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Don't Fear the Roast

There are SO MANY ways to enjoy a delicious, easy-to-cook roast!

Every cut of roast can be delicious!
Eck Ag Chuck Roast

When you order a side (or share) of beef, be it a quarter, half, or whole, you get to select exactly which cuts of meat you want and even the size of those cuts according to your wants/needs. I am frequently surprised by how many of our customers, when I call to walk through their cut list with them, elect not to get any roasts, or at least only want a few. Now, obviously, everyone’s taste buds are different and it’s no skin off our backs if you would prefer to have those cuts of meat (Chuck, Arm, Rump, and Pikes Peak roasts) turned into delicious ground beef instead. However, I find that many times it is “fear of the roast,” as I’ve come to call it – an unfamiliarity with these cuts - that leads to an intimidation factor that you may not know how to cook it so that it will be enjoyable. My goal with this post today is to encourage you NOT to fear roasts. There’s so much more that can be enjoyed than just the stereotypical roast with carrots and potatoes!

Where does your meat come from on the animal?
Cut Diagram

First, a quick anatomy lesson. Roasts come from the animal’s chuck (or the front shoulder area), the rib/loin areas, the round (their booty and hind leg), and also from the brisket (or chest – did you know brisket is actually a roast!). When it comes to roast tenderness, which is something many are concerned about, remember this general rule of thumb: less used = more tender. The muscles around the rib and loin are used less than those at the front of the animal, which are less used than those at the rear of the animal. Less muscle use equates to more fat around the cut, and that fat is what makes a cut of meat tender. With that stated, roasts from any of these areas are still delicious, especially when cooked correctly. With all roasts, my motto is to go “low and slow” and I’ve rarely been disappointed. (i.e. season and cook in a crockpot on low for most of the day).

Part of the “fear” of the roast is that we all just think of the stereotypical use of roast: gathering the family together for a delicious pot roast for Sunday lunch, paired with potatoes and carrots. Boring! Although this is a tasty option, and one we enjoy at our house, it is by no means the only way to enjoy these delicious roasts. And, what do you do if your family doesn’t devour all of that meat in one sitting?

Quick and delicious roast beef sandwich
Farmer's lunch

First: never underestimate the deliciousness of leftovers from your roast! Roast beef sandwiches the next day are truly one of the most underappreciated meals…ever. They are SO good. My husband and I will now even cook a roast, shred it up, and put the whole thing in the fridge to have roast beef sandwiches throughout the week or to take with us when traveling. Just slather some Miracle Whip (or Mayo if you are heathen enough to like that stuff) on a couple slices of bread, load it up with delicious roast beef, top it with some lettuce and cheese, and you’ve got yourself a tasty lunch!

There are so many ways to eat roast!
Shredded roast burrito

Second, branch out with the ways you prepare your roast. We posted one of the favorite recipes for cooking roast at the Eck household – be sure to check out our Delicious Roast Recipe blog post if you missed it. Everyone we’ve talked to that has tried that recipe has thoroughly enjoyed it! Darrin enjoys this particular recipe rolled up in a tortilla for a delicious shredded beef burrito.

And that brings me to my third point on this topic – other ways to eat roast beef. Pinterest is chock full of delicious recipes utilizing various cuts of roast and is a great place to grab some inspiration. For the purposes of this post, I conducted a quick Google search and found lots of helpful tips and suggestions. Here’s a link to a page I found with several amazingly delicious sounding recipes; from Philly Cheese Sandwiches to Chipotle Shredded Beef to Barbacoa to Beef Hoagies - While this specifically mentions Chuck Roast, utilizing the low and slow mantra will help you utilize any of the delicious roasts received when purchasing a side of beef from Eck Agriculture so you no longer have to fear the roast.


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