Home Cooking 9

Salt-crusted beef report!

Nyleve | May 3, 200508:00 PM

It works, by gum! And it's fun too! So here's how it went:

I had a 5 lb. eye of round. Two hours before I wanted to start cooking, I took it out of the fridge and rubbed it with a mixture of smushed garlic, chopped rosemary and olive oil. Covered with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours - to allow it to warm up from fridge temperature and to absorb the seasoning. Then I mixed an entire 3 lb. box of kosher salt with 1-1/4 cups of water to make a sort of damp salt mixture. It reminded me of damp beach sand - like what you'd use to build a sand castle. Made a bed of this damp salt in the roasting pan, patted the excess oil and moisture off the meat, and placed it onto the salt bed. By hand molded all the salt over the meat - it looked like a big weird white cocoon. Into the oven at 425 degrees F. It took no more than one hour to come to 135 degrees (which was more than plenty done). Cracked the cocoon with a cleaver and removed the roast to a cutting board. Sliced thin - it was tasty and perfectly done.

As I suspected, eye of round is not wonderfully tender, but if you slice it thinly enough it's quite fine. I expect the leftovers will make a good sandwich.

Now I want to try this with a chicken! And also with a better cut of meat (rib eye!) - although I don't like that it doesn't get a nice crusty outside and that there's no gravy.

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