57 years ago today my parents were married in Flint, Michigan. For as long as I could remember, my mom made a simple yet traditional roast beef dinner in one of those navy blue oval roasting pans about once each month. But she did it the old way. She’d place the roast in the middle of the pan, then add water till the roast was covered. She’d then add cut onions, carrots and potatoes around the roast, then place the cover and “roast” it at 350 – 375 degrees F until the roast beef fell apart.
Yup. She basically boiled it. I loved my mom (and dad) very much. But the boiled roast beef tasted better when I slathered it with French’s yellow mustard before eating.
Mom and dad both passed on last year before their 56th anniversary. I’d made a proper slow-roasted beef roast for them a couple times and they couldn’t believe how flavorful it was. It doesn’t take much: Just roast it slow, and keep it out of the juice. Oh, and make sure to forget about the water. Sorry mom …
A simple yet traditional roast beef dinner can be an amazing thing. Meijer had some beef roasts on-sale yesterday that were about 2 inches thick so I went ahead and snagged one, along with some kohlrabi and baking potatoes.
Here’s how I do it: For a 5:30 pm dinner I started at 11 am, preheating the oven to 200 degrees F. I then sliced six stalks celery and six nice-sized carrots. I cut onions and kohlrabi in half, then quartering the halves. Dumping all this into the oval roasting pan made for a layer of vegetables about 1.5 inches deep. I then seasoned both sides of the roast with plenty of Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper and laid it on top of the veggies.
Why lay the roast on top of the veggies? My roaster doesn’t have a rack, and the veggies work well in physically supporting the meat. The veggies then slow-cook in the juices from the roast, while still having a nice “bite” hours later. I learned this from that Guy Fieri dude, and it works really well.
I put the cover on the roasting pan and placed it in the oven by 11:30 am. I then wrapped the baking potatoes in aluminum foil, punctured them a few times deeply with a fork, and placed them next to the pan on the oven rack so they would also slow-cook for six hours.
The roast simply slow-cooks and is fall-apart good, with a nice rich flavor. The veggies still have a good “bite”, especially the kohlrabi. And the potatoes don’t get overdone at all.
Even if your parents are gone, make sure to continue their traditions, especially those having to do with food. Your parents raised you on certain foods and meals, and those meals are part of who you are. As in the Navy, when it comes to even the simplest family traditions, always “Carry on”.