Beef Roast au Jus

Recipe by Nancy Johnson
Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

Beef Roast au Jus

This is my mother’s recipe for Sunday dinner. She used good old-fashioned dry onion soup mix and for extra flavor, so do I. But you can use sautéed chopped onions instead. Searing the beef first will result in a well-browned exterior and a juicy interior. After searing, the beef is roasted at a low temperature with aromatic seasonings and wine. Mashed sweet potatoes and garlic-sautéed green beans are nice accompaniments.

1 beef sirloin tip roast (3-4 lb)

2 TBS olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 packet dry onion soup mix

1-1/2 cups chicken or beef stock

1/2 cup Merlot

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

Au Jus

3/4 cup chicken or beef stock

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325°F. In a medium bowl, mix onion soup, stock and Merlot. Set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, over high heat, sear roast on all sides in olive oil until browned. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute or until translucent. Pour onion soup mixture over beef. Add bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until onion soup mixture comes to a boil. Transfer to oven and roast, covered, 3 hours or until beef is tender. Remove bay leaves, transfer meat to a cutting board, tent with foil and allow it to rest about 15 minutes before slicing.  

Meanwhile, skim off grease from pan juices. Place pan with juices over medium heat. Add about 3/4 cups stock, bring to boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over sliced beef. Serves 4–6.

Gary: Here the beef is given richness and mellowed by roasting in wine and the spices. Try a round and flavorful Merlot (cook with a value bottle but drink a finer example). The southern Rhône reds made from Grenache and the Spanish Garnacha will set this dish off, as will Kékfrankos/Blaufränkisch from Hungary, a ripe Cabernet Franc, a dark red from the south of Italy such as Salice Salentino or an aged red from Spain’s Rioja district.

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