Hye Thyme Cafe: Dijon Crusted Roast Beef

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dijon Crusted Roast Beef

I've certainly made a few roasts in my day, but since trying this crusted version, I can't see going back to a non-crusted roast again. Crusting it is like wrapping it in a down jacket in winter, holding in all it's body heat and juicy goodness, keeping it all comfy cozy so it gives back to you in the form of a wonderfully tender and flavorful meal.  

This was a 6 lb boneless top sirloin roast
2-3 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 c fresh breadcrumbs
1 T jarred minced garlic w/red peppers
   (or 3-4 cloves, minced)
3-4 shallots, minced
1 oz pkg fresh thyme (2-3 T)
2 T fresh rosemary, minced
2 T butter, melted
Grey Poupon Country Dijon Mustard

The first time I made this roast, the only bread I had on hand was some hot dog rolls. That worked out fine - they also make really good garlic bread in a pinch. This time around, I dipped into my bag-o-crumbs from the freezer. I think it's currently a random collection of scraps - country white, pumpernickel, dinner rolls. Whatever you have handy is fine.

You always want to start by letting your meat sit out for a while to come to room temp. If you start off with it cold, it will seize up and NOT be happy! This makes for a tough roast ... or steak ... or chicken, etc. Kinda like if you were to jump into freezing cold water or stick your hand over an open flame; you'll flinch in either case and immediately constrict.

I didn't use a rack. You can if you want, but I usually don't bother. Sometimes I'll set a roast on top of carrots and celery stalks.  

Pat the roast dry with paper towels, then generously rub it all over with salt (I use coarse kosher) and pepper. Over med-high heat, sear the roast on all sides (3-4" on each side and the ends), then transfer it to your roasting pan (unless you're already searing it in an oven-proof pan). If you're transferring it to a different pan, make sure any drippings go with it.

I didn't use the rack or carrots/celery, but I did quarter a few onions to roast along with it. I like roasted onions, and they add to the flavoring if you plan to use the drippings for gravy.

Preheat the oven to 425.  

Mix together your bread crumbs, garlic, and herbs, then toss with the melted butter.

When the roast is cool enough for you to touch, slather the top and sides with the Dijon, then pat the crumb mixture onto the mustard.

Oops, I apparently forgot to take a "before" shot with it wearing it's down jacket, but you get the picture (no pun intended).

Cook the roast for 15-20" at 425, until the crust gets some nice color on it, then tent it loosely with foil so you don't end up with burnt toast, lower the temp to 325, and continue to desired doneness; for us, that about about an hour and a half. We've got a few well-done folks in the family. That works out fine with steaks because we can always leave theirs in longer, but it's harder to please everyone with a roast. That's another reason I love this recipe. Even with it cooked longer, it's still juicy and tender enough for those of us who prefer our steaks more on the pink side.

Be sure to let the roast rest for about 20" before carving, to hold in all those juices. While you're waiting, you can move it onto a serving platter, then use all the drippings in the pan to create a nice gravy.

Don't worry about some of the crust falling off as you slice - just make sure everyone gets some.  

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