A 2-lb. roast isn't a large roast, and it cooks quickly. How you cook it depends on the type of roast. Tenderloin can be roasted quickly or grilled because it's a naturally tender cut of meat. Lean roasts, such as top round, bottom round and brisket, are more heart-healthy, but they benefit from braising -- or slow, moist cooking -- to tenderize them.
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Remove the wrappings from the roast one day before you plan to cook it.
Season the roast liberally with salt and pepper. Salting the roast ahead of time allows the salt to permeate the meat, creating a mellow flavor and juicy texture. You can also add seasonings such as garlic or rosemary, if you like.
Place the roast in the refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it there for several hours or overnight.
Slow Cooking for Tenderness
Pour a little oil in an oven-proof saute pan and heat over medium heat. Cook the roast in the saute pan until both sides are nicely browned.
Transfer the roast to a slow cooker. Pour enough liquid into the slow cooker to partially cover, but not submerge, the roast. You can use beef broth, red wine, beer or apple juice.
Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the roast is fork-tender and a meat thermometer inserted in the meat registers 165 F or higher. This higher temperature is necessary to tenderize tough, lean roasts.
Preheat the oven to 500 F. While you're waiting for the oven to preheat, saute the roast in a saute pan as you would for slow-cooking.
Transfer the saute pan to the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the roast registers 145 F (the temperature at which beef is safe to eat, according to the USDA). The meat will be medium well-done at this temperature.
Place the roast on a serving dish and cover it with foil. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing it. This resting time allows the juices to become distributed through the whole roast, which improves flavor and texture.
- Meat: A Kitchen Education; James Peterson
- Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook; Beth Hensperger et al.
- Food Safety.org: Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
- All About Roasting; Molly Stevens