Best Bottom Round Roast
A funky rub made with dried mushrooms and other seasonings dresses up this budget-friendly cut for the Sunday family dinner table.
Our toast to roasts continues with my Best Bottom Round Roast recipe. Mom called this cut a “rump roast” and we often had it on our Sunday dinner table. I remember the carrots that were added near the end that caramelized in the beef juices—I’ve never been able to replicate what Grandma and Mom did there, but I’m still trying! Served with Grandma’s decadent whipped potatoes, memories of those Sunday dinners always bring a smile.
Let’s face it: proteins are expensive today, so if you splurge on a beef roast—even a more economical cut like this one—you want to get it right. First, look for a rump roast that still has a fat cap. While it’s a naturally leaner piece of meat because it comes from rump and hind leg of the animal, a fat cap will self-baste your roast in the oven. You’ll need a bit of time to tenderize the meat, so a bottom round (rump) roast is good for oven roasting or even in a braise.
I paid about $7 per pound (or about $17) for the rump roast. While that price surely would have caused my mother to spit out a few choice words, keep in mind that you’ll get 8 to 10 servings from the roast. After Sunday dinner, use the beef in sandwiches (grilled with Swiss is amazing) or in other recipes as I suggest below. For about $2.13 per serving, you’ve got an economical showstopper here.
Every home cook should know how to make roast beef, and although there are millions of recipes out there, I like this one. Beef and mushrooms are best buddies. You could simply season the meat with salt and pepper and then make a mushroom gravy, but I think the dry mushroom rub has concentrated flavor that really compliment the beef. Serve with a drizzle of the pan sauce, and holy cow (no pun intended) is this delicious. Well, my mouth is watering, so let’s get cooking!
To make my Best Bottom Round Roast, which yields 8 to 10 servings, you’ll need these ingredients:
1 beef bottom round roast (about 2½ pounds)
½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons cracked pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
The dried porcini mushrooms I bought came in a 1-ounce bag; I used half the bag. If you find a particularly tough stem (as I did) do not use it. You’re looking for pieces that can be easily broken up in your spice grinder.
Directions for perfect roast beef
To make the beef rub, place mushrooms in a spice grinder to grind into powder. I broke this process down into two batches and it worked fine. If you don’t have a spice grinder, you can try pounding mushrooms placed in a zipper-top bag into a powder. Honestly, grinders are not expensive ($10 to $20) and are a useful tool to have.
Transfer mushroom powder to a small bowl and add salt, pepper, and onion powder.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Rub the beef roast with seasoned mushroom powder on all sides. An easy way to do this is to sprinkle the mixture on a board and roll meat until fully covered. Pat down and let the seasoned meat rest about 30 minutes to get to room temperature. This also allows some of the flavor to seep into the meat before roasting. If you have time, put the seasoned meat uncovered into the refrigerator for a couple hours.
Place meat on in a roasting pan with a rack with the fat cap facing up. You could also use a cooling rack and a casserole dish or a baking sheet with taller sides so the roasting juices do not spill if you don’t have the roasting pan. The idea is for air to circulate under the meat, too.
Start the roast at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then drop the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and roast another hour or so until a probe thermometer reaches 125 degrees internal temperature for medium rare.
Remove roast from oven and let rest for 15 minutes in the pan. Carve and serve. Remember, this cut comes from the working part of the animal so look for muscle striation pattern and cut across the grain or against the striations.
How to make an easy sauce
I had a bit of fat and flavored drippings from the roast. Chefs call this “fond.” Don’t wash this down the sink! Deglaze on the stovetop with some red wine or beef stock. I did ½ cup each. As it starts to bubble, using a wooden spoon, scrape the fond from the pan. If you have a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme, throw it in the pan for extra flavor and let the sauce reduce to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat the add a couple pats of butter. You also could cook the sauce with a bit of shallot or add briny capers at the end.
My favorite for leftover beef roast is stovetop Beef Stroganoff. In a large skillet, add a pat of butter and about a teaspoon of olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add a small onion (yellow or white) that you’ve thinly sliced. To the skillet, add a cup of beef broth, a tablespoon of Worcestershire, a small can of cream of mushroom soup, and ½ up of plain Greek full-fat yogurt. Mix well. While that simmers, cut leftover roast into slices about ½-inch thick (remember, cut against the grain of meat) and then cut slices into strips. Warm the meat in this amazing sauce and serve over cooked egg noodles and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
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Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.