Beefy Memories…Pepper Crusted Eye of Round with Tipsy Mushrooms

Pepper Crusted Eye of Round Roasted

Eye of Round fresh out of the oven

My Grandma K made the best roast beef on the planet!  I was a picky eater as a child and did not eat much meat.  I had a thing about food touching my lips and wouldn’t eat anything that was in danger of dripping on them.

Grandma K’s roast beef and mashed potatoes were something else.  The meat was so tender it melted in my mouth, it melded so perfectly with the gravy and potatoes on my fork that it didn’t even bother me if it dripped.

I don’t eat much beef so I had totally forgotten about Grandma K’s roast beef until I saw the news the other night.  Changing cholesterol guidelines coming out soon? “Don’t go crazy” the reporter said, you should still limit fat from red meat and dairy.  I know that leaner cuts of red meat are okay, even though they aren’t as high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids as chicken and fish. But I was surprised to see that a 4 ounce serving of Eye of Round has the same amount of total fat and the same amount of saturated fat as Chicken (without the skin) and is actually lower in cholesterol.

My local store had Eye of Round on sale at $4.99 per pound so I indulged and now happily have 2 pounds of delicious roast beef.  Grandma K would likely have used bacon drippings to coat the roast for searing and let the sliced roast finish cooking in gravy to tenderize it.  I have used this method before but I figured I could do without the extra fat so I tweaked the recipe.  It won’t be as tender as Grandma’s, but the flavor is really good.

I served mine with mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed mushrooms drenched in a sauce of pan drippings and reduced red wine. I’ll share the recipe and a little bit of my wonderful Grandma K with you.

Sliced Eye of Round

Pepper Crusted Eye of Round, all sliced and ready to serve

For the Roast:

1 Eye of Round, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pounds, trimmed of most of the fat (a thin layer of no more than 1/8 inch will be ok to leave)

1 tablespoon canola oil

2-3 tablespoons fresh ground peppercorns

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Rub the roast with the canola oil, then the pepper and salt.  Place in a roasting pan or low ovenproof casserole dish and put in the preheated oven.  Immediately turn the temperature down to 325 degrees.

Roast in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted in center of roast registers 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes.  Remove the roast to a cutting board and slice thinly.

Tipsy  Mushrooms

Leftover Tipsy Mushrooms in the pan

For the Tipsy Mushrooms:

Pan Juices

1 cup good red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)

2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used Baby Bella or Cremini mushrooms)

1 tablespoon thinly sliced shallot

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

salt and pepper to taste

After moving the roast to the cutting board, pour the red wine into the roasting pan with the leftover juices and let it sit while you slice the roast. Don’t stir it, the crusty drippings will be mostly salt and pepper and will ruin your sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, add the mushrooms and shallots. Saute just a few minutes until the mushrooms and shallots begin to soften.  Pour in the pan juices and wine (again, don’t scrape or stir the pan juices, just pour them in).

Let the sauce simmer and reduce for about 4 minutes, then quickly whisk in the butter. Taste to see how much salt and pepper to add, take it off the heat and serve.

Buttermilk Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Jalapeno

Buttermilk mashed sweet potatoes, roasted garlic and jalapeno

To Make the Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

Simply clean and poke 2-3 sweet potatoes, place in the microwave and cook on the potato setting until done (3 to 5 minutes depending on size of your potatoes).  Let cool a few minutes, then peel and mash in a bowl, add a little milk or buttermilk, and a little butter and salt to taste.

I added roasted garlic and jalapeno to my sweet potatoes. To do this, just place a few cloves of garlic and one seeded, sliced jalapeno in a square of parchment or foil with a drizzle of olive oil. Seal the foil and bake in the oven or toaster oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Mash the garlic and jalapeno in with the sweet potatoes.