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Thread: Has anyone made a Salt-Crusted Beef Roast?

  1. #1
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    Question Has anyone made a Salt-Crusted Beef Roast?

    I've got a 4 lb Bottom Round beef roast in my fridge that I'm going to roast in my oven tonight. I've been reading for several years about covering it with a Salt & Herb crust, and I'm ready to give it a go tonight! I'm just a little nervous and am wondering if any of you experienced cooks have any tips or suggestions? Recipe calls for 3 cups of coarse salt (I'm using Kosher salt, diamond crystal) and 3/4 cup of water mixed into a paste, then spread over the roast at least 1/4" thick. Dried herbs can either be sprinkled on the roast before covering with the paste, or herbs can be mixed into the paste. I'm not sure which is better! 2 hours at 325 degrees and then break the crust with a hammer before carving.

    It's supposed to produce a very moist and flavorful roast, and I'm really psyched about trying this! Can anybody offer some words of wisdom?
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  2. #2
    Here's a recipe I pulled from Epicurious using a standing rib roast. I know you're not looking for a recipe, per se, but it comes with pretty decent reviews, and it gives you an idea of what exactly to do.

    http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/view?id=11060

  3. #3
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    (blushing) Sandy, that's the recipe I have! Found it yesterday... I saw the reviews on the site, but I trust our people more than I trust their people! Plus, I can't afford a standing rib roast! I found this gorgeous hunk of cow meat on sale for $1.30 per pound! Hoping it will work for this cut too!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  4. #4
    Oops - sorry. Thought you were looking for tips on a method.

  5. #5
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    I haven't tried this recipe but did have it in a restaurant one time. They used rock salt though. It was very good, not at all salty. They also used it on the baked potatoes. You might try applying the paste to a few baked potatoes and see what happens! I think I will try the recipe next week...thanks for the inspiration!
    Last edited by Alky; 10-23-2001 at 10:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    Yes, yes, yes!!!! I made this for Christmas last year (recipe off the box of Morton's Kosher Salt) and it was sooooo yummy. I highly recommend it. As far of words of wisdom go, I would say to be aware of the amount of water you're using-even if it calls for a certain amount, sometimes that amount can be too much or too little. I swear it must depend on atmospheric conditions or something. So make sure that it's not too wet, or the salt won't stick well. Likewise if it's too dry. And don't just put the herbs in the salt. Rub them all over the roast and stick cloves of garlic in it too. You may need to brush or even wash a little of the salt off. The coolest thing about the recipe is seeing the look of horror on people's faces when they see what you're cooking. And the salt looks just like snow when you mix it with water!
    "It covers your bread like a stinkyfishy tarp
    I know it isn't butter
    But I can't believe it's carp!"

    Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano, Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

  7. #7
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    Thank you jholcomb!! I knew our people were better! I'm a bit concerned myself about the amount of water, but I'm going to be careful!! I'm going to skewer the roast first, and do lots and lots of crushed garlic, as well as the herbs on top of the roast, and also in the salt.

    I was also wondering about testing for doneness? I've got a fancy-schmancy 'probe' thermometer with a cable that comes out of the oven onto a digital timer/thermometer, and I'm thinking I can sink the probe into the roast before I salt it, so I can keep a constant eye on the temperature? Alton Brown turned me onto this cable doohickey, it's SO cool! I set the 'temp alert' at 140 degrees and the minute that bad boy hunk 'o meat gets to 140 degrees I get a beep that won't turn off till I shut it off! That would be better than poking it through the salt crust later, right?

    I just want to do this correctly!!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  8. #8
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    Salt Rubbed Roast

    Jewel,
    We made a salt-rubbed roast last month and it was delicious! DH rubbed the roast with rosemary, thyme, crushed garlic and white pepper, then COVERED it with Kosher salt. I have to admit we were a little suspicious about the amount the recipe called for, but it turned out great! The only thing that dissapointed me was that there weren't any drippings to make gravy or Yorkshire pudding

    We also used the thermometer that you have. Don't be suprised at how quickly the tempature rises, the salt forces the roast to cook internally at a high speed, almost like insulation

    ENJOY!
    Sarah

  9. #9
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    OMG, Jewel, I had a dream about Alton Brown last night! I was in the grocery store, and he came out pushing a cart and I yelled at him "I love your show!" and he said "Huh? My SHOW? I have a show? Oh, yeah, my SHOW...thanks!" DH and I really do love his show, but I'm a bit frightened that I'm dreaming about him. Anyway, you have to be careful that the thermometer is sunk in there really good so that you get the meat reading and not the salt reading, which is much higher. But I know you knew that already .
    "It covers your bread like a stinkyfishy tarp
    I know it isn't butter
    But I can't believe it's carp!"

    Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano, Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by JHolcomb
    OMG, Jewel, I had a dream about Alton Brown last night! But I'm a bit frightened that I'm dreaming about him.
    ...I think I'm frightened too!! Maybe your new addition to the 'hearthrob' thread?
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  11. #11

    Our People Vs. Their People

    Ha Ha Ha. Is it just me or are OUR people a lot nicer than THEIR people. There are some nasty folks over on the Epicurious boards.....and in the reviews. I generally like the recipes, but some of the reviewers make me cringe.

  12. #12
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    Re: Our People Vs. Their People

    Originally posted by claire797
    Ha Ha Ha. Is it just me or are OUR people a lot nicer than THEIR people. There are some nasty folks over on the Epicurious boards.....and in the reviews. I generally like the recipes, but some of the reviewers make me cringe.
    Some of their 'cooks' do get a little defensive and critical, that's for sure!! I remember one dish, I think it was for a Carbonara recipe. Some native Italian was ranting and raving about how it wasn't 'REAL' carbonara, and why did they have to label it as Carbonara when it wasn't authentic, blah, blah, blah! A few told her to chill a bit, and then another cook reminded Miss Italy that Carbonara was an American dish! I loved it!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  13. #13

    Re: Re: Our People Vs. Their People

    Originally posted by Jewel


    Some of their 'cooks' do get a little defensive and critical, that's for sure!! I remember one dish, I think it was for a Carbonara recipe. Some native Italian was ranting and raving about how it wasn't 'REAL' carbonara, and why did they have to label it as Carbonara when it wasn't authentic, blah, blah, blah! A few told her to chill a bit, and then another cook reminded Miss Italy that Carbonara was an American dish! I loved it!

    Exactly! You wonder if these people are being serious or just joking around. Opinionated is one thing, but downright rude is another. Someone in the restaurant forums was asking for a good pizza restaurant in a major city. Another guy replied telling him to look in the yellow pages.

    I also like the reviews where the cook makes so many substitutions that they completely change the recipe...then rate it.

  14. #14
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    Re: Re: Re: Our People Vs. Their People

    Originally posted by claire797
    I also like the reviews where the cook makes so many substitutions that they completely change the recipe...then rate it.
    I saw one yesterday and I wish I could remember which recipe, because I'd post a link...but the reviewer said something like "I used celery instead of turnips, doubled the wine, decreased the soy sauce by half, substituted gorgonzola for the Parmesan, and used chicken instead of turkey...this is a great recipe! We loved it!"

    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  15. #15
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    soooooo, did you make it? This same recipe caught my attention. There is something cool about having to use a hammer to knock the coating off your beef Please do let us know.

  16. #16
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    originally posted by Jewel

    but the reviewer said something like "I used celery instead of turnips, doubled the wine, decreased the soy sauce by half, substituted gorgonzola for the Parmesan, and used chicken instead of turkey...this is a great recipe! We loved it!
    I know!

    these ones are bad, but the ones that are even worse are the ones that make all those substitutions and then say "this recipe is really bad"

    ...well duhhh...you didn't MAKE the recipe!

  17. #17
    I guess it's a little bit late for advice on the roast if you made it last night. But, if you didn't make it, I wanted to put in a good word for the pepper-crusted beef tenderloin from the October 2000 issue. It was fabulous. Made it for our supper club last year and everyone enjoyed it. If you get another roast, you might want to try it.

    -Susan

  18. #18
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    ....would it be the same for fish?

    I've seen similar salt crusted fish recipes, and have wanted to try it, has anyone done it and what kind of fish did you use?
    Peggy
    ...Wag more
    Bark less

  19. #19
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    I make a salt crusted roast every Christmas Eve. My family loves it. The only advise I could add after everyone else's great words of wisdom would be....

    I double the amount of salt used. I never seem to have quite enough salt using only 1 box. I want to make sure I get a good crust.

    Insert the thermometer and move it around a bit to move the salt around. You want to make sure there is no salt touching the thermometer or you will get high readings.

    Happy Cooking!
    http://www.pjrc.com

    No matter how big or soft your bed is, you still have to get out of it.
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  20. #20

    Just bumping this up....

    .....so we can hear how it turned out!

  21. #21
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    It was wonderful! The original Epicurious recipe called for 3 cups of salt, but I used the recipe on the back of the Mortons Kosher Salt box that said use the entire 3 lb box and 1-1/4 cups water. The only problem was that the roast got a bit more done that we like it, but the flavor was amazing! I used a Bottom Round roast, which is 'sloped' a bit, so the fat end was rarer and the smallish end was more well done, but the flavor was intense!

