Crossrib Roast with Roasted Garlic Potatoes

24 November, 2009 at 12:03 am 4 comments

My, we seem to be roasting quite a lot around here, don’t we? Especially considering that roasting meats is not something that has typically been in my cooking repertoire, at least until recently. But I’ve discovered that roasting can produce wonderfully tasty results with shockingly little effort. It does take a bit of time, depending on the meat and the size of the roast, but it is nearly all hands-off time.  Rub it with something tasty, pop it in the oven, take it out of the oven, rest it, eat it. Only one of those things actually counts as cooking as far as I’m concerned–the rest is just moving around, looking at, smelling, and most importantly eating, delicious meat.

I love this recipe.  It came from a perusal and amalgamation of the shockingly few recipes I could find online for making crossrib roast, so I was a bit doubtful about how it would turn out. Would it be tough? The reason I chose the cross rib roast in the first place was that it was crazy cheap–$2 a pound!–so I figured I’d get about as much tenderness in the meat as I paid for. But what is a crossrib roast, you ask, and why is it so cheap? It comes from the chuck, or shoulder section of the cow, and is similar to a traditional “pot roast” cut of meat. It can be a relatively fatty cut, often with a large ribbon of fat over one side of the roast (I learned after I made this that you’re supposed to put the fat on the top so the meat will self-baste while it cooks), and if it is overcooked, it can easily become tough. But if you use a good meat thermometer and take it out when it’s just medium (or if you slow cook it), it will be perfectly tender.  And the rub for it is simple enough that you can make it with things you should always have on hand (you can substitute dried herbs for the fresh if you need), so it’s a very low maintenance recipe, although the fact that it produces a giant slab of beef means it definitely goes in the feasty weekend category.  Oh, and did I mention you will have tons of leftover beef that will make fabulous roast beef sandwiches for the next few days?

We pretty much ran with the whole meat-and-potatoes feast idea (at least we had a salad, too), so I served this alongside Roasted Garlic Potatoes, adapted from Nigella Lawson.  I have had only patchy success in the past at roasting potatoes that turn out crispy, yet fully cooked inside, and not charred, mushy, or soggy, but this recipe really came through.  Totally easy, totally delicious, not much room for error.  The only issue is that if you want to cook these and have them be done at the same time as the crossrib roast, you’ll probably need 2 ovens.  We used our toaster oven to cook a small batch of the potatoes because they needed to go for a whole hour at 425 and the roast could only stay that hot for the first fifteen minutes. If anyone has success cooking the potatoes alongside the beef in the same oven, do let us know! Otherwise, use 2 ovens or just cook these potatoes with something with a more compatible temperature than the roast beef.

Crossrib Roast

Adapted from the vagaries of the Internet

Serves 2 with lots of leftover sandwiches, or serves 4-6 for dinner

One 2-3 lb cross-rib roast

Good quality balsamic vinegar (enough to brush roast)

2 heaping T garlic

1 T salt

1 t freshly ground black pepper

1 T olive oil

1 t fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place roast in a pan to fit and brush all over with balsamic vinegar.  In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients to form a rub, and slather all over the roast.  Roast meat at 450 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook for 45 minutes to an hour (ours, at 2.5 lbs, took just about an hour on the dot, but you should start checking early in case your oven runs hot), or until a meat thermometer inserted deep into the roast reads 125 degrees.  Remove roast from oven and let rest for 15-30 minutes–it will continue to cook, ultimately reaching about 140 degrees, a perfect “medium.”  Slice as thinly as you can and enjoy!

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Serves 2-4

1 pound yukon golds–we used babies and quartered them, if you use larger just cut them into roughly 3/4 inch pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1 head garlic


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Wash, dry, and cut your potatoes, leaving the skin on.  Toss in a pyrex dish or roasting pan with the olive oil.  Separate cloves of garlic from the head and give them a good smash with the side of a knife to release their juices.  Toss them into the pan with the potatoes.  Roast for 1 hour, tossing a few times during cooking.  They will turn out crispy but well cooked inside.  Take them out of the oven and immediately remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon so they don’t sit around in extra oil while you wait to serve.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.


Entry filed under: recipes. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Meggie  |  25 November, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Whenever I try to make oven roasted potatoes, the crispy parts get stuck to the pan and come off the potatoes. :< fail. Not enough oil maybe?

    • 2. theweekendgourmande  |  25 November, 2009 at 10:01 pm

      I need to do some more experimenting to confirm, but I think not enough oil may indeed be the culprit–I think that’s what has been behind my past failures. They always look oily enough, but then they seem to go very quickly from oily-seeming uncooked chunks to dried up ones that I can’t scrape off the pan! The first time I tried this recipe here, I used too much oil (1/3 cup) and while they cooked up perfectly crispily, I didn’t remove them from the oil fast enough when they finished cooking, and they got a bit over oily. I think the trick is to really fully coat them with oil (more than just a drizzle), but not have there be so much that they are sitting in a puddle of it.

  • 3. moe  |  7 December, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    My mom’s garlic baby potato recipe goes in the microwave. Definitely doesn’t turn out as crispy, but sure is fast! Of course, if you’re already roasting some beautiful meat, might as well oven roast your taters too..

    Her recipe is almost exactly the same as the ingredients above: 1 lb potatoes (cut up if they’re not tiny) 6 cloves smashed peeled garlic, 3T olive oil, 1/2tsp salt, freshly ground pepper.

    Mix all ingredients in a cassarole or souffle dish. Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap, microwave at 100% for 10-15 min depending on size of potatoes. Shake dish once to redistribute potatoes (or, if you’re like me in the early days of having no kitchen supplies, pause more than once to make sure you don’t melt your plastic container.. ). Done when a knife easily pierces from flesh to center.

    • 4. theweekendgourmande  |  8 December, 2009 at 7:02 pm

      Hmm, I wonder if you could do your moms recipe to get them mostly cooked, and then pop them in the oven for a shorter time to just crisp them up? Perhaps cut the total prep time down to 30 minutes instead of an hour? This warrants some testing methinks! And I just got some baby red potatoes from trader joes…


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