Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lighten Up, Mr. Roast Beast

Often, my cravings revolve around ice cream, strawberries and pasta. But, recently, my body with bambino wanted some roast beast aka roast beef.

So, The Jersey Girl found herself pondering, “Who eats roast beast in the dead of summer, especially during the hottest freakin’ summer ever in New Jersey?”

Well, maybe I exaggerate, but it’s been super sweltering in my parts. My prego self can not handle it. This is definitely the worst tan I’ve ever not had. I don’t even think my baby bump has made it to the beach or the pool 10 times this summer. The horror. And there's no way in hell you will get me to a tanning salon or find me busting out tan in a can. I'm Jersey, but I'm not THAT Jersey.

Fortunately, my girl Giada solved my roast beast dilemma by coming up with this keeper of a recipe, Roast Beef with Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce.

It is so yum yum. In fact, I would totally make this in the winter when comfort food comes a calling.

The sauce is a gorgeous thanks to the roasted tomatoes, and it brings out the meatiness of the beef.  Here's a look at the tomatoes upon seasoning:

The parsley brightens up the sauce while the red pepper flakes give it some kick.

I used a bottom round roast instead of the cut called for in the recipe simply because it was what was available at the grocery store that day. Any cut that is good for braising and roasting will work for the dish.

The dish calls for Herbes de Provence. You can find the blend on gourmet food Web sites or at Amazon. Here's what a jar looks like:

Roast Beef with Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce
From "Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites"
By Giada De Laurentiis

Roast Beef:
1 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) sirloin tip or chuck beef roast

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/2
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce:

1 1/2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
To make the beef roast, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence.

Place a medium, heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Heat the olive oil. Sear the beef over high heat on all sides. Turn off heat. Place the seasoned tomatoes around the seared beef and place the pan in the oven. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 130 degrees F. for medium rare, 135 for medium, about 30 to 40 minutes. Take the roast out of the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat should rise 5 degrees F more and the juices will redistribute into the roast.

To make the sauce, place the parsley and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, red wine vinegar and the roasted tomatoes from the beef pan and process until pureed. Add the olive oil in a steady stream with the machine running.

To serve, slice the roast and place on a serving platter. Drizzle a little sauce over the meat. Serve the remaining sauce in a small bowl alongside.

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