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Reverse Sear a Perfect Roast

Cooking a roast is kind of nerve-wracking. All the responsibility that accompanies that formidable hunk of meat is a burden, and let's be honest, a roast is never cheap. What if it's overdone? What if the center is still cold but the exterior is tough? That's a lot of pressure.


Most home cooks will blast their roast with high heat in a pan to brown the exterior and then transfer to the oven to finish cooking. The most common symptom of this 1-2 punch is a ring of tougher gray meat surrounding a rosy interior. That ring can be avoided. After all, there's no "meh" layer that was cut from Picasso's Three Musicians. There's no beginning scene that you fast forward through in The Godfather. You don't just skip to the second verse in Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. Those are pristine all the way through. All you need to do is the exact opposite. Start your bone-in roast on low heat and finish it high.


The ideal temp for medium-rare meat is 52°C, so the goal is to get your meat there at the same pace, with the exception of the exterior. To achieve this, first put your brined or dry-brined roast (an insurance policy against bland meat) in the oven at 100°C. This gives you more control over the rising temperature of your roast, which in this case is a six-bone, 4.5 - 6 kg rib-eye roast. The tricky thing about the cook time is that there's no direct ratio of time to weight, because thickness of the meat varies. That means that if you're going above or below the 4.5 - 6 kg range, you'll have to monitor carefully. After about 3½ hours, the internal temperature should read at about 43°C - 46°C, but you should check with a meat thermometer periodically. Then take out the roast and keep warm while you blast the oven to 260°C to crisp up the exterior to a beautiful brown, for about 8 to 10 minutes. It's a surefire way to protect the majority of your roast and achieve a picturesque appearance.


As easy as this trick is, you still need to pay attention to your meat. Make sure you trust your meat thermometer. That's the most important tool besides an oven in this scenario. Another thing to be conscious of is a thick fat cap. Since the layer of fat insulates the meat beneath, it will affect the time it takes the roast reach the ideal temperature. If you leave the fat cap on your roast, you may have to blast the roast with a broiler or sear it regularly to ensure that the fat renders correctly.


This is a Guest Post by Alex Delany of Bon Appétit.

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