I recently read this 2011 article about a roast beef recipe credited to Anne Serrane, that dates back to 1966, published in the New York Times, that sounded too simple to be good. But it is brilliant. Just brilliant.
First start off with the best roast beef you can afford. We used a 5.5-6.0 kilo, 4-5 rib bone-in roast beef. Weigh the hunk of beef precisely (or simply read the price tag from the butcher). Ours turned out at 11.78 pounds. Pre-heat your oven to 500F. It’s not in the original recipe, but I salted (generously) the roast beef 12 hours before I cooked it and let in sit in the fridge, uncovered. Two hours before cooking, I took the roast out of the fridge to bring it closer to room temperature. Just before cooking, I salted the meat again, rubbed it with lots of cracked black pepper, and sprinkled it lightly all over with all-purpose flour. Rub the flour into the fat and meat. Place your roast on a rack in a roasting pan (so air circulates under the roast). For each pound of the roast, count 5 minutes in the hot oven. So for a 12 pound roast, cook the roast for 60 minutes at 500F, then turn off the oven and leave it there for 2 hours. Do not open the oven. That’s it. I kid you not. This yielded a perfect medium rare and it was absolutely delicious. The method leaves you lots of time to do other things, and I used this two days in a row and it worked like a charm. The first day I was worried and let it cook for 10 minutes longer than the recipe states, and I had a more medium roast (photo up top), perfect for some guests who otherwise like their meat medium to well done. But if I do this again, I will stick strictly to the 5 minutes per pound of cooking time. We did this a second night and followed only the 5 minute per pound rule and it turned out nice and rare.
So I have posted this, just in case any of you were thinking of doing a roast beef this holiday season. This is going to definitely be the go-to recipe in our home from now on. This was served with a port wine gravy with bacon and roasted shallots, which I have in another post in the archives.