St. Petersburg Times Online: Taste
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather

printer version

You Asked For It: Roasting beef at high temperatures

© St. Petersburg Times
published December 23, 2001

There are two schools of thought concerning the cooking of roast beef at high temperatures. The 500-degree method calls for roasting the beef for 5 minutes a pound and then letting it stand in the oven for 2 hours.

The version sent by Jill Johnson quotes detailed instructions from the Knob Hill Market in Flint, Mich. It follows much the same procedure as the first recipe but with an additional touch.

The 375-degree method tells us to roast the beef for an hour at 375 degrees and let it stay in the turned-off oven for about 3 hours, then reheat it briefly. Readers endorse both methods and vow that they work perfectly.

Tomato soup cake is also known as mystery cake because it is hard to detect the tomato soup used in preparing this delicious spice cake. Cream cheese frosting is the classic topping, but just sprinkling the cake with confectioners' sugar is the choice of many. There are a number of versions of this cake, which has been popular for many years. This recipe is from the Campbell Soup Kitchen Home Economics Department.

Besides the "from scratch" cake, it is possible to make this tasty cake using a spice cake mix. We include that version also.

* * *

For: Constance Fox of St. Petersburg and Joyce Bolster of Harbor Bluffs.

From: June Sullivan of Tampa, Eadie Nieman of Gulfport, Carol Perry of Seminole, J. Burns of St. Pete Beach, Jo Ann Sanderson of Temple Terrace, Esther Murry of New Port Richey, Gene Marshall of Largo, L.G. DuPont of Ocala, Helen Nelson and Marlette Julien of St. Petersburg, Frances Pizzuto and Joan Overstreet of Holiday and Adeline Piotrowski and Jane Mason of Clearwater.

Recipe: 500-degree roast beef.

500-Degree Roast Beef

  • Rib roast, eye of round or rib eye roast
  • Salt, pepper and flour

Have roast beef at room temperature. Dredge with salt, pepper and flour (use your favorite seasonings if you like).

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Put roast in pan with rib side down, or put boneless roast on a rack. Roast for 5 minutes per pound. When roasting time is up, turn off oven heat. Do not open oven door. Let roast remain in the oven for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. The perfectly cooked roast will be pink in the middle and a delicious crusty brown on the outside.

If a more-done roast is desired, cook for 6 minutes per pound. Seven minutes per pound will produce an almost well-done roast.

* * *

Recipe: Another 500-degree roast beef. These instructions from the Knob Hill Market in Flint, Michigan, are shared by Jill Johnson of Clearwater. The recipe is substantially as written in "Delectations," a column by Nika Standen Hazelton in the Jan. 27, 1970, issue of National Review.

500-Degree Roast Beef

This method can be used for standing rib, rolled rib, rump or sirloin tip roasts.

Remove roast from refrigerator at least 21/2 hours before cooking. Preheat oven to 500 degrees for 20 minutes before cooking. Use an open roasting pan, which can be rather shallow.

Lightly score the fat-covered areas in a diamond pattern with a spacing of about 3/8-inch by 3/8-inch, using a sharp knife. Cuts with little fat cover, such as most rumps and sirloin tips, and some rolled ribs, should have a generous layer of suet, cut fairly thin, tied or skewered in place over 50-75 percent of the roast's circumference.

Sprinkle flour lightly over entire roast, then rub salt (preferably flake or coarse salt) and freshly ground black pepper into entire roast. (If there is a wheat allergy, rye, buckwheat or corn flour or corn flake crumbs can be substituted, adding an interesting and subtle flavor.)

Place roast in oven, fat side up, with temperature set at 500 degrees and roast according to the following table:

  • Standing rib, 41/2-5 pounds, 25-30 minutes total, at 500 degrees.
  • Standing rib, 51/2-7 pounds, 35-40 minutes total, at 500 degrees.
  • Standing rib, 8-10 pounds, 40-45 minutes total, at 500 degrees.
  • Standing rib, 11-14 pounds, 55-60 minutes total, at 500 degrees.
  • Rolled rib, rump, sirloin tip, 41/2-5 pounds, 30-35 minutes total, at 500 degrees.
  • Rolled rib, rump, sirloin tip, 51/2-7 pounds, 35-40 minutes total, at 500 degrees.
  • Rolled rib, rump, sirloin tip, 8-10 pounds, 45-50 minutes total, at 500 degrees.
  • Rolled rib, rump, sirloin tip, 11-14 pounds, 60-65 minutes total, at 500 degrees.

