Roast Beef

2004/05/18 15:04:55
This might be considered pub or diner food, but we had lunch recently at a local roadfood-type of restaurant near Lynchburg and ordered one of their lunch specials for that day: Beef tips with gravy over rice. It was served in a bowl, and the beef was chunks of roast beef that had been cooked long and slowly so that you could cut it with your fork and it nearly melted in your mouth. And the gravy was a thick, brown and rich tasting almost "sauce." It brought back memories of having roast beef many years ago that tasted like this. Can anyone suggest what cut, or cuts, of beef are their favorite for making old fashioned roast beef. And for what the seasonings might be in the gravy to impart that savory, saucy taste?


P.S. The restaurant was "The Koffee Kup Restaurant" on Timberlake Rd (U.S. Rt.460-business) near Lynchburg, VA.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Roast Beef 2004/05/19 09:54:39
I would inmagine that the meat would be a Sirloin tip roast.thats what I use for a roast.As far as the seasoning I use just salt,pepper and a good seaoning salt like Lawerys.I also stuff the roast with slivers of fresh garlic and make a good Au Jus from the drippings.
Filet Mignon
RE: Roast Beef 2004/05/19 16:43:42
I always use a chuck roast, because it has the necessary fat content.

I don't make mine "savory", but perhaps some mustard (dry or jar) and red wine would be good for achieving what you want.

Grampy or lleechef would be your best consultants, so hopefully they will chime in.
RE: Roast Beef 2004/05/19 18:15:37
Ok, I'll chime in....thanks Bushie! Since it was beef tips, I would assume that they cut the meat up before cooking. When I make this at home I use sirloin tri-tip (I get it at Costco) which is the same cut I use for making marinated grilled steak tips. In the restaurant I used flap meat but unfortunately this cut along with hangar steak and skirt steak are not usually found in our markets. Chuck roast would also work, but I think this cut is better cooked whole.
They probably did this: brown the meat in oil, remove from pan and discard oil. Add some finely chopped onion and garlic to a little fresh oil in the same pan. Cook until golden. Return the meat to the pan and sprinkle on some flour, salt and pepper, stir and cook the floured ingredients a minute or two. I would deglaze (maybe they didn't) with some hearty red wine, then cover with a rich beef stock. Maybe throw in a bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, stirring to get all the good browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Cover and put in a 350 oven until the meat is tender. If the sauce is not as thick as you would like, add a cornstarch slurry at the end or some roux. Hope that helps. Basically the above is Boeuf Bourguignon without the bacon and mushrooms and pearl onions!
Filet Mignon
RE: Roast Beef 2004/05/20 08:13:35
Oh. Beef TIPS. I was thinking Roast Beef. Should have read closer...
RE: Roast Beef 2004/05/20 09:04:14
Thanks, y'all. Bushie: I'm probably the one that's confused. The Koffee Kup restaurant called the dish "beef tips," but then I called it "roast beef" in my post above. lleechef: You've probably figured out exactly what they did. It was that really thick and rich tasting brown gravy that got to me. You could probably use any of several different cuts of beef to make this. Since it gets tenderized by the slow cooking. I just picked up a nice chuck roast on sale for $1.49/lb, well marbled, and will try something like this. Thanks!

Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Roast Beef 2004/05/20 10:31:47
You might find this recipe helpful because it does make that dense dark gravy. This is the way we make it in PA Diner Land.


Get a big hunk of well marbled boneless or bone-in chuck roast, at least 3 lbs. Do not use wimpy lean sirloin, round or any other cut of meat. Fry 4-6 strips of bacon in a Dutch oven or deep heavy skillet with a lid big enough to accommodate the meat. Remove bacon and leave bacon fat in the pan. Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour. Heat bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add pot roast and let it cook and sizzle until deep brown on that side. Remove roast, swirl bacon fat around and return roast to pan to brown another side of it. Continue until all sides of roast are thoroughly browned. If the chuck is boneless, you can brown and cook a piece or two of marrow bone along with it. This almost-but-not-quite-burning is what will start the process for that melt in your mouth brown gravy.

When meat is browned, add 1 cup of water to the pan. Cover loosely and cook over medium-low heat until almost all water is evaporated. Turn the roast over; then add another cup of water and you can finally stir up those little browned bits. Add whatever vegetables you want; onions and carrots are traditional but you can also use garlic, turnips, leeks, etc. and continue cooking as before. Next time the water is almost dried up, turn both the roast and vegetables over. Repeat the cooking until almost dry, then adding a cup of water until the meat is fork-tender and ready to fall apart (Diners don’t do medium rare.). Remove the meat and set aside.

It’s up to you whether to remove the vegetables or as some places do, mash them with a potato masher right in the pan at this point. Add about 2 cups of beef stock and stir thoroughly, then turn heat up to high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix 2 Tbsp. of flour with 2/3 cup of water to form a smooth paste. When pan juice is boiling, pour the flour mixture into it through a tea strainer, unless you want authentic lumps. Continue boiling gently over medium heat for at least 5 minutes until gravy is thickened.

Hack the meat into chunky pieces, scoop out an ice-cream dipper of mashed potatoes, pour gravy over top and serve.

P.S. This is also the right stuff for hot roast beef sandwiches.