Standing Oven Round Roast Beef with Sweet Potatoes

Beef Recipes

Standing Oven Round Roast Beef by JNHoliday Dinner Menu (Part 3)

Jeff wanted to do a roast beef dinner with sweet potatoes for the holiday dinner. So he created his own recipe and it turned out to be a huge success. Our guests could not get enough of it. The peppery flavor of the steak went well with all of the side dishes: sweet potatoes, roasted butternut squash with Gouda cheese and pine nuts, and the artichoke, heart of palm, and avocado salad. The roast beef definitely earned its position to be one of our favorite dinner party menus.

A few days later I asked Jeff to tell me the ingredients for the roast beef and the steps to prepare it. I typed the recipe quickly and added it to this blog as another entry to our good cooking “database”.

So here is Jeff’s recipe:


  • 8 lbs of round bottom round roast beef (cut in half)
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper, chili powder, dried oregano, and salt-free steak seasoning
  • A cup of your favorite bold red wine (we used a cabernet)
  • Dried sage
  • Water


  • Create a brine solution (to keep the steak juicy after roasting) in a large zip lock bag by mixing one or two cups of water with salt
  • Brine and soak the meat completely in the zip lock bag
  • Leave in the fridge for three days
  • Take it out of the brining bag and pat dry the day before the dinner party
  • Brush with canola oil
  • Prepare the steak’s dry rub mix in a bowl: freshly ground black pepper, chili powder, oregano, and a little salt-free steak seasoning (we used Trader Joe’s Steak and Chop Grill and Broil)
  • Massage the dry rub well into the meat
  • Place the marinated meat in a new zip lock bag and keep in the fridge overnight

About three hours before the dinner party:

  • Preheat the oven to 225F
  • Place the meat on an oven rack with a tray below it
  •  Put one cup of water on the tray and then cover it all with an aluminum foil
  • Cook until the steak’s temperature reaches 130F (it took us about 2 hours)
  • Take the meat out and crank up the oven temp to 500F and cook the meet for another 10 minutes
  • Take the steak out and cover with aluminum foil until serving

Prepare the steak sauce by collecting the juices from the cooking steak in the tray into a small pot. Mix with half cup of water, a cup of wine, and a pinch of dried sage. Let it simmer and reduce by half. Strain to make sure that there isn’t any dried sage in the sauce and serve.

Make the sweet potato dish:

  • Peel and cube  3-4 sweet potatoes
  • Boil with chicken stock, add a little salt, and cook until it is fork tender
  • Drain the potatoes and let it cool down before serving

Serve  7-9 people

Happy Holidays!

Salad Mix: Avocado, Artichoke Hearts, and Hearts of Palm


Holiday Dinner Menu (Part 2)

(See Part 1 : Roasted Butternut Squash with Gouda and Pine Nuts)

The salad that I prepared for the holiday dinner contained three things I loved: artichoke hearts, avocado, and hearts of palm. I found this recipe a while ago from Food Network and saved it in my recipe collection. Please click here to read the original recipe: Avocado, Artichoke Hearts and Heart of Palm Salad served in Lettuce Wraps

A few things I modified from the original recipe were:

-For the dressing, I used apple vinegar instead of white vinegar. I also drizzled a little olive oil and sprinkled some chili powder to give this salad a little kick.

-I added grape tomatoes for more flavor and color.

Canned hearts of palm are available in most grocery stores.

-The author called for butter lettuce as the serving cups for the salad. Unfortunately I did not have the time to do it. So I chopped the lettuce and mixed it with the rest.

The crunchy poblano pepper, cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes gave a wonderful balance to the tender and buttery artichoke hearts, avocado, and hearts of palm. So delicious!

Note: Next time, I’d like to try another modification using the three main things: avocado, artichoke hearts, and heart of palm. I’d add grape tomatoes into the mix, drizzle all of them with olive oil and apple vinegar, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. I think this variation would make a great appetizer.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Gouda and Pine Nuts

Vegetable Recipes

Holiday Dinner Menu (Part 1)

A few friends came to visit from out of town this past Thanksgiving weekend. Jeff and I got the honor to host a dinner party on Friday. Both of us were very pleased with how the food turned out. Jeff had made this delicious peppery oven roasted beef with gravy along with sweet potato as a side dish. I prepared a salad medley of artichoke, avocado, and heart of palm and a side dish of roasted butternut squash with Gouda cheese and pine nuts.

I’ve always been intrigued by butternut squash and been wanted to learn about the types of dish I could create from it. Though I must admit that I was a bit nervous about cooking this winter squash since I did not grow up with any dish made from it. 

Anyway, I had found a simple roasted squash recipe from Whole Foods that I thought I could use as the base of my dish. I felt like the recipe still needed some dressing up but I wasn’t sure what would work best. So I talked to a foodie and a cooking enthusiast friend, Leena, who shared a recipe she had made a few Thanksgivings ago. The idea was to cube the squash, roast them with a little chicken/vegetable stock for more complex taste, and then add soft cheese and nuts as the topping. It sounded divine and I trusted my friend’s taste in food. And I was so happy with the result.

So here’s how I did mine:

-I preheated the oven to 400F

-I cubed one small butternut squash and then cut the skin off with a knife (I found it to be much easier than trying to peel the whole thing).

-Then I placed the cubes on an oven tray and drizzled them with olive oil

-I also added 1/3 cup of chicken (or vegetable) stock on the tray

-Let the squash roast for 28 minutes

While the squash was cooking in the oven, I grated Gouda cheese in a food processor. (The amount of cheese depends on your preference. I used about two handful of it.) Then I added two tablespoons of pine nuts into the processor to be chopped and mixed together with the cheese. Jeff had chosen Gouda for the soft cheese due to taste preference and I chose to use pine nuts since they complement baked dishes and fruits/salad pretty well. Add chopped almonds for extra crunch.

After 28 minutes, I turned the heat off and took the roasted squash out of the oven. I sprinkled the cheese and nuts mix evenly on top of the hot squash. Then I returned the dish to the oven (with the heat off) for another two minutes to melt the cheese. I removed the tray immediately from the oven and let it cool down for 10-15 minutes before serving.

The dish was full of flavor as I wanted it to be. The chicken stock, smoky Gouda cheese, and chewy and nutty pine nuts gave this roasted butternut squash dish (as a friend described) “a very sophisticated taste.” Sure enough the plate was cleaned in no time. It was definitely a great side dish for a winter dinner party.