Everyday Cheapskate: How to Roast a Cheap Cut of Beef
No matter how inexpensive a chuck or round roast may be, if it turns out so tough and flavorless it's passed to the dog, that purchase was no bargain.
And now, thanks to very extensive research and experimentation by Christopher Kimball as reported in Cooks Illustrated magazine, we can confidently purchase those cheaper cuts and expect perfect results every time.
These days, with beef prices hitting all-time highs, buying the cheaper cuts of beef is one way to make our food dollars stretch as far as possible. Just know that what follows is for those of us with more time than money.
When looking for inexpensive cuts, keep these three words in mind: chuck, sirloin and round. The chuck is fattier and more tender; the round is lean and relatively tough. The sirloin falls somewhere between the two.
It was a kick to read the endless details of Kimball's testing. To be quite honest, he lost me somewhere between the five chuck roasts, seven sirloins, eight rounds and endless descriptions of cooking methods, internal temperatures, standing times and lengths of aging.
Curious as I am, I don't care about meat fibers, enzymes or moisture content. And that's when I raced to the conclusion and learned exactly how to prepare a cheap cut of beef. And here it is:
To achieve the best results, you'll need: a rimmed baking sheet with wire rack, a meat thermometer, an oven thermometer and cooking twine or string.
1 boneless beef chuck, sirloin or round roast (3 to 4.5 pounds)
4 teaspoons kosher salt, or 2 teaspoons table salt