Are you a fan of slow-cooked, fork-tender beef roasts?
Then you might want to try a Boston Beef Roast!
This cut of meat is perfect for small families who want leftovers, and it’s affordable too.
But what exactly is a Boston Beef Roast, and how do you cook it to perfection?
In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about this flavorful cut of beef, from its location on the animal to the best cooking methods.
So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
What Is A Boston Beef Roast?
A Boston Beef Roast is a cut of beef that comes from the shoulder of the cow. It’s also known as a Cross Rib Roast or English Roast. This cut of meat is located lower down the shoulder, where it connects with the rib portion of the animal.
While it’s not as tender as other cuts of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin, it makes up for it with its deep beef flavor. The addition of ribs 2-5 gives a braised dish like pot roast a beautiful silky broth. It’s best when cut into cubes and slow-cooked, as it slices better than it shreds.
This cut is also available as a boneless roast and is sometimes referred to as Boston Cut, Bread & Butter Cut, Cross Rib Chuck Roast, English Roll, or Thick Rib Roast.
Where Does The Boston Beef Roast Come From?
The Boston Beef Roast comes from the shoulder of the cow, specifically the cross rib section. This area is where the shoulder connects with the rib portion of the animal. It’s important to note that the Boston Cut originally referred to a flavorful roast cut from the center of the sirloin, but today, it’s being applied to steaks cut from the center of the sirloin – a very tender cut.
When a side of beef is butchered, it is cut across at right angles to the backbone, dividing the side into hindquarters and forequarters. In the Boston system, three ribs are left on the hindquarter; in the New York or Philadelphia cut, all ribs are left on the forequarter. This means that the first cut of the forequarter in New York (the prime ribs) is the same piece of meat as the first cut on the hindquarter in Boston. The hindquarter cuts also differ. So, asking for a particular cut of meat may bring confusion if you move from or to New England.
What Makes The Boston Beef Roast Different From Other Cuts?
What sets the Boston Beef Roast apart from other cuts of beef is the way it’s cut. In the New England region, the Boston Beef Roast is cut differently than in other parts of the country. When a side of beef is butchered, it is cut across at right angles to the backbone, dividing the side into hindquarters and forequarters. In the Boston system, three ribs are left on the hindquarter, while in the New York or Philadelphia cut, all ribs are left on the forequarter.
This means that the first cut of the forequarter in New York (the prime ribs) is the same piece of meat as the first cut on the hindquarter in Boston. The hindquarter cuts also differ. So, asking for a particular cut of meat may bring confusion if you move from or to New England.
Moreover, while it’s not as tender as some other cuts, such as sirloin or tenderloin, it’s still a very flavorful and versatile cut of meat. It’s ideal for braising, stewing, and slow-cooking methods because it has a lot of connective tissue that melts as it cooks, making it very tender and juicy.
How To Choose The Best Boston Beef Roast
When shopping for a Boston Beef Roast, it’s important to consider the quality of the meat rather than the price. Look for fresh, high-quality beef that has a nice, bright pinkish-red hue. If you gently poke the meat, it should bounce back at you.
It’s also important to look for meat that hasn’t been raised with additives like growth hormones and antibiotics. The packaging should indicate whether this is the case.
If you have the budget for it, opt for USDA Prime meat, which is the top tier of beef in the U.S. However, expensive doesn’t always equal better, so don’t be afraid to choose a more affordable cut of meat.
When selecting a Boston Beef Roast, keep in mind that it’s located lower down the shoulder and is not as tender as other cuts of beef. However, its deep beef flavor makes up for its lack of tenderness.
If you’re unsure about how to prepare your Boston Beef Roast, consider slow-cooking it to allow enough time for the meat to tenderize. Tougher cuts can still have an excellent outcome in the slow cooker when given plenty of time to tenderize.
Tips For Preparing And Cooking The Perfect Boston Beef Roast
If you’re looking to cook the perfect Boston Beef Roast, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. Here are some guidelines to help you achieve a tender and juicy roast:
1. Cook Low and Slow: The best way to cook a Boston Beef Roast is low and slow. By cooking it at a lower temperature, the juices within the meat are retained, resulting in a more tender and juicy final product. Cooking slower also ensures that the meat will cook more evenly.
2. Preheat Your Oven: Preheat your oven to the temperature dictated by your beef cut (be sure to check our roasting chart); unless the chart specifies otherwise, roast at 325°F. This will ensure that your roast cooks evenly and thoroughly.
3. Season Your Beef: You can choose to simply season your beef with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper or rub all over with olive oil and apply an herb or spice rub. Seasoning your beef will enhance its natural flavors and add depth to the dish.
4. Use a Roasting Pan: A roasting pan is a shallow pan specifically designed for roasting. It has a rack, which keeps the meat above the juices and allows the heat to circulate around the meat. Ideally, the roasting pan sides should be 2 to 3 inches high.
5. Use an Oven-Safe Thermometer: Insert an oven-safe thermometer or probe thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, making sure it isn’t touching the fat, bone, or pan. This will ensure that your roast is cooked to perfection.
6. Don’t Cover Your Roast: Do not add water or liquid and do not cover the roast. Covering the roast would result in more steaming than roasting in the oven so we cook a beef roast uncovered.
7. Let It Rest: Once your roast is cooked, let it sit wrapped in foil for 15 minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender final product.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to prepare and cook a delicious Boston Beef Roast that’s sure to impress your guests!
Delicious Boston Beef Roast Recipe Ideas
If you’re looking for delicious ways to prepare a Boston Beef Roast, here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:
1. Slow Cooker Boston Beef Roast: This recipe involves seasoning the roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder before searing it in a pan. Then, place the roast in a slow cooker with beef broth, onions, and carrots. Cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat is tender.
2. Garlic and Herb Crusted Boston Beef Roast: This recipe involves rubbing the roast with a mixture of garlic, herbs, and olive oil before roasting it in the oven. Serve with roasted potatoes and vegetables for a complete meal.
3. Red Wine Braised Boston Beef Roast: This recipe involves braising the roast in red wine and beef stock until it’s tender and flavorful. Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.
4. Spicy Boston Beef Roast Tacos: This recipe involves shredding the cooked roast and serving it in warm tortillas with spicy salsa, avocado, and cilantro. It’s a fun twist on traditional beef tacos.
No matter how you choose to prepare your Boston Beef Roast, be sure to let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Enjoy!