Spice-Crusted Tip Roast

Roast Beef
We go in with friends on half a cow/steer each year but this year we doubled our take. Rather than all of us take 1/8 each as we usually do, our household took a quarter and the others took 1/12th each. I’m sorry for beginning this post about food with advanced mathematics. The point is we have rather a lot more beef in our freezer than we usually do. It’s good beef, so having a lot of it is not a problem in and of itself. The cattle are raised locally, without any hormones or antibiotics, they roam freely but are not  entirely grass-fed. When it comes time for slaughter they are taken to a local meat-processing facility/butcher’s and we place our cut order. This is not a fancy artisanal butcher and most of the cuts available are standard-issue: we get flank and skirt, for instance, but not flat iron or hanger. This is not a problem either. The problem is that when you have a quarter of a large cow or steer in your freezer you need to come up with many ways of cooking it for, no matter how delicious they are, if only a few recipes comprise your repertoire, monotony must follow, as the night the day or as hateful inanity follows the opening of Donald Trump’s mouth. 

Spices for RubUsually, I grill or sear steaks in the American style (like so and so) and currify roasts in one way or the other (like so and so). On this occasion, I decided to make a roast for our Sunday lunch. I was unable, of course, to not bother the beef with Indian spices. I came up with a quick dry rub and then cooked the roast very simply at a low temperature till it was where I wanted it. We ate it last Sunday with stir-fried snow peas and potatoes and carrots and I’ve been using the leftovers (about 1/3 of the roast) to make cold beef salads with parmesan and bitter greens. A note about the potatoes and carrots. Not being used to this form of cooking, I’d assumed that they would cook alongside the roast, but when I checked on the meat at about the one hour mark it was clear they were not going to be done at the same time. Accordingly, I fished them out of the roasting pan and finished them on the stove-top. This is by way of warning if you Spice Rubbed Roastwere going to cook the roast as pictured below.

Sirloin Tip Roast


  • Sirloin tip roast, 3 lbs or so
  • The following ground coarsely: 1 tspn coriander seed, 1/2 tspn cumin seed, 1/4 tspn black peppercorns, 1/4 tspn Sichuan peppercorns, 1/4 tspn fennel seeds, 1 one-inch piece cinnamon
  • Coarse salt, 2-3 tblspns


  1. 1-2 days before your meal rub the ground spices and most of the salt all over the roast, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate. Bring the roast out of the fridge 1 hr before cooking and unwrap it. Gently pat any moisture dry with a paper towel and sprinkle the remaining salt over.
  2. Heat your oven to 250ºF
  3. Heat a cast-iron pan over medium heat and sear the roast on all sides (including ends) for 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Leave the roast in the cast iron pan and place it in the heated oven.
  5. Cook to your desired degree of doneness. Bring it out of the oven when the center of the roast registers 130ºF for rare or 140ºf for medium-rare. Take the roast off the cast-iron pan, place it on your cutting board, tent with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. The internal temperature will continue to rise.
  6. Slice and serve with veg of choice.

Sliced Tip RoastCold Beef Salad


  • Leftover roast beef
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Bitter greens or salad leaves of choice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon

Roast Beef and Veg.Preparation

  • Place the leftover refrigerated roast beef in the freezer for an hour.
  • While the beef is chilling wash and thoroughly spin the greens to dry them. Toss haphazardly on a large platter.
  • Shave very thin shards of parmesan off a large block and toss most of them over the greens.
  • Once the beef has firmed up in the freezer slice it as thinly you can and/or cut into strips. Throw the slices or strips over the parmesan shards and throw the remaining parmesan shards over them.
  • Drizzle olive oil over with some abandon and then squeeze about a tablespoon’s worth of lemon juice over.
  • Sprinkle some good salt over it all and add a few grindings of pepper (remember the beef is already spiced and seasoned).

Sliced and ShavedNotes

  1. I haven’t been very specific with the roasting time because it will depend on your oven and size of the roast. A fancy meat thermometer with a probe will take the guesswork out of things but if, like me, you don’t have one, pull the roast out at the 60-70 minute mark and use a regular meat thermometer to check where it’s at. For a 3 lb’ish roast you should be approaching the rare mark somewhere between 80 and 90 minutes.
  2. The beef salad is prepared essentially as carpaccio except the meat is not raw.
  3. I use my Misono gyutou knife for carving meat and recommend it highly. A sharp Japanese knife is hard to top for slicing meat thinly. And as quality Japanese knives go, the Misono molybdenum line is quite reasonably priced (this gyutou is about a third the price of their UX10 version).

Cold Beef Salad with Greens and Parmesan

3 thoughts on “Spice-Crusted Tip Roast

  1. God there’s so many little variations, so I go with what I need to use up. I first had it when I was in my early twenties and living in San Rafael, CA, and have loved it ever since. This time of year cucumbers are always good to use, and I love bean sprouts in it. A special treat is to do some broken rice on top (just toast uncooked rice and grind it a little), it’s easy to make. Lot’s of mint, which I have outside here, and hardly use, so now I have to make it. This kind of salad is almost always better home-made than at a restaurant.

    Doing your moong dal and veggie recipe this weekend, for fun, so will report back. Also wanted to advise of a wonderful meal at Alma a couple weeks back.


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