Somewhere between the prime rib and the tenderloin sits the sweet spot of roasts.
Last week I had somewhere north of 150 tartan clad revellers over for Robbie Burns Day and I needed to feed them simply but with something that had a sense of occasion. Last year there was a deal on standing rib roasts (that's the technical name for a prime rib) that spoke to my inner Scot and while the meat was great it had two problems:
- There's a solid proportion or marbling (i.e. fat) in the meat that makes it tender for eating on a plate, but tricky when putting it into a bun; and
- While the bones look cool they make it tricky to carve, especially if you have a few scotches under your belt.
There's always a full tenderloin, and while I do love that on a sandwich, it's simply too pricey for a large crowd. And that left the striploin roast. It's a cut you don't often see, although technically any place that sells individual striploins—which is pretty much everywhere—is them cutting from one. I bought mine at Costco, which always has them on hand and a 6 kilo roast—that's a big chunk of meat and it was about $130. Not cheap, but in these days of the lower-priced cuts of beef getting more expensive (has anyone else gagged at the price of flank steak
these days?) the high-end actually begins to make more sense.
In terms of preparation, it couldn't be more simple. No rubs and definitely no marinades. Salt, pepper and roast at 350 F until the interior temperature hits 120 F. I like to use a blowtorch on the outside before cooking to get some browning, but I'm a bit of a pyro. Take it out and let it sit for at least 15 minutes and then carve like you're Henry VIII.