With three still-growing teenagers in my house, family dinners bear a striking resemblance to feeding time at the zoo. And while I am the first to push heart-healthy meals of greens, beans and grains, there are some nights that these kids (and my carnivorous husband) need to shove red meat into their gaping maws.
Fortunately, an eye of round roast satisfies everyone. With 4 grams of fat per 3.5-ounce serving, eye of round is considered an “extra lean” cut by the USDA. It offers double-digit grams of protein, plus loads of B vitamins, potassium and iron. The only downside is that roast-making seems like a Sunday night dinner level of complicated. Which is why I was so excited to stumble onto a stress-free eye of round roast recipe in “No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous” by Teri Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30).
This recipe replaces the usual two-step process of searing the meat on the stovetop, then roasting it in the oven, with simple temperature adjustments. Start by heating your oven to the high heat of 500 degrees. Place your roast on a rack and pour a little broth in the bottom of the pan. (The broth adds moisture to the oven, which helps the dense roast become tender.) Stick the pan in the oven, close the door tightly, and drop the temperature 25 degrees. The still-high heat sears and browns the outside of the roast, just like it would on the stovetop, without the potential for burning and extra skillet to wash. A few minutes later, you turn the oven off completely, leaving the roast to cook in residual heat for 2 1/2 hours. At this point, you’re free to leave the kitchen and do other things with your time, say, take your kids to an actual zoo.
Turner offers the formula for cooking roasts of varied weights, but I find the meat is the most tender when the roast weighs the recommended 2 1/2 pounds. If you’re looking to stretch one meal into two, grab a second roast instead of cooking one larger, hippo-sized cut. The roasts will magically cook up pink and delicious, ready to tame the hungry beasts in your own home.
Adapted from “No Crumbs Left: Recipes for Everyday Food Made Marvelous” © 2019 by Teri Turner. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
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