I feel like I’m breaking some sort of oath with myself by releasing this recipe. I’ve guarded this one with my life on more than one occasion, refusing to allow the grail of roast preparation out of the confines of my own kitchen. For me this is something akin to letting a national secret slip into the wrong hands, but the decision has been made and there’s no going back now.
It’s probably guilt that’s motivating this decision. I’m not usually wont to be a recipe hog. Generally I’ll chat and give (and receive) recipe hints anywhere that I can. In the grocery store, at the checkout, at the bank, at dinner at someone’s house, or on the phone. But not this… This one is different.
This is, quite simply the best damned beef roast short of a standing rib roast that you’ll ever eat, and for the first time in my life, I’m going to spill the recipe.
“Please take note, Mr or Mrs Bond, this message will self destruct 10 seconds after completion and will not be repeated”
If you got this far and were looking for a lean beef recipe or something that your arteries won’t groan over, please refer to this post instead. This recipe is about flavor, texture and absolutely sinful food. It should not be served with something light on the side. It should not be served in tiny portions. It is indulgence in the extreme and should be enjoyed with a sense of pride and gluttony.
Having said all that, I will now begin the reading of the sacred parchment. (Well, sacred scraps of various notebook paper, but parchment sounded better.)
- 1 2.5-5 lb beef roast. (Tri-Tip, or Chuck works very well)
- 1 stick butter, cut in pats
- ½ pint good brandy
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 – 10 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Season roast liberally with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to skillet. Brown roast rapidly on all sides until a good crust is formed. (or both sides in the case of a flat roast like a chuck.)
Add butter and brandy to skillet. (Please, Please! Respect your safety and remove the skillet from heat before adding the brandy. Flare-ups can happen on an electric or ceramic element as well as over an open flame!)
Simmer over medium low heat until roast achieves desired doneness (for us that’s just a hair past walking, but medium rare is excellent as well.) Remove roast, cover with foil and allow to rest at least 10 minutes.
Using the same skillet, increase heat to medium, add onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add mushrooms and allow to caramelize. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice roast in thin pieces, arrange on plate or platter and cover with sauce. Serve immediately.
What I would have done differently had I thought about it at the time:
I would have handed the bottle of brandy to my wife instead of taking nips off of it while I was finishing up dinner. Other than that, I would have very much enjoyed a loaf of Sonoma Sourdough French Bread to go with the steak, but a 2,000 mile trip for a loaf of the world’s best bread was simply out of the question.
To head off any questions:
Q: “Can I use margarine to make this more healthy?”
A: You can, but you’ll have to promise not to send me any nasty emails detailing the fact that it was horrible. Use the butter, live a little!
Q: “Could I use some other kind of mushroom?”
A: Yes. I would recommend crimini (baby ‘bella’s), or thin sliced portabella
Q: “Why would I bother, it’s just going to taste like brandy!”
A: Nope! The finished sauce has very little brandy flavor left to it.
Q: “You’re an alcoholic, aren’t you?”
A: I plead the fifth… Better yet, I’ll drink it! — You can’t prove it, so Nyah!
Q: “Did you take any pictures of the actual preparation?”
A: Ayup! Here they are.
“Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the best beef roast you’ve ever had. If you mess this up, we will disavow all knowledge of your involvement and claim that you used someone else’s recipe.