I found this recipe in Real Simple magazine, and after modifying it a bit, Andrew and I decided it was good enough to be included in the dinner rotation. The bad part about this recipe is that it's not all that cheap, and we have way too much leftover beef. A good roast is kind of a splurge, and unless you go to a real butcher, you can't buy it in a quantity that is appropriate for two adults and a baby who refuses to eat meat. So, we only make it once a month or so. But we end up craving it when we haven't had it in a while because seriously, roasted grape tomatoes + garlic + beef = heaven!!!
Note #1: I recommend peeling the garlic cloves ahead of time (perhaps the night before while watching Big Bang Theory on TV?). The original recipe says that the hands-on time is 10 minutes, but unless you buy those pricey already-peeled garlic cloves, it's going to take way longer! The fastest way to get the stuff off of the cloves is to take the flat part of a chef's knife blade, lay it on top of a clove that is sitting on a cutting board, and smash it firmly with your fist. Andrew taught me that-- he learned it by watching hours and hours of Bobby Flay on the Food Network. Here's a picture of the head of garlic after I peeled all of the cloves:
Note #2: Make sure the roast is 100% thawed. Every time I use a frozen roast, I inevitably forget to thaw it far enough ahead of time, and then I end up cooking it while it still has a frozen core. This results in chewy, underdone meat on the inside and gray, overdone meat on the outside. What a great way to waste a bunch of money.....
Note #3: Do not substitute table salt for Kosher salt unless you also adjust the measurement! Kosher salt has much bigger grains-- you will end up over-salting your recipe if you use the same amount of table salt. In case you forget to buy Kosher salt, use this conversion table so that you don't need to drink a gallon of water with your roast. Speaking of Kosher salt, Check out this totally awesome Le Creuset salt crock I got for Christmas.... I keep my Kosher salt in this crock out on the counter because I use it so often.
Hands-on time: 10 minutes (excluding the garlic peeling!)
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes (see above)
2 pounds boneless rib roast
1 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
3/4 tsp pepper
2 dry pints grape tomatoes
1 head garlic, cloves peeled
1 tsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp olive oil
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Rub the beef with 1 tsp Kosher salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and place in a large roasting pan. Scatter the tomatoes and garlic cloves around the roast. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle remaining Kosher salt and pepper over tomatoes and garlic.
This time when I made this recipe, I accidentally bought only one dry pint of grape tomatoes. Whoops!!!!
Put the roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 325 degrees and roast to desired doneness (around 45 more minutes-- this is going to vary with the shape/size of your roast.... check with a meat thermometer and make sure the internal temperature is appropriate, such as 125 degrees for medium rare). Transfer beef to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing (and make sure you slice it fairly thin).
This last time I made it (when I didn't buy enough tomatoes), we served the roast with steamed green beans (I've grown up, Mom! I no longer like green beans only from out of a can!) and brown rice (Uncle Ben's Ready Rice, of course).