When I talk about low carb, I really mean increasing the protein and edging out the bad carbs. The hard-core low carb diet seems to crash and burn here, but a more moderate version that puts less focus on the potatoes and rice is slowly gaining acceptance.
There is only so much chicken one can eat, but it’s advantage is that it is low fat and relatively cheap. If I’m going to make a beef roast, it has to meet 3 criteria: it has to fit into the grocery budget, it has to be lean, and, it has to be tender and juicy. America’s Test Kitchen did an episode on slow roasting a beef eye of round so I decided to see if that would fit the requirements.
I purchased a 3# beef eye of round for about $8, which totally fit into the budget – you can pay more than that per pound for a good steak.
The USDA database states that a 3 oz portion of choice, beef eye of round, fat trimmed to 1/8”, roasted, has 180 calories and 8.5 grams of fat. The equivalent chuck roast braised in a Crockpot has 305 calories and 23 grams of fat. Eye of round wins this round. Would the cooking method prove to make a tender and juicy roast?
The first step is to rub on 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of beef, then wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours for the enzymatic magic to happen. When you’re ready to cook, simply pat dry, sear, and pop into a 225 degree oven until the temperature reaches 115, then turn off the oven and let the residual heat cook until the roast reaches 130. They estimate the total process at about 2 hours. A digital meat thermometer is a must for this recipe.
Does it work? Pretty much. I followed the preparation instructions, and then seared it in a cast iron skillet while the oven pre-heated. Then I popped the roast, still in the pan, in the oven. The meat came to 115 in about 75 minutes, and I turned off the oven and let it keep going to 130. The problem? My family doesn’t eat beef that rare. So, I returned the beef back to the now-cool oven, set the temperature to 225, and turned off the oven when it got there. In about 20 minutes the beef was at 140.
It looked dry, but it wasn’t. It was cooked through, just the barest pink in the center, and still moist, which was pretty surprising. It was pleasantly salty, but not overly so. The boys said it tasted like steak. There are no drippings so you won’t get a pan sauce or gravy, so we used our favorite steak sauces. It was inexpensive, lean, and perfectly cooked.
For my family’s tastes I need to play around with the temperature and timing. Leftovers (ha, we had 8 ounces left) would slice nicely for sandwiches. A great thing about this recipe is that the oven temperature is so low you can roast beef for salads or sandwiches over the summer. Try Slow Roasted Beef Eye Round yourself!
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