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Similar to Thanksgiving, Christmas recipes are all about family and tradition. In our home, it simply wasn’t Christmas without mom’s roast beef. While other families were enjoying pasta or ham, we dug in to the most perfect roast imaginable. It took me years before I discovered some of mom’s secrets, but I’m willing to share!

To begin, look for a roast with nice marbling. Don’t trim off all the excess fat either. This helps keep the meat tender. Next, you want to brown the beef in butter and herbs on all sides (the browner – without burning – the better). This is the step that provides you with a fantastic gravy base that’s rich and flavorful so take your time and watch the meat closely.

Step three for mom was putting the roast in the oven, covered, and cooking it to medium well. I’ve changed this step a little because I like making roulades. So instead of baking immediately, I let the roast cool down and slice it open across the grain for stuffing. What goes inside? A puree of baked garlic butter and finely chopped broccoli or spinach! Then I roll up the roast, tie it, and season the exterior again. From here you can cook this one of two ways.

The first way is mom’s way – just pop it in your favorite roaster and baste it to perfection (I like using clay roasters). Alternatively, wrap the roast in cling wrap completely, then wrap it again in aluminum foil and cook it in the oven roaster. Both approaches allow you to make your baked potatoes alongside the beef. The second approach seals in a lot of lovely juices that might otherwise be lost due to using the rolade method.

When the beef is done, move both it and the potatoes to a resting area so you can pour out the juices from the bottom of the pan (and the cling wrap, if applicable). Bring those to a boil with a little salt and pepper, adding corn starch for thickening. For a more buttery gravy, begin with a row of flower and butter, and then slowly add your drippings to that foundation until you reach the desired consistency.

Happy Eating!


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