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Sunday Dinner Rump Roast with Onion GravyNothing says Sunday dinner like a nice hunk of roast beef, right?  Some good gravy, roasted or mashed potatoes, maybe some green beans, asparagus, carrots or rutabaga…these, however will only be bit players.  It’s all about the meat.  Now, doesn’t that just scream “Sunday dinner, call the kids”?    It’s always good to have a Sunday Roast of Beef in one’s recipe repertoire.  The operative word here is “good”, right?  So many times roast beef can be dry, and if you like your beef well-done (and what the hell is wrong with you, anyway?), then use a tenderloin.  Any other cut of meat will be pretty much inedible.  But, cooked to rare or medium-rare, a rump roast is a nice cut to use for a basic roast.  It will be slightly chewy, but not unpleasantly so and will have a good, beefy flavor.  This method of roasting produces a nice, juicy hunk of beef that’s just plain delicious.  But, remember, timing is everything.

Safety first, so DO NOT use a glass pan.  The initial high heat can cause the glass to snap/break and then there will be no Sunday roast for anyone…and there will be a big, dangerous mess!  I used a cast iron skillet, so this does really become more or less a skillet dinner.

For this to be successful, the meat needs to be at room temperature. I cannot stress enough.  Sunday Dinner Rump Roast with Onion GravyYou can season it today (it will actually be better if you do), cover it with wrap and refrigerate it overnight.  But, take it out of the fridge at least 2 hours (3 is better!) before you plan to pop it in the oven, or the meat will be under-cooked.  Sunday Dinner Rump Roast with Onion GravyAnother caveat, do not remove that fat cap.  That will help the meat remain moist and you can always cut it off before you enjoy it.

When you’re ready to begin, about two hours before serving, preheat the oven to 500°F.  Sunday Dinner Rump Roast with Onion GravyPlace the onions in a cast iron skillet; sprinkle with the dried thyme.  Plop the seasoned, room temperature hunk of meat, on top of the onions.  Place the skillet in the preheated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.  When the timer rings, remove the skillet from the oven and pour red wine around, not over the meat.  Return the skillet to the oven and lower the temperature to 275°F.  Set the timer for 15 minutes/per pound…in this case, a four pound roast would take 60 minutes.  When the timer goes off, check the internal temp with an instant-read thermometer; it should read about 120°F.  Remove the meat to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let stand for at least 10 minutes.  This will allow the juices to redistribute.  (So between the onions and the gravy, I took no pictures.  Sometimes I get preoccupied and forget about these “little” things. What else can I say?)  Sunday Dinner Rump Roast with Onion GravyWhile the meat rests, make the gravy.  Place the skillet over medium-high heat (remember the handle is hot).  Pour in the additional broth, ketchup, garlic and bay leaf.  Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 4-6 minutes; it may thicken slightly.  Re-stir the arrowroot slurry; add and stir until the mixture thickens;simmer for about 2 minutes.  Sunday Dinner Rump Roast with Onion GravySlice the meat about 1/4-inch thick, across the grain.  I usually place a pool of gravy on the plate, and place the slices of meat on top…but that’s just how I like it.  You can slice the meat and pass the gravy separately or just pour gravy over the whole plate.  If you and your family love gravy, double the onion and broth, so you’ll have enough.    I usually serve hunks of roasted meat with mashed potatoes.  This time I nuked a small potato and served Rutabaga, Carrot and Parsnip Mash.

Sunday Dinner Rump Roast

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Moderately Easy
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  • 1 4 pound well-marbled rump roast, at room temperature and fat cap in tact
  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry rub, such as Ancho chile-coffee rub ( or use salt, pepper and garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion granules
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (coarsely ground is best
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • 1 cup dry red wine, broth or water
  • For the Gravy:
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Arrowroot slurry:  Stir 2 teaspoons arrowroot into 2 tablespoons water

Remove the roast from the fridge at least 2-3 hours before roasting; set aside on the counter.  It is imperative that it be at room temperature before roasting.

Drizzle the oil over the roast, rub with the dry rub, garlic and onion granules; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

About 2 hours before you wish to serve dinner, pre-heat the oven to 500°F.  Place the onions in a heavy pan (I use a cast iron skillet); sprinkle with the thyme leaves.  Place the seasoned roast, fat cap up, on top of the onions.  Slide the skillet into the oven.  Let roast/sear for 20 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven; lower the heat to 275°F.  Pour the wine around the roast (not over) and return to the roast to the oven.  Roast for 20 minutes per pound for medium-rare meat (18 minutes per pound for rare).  The internal temperature should read 120°F on an instant read thermometer.  Remove the pan from the oven, place the roast on a serving platter, in a warm place and cover loosely with foil; let stand for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

While the meat rests, place the skillet over medium-high heat (remember the handle is hot).  Add the additional broth, ketchup, garlic and bay leaf.  Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 4-6 minutes.  Re-stir the arrowroot slurry; add and stir until the mixture thickens.  This will happen almost immediately.  Simmer for about 2 minutes.  Slice the meat about 1/4-inch thick, across the grain.  Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes, and gravy as desired.

NOTE:  These are the cooking times that worked in my oven.  You’re oven temperature may be different.  Just remember, over-cooking can’t be fixed, but under-cooking can.  Please do not use a glass oven-proof dish.  Because of the high heat, you risk it breaking.  Not good.  Also, it is imperative, for this method to work properly, that the hunk of meat be at room temperature.  Feel free to add sliced mushrooms to the pan when making the gravy.

Sunday Dinner Rump Roast Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019.  All rights reserved.