Beef rump roast is a tough cut of meat that benefits from long, slow cooking. It’s a dish that you can place in the slow-cooker in the morning and not worry about until dinnertime. Prep time is short, and the roast works with almost any flavor combinations, from a hearty winter meat and potatoes supper to a summer barbecue.
1. The Basics
Because rump roast is typically a lean cut of meat, leave the fat on the roast rather than trimming it. The little bit of fat will add flavor, and you can cut it off before serving. The roast will need some sort of liquid as it cooks, be it wine, broth, diced tomatoes or canned soup. Choose low-sodium broth if you don’t make your own -- as the broth cooks down, the salt flavor will become more intense. Put the roast in the slow-cooker, add the liquid and seasonings, and set it on low. Test the meat for tenderness after eight hours. Depending on the size, the roast may take as long as 12 hours to cook. Low and slow produces a more flavorful cut of meat, but if you’re pressed for time, cook the roast at a higher temperature.
Marinate the meat overnight in a combination of oil, vinegar and herbs to add flavor. Put the meat in a plastic bag, add the marinade, seal the bag and put it in the fridge overnight. Use the marinade as the cooking liquid. Or make a dry rub with salt, pepper, brown sugar and cayenne. Press it into the meat and let the meat rest for half an hour before placing it in the slow-cooker. Dry onion soup mix and canned mushrooms make a quick and easy variation on boeuf bourguignon. Season the meat with salt and pepper and dust it with flour if you intend to make gravy from the drippings. Omit the salt if you’re using commercial broth. Coarsely chop onions, carrots and celery, and lay them on the bottom of the slow-cooker. Lay the meat on top and add liquid.
Cubed rump roast takes a little less time to cook and lends itself to dishes like chili, beef stroganoff and stew. Each of these dishes requires more preparation toward the end of the cooking time, whether adjusting the seasonings for chili; adding mushrooms near the end of the cooking time for stroganoff; or peeling, cubing and adding potatoes to stew. Fork-tender rump roast can be “pulled” using two forks to shred the meat. Drain off the liquid in the slow-cooker, return the pulled roast to the cooker and add your favorite barbecue sauce. Pulling the meats stretches it into more servings if you need to prepare a dish for a school function or a picnic.
Make sure the rump roast is completely thawed before cooking. Some cooks prefer to sear the beef before adding it to the slow-cooker, but this is largely a matter of personal preference. Searing browns the surface and can enhance flavor, but slow- cooking a rump roast is such a long process that the meat picks up flavors from whatever seasonings you use. The cooked beef will keep in the refrigerator for three to four days -- wrap it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or put it in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Frozen, cooked rump roast will last two to three months in the freezer if wrapped in heavy foil or freezer paper.
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