Beef Roast For The Holidays

Peppery Beef Rib Roast.  Photo courtesy of
Peppery Beef Rib Roast. Photo courtesy of

By Bethany Johnston, Nebraska Extension Educator

The winter season is a great time to gather friends, family, and (my favorite) food! What better way to celebrate than with a juicy, tender, and flavorful beef roast? Before you purchase your beef roast at the meat counter, ask yourself “How do I plan to cook this roast?” The two options for cooking a roast are 1) dry roasting and 2) braising.

For dry roasting, the roast is cooked at high heat. A rack holds the roast out of the juices in the bottom of the pan. The roast is left uncovered during cooking with the fat side up.

Place the roast in a hot oven and use a meat thermometer to tell when the roast is done. For medium rare, remove the roast when the thermometer reads 130 degrees F. Tent the meat with foil. Let the roast set for 15 minutes. The roast will continue to cook on the counter, bringing the temperature up to 145 degrees F.

Carve the roast across the grain of the meat for optimal tenderness. Make gravy or sauce using the drippings in the bottom of the pan and drizzle over the meat.

Choose beef cuts that are naturally tender, such as rib roasts or tenderloin roasts, for dry roasting. Look for choice or prime labels to increase the juiciness and flavor of the roast.

For fork tender, fall apart roasts like grandma made, use the braising or slow, moist heat method. Start by browning the roast on all sides in a skillet with oil. You are only cooking the outside of the roast. The browning will develop the rich, beefy flavor.

Next transfer the roast into a crockpot or large pan with a lid. Add ½ to 2 cups of liquid (broth or water). Aromatics (onions, carrots, celery) and seasonings can be adding to the pan. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place on low heat. Cook for 4-10 hours (dependent the cooking temperature) until the meat is fork-tender.

The roast can be served as a pot roast, or shredded to make sandwich or taco fillings.

Choose less expensive beef cuts like chuck or round roasts for braising.

BEEF RECIPES can be found at for holiday roasts, appetizers, and more!

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