for the roast to reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees. By then the garlic and some of the thinner shallot pieces had been reduced to charred lumps (the black chunks visible in the photo). The tomatoes and thicker shallots were delicious, however, and the potatoes were perfectly done. I think next time I won't cut the garlic or the shallots at all in order to lessen the possibility of them turning into bits of carbon.

The roast beef was tender, flavorful, and juicy. We only ate half of it so the rest can be turned into cold cuts for sandwiches or something.

We had this meal with a 2003 Chalone Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Monterey County, California).

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