    I did use that Mortons recipe but I added stuff! I mixed 1/3 cup olive oil, 10 crushed cloves of garlic, a quarter cup of finely-chopped onion, 1 tsp of basil, and 1/2 tsp each of thyme and marjoram. Hacked my roast with my knife ala Psycho Gail, and spread the garlic/oil paste all over the roast. Put it in a FoodSaver bag and sucked it sealed, and put it into the fridge for an hour to marinate. Because the paste was thicker, there was no liquid to suck up into the FoodSaver. When I pulled the roast out I 'patted' it with paper towels, leaving most of the garlic/herbs intact, but soaking up a bit of the oil so the salt crust would stick, then mixed my 'wet snow' salt mixture. Lined the roasting pan with foil (major clean-up ease) and patted a rectangle about 1/2" thick on the foil, then plopped my roast on top of that salt layer. Put the rest of the salt layer on about 1/4" to 3/8" thick, and sealed the edges with the bottom layer of salt as well as I could! Stuck the meat thermometer probe in, wiggled it around a little so it wasn't touching salt, and set the temp alert for 140 degrees!

    DH came home to see this white blob in the roasting pan on the kitchen counter. The look on his face was priceless...he then said "I think I'm going to regret encouraging your creativity in the kitchen...." After I broke the crust and brushed the remainder of the salt off with the pastry brush, he lifted it out and carved thin slices. It was a bit tougher than I thought it would be (the cut of beef) but the flavor was intense! Very moist and very flavorful. The garlic/herb flavor was intensified by the salt crust, and it was NOT too salty! I've got about 2 lbs left that I sucked in the FoodSaver, and he's begging for me to make that into French Dip sandwiches tomorrow night with smoked Gruyere cheese and sauteed onions! His wish is my command!

    Thanks for the help everyone! I HIGHLY recommend this way of making a roast! I did read that you should never use this method with any roast weighing under 4 lbs. A smaller roast gets done before the salt crust has a chance to harden completely, and it doesn't have the same effect. Just don't forget to add that garlic, and hack-hack-hack that meat!!!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  22. #22
    Think this would work for tenderloin?

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by SandyM
    Think this would work for tenderloin?
    Beef Tenderloin? Absolutely!! As long as it's at least 4 lbs, it would be wonderful! I saw a recipe on some site that used Beef Tenderloin!

    If you mean pork, I'm not sure! I actually haven't read anything about using a salt crust on pork!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  24. #24
    Nope, indeed I meant beef tenderloin. You personally know my trials and tribulations with beef cuts! I do very well with tenderloin, and I only have one tried and true recipe. This might be another one to try.

    Thanks hun!

  25. #25
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    Peggy-
    I have not tried the salt crusted fish-yet. I have a few whole sea trout (no better fish in this world, I assure you!) just waiting to be prepared, and I'm thinking about baking them either in or on salt. CL had a recipe last year (not sure of issue) that had whole fish baked on rock salt. I may try that, as opposed to covering them with the mixture. Not sure yet, but I'll probably make it this week or next, and will let you know how it turned out.

    Jewel-LOL. I should add Alton Brown to my hearthrob list. With some of the guys I've got up there now (what other 23 year old thinks Jack Hanna is sexy?), he'd fit right in! Though he really is too goofy even for me. Now Ming of Ming's Quest fame, though...cute and just goofy enough.
    "It covers your bread like a stinkyfishy tarp
    I know it isn't butter
    But I can't believe it's carp!"

    Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano, Most Extreme Elimination Challenge

  26. #26

    Glad It Doesn't Have To Be Standing Rib

    Wow. I'm glad to know you can do this with chuck. My husband loves roast beef so I'm always looking for new ways to cook it. Of course, his favorite is the standing rib roast but that's too expensive to make on a regular basis. I'll have to try this salt crusted version.

  27. #27
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    Re: Glad It Doesn't Have To Be Standing Rib

    Originally posted by claire797
    Wow. I'm glad to know you can do this with chuck. My husband loves roast beef so I'm always looking for new ways to cook it. Of course, his favorite is the standing rib roast but that's too expensive to make on a regular basis. I'll have to try this salt crusted version.
    Claire, just remember that "over 4 lb" rule!! You don't want the roast too well done before the crust hardens! I mention that because I rarely see a huge Chuck Roast! This is not for 'fall apart' pot roast type beef, but for thinly-sliced roast beef. I drizzled a white sauce with peppers in it over the slices too! Yum!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

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