Beef Roast

I always keep a vacuum-sealed beef roast in the freezer. (Usually there’s a pork roast right next to it.) With two hours notice I can have it on the table. Sure, it’s better fresh, but it’s an easy thing to keep for emergencies.

As soon as as you decide you’re going to make it, put it in the sink — still in the vacuum pack — and fill the sink with hot water. Don’t worry that you’ll cook it. The center will be so cold that the outside will barely get soft. For a really large roast you might need to warm the water up once or twice.


3 pound beef roast
kosher salt
fresh-ground black pepper

Make sure the roast is up to room temperature before starting. Try to select one with a nice layer of fat on one side. Put that side on top when you roast it, and it will self-baste.

Set the oven to 200° to preheat while you get the roast ready. Coat generously with salt all the way around, including the ends.

Then give it a coat of coarsely ground black pepper …

all the way around.

Next, insert the probe from your electronic thermometer. Measure the distance to the center of the roast the same way you would with a standing rib roast.

Set the alarm on the thermometer for 120° and put the roast on a rack on a flat pan in the middle of the oven. Pull the roast when the alarm goes off.

Turn the oven up to 500°

Since the next step is going to be high temperature to produce a nice crust, you need to make sure the fat layer doesn’t completely curl away. Pin it down with toothpicks every couple of inches around the entire fat layer.

When the oven is up to 500°, put the roast back in and keep an eye on it. You’re looking for a good crust, it doesn’t matter what the thermometer reads any more. Pull it when it looks good.

Right now, the heat is trying to squeeze all the moisture out. If you pull the thermometer probe, you will lose an unbelievable amount of juice through that tiny little hole. Leave it in for at least 15 minutes, or until you see the temperature start to go down. It will probably keep going up for several minutes as the heat from the outside distributes through the inside.

Now that you’ve let it rest, slice it thin, across the grain. Only slice as much as you think you’ll go through at the current meal. If you have any leftovers, they keep better in one big chunk instead of already sliced.

Reassemble everything on a platter and serve.

Beef Roast

Beef Roast


  • 3 pound beef roast
  • kosher salt
  • fresh-ground black pepper


Allow beef to come to room temperature. Coat liberally with salt and pepper all the way around, including the ends.

Place the probe of your meat thermometer into the center of the thickest part. Place on a rack on a flat pan in a 200° oven until the thermometer reads 120°.

Remove beef, cover with foil, and turn oven up to 500°. When it hits 500°, uncover the beef and return it for 10-15 minutes, until it forms a nice, dark crust.

Remove, cover with foil again, and let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving thin slices against the grain.