Accurately time the roasting, then turn off the oven.

Roast must remain in oven for a minimum of 2 hours after turnoff. It can remain in oven as long as 4 hours after turnoff without becoming too well done and will retain enough internal heat for serving. The oven door must not be opened even once from start until carving time! The roast will be rare, the best way for quality beef.

* * *

From: June Sullivan of Tampa, Doris Mason of Kenneth City, Roberta Grundset of Trinity, Dahleen Bache of Pass-a-Grille, Katherine Ketcham of Dunedin, L.G. DuPont of Ocala, Frances Profumo of Port Richey, Margaret Pruitt and Aileen Chapman of St. Petersburg, Ethel Martin and Dorothy Kopacek of Spring Hill and Sophie Grow, Sonja Lee Sindell and Adeline Piotrowski of Clearwater.

Recipe: Perfect roast beef (375 degrees), as it appeared in "The Butcher" column by Merle Ellis in 1985.

Perfect Roast Beef (375 Degrees)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper the roast, which should be at room temperature, so take it out of the refrigerator the first thing in the morning. Place the roast on a rack in a shallow baking pan and put it in the oven. Roast for 1 hour at 375 degrees while you get ready for the day, then turn off the oven but do not open the oven door.

Allow 3 hours in the oven to complete the cooking. You can even let it go a bit longer if need be. About 20 minutes before you want dinner on the table, turn the oven back on to 300 degrees to warm up the roast. While it's warming, you can finish preparing the rest of the meal.

Ellis adds that it works with any size roast,from a 4-pound sirloin top roast to a 10-pound rolled cross rib. It even seems to help tenderize the tougher cuts. It also works with a roast that's frozen solid. Simply roast for 11/2 hours before turning off the oven.

* * *

For: Norma Summerton of Clearwater.

From: Nancy Eggert of Dunedin, Karen Houle of Largo, Kay Teat of St. Petersburg, Donald Cook of Dunnellon and Betty Rizzio of Brooksville.

Recipe: Tomato soup cake, from the Home Economics Department, Campbell Soup Co.

Tomato Soup Cake

  • 2-1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 10 3/4-ounces can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup solid shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water

Measure dry ingredients into large bowl. Add soup and shortening. Beat at low to medium speed for 2 minutes (300 strokes with a spoon), scraping sides and bottom of bowl constantly. Add eggs and water. Beat 2 minutes more, scraping bowl frequently.

Pour into two generously greased and floured 8- or 9-inch round layer pans or one 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Let stand in pans 10 minutes; remove and cool on rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting or favorite white frosting or sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Variations: For a 9-inch tube pan, prepare as above and bake for 1 hour.

Nut or raisin: After mixing, fold in 1 cup chopped nuts or 1 cup raisins. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Date and nut: After mixing, fold in 1 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup chopped dates. (Use 1-2 tablespoons flour to sprinkle over dates while chopping them.) Bake in 9-inch layers or 9- by 13-inch pan for 40-45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 1-pound package confectioners' sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Cream cream cheese and butter together. Add sugar alternately with milk. Beat until blended. Add vanilla and salt. Makes enough for two 9-inch layers.

* * *

From: Margaret Rehbien of Palm Harbor, Tish Licciardone of Largo, Marion D'Onofrio of New Port Richey and Kay Teat of St. Petersburg.

Recipe: Quick tomato soup spice cake, from the Campbell Soup Co. 30 or 40 years ago.

Quick Tomato Soup Spice Cake

  • 1 18-ounce package spice cake mix
  • 1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs

In large bowl, mix cake mix, soup, water and eggs according to package directions. Pour into two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks. Fill and frost with cream cheese frosting.

- You Asked For It is a reader mail column. If you have a cooking question or the answer to someone else's question, write to You Asked For It, the St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Be sure to include your full name, city and phone number with your letter. Letters without this information will be discarded. Requests cannot be answered by phone or mail.

Back to Taste

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111