Because it comes from a section of muscle used frequently by the cow, bottom round roast is one of the toughest, leanest cuts of meat. However, it can become tender and juicy when cooked properly over low heat for a long period of time. Bottom round can be slow-roasted in a roasting rack set above a pan in a method called "dry-roasting," or it can be slow-roasted in a pot with a little bit of liquid -- which is technically called "braising." Both methods work, but because of the meat's toughness and leanness, roasting it in a pot is usually the most successful.
Prep and Cook Your Roast
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit if you are dry-roasting your bottom round roast, and 250 if you are using a Dutch oven.
Season the meat. Mix the salt, pepper, flour and any other herbs and spices you are using in with the oil until you have a thick, spreadable paste. Coat the roast evenly with the mixture.
Sear the meat. This will form a nice crust and add great flavor. If you are using a Dutch oven, heat oil in the pot until it shimmers, then brown the meat on all sides. While the pot is still hot, add 1/2 cup of water, wine or beef stock. Scrape the bottom of the pot to get up all of the brown bits left by the searing, then transfer the pot to the oven. If you're dry-roasting, just place the beef on the rack and put the pan in the oven at 400 degrees for a half-hour, and then turn the temperature down to 250 degrees.
Cook your roast for 1 1/2 hours, then check it for doneness. When the meat is done, the juices should run clear and the meat should be fork-tender -- meaning it offers little resistance when you put a fork through it. When the roast is finished cooking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Create a sauce. If you are using the Dutch oven method, remove the roast and set the leftover juice to a medium boil on the stove top until it becomes thick, then strain it if desired. If you're dry-roasting, a pan gravy is the best option. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and mix them together over medium heat until they form a paste. Add the pan drippings from your roast and 1 cup of beef or chicken stock. Whisk the mixture briskly over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens.
Jessica Martinez is a freelance writer from Clayton, North Carolina. As a homeschooling mom, she enjoys writing about education, child development and family issues. Martinez also enjoys researching and writing about subjects she loves: history, art, interior design, gardening and travel.
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