Rare Roast Beef with Pickled Green Tomatoes

This dish from chef Chris Behr of the Rome Sustainable Food Project is a nod to the many similarities between the food of the American South and southern Italy’s cucina povera (peasant cooking). Just like Southerners, Italians pickle their abundance of unripe green tomatoes. Serve these oil-packed ones alongside this thinly sliced beef roast, or layered on sandwiches, tossed in chopped salads or with a charcuterie board.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Time(Other): plus overnight curing

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  • One 3 1/2-pound beef eye of round roast, trimmed and tied

  • Kosher salt

  • 3 unripe medium green tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds), cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 3 cups white wine or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1/3 cup mint leaves, torn 

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. Season the beef with kosher salt and transfer to a large plate. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 12 hours or up to 
24 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large colander, toss the tomatoes with 
1 teaspoon of kosher salt and let stand for 30 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 3 cups of water to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Add half of the tomatoes and simmer over moderately low heat until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, spread them on a large rimmed baking sheet to cool. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes. Discard the brine; wipe out the saucepan. 

  3. In the medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. In a large bowl or two 1-quart heatproof jars, layer the tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, mint and crushed red pepper. Let cool completely, then refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving

  4. Preheat the oven to 225°. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil. Cook the beef over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Set a rack in a small roasting pan and place the beef 
on it. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until 
an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of 
the meat registers 120° for medium-rare. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest for 30 minutes.

  5. Discard the string and thinly slice the roast beef against the grain; transfer to a platter. Drizzle with some of the tomato oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve the beef warm or at room temperature with the pickled green tomatoes.

Make Ahead

The pickles can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Contributed By Photo JOHN KERNICK Published May 2017

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