I'm sure most people have a handful of meals that bring them back to their childhood. Roast Beef with Onion Gravy is one of mine. This is my dad's favorite meal and one my stepmom made for his birthday every year. I don't know why it's taken me this long to attempt to make it, but I finally emailed her to ask how she made the gravy and was surprised to hear it was as simple as water and onion soup mix in the bottom of the roasting pan.
We had purchased an obscenely large beef tenderloin for Christmas, so after the holiday we vacuum-sealed two, 4-lb roasts and froze them. Seeing as they're getting dangerously close to having a birthday, I figured I better use them quickly. This roast was the second of the two, the first one I made a few weeks ago with my all-time favorite potato gratin recipe. In keeping with my dad's favorites, I served this with mashed potatoes and what was supposed to be peas, until I checked the freezer and saw we were out. Baby Girl loves her peas, so I wasn't surprised to see we'd gone through another bag. I just subbed green beans for the peas. Hopefully my dad won't mind the substitution.
One bite and I was transported back to my childhood. The gravy was perfect, the beef tender, the mashed potatoes rich and buttery. Perfection on a plate. I'll definitely be making this again soon, maybe even for my dad the next time he and my stepmom are in town.
Roast Beef with Onion Gravy
Recipe from my stepmom
1 (3 1/2-4-lb) beef roast
Salt and pepper
1 packet onion soup mix
3 cups cold water, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle salt and pepper over all sides of the roast. Place roast on a rack set in a roasting pan and put in the oven.
Dissolve the onion soup mix with 3 cups of cold water (doesn’t completely dissolve) and add it to the bottom of the pan with the roast 15 minutes after putting it in the oven. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Baste the roast with the mixture as it cooks, about every half hour. For medium the roast will take about 2-2 1/2 hours. Add water to the bottom of the roasting pan, as needed so the drippings and soup mix don't dry out and burn.
When the roast is done, take the remaining drippings and pour into a small pot and bring to boil, adding water as needed to make the amount of gravy you want. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water until cornstarch is dissolved, then add to the gravy until it thickens.
Serve the gravy on the side, with the sliced beef, peas and mashed potatoes.