How to Make Roast Beef with Gravy

Who says a hearty roast beef and gravy dinner has to be expensive? We get fantastic results with an ­inexpensive cut and just one skillet.

Who says a hearty roast beef and gravy dinner has to be expensive? We get fantastic results with an inexpensive cut and just one skillet.

1. PREP ROAST: Trim the fat, tie the roast with kitchen twine, and pat dry.

WHY? Tying the roast ensures even cooking. Patting dry helps the seasoning adhere.

2. SALT AND LET SIT: Season the roast with salt and pepper, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 1 to 24 hours.

WHY? The longer the salted roast sits the more thoroughly seasoned and juicy the meat will be.

3. SEAR: Pat the roast dry and brown it on all sides in hot oil.

WHY? Dry meat sears more readily. A good sear creates extra flavor.

4. BUILD GRAVY BASE: Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery and then add flour and tomato paste.

WHY? We get the gravy base started early so it can cook with the roast and absorb meaty flavor.

5. RETURN ROAST TO PAN: Push the vegetable mixture to the center of the pan and place the seared roast on top.

WHY? Roasting the meat on a bed of vegetables elevates it for more even cooking and also maximizes flavor transfer between the meat and the vegetables.

6. SLOW-ROAST:  Cook the roast to 125 degrees in a 225-degree oven, 2 to 3 hours.

WHY? Roasting at a relatively low temperature maximizes gentle, even cooking.

7. REST MEAT: Loosely tent the roast with aluminum foil and let rest.

WHY? The foil keeps some heat in (so your dinner won’t be cold) while the juice redistributes throughout the roast.

8. BROWN VEGETABLES: Give the vegetables another 5 minutes over medium-high heat on the stovetop to take on more color (the skillet handle will be hot).

WHY? The deep browning will make the gravy even more flavorful.

9. ADD LIQUID: Whisk in the beef consommé and water and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon.

WHY? This is the liquid base of the gravy. Beef consommé adds more depth and richness than beef broth does.

10. BOIL, THEN SIMMER: Bring the gravy to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer.

WHY? Any sauce thickened with flour needs to reach a boil to activate the flour’s full thickening power. Simmer to meld the flavors and concentrate the gravy.

11. STRAIN: Pour the gravy through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the vegetables.

WHY? Gravy should be smooth, plus the vegetables have given up most of their flavor.

12. CARVE: Remove (and discard) the twine, carve the roast into thin slices, and serve with gravy.

WHY? Thin slices (carved against the grain) guarantee the most tender beef.

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