Roast Beef with Bèarnaise
By Chef John Ash
For a truly special meal, make this recipe – using the Reverse Searing Method – your centerpiece. Most roast recipes start by browning the outside first to develop a richly flavored crust before finishing it in the oven. Reverse searing is just the opposite. First, cook the roast in a low oven until it’s just about done. You can do this a couple hours ahead of time. By cooking the roast at low temperature, you ensure the roast will be evenly cooked.
When you are ready to serve, sear the roast in a hot pan or very hot oven to develop the delicious crust. Searing the already cooked meat takes less time than browning raw meat and does away with that gray outer ring that develops when you cook the roast the traditional way. Also, you don’t have to let the meat rest before carving.
Total Time 3 to 4 hours
Prep Time 1 hour
Difficulty Level Medium
1-1/2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp freshly and coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp freshly ground fennel seed
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for pan searing
5 lb boneless top loin beef roast, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch, patted dry
1/3 c dry white wine (Bèarnaise Sauce)
1/3 c white wine vinegar (Bèarnaise Sauce)
2 tbsp chopped shallots (Bèarnaise Sauce)
3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves and stems, divided (Bèarnaise Sauce)
8 black peppercorns (Bèarnaise Sauce)
3 large egg yolks (Bèarnaise Sauce)
2 sticks (1/2 lb or 16 tbs) melted unsalted butter (for Bèarnaise Sauce)
Sea salt (for Bèarnaise Sauce)
Freshly ground pepper (for Bèarnaise Sauce)
Combine the pepper, salt and fennel seed. Rub the oil over the meat to coat it lightly, then pat on the salt mixture to coat. Transfer roast to a rack in a roasting pan. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 300°F. Roast the beef until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F for rare or 115°F for medium rare, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove the roast from the oven. Let sit tented loosely with foil, for up to 2 hours
Sear the beef - To sear on the stove top: Heat 2 tbs. oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet until shimmering hot. Add the beef, and cook, turning and pressing with tongs, until browned all over and, cooked to the desired temperature, about 4 minutes per side. To sear in the oven: Heat the oven to 475°F. Roast until 125°F for rare or 130°F for medium rare, about 10 minutes.
To serve: Transfer roast to a cutting board. Slice and serve with the sauce and a glass of Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir wine!
Bèarnaise Sauce (makes 1 cup): Combine wine, vinegar, shallots, 1 tablespoon tarragon, the stems and peppercorns in a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Strain pressing on solids and discard solids.
Bèarnaise Sauce: Combine the strained reduction with the egg yolks in a blender and pulse until smooth. With blender running at medium speed add the butter in a slow stream thru the hole in the lid. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves and pulse once or twice. Thin sauce if desired by whisking in a tablespoon or so of warm water. Season to your taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.