Prime rib is tender, succulent and undeniably delicious, but the price is more than most of us can spend on Sunday Supper. One good substitute which is the often overlooked is the eye of round roast. Eye of round is best when cooked to medium-rare and sliced thin against the grain. This perfectly tender eye of round roast takes just over 30-minutes in the oven for a perfect medium-rare. Perfect for Sunday supper or even a holiday dinner.
Since it’s a rather lean cut of meat, I’m going to dress it with some bacon, fresh herbs, mushrooms, and some simple spices. I’ve layered the flavors onto the beef in the style of a beef wellington – using mustard, duxelles (mushrooms), and fresh herbs. The bacon is a cost effective replacement for the costly prosciutto and adds a little fat and a lot of rich flavor. It also stands up to the heat of the oven. As note: for this cut, leave the strings on from the butcher and remove them when you slice the beef after the roast is cooked. This will help the roast keep its shape in the oven.
Line the bottom of the pan with the bacon and drape it over the edge of the pan. Place the roast squarely on top so that the bacon is under the width of the whole roast. Then slather the top with your favorite dijon or spicy brown mustard – I use Grey Poupon. If you are not a fan of mustard, it’s quite okay to leave it off. Then add the duxelles – the mushroom, herb, and garlic mixture. Next, pat it down evenly across the entire top of the roast.
Cover the roast with the bacon by draping it over the top of the roast and securing it under the other side.
Using a meat thermometer is ideal to get the perfect medium-rare. Cooking this cut beyond medium and this meat will turn tough and rubbery. Since we want to keep the roast tender and juicy, a meat thermometer is a must for me. As a rule, figure 15 minutes per pound. My roast is 2.4 pounds (2.4 pounds x 15 mins per pound = 36 minutes total cooking time). But don’t rely on this rough calculation alone. I use this just in my meal planning phase but I rely on the thermometer to provide me with the most accurate internal temperature. I cook my roasts to exactly 110 degrees F and then remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. During this final resting period, the roast will continue to cook coming to a final temperature of 135 degrees F. It’s just that easy!
After the meat is fully rested and has reached the proper temperature, slice thinly and serve with an au jus style beef stock, mashed potatoes, and fresh roasted vegetables for the perfect meal.
Note: If you are not a mushroom lover, omitting the mushroom layer is easy and results in no time or temperature changes. If you prefer a gravy over the au jus, simply thicken the sauce with a flour roux or cornstarch.
Perfectly Tender Eye of Round Roast
- 1 Eye of Round Roast; 2-1/2 to 3 pounds
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil; divided
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1 small white onion, quartered
- 8oz button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 large minced garlic cloves (about 2 tsp)
- 1/4 cup white wine or beef stock
- 6 - 8 strips of bacon, raw
Optional Sauce Suggestions:
- Au jus beef stock sauce
- creamy horseradish sauce
- Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the roast you select. As a rule of thumb, figure on 15 minutes per pound to calculate the average cooking time for your roast. However, when it comes time to cook the roast, don't just follow your nose or rely on time alone to judge when the meat is cooked properly. Use a digital thermometer for optimal results.
- To cook: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F for at least 30 minutes while the roast comes to room temperature.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high-heat and add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper on all sides. Add the meat into the hot pan and sear on all sides - even the ends.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend mushrooms, parsley, onions and garlic. Add another 1 tbsp of olive oil - if necessary. Add the mushroom blend and sauté. Add wine to deglaze the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid boils off and becomes a paste (called duxelles). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a roasting pan, line 6 to 8 slices of bacon, slightly overlapping each piece the same length of your roast - let the excess bacon drape over the edge of the pan. Place the seared roast onto the strips of bacon making sure they run underneath the entire width of the roast.
- Slather the top of the roast with Dijon mustard. Spoon the mushroom paste on top of the roast and pat down.
- Working in reverse order of how you laid the bacon down under the roast, bring the strips of bacon up over the top of the roast and secure under the opposite side. Season the top of the bacon with salt and pepper.
- Cook the roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Continue cooking the roast at 325 degrees F until your meat thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat reads 110 degrees F.
- Once the thermometer reaches 110 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven and allow it rest for 10-15 minutes. You can tent the roast if you like, but it is not necessary. During the resting time, the roast will continue to cook using the heat inside the roast, raising the internal temperature to 130 degrees F for a perfect medium-rare.
- Once the meat has rested fully and has reached and internal temperature of 130 degrees F, slice and serve (remembering to remove the string as you slice.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast. Calculate the actual weight by 15 (minutes per pound) and then divide that number by 60 to get your approximate time.For example: A 7.89 pound roast x 15 mins per pound = 118.35 minutes / 60 minutes per hour = 1.97 hours. According to our formula, an 8-pound roast will take about 2 hours to cook. Again. Do NOT rely solely on smell or this cooking formula to roast your Prime rib to perfection. Instead, invest in an internal meat thermometer and roast based on temperature. This is the only way to ensure the Perfect Prime Rib each and every time.
Do you have an eye of round roast recipe you’d like to share with me? Tell me all about it!
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