Busy as a bee, that's what I have been. I know it is so cliche but it describes my life perfectly at the moment. With eight children, one who is three months old and quite demanding (though his cuteness makes up for all of that), and another who is three years old and wants constant attention that I don't have on hand to give him, my days are full. I don't possess the luxurious time for making dinner plans and shopping lists. So I don't. I just shop. Then I cook. But this all doesn't have to lead to a terrible dinner, or worse - take out.
Step in the humble eye round roast. I almost always skip this at the store, but on my last grocery trip (without a list mind you) I picked up a 4 lb package because the price was so much better than all the other cuts. I usually make chicken and know that the cooking style (sauteing, roasting, frying, etc) is really what determines the outcome~ how moist or tender or tasty it is.
Using a combination of high and low temperature roasting gave this lowly cut of meat a crown, literally, a rich brown crust that contrasted with the slightly rare and tender inside. And even better, it makes this a cinch to prepare. Which gave me more time to spend with this guy.
Juicy Round Roast With Caramelized Onions
eye round roast
3 medium, sweet onions, sliced
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 500 F. Season eye round roast with salt and pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper for 4 lb roast. Place roast in preheated oven and decrease temperature to 475 F. Cook for 5 minutes per pound, 20 minutes for a 4 lb roast.
2. Turn oven off after the roast has cooked and leave it in oven. DO NOT OPEN DOOR. Allow to sit in oven for 2 1/2 hours to complete cooking.
3. When meat has just half an hour more to sit, begin onions. Melt butter in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once butter is almost all melted add sliced onions, thyme, salt, pepper, sugar, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden and sticky.
4. Slice roast into thin pieces and serve topped with caramelized onions.
Notes~ Why cook at such a high temperature?
*The preheated temperature keeps the oven hot even after it has been opened to place the roast in. Opening the oven causes heat to escape so beginning at a slightly higher temp allows the roast to cook at a constant temperature.
*Maillard (pronounced my-YARD) browning occurs when meats are heated above 310 F; similar to caramelization of carbohydrates. Cooking meat at a high temperature (the 475 in this recipe) creates a rich brown, tasty crust on the meat. But the high temperature needed to create the crust is only needed for a relatively short time. The lower temperature (once the oven is off but closed) cooks the meat slowly which makes it more tender and moist.
*The high temperature cooking may be done either at the beginning or end of the cooking but I tend to be persuaded that the meat dries out more if it is done at the end. Also, this is so much easier, just walk away from the kitchen after it has cooked for 20 minutes!