An eye of the round roast is not, necessarily, the most tender of cuts – they’re too lean. On the other hand, they’re relatively inexpensive and you can do a lot with them.

Day One

I took a 2 1/2 pound roast and did a simple roast – rubbed with oil, dusted with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, quickly seared on the stove, and then into a 350°F oven. I wanted to pull it out at an internal temperature of 135°F, but didn’t hear the thermometer beep – so I overcooked it to 145°F and after resting, it made it up to 155°F. Oh well… Medium-well, that is… In theory, I prefer my beef really rare – but I am not opposed to the end cut of a prime rib or a char-grilled steak.

And we planned on sandwiches, so it was all okay.

Roast Beef

Thin slices of roast beef on a homemade whole wheat roll that was spread with a garlic and caper mayonnaise, and topped with a homemade caponata that Victor whipped up.

Caponata

  • 1 medium eggplant, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fennel bulb,, chopped
  • 12 oz. fresh tomatoes
  •  1 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Sauté fennel and onion in a large skillet until onion and fennel begin to wilt. Add garlic and quickly sauté. Add eggplant and cook until it begins to break down. Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to break down.

Add capers, olives, sugar, and vinegar, and cook until thick.

Stir in pine nuts and check for salt and pepper.

Cool and serve at room temperature.

It was a knife and fork sandwich that could adorn the menu of any restaurant. Unique and full of flavor. The mayo was excellent – just mayonnaise, garlic powder, and capers mixed together – and the entire dish really blended together well.

Day Two

With two-thirds of a roast left, it was time to channel my mother. She was queen of a roast on Sunday and hash on Friday. It was time to get creative.

Even though I was making sandwiches with caponata, I had made gravy from the pan drippings – no way was that goodness going to waste.

I made a basic beef stew.

I cubed the beef and added carrots, celery, leeks, and potatoes. In went the gravy and some beef broth, and then it all simmered until the vegetables cooked and the meat was tender.

When it was cooled, half of it went into a pot pie and the other half went into the ‘fridge.

Roast Beef

I had a leftover crust from the apple crostata I had made a few days ago, so I rolled it out, placed it in the pan, added the stew, wrapped it up like a crostata, and baked it at 425°F for about 45 minutes. It was slightly more than the two of us should have eaten – but we did it, anyway.

There are two things I can consistently make without fail – pie crust and gravy. And when the two come together, it’s difficult to stop.

We’ll be back to the gym one of these days…

Day Three

The reality is… Days One and Two were merely so I could get to Day Three – and some homemade beef soup!

Roast Beef

We eat soup most days for lunch, and, lately, they’ve been more chicken, lentil, split pea, bean… Most of the beef in the house has been ground – and while you can make some really good soups with ground beef, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

Time to channel mom, again…

I sautéed a small onion with a couple of celery chopped stalks in a bit of olive oil. When they were nicely wilted, I added the leftover stew, and about 6 cups of beef broth. When it started getting hot, I added a can of diced tomatoes and a can of kidney beans and brought it to a boil.

Next went in another potato, cubed, and about a half bag of frozen mixed vegetables. I brought it back to a boil, covered it, and then let it simmer for an hour – until the potatoes were cooked through.

Tastes and smells can really evoke a memory, and this one brought back the soups my mom made when we were kids.

I think she would have been proud of this one.