Roasty and Toasty

This is a lovely pork roast, tied up, seasoned and cooked. The rosemary is added prior to serving as part of the presentation. At home we present everything sliced and placed on a platter. Much easier and less pressure for the cook. You decide how to present your roasted chicken, turkey, beef or pork roast, but no matter what you choose, please remove the twine before slicing. (insert smiling emoji here)

My family tradition is to have turkey at Thanksgiving and roast beef at Christmas. My choice for roast beef is a whole top sirloin. Average weight is somewhere between 10 and 12 lbs, so our family of eight people also gets to have seconds or take thick slabs home for a hearty roast beef sandwich. We like this cut because sirloin has a stronger beef flavor. While sirloin is not as tender as the rib cut, the top sirloin is the most tender of the sirloins and is a better value than Prime Rib or Filet.

When I'm ready to begin the roasting process, what I usually do is bring out the roast one to two hours prior to the time that I want to set it the oven. I rub it generously with a light drizzle of olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper and coarse sea salt. Nice and simple so we can enjoy the meaty flavor. Thirty minutes prior to cooking time, I pre-heat the oven to the highest possible temperature, which for home ovens is somewhere between 500 and 550 F. I put the roast on a rack set onto a baking sheet and wait for the oven to get good and hot, then I plop the whole thing onto the middle rack of the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. This high heat may cause a little smoking, but don't be alarmed. The high temp will brown the roast so that it's toasty looking. Once the timer goes off, turn down the temperature to 325 and calculate an additional 10-12 minutes of cooking time per pound, but--BUT--because all ovens vary in temperature, always check the roast much earlier than the time you expect it to be ready, and use a good meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. When the temp is 100-115F, remove the roast from the oven, cover well with heavy foil and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes. It will continue to cook and reach a temperature of 125F, which is medium rare, my family's preference. And don't worry about those who want their meat a little warmer. The end slices will do nicely for them, always being just a tad more done than the rest of the roast.

How to check the temperature? Aim for the center of the roast (the last place to increase in temperature) and avoid bones, which always heat up faster than the meat. And if you want to learn more about roasting meats, you can't go wrong with this free downloadable roasting guide offered by Jamie Oliver.

Roast beef with Yorkshire Pudding

What to serve with a nice roasty-toasty slice of beef? Try Yorkshire Pudding using this simple version by Tyler Florence, and a mix of steamed vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, green beans or asparagus). Steam the veggies, toss with a little butter and chopped parsley at the end. Collect some of the pan drippings to use in Tyler's recipe by pouring off halfway through cooking time.

For my family, I make sure there's plenty of Horseradish Sauce, roasted potatoes or my version of Potatoes Dauphinoise, and something green like steamed asparagus or green beans.

Horseradish Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup Duke's mayonnaise
1/4 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup prepared horseradish.
1 T chopped fresh dill

Combine everything except dill. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Just prior to serving, stir in fresh dill.