It’s always fun to prepare a large cut of meat ahead of time and watch how excited your friends and family get when you bring it to the table. The crust can be applied the night before and the roast beef cooked off the day of the holiday. Nuts add great richness and enrich (in both flavor and body) the gravy from the pan drippings as well.
For a Fresh Twist: Use vegetables to thicken a sauce instead of a more traditional choice, like flour or cornstarch, and crust the meat with salt, thyme and walnuts. The combination of the earthy thyme, the rich walnuts and the salt are three things that bring the flavor of beef to life.
3/4 cup coarsely chopped Fisher® Chef’s Naturals Walnut Halves and Pieces, divided
1/2 stick (2 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
6 springs fresh thyme, stems removed
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch long pieces
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into ½-inch thick slices
1 5-lb. beef top round
3 cups beef stock
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Combine ½ cup walnuts, butter, cheese, lemon juice, pepper, salt and thyme in a small bowl until well blended. Place the carrots and onions onto the bottom of a roasting pan. Arrange the beef on a fitted rack in the pan. Spread the walnut mixture all over the top of the roast beef. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to cook the meat.
Place the pan in the center of the oven and cook, for about 1 hour 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers between 135°F and 140°F for medium-rare. Remember that “carry over” cooking (when the roast comes out of the oven and rests) will mean the temperature will increase a few degrees after the roast is removed from the oven. The end slices will be more well-done. If the meat is undercooked, you can always cook it more, but if overcooked, there is no fixing it!
Remove the roast beef from the pan and place it on a cutting board to rest for 20 minutes. Remove any excess grease from the roasting pan, pour in the beef stock and bring to a boil over a burner; whisk in the mustard and simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Ladle 1½ cups of the gravy and ½ of the onions and carrots into the carafe of a blender and puree until smooth. Whisk the mixture back into the gravy to thicken. Stir in the red wine vinegar and remaining ¼ cup walnuts. Boil for 1 minute. Serve the roast, whole on the platter to carve at the table, or arrange slices of beef on a platter and coat with a layer of the gravy.