How to Cook a Small Juicy Rump Roast

Beef roast doesn't have to be expensive. Rump roast, a cut taken from the bottom round or rear leg, is lean, full of flavor and economical. Handled incorrectly, however, rump roast can end up tough and dry. The trick, says writer Aimee Blume, is to cook it slowly over low heat. For a small roast, choose one that is around 2 pounds, planning on every pound of meat serving approximately three people. A high intake of red meat like rump roast is linked to a higher risk of cancer and heart disease; eat red meat occasionally and in moderation.

Prepare the Meat

Trim off any small pieces of excess fat from the surface of the rump roast, but leave the large fat layer that is on one side of the meat intact to act as natural basting. To keep the rump roast's juices sealed inside the meat while it is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear each side of the roast until all are light brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Season the meat all over with salt, pepper and your choice of herbs and spices.

Choose Your Method

Rump roast can be cooked in the oven or in a slow cooker. If you choose the oven method, you'll need to use a large covered pot such as a Dutch oven that can easily contain the meat or a roasting pan that can be covered with aluminum foil. If you plan on using a slow cooker, make certain there is at least a few inches of space between the surface of the roast and the top of the slow cooker insert since the meat will be covered with liquid while it is cooking.

Add the Ingredients

To keep rump roast juicy in the oven, you'll need to add a liquid like beef broth. Place the seared roast into the pot or roasting pan with the fat layer facing up and pour in a can of low-sodium beef broth, or approximately 2 cups of beef stock. Arrange chunks of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, turnips or celery around the meat, if desired, and put the lid or aluminum foil in place. For a rump roast in the slow cooker, you'll need to add more broth or stock -- about 2 cups, or enough to cover the meat in liquid.

Cook the Roast

Plan on oven-roasting the rump roast at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 28 to 33 minutes per pound for medium-rare meat, though the exact cooking time will vary depending on the roast's shape and size. Begin checking the meat after 45 minutes and continue checking it every 15 minutes after that. Remove it from the oven when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 140 degrees Fahrenheit. For the slow cooker method, allow the roast to cook on the low setting for eight to 10 hours.

Let It Rest

It's essential to let a rump roast that's been prepared in the oven rest for between 10 and 20 minutes after it has reached the target internal temperature. Not only will the temperature rise at least 10 degrees during this time, but the rest allows the accumulated juices to settle, giving you juicier, more flavorful meat. Slow-cooked rump roast does not need a rest time, though Blume suggests preparing the roast one to three days in advance, if possible, refrigerating the meat in the liquid and reheating slices slowly in the thickened juice for maximum tenderness.

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