Eye of Round Roast with Jus
In the world of beef roasts, eye of round is often overshadowed by supremely marbled prime rib and melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin. But what it lacks in richness and delicacy it makes up for in affordability and superior beefy flavor. Treat it lovingly with an overnight dry brine to season it throughout, then cook it patiently and gently and you’ll be rewarded with a meaty centerpiece that feels company-worthy without breaking the bank. However, if rare to medium-rare meat isn’t your bag, this probably isn’t the recipe for you. Eye of round doesn’t have a lot of intramuscular fat to keep the whole thing moist, so it really needs to be rosy throughout in order to be its most succulent self. If you’ve got a leave-in probe thermometer, this is the time to use it. The less times you have to open the oven to check the internal temperature, the better.
The accompanying jus takes a bit of effort as well as another pound of meat, but it adds tons of rich beef flavor and comes together while the roast cooks. Bonus: After you’ve strained the jus, you’ll be left with nuggets of fork-tender chuck ready to be turned into a quick hash, soup, or fried rice later in the week. But if it all still feels like too much, a simple horseradish-sour cream sauce or Dijon mustard mixed with mayo would also make a delicious accompaniment for the meat—no harm, no foul. —Amiel Stanek
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tsp. black peppercorns
tsp. fennel seeds
2½–3-lb. eye of round roast, trimmed
Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
lb. chuck stew meat, cut into 1″ cubes
medium red onion, sliced
oz. crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
garlic cloves, smashed
Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato paste
Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Tbsp. soy sauce
tsp. (or more) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A spice mill or mortar and pestle
Coarsely grind peppercorns and fennel seeds in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle. Using generous three-finger pinches, season roast on all sides with kosher salt—seriously, don’t hold back, you should see salt on nearly every surface. Rub peppercorn mixture all over roast, then place on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Chill, uncovered, at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.
Let roast sit at room temperature 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 250°. Bake roast (still on rack set inside baking sheet) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 110°, 1½–2 hours.
Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Working in 2 batches, cook stew meat, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides, 6–8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
Place onion in same saucepan, season with kosher salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and starting to brown, 6–8 minutes. Add mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened and most liquid has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce and cook, stirring often, until mixture browns and begins to stick to bottom of pan, 2–3 minutes.
Return stew meat to pan and add 6 cups water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low (you want a good bubble going) and simmer, uncovered, until jus is reduced by two thirds, about 1½ hours.
Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain jus into a small bowl, pressing on solids to expel as much liquid as possible, then return jus to pot (you should have 1½–2 cups). You can save the meaty, oniony solids if you’d like; it makes a great hash. Add vinegar to jus; taste and season with more kosher salt and vinegar if needed. (Be generous: The jus should taste rich and highly seasoned.) Cover jus and let sit until ready to serve roast.
Remove roast from oven. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high until just beginning to smoke. Cook roast, turning occasionally using tongs, until deeply-browned all over, about 5 minutes total. Transfer roast to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes (the final internal temperature should be around 120° for medium-rare).
Meanwhile, reheat jus over medium-low. Thinly slice roast straight across against the grain and transfer slices to a platter. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper. Pour about a third of jus over roast. Serve remaining jus on the side.
Do ahead: Jus can be made 2 days ahead. Reheat over medium-low before serving.