Cooking On A Budget: Choosing Beef for Roasting

Monday, November 28, 2011

Choosing Beef for Roasting

Choosing the right cut of beef for your family is dependent upon the number you are feeding and your food budget.  We try not to purchase beef as often as we used to based on the fact that too much beef in your diet is not as healthy. The recommended portion for those who are dieting or on any dietary restrictions is the size of a deck of cards. Roughly you are looking at 4 ounce portions per person.  (That even applies to poultry or pork.)  Even if you don't have restrictions, 4 ounces of beef, 6 ounces tops should be the average consumption per person. Taking those facts into consideration can aide you in choosing just how much to purchase.

Generally when "Spoon Roast" is on sale it is what we purchase for a roast beef dinner. For pot roasted beef that is seared and braised our choices are either a bottom round roast or a thick cut of chuck roast.  I usually purchase a larger roast than what we need because we love left overs and use every stitch in creating different meals or for sandwich making.

When you decide to cook beef, you want a piece that has white marbling throughout and in the case of a roast you also want some fat cap on it.  Why?  The white marbling throughout the meat indicates that it will be a juicy and more tender cut.  The fat cap will help in the browning process and help to seal in the meats juices.  Later on, the fat drippings from the pan can be skimmed off to reduce the amount of ingested fat.

You want to be sure to let your roast REST after it is cooked. Very important to let the juices settle in the roast so it does not dry out.  Ten minutes minimum to thirty minutes covered in foil does the trick.  Beef roasts need to cook to an internal temperature of 125 degrees F for medium rare  - rare roasts, about 130 degrees for medium.  The longer you cook a cut of beef for roasting, the less tender the meat is.  It begins to tighten and loose flavor as well.

The photo displayed is a roast that prior to cooking weighed almost four pounds (3.85 to be exact). The on sale price was $3.99 per pound and total cost = $14.56.  This particular roast was nicely tied up by our local stores meat department and could have been cut in half if necessary. The roast would feed 12 - 16 people four ounce portions (cost per person .91 cents) or 10 servings of 6 ounce portions at $1.45 per person.

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