All the leaves are brown,
and the sky is grey
I’ve been for a walk,
on a winter’s day.
I’d be safe and warm,
If I was in L.A.
On such a winter’s day.
I’ve always loved the Mamas and the Papas, and I most especially love California Dreamin,’ even though their failure to use the subjunctive (i.e., “I’d be safe and warm if I were in L.A.”) does make my little English-major soul shudder just a wee bit.
While it is technically winter here — just a bit less than a month to go before the spring equinox — it isn’t cold here today by any means. Currently, it’s 70F/21C, humid (88%), and there’s thunder booming in the distance, but coming closer. Any minute now, our graying, nearly 90-pound dog, Sid (acronym for “Stray Independent Dog”), will curl up by my feet and tremble with fear from the thunder. (As if on cue, Sid just hurried in here, demanding that I pet her and tell her that all is well. She’s so frightened that I’ve had to close the bathroom door to keep her from trying to seek shelter in our bathtub. Bless her little heart.)
Oh, and we’re under a tornado watch, too. Joy, joy, happy, happy.
All of this does make the sky quite grey, which, combined with our supper for tonight, made me think of the song, “California Dreamin.” You see, I’m baking a rump roast with all the fixings for supper based on a recipe from a friend, and this recipe is a version of what is often called “California Pot Roast.” It has become our absolute favorite way to prepare rump roast.
Rump roast is a very lean beef roast. Unlike other roast cuts, such as chuck roast, it has virtually no marbling — just a rather thin layer of fat along one side. Seeing as that’s the only fat on the roast, you leave it be!! One of my two grocery store options will sometimes run a weekly special on rump roasts, and when they do, I usually try to snag one or two — I like to take advantage of good sales to stock my freezer when I can.
This recipe is incredibly easy; all you need to do is plan ahead a wee bit. It comes out even more tender than it would in a CrockPot. I also love that it bakes at just 300F/149C, so even on days when it’s humid and/or hot (and we have LOTS of days like that in East Texas!), I don’t mind cooking in my oven.
Here’s all you do:
Easy Oven Rump Roast (version of California Pot Roast)
- Beef rump roast of desired size
- 1 packet dehydrated onion soup mix (I like mushroom-onion)
- 1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
- Coarse ground black pepper
- Dried parsley
- Desired vegetables (e.g., potato, carrot, onion, rutabaga, celery, mushrooms, etc.)
- Let the roast sit out for abut 45 minutes to an hour so it can lose the chill from the ‘fridge. (It will brown better if it’s not completely chilled.) Dry with a paper towel (this will also make it brown better) and brown in a non-stick skillet. NOTE: You can skip the browning if you want or need to due to time constraints, but I think it gives it a richer taste if you brown it.
- Place a LARGE sheet (big enough to wrap and seal around roast) heavy-duty foil (dull side out) in an 11″X7″ or 13″x9″ pan. (Size of pan depends upon the size of your roast. I usually try to snag a 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pound roast to help ensure leftovers for another meal. My beloved’s a slender fella with a big appetite, so I nearly always try and get a good-sized roast.) Place roast, fat side up, in foil in pan. Placing the roast fat-side up will allow the fat to help tenderize and moisturize the meat.
- Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast. Spread golden mushroom soup over roast.
- Wrap roast in foil, SEALING SECURELY. Do NOT add any liquid. The juices and steam from the meat (and veggies, if you add those in later) will combine with the soups to make an utterly delicious gravy.
- Place in oven and turn oven on to 300F. (You do NOT have to preheat.) Roast will bake for about 6 to 8 hours or so, depending upon size of roast.
- If you want to cook veggies in with the meat, pull roast out of the oven when there are a couple of hours left to bake, carefully unwrap it (beware of steam!!), scatter veggies cut into chunks on and around roast, sprinkle with parsley, carefully re-wrap, and bake for another couple of hours.
- Let roast and veggies rest for about 15 minutes or so before digging in. If you like, prepare some green beans, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts to round the meal out.
To go along with the roast, of course, I’m also making homemade yeast rolls — my beloved LOVES my homemade yeast rolls, and I’ve found a lot of uses for the basic dough.
But I’ll discuss bread another time. 🙂
I have a wine I’ve been wanting to try — [yellow tail] Shiraz – Grenache — the description says it’s tasty with a hearty beef stew. While this California Roast isn’t beef stew, it does have flavors similar to beef stew, so I think it might go along with it quite nicely.
All I know is that right now, my kitchen sure does smell yummy! 😉