Chuck Roast In Foil
I had all but given up on making roast beef for my family. I tried several recipes that promised tender, juicy roasts only to pull a dry, less than stellar piece of meat from the oven time and time again. Well hallelujah! I’ve found a recipe that is consistently successful and this dish cleans up in a snap. A few things that make this recipe REALLY work:
Use a chuck eye-roast. This cut of beef is just a bit more expensive than the commonly used bottom round roast but is much more flavorful (I paid $4.98 a pound at a high-end butcher shop). Do not use a 7-bone or blade chuck. Make sure you get the chuck EYE-roast. It is still a fairly tough cut so the low-and-slow cooking protocol here is golden. (Chuck eye-roast is readily available.)
Many flavorful roast recipes call for packaged onion soup mix. And rightly so. Onion soup mix has a lot of flavor and adds nice color to roasts without the need to sear the meat first. However, this mix also has a lot of salt plus other less than desirables. The rub recipe here mimics all the flavor from that Lipton money-maker but compare the recipe ingredients to the list of ingredients on the soup mix packet: Onions (deyhydrated), salt, cornstarch, onion powder, sugar, corn syrup, hydrolyzed soy protein, caramel color, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, monosodium glutamate, yeast extract, natural flavors, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate. (Source; Lipton Soup Mix Packet)
Combining some root vegetables in with the roast serves two purposes. Not only do you now have a complete meal, but the veggies will help season the au jus that will also be flavored from the meat and rub. And let me tell you this recipe is certainly full of rich flavor. (Chop the vegetables in large chunks to ensure they don’t overcook from being in the oven for several hours.)
Last but certainly not least, cooking this meal in foil ensures an easy clean-up and we all can fall in love with that!
Here, let me show you some of the key recipe steps:
Look for a chuck eye-roast with a thick band of fat running through the middle of the roast (The butcher seasoned my roast with salt, paprika, pepper and oregano, but it is not necessary). You will split the roast in half and tie it up to allow for quicker cooking time and easier carving at serving. Plus cutting up the meat makes for extra surface area in seasoning. Tip: Trim off as much of the thick fat after you split the roast, especially the hard fat which will not melt like the soft fat will.
Cut the vegetables into large pieces for optimal cooking and just the right tenderness. A splash of soy sauce on the vegetables increases the deep flavor of the au jus. Making your own dry rub mix from ingredients that you most likely already have (except maybe the espresso powder) is a bonus.
After baking in a low oven for several hours, look at this super flavorful, delectable meal that is ready to go. The roast is so tender, you can almost cut it with a fork. Plus, your house will smell wonderful.
- For the Rub:
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- For the Chuck Roast:
- 1 (4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 6 small red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1½-inch pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- You will also need:
- Kitchen twine
- Heavy-duty 18-inch wide aluminum foil
- Fat separator measuring cup, optional but helpful
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine rub ingredients in small bowl.
- Pat roast dry with paper towels. Separate roast into 2 pieces along natural seam and trim fat to ¼-inch thickness. Tie kitchen twine around each roast at 1-inch intervals.
- Crisscross two 30 by 18-inch sheets of heavy-duty foil inside large roasting pan. Place onions, potatoes, carrots, and bay leaves in center of foil and drizzle with soy. Set roasts on top of vegetables. Rub roasts all over with rub. Fold opposite corners of foil toward each other and crimp edges tightly to seal. Transfer pan to oven and cook until meat is completely tender, about 4½ hours.
- Remove roasts from foil pouch and place on carving board. Tent meat with foil and let rest 20 minutes. Discard onions and bay leaves. Using slotted spoon, place carrots and potatoes on serving platter. Strain contents of roasting pan through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator. Let liquid settle, then pour defatted pan juices into serving bowl.
- Remove kitchen twine from roasts. Slice roasts thinly against grain and transfer to platter with vegetables. Pour ½ cup pan juices over meat. Serve with remaining pan juices.
- Note: Rub can be made and stored in airtight container at room temperature for 1 month.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine, February/March 2011.