Roast Beef with Anchovies and Glazed Potatoes

Most of you have probably noticed that I have taken a break from blogging for a while. After some 200 recipes I ran out of fresh ideas and really needed to reprise my favorites. Well, today I did something new so I thought I would share it.

There are few meals a quintessentially northern European, and by extension American, as roast beef. Immigrants from England, Germany, France, and Ireland, among others, all brought their versions to our shores. The best roasts are from the legs of the beast: chuck from the front, round from the rear. I prefer the latter because it is leaner but with that comes the risk of overcooking to toughness so if you do not like your roast medium-rare to medium stick to chuck. My cut of choice is sirloin tip, a marketing term for round knuckle, from which I cut a center roast weighing just under three pounds. You could as well use a top round roast. The anchovies may come as a bit of a surprise to many but they add a wonderful depth of flavor to the dish without any hint of fishiness. Do try them before passing judgment.

A word about timing: roasting the meat to 145° took about 15 minutes per pound in my convection oven and the potatoes were done in about 30 minutes. If you have a conventional oven I suggest increasing the cooking temperatures by 25° and the cooking time by about one third. It is best to pull the meat to temperature rather than time in any case but allow 45 minutes for the potatoes in a conventional oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 round beef roast, about 3 pounds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 or 6 anchovy filets in olive oil
  • Water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Small white or gold potatoes, about ½ pound per person, quartered
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • Beef stock, about ½ cup
  • 1 or 2 Tbsp. butter

Method

Preheat oven to 400°. Dry the meat well and season generously with salt and pepper. Set on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, arrange the anchovies on top, and sprinkle with a bit of olive oil. Place the roasting pan on the bottom rack of the hot oven and fill with water to come nearly to the bottom of the meat. Close the oven and let the temperature recover for a few minutes then turn it down to 325°.

Combine olive oil, rosemary, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Add the quartered potatoes and toss to coat. About 30 to 45 minutes before you expect the meat to be done, arrange the potatoes around the roast.

When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145° remove it from the oven, set onto a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and allow to rest while you glaze the potatoes.

Place the roasting pan over two stove burners and turn the potatoes into it. Add the beef stock and, using a wide nylon spatula, scrape to bottom turning the potatoes over and over as the liquid evaporates. When the liquid is almost gone turn off the heat and stir in the butter.

Slice the meat thinly and serve with the potatoes, napping both with the pan juices. A green salad makes a nice accompaniment.

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