Tender roast on a beef chuck budget

James Carrier
Tips for getting great flavor and texture

Salt-and-Pepper Beef Roast

There's not much challenge in roasting a choice cut of beef to perfection: Rare or well done, it's tender. But it's also pricey - too much so for most of us for everyday meals. An economical, workaday alternative, with excellent beef flavor, is a chuck roast, cut from the shoulder - perhaps hot for dinner one day, cold for sandwiches or salads another.

However, to retain its tenderness, this firm-textured meat (favored for long, slow braising) must not be cooked beyond rare; well done, it's just plain chewy.

Two more tricks: a brief salt-and-sugar cure to enhance juiciness and flavor, and a final coat of pepper and horseradish that is tempered during roasting.

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