Mr. Pea picked up a spoon roast for us from the local butcher this week for Sunday dinner with my folks. We had no idea what a spoon roast was, but a little googling revealed that it’s a marketing term more than an actual cut of meat. The idea is that it becomes so tender you could eat it with a spoon. Technically, it’s a sirloin roast. Either way, it was delicious.
I’m not a huge fan of pot roast, far preferring oven-roast beef to the stewy, flaking apart crock pot variety. The spoon roast held up to its billing–it was tender and delicious without having to spend hours in the crock pot. Cooking it, however, wasn’t easy: the recipes I saw and followed had cooking times that left my roast still very rare, beyond a safety point. It took an extra half-hour or so, but upon thinking more closely about it, it occurred to me that putting the roast, as I did, in a shallow dish, probably was responsible for this–if I’d put it in a dutch oven, perhaps it would have been encircled by more heat and thus cooked more quickly.
We had a 2-pound roast. It comes with a cap of fat tied to it. I began by mixing together salt, pepper, and thyme so that I ended up with a tablespoon or two. After slicing up three cloves of garlic and sticking them under the fat cap and beneath the roast itself, I rubbed the seasoning mix all over it. I placed it in a shallow dish and popped it in a cold oven which I cranked to 450, per one recipe’s instructions. This caused the outside to crisp up nicely. Upon reaching 450, I let it roast for ten minutes before turning the oven down to 250. In retrospect, this was too low. After 40 minutes (20 per pound) it was only about 120 degrees inside. I put it back in the oven, turned it up, and after a while, it crept to 133. I put it on the counter under a foil tent until it reached 135 for rare. Then we sliced it up.
The roast was delicious and ridiculously tender. Should you find yourself with an opportunity to try out a spoon or sirloin roast, go for it. You won’t regret it. And if you have a local butcher, try to patronize it on occasion! They’ve been a dying breed for many years now in favor of grocery store meat, but supporting a local institution promotes your local economy more than, say, Stop and Shop’s. And that’s not a bad thing.