Salt-Crusted Roast Beef

Better Homes & Gardens magazine ran an article last month about the simple beauty of salt. They had a feature about salt-flour crust. It is a technique that consists of flour, salt, and water; making a kind of dough. It is mixed, rolled out, and shaped around meat. The salt dough becomes hardened when baked and helps the meat to retain all the juices and moisture inside the shell. The salt crust is cracked and pulled away, revealing a juicy, tender roast.

I tore out the page and it’s been rustling around in the bottom of my bag for weeks. Today was the day. I bought a roast and tried it.

I’ve got to be honest, it was a little messy. The salt-flour dough was hard to maneuver and wrap around the meat. But after roasting, cracking open the crust, and slicing the first bite, I firmly understood; it was worth every speck of the mess and fuss. The roast beef becomes primly seasoned and tender inside that little oven of a hard, crusty shell. You could certainly serve this as a dinner roast with potatoes and roasted vegetables for a traditional Sunday dinner, but I opted to use the roast beef for a hearty sandwich. I toasted an asiago cheese baguette, swiped on some mayonnaise, sliced the beef thin and drizzled a little of the mushroom garlic juices from the roasting pan. Then caramelized red onions and layered some peppery arugula. This rustic dinner sandwich is quite possibly the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten. Truly, genuinely, sincerely. Yum. Yum. Yum. I’d eat one again right this minute. And I’m stuffed.

We had ours with Sweet Potato Fries. Sandwich heaven, sweet people. Sandwich heaven.

Salt-Crusted Roast Beef for Sandwiches

Adapted From Better Homes & Gardens

  • 1-oz. pkg. dried porcini mushrooms or 8 oz. fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 2-1/2 to 3 lb. eye of round roast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a shallow baking pan with foil.

In a blender or food processor place mushrooms. Blend or process until finely chopped (may take 1 to 2 minutes). Add garlic, the 2 tsp. thyme leaves, black pepper. Cover and blend or process to chop garlic. While processor or blender is running slowly add olive oil until mixture is combined and begins to cling together. Rub mushroom-garlic mixture on outside of roast; set aside.

In large bowl combine flour, kosher salt, and 3 Tbsp. thyme. Stir in 1 cup water to form a dough. If dough is too dry add additional water 1 Tbsp. at a time (dough will be firm). On a lightly floured surface roll dough to twice the size of roast. Place roast on one side of dough. Fold remaining dough over roast. Wet seams with a little water and pinch to seal (cut away excess dough), making sure there are no holes.

Roast for 1-to 1/4 hours. (135 degrees F for rare; to check temperature, stick meat thermometer through salt crust.) Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes. Remove salt crust by tapping with a meat mallet or small hammer. Pull crust away and discard. To serve, slice meat thinly. Serve warm or chilled for sandwiches. Store up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


3 Responses to “Salt-Crusted Roast Beef”

  1. mindy Says:

    oh my…..looks soooooo yummy!!!

  2. Pascal Says:

    Absolute lust

  3. tonya (mom) Says:

    ok don’t be adding stuff to the heaven menu..I am in charge of that menu…lol and i haven’t tasted it yet.

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