Roast Beef

Roast Beef
Roast beef with mushrooms, gravy and a side of potatoes.
Here is one case where I prefer something different from what I got in my childhood. Bone dry roast beef just doesn't work for me. With this method even cheaper cuts of beef can turn out great. The secret is the cup of beef stock in the bottom of the roasting pan.  There seems to always be juice left for over for gravy and the meat stays moist (well, unless you cook it well past "well done").

Preheat oven to 450 F.
In a roasting pan:
beef roast - thawed
one onion, cut into chunks
one cup of beef stock (an OXO packet/cube in a cup of warm water)

A couple of different seasoning methods for the meat work here, here are two:
1) season liberally with "Montreal Steak Spice" (a great all-in-one seasoning)
2) garlic powder (or fresh garlic/minced) and salt and pepper

If you'd like an all-in-one meal you can add potatoes (peeled and cut in half), large chunks of carrots and/or celery. I like the potatoes this way, the carrots less so.  Fresh mushrooms also turn out particularly well when done with the roast.

Cover the roasting pan and bake at 450 F for 15 minutes, then lower to 350 F.  A meat thermometer is really the only proper way to get the meat cooked to a desired doneness (if you don't have one, go get one - now, before you ruin another piece of meat!).  Monitor temperature, 170 F - well done, 160 F - medium, 145 F - medium rare, 140 F - rare.

Remove the roast from the pan, put it on a platter and cover with aluminum foil, let it sit 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes and carrots to a bowl (if you had added them). Remove the onion and discard. Put the roasting pan on a burner on high.  Add a cup or two of water if not much juice is remaining and bring to a boil.  Scrape the pan to remove some of dried juices and stir frequently.  Mix a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch into a small amount of water (just enough to get it dissolved) and slowly stir in small amounts of this into the gravy juices. When the gravy is of a desired consistancy, remove from heat. Serve.