Anyone familiar with Mile End Deli knows that they take their smoked meat seriously. Noah and Rae Bernamoff offer detailed directions for re-creating their specialty in The Mile End Cookbook, but as a city-dweller who lacks a proper smoking set-up, I wanted to explore another one of their deli meats. Their Roast Beef is just as versatile as the smoked version, and the recipe couldn't be easier: season the roast, stick it in a hot, hot oven for 30 minutes or so, and then turn off the heat and let the meat cook through in the slowly cooling oven. To take the roast beef to the next level (and to satisfy any DIY urges felt after cooking such a simple dish), try your hand at their Pickled Horseradish. The homemade version is far fresher and spicier than the bottled stuff, and is pretty killer spread on sandwich bread underneath the beef.
Why I picked this recipe: You can't cook from a deli cookbook without making some type of sandwich meat.
What worked: Everything from the hot-to-cold roasting technique to the serving suggestions was pretty much perfect. The directions to soak the horseradish in vinegar overnight before pureeing it mellowed the spice just enough to make for a well-balanced and bright condiment.
What didn't: Nothing; this was smooth sailing.
Suggested Tweaks: I served the roast beef, warm, as an entree with pickled horseradish for the first go-around, and have been eating it on sandwiches and salads in the days since. I'd recommend all of the above.
Reprinted with permission from The Mile End Cookbook by Noah and Rae Bernamoff. Copyright 2012. Published by Clarkston Potter. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Yield:serves 6 to 8 as an entree; 12 to 15 as sandwiches
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:3 hours
- 1 7-pound beef top round roast or eye round roast
- Canola oil
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pickled Horseradish, for serving
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Rub the beef all over with oil and sprinkle it very generously with salt and pepper. Place the beef in a roasting pan fitted with a rack and cook for 1 hour for rare. If using an eye round, roast for only 30 minutes. Then, without opening the oven door, turn off the heat and let the roast continue to cook for another hour or so, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 120 degrees. Let cool for 1 hour. Slice as thinly as possible and serve with horseradish.