3-3½lbboneless beef roast (rolled sirloin tip, rump, or eye of round)(about 1½ kg)
1tbspneutral oil (canola, grapeseed)
1cupyour choice of liquids (see the recipe notes)
1tspbeef or mushroom base (optional, but a big flavor boost)
granulated garlic, or garlic powder
ground black pepper
OR use your favorite seasoning mix: Montreal Blend, Back of the Yards butcher rub, etc.
Mix the seasonings for the rub, or use your favorite blend. I have used a garlic-pepper blend called “Back of the Yards” from the Spice House. McCormick makes a reasonably equivalent “Montreal Seasoning“. I’ve come to prefer a more herbal rub, so I like thyme and rosemary, and have shown what I use here. Amounts? I don’t usually measure, but I’d guess 1-2 teaspoons each of the thyme and the rosemary, 1 teaspoon each of the garlic powder and the salt, and maybe half a teaspoon of the black pepper. Taste as you go, and you’ll do fine. Whatever you choose, rub the uncooked roast on all sides, including the ends. Set it aside for now.
This recipe requires a cup of liquid (2 cups for an 8-qt Instant Pot) – but you have choices here, too. Choose flavorful beef stock, or half red wine and half water, or half red wine and half beef stock, or part Shaoxing wine and part water, or even, in a pinch, canned beef broth. Add a couple cloves of garlic and a bay leaf to your chosen liquid. If you like, stir in a tablespoon of beef base or mushroom base for a flavor boost.
Set up the Instant Pot. With the inner steel pot in place, select Sauté (browning), and let it fully heat. Place the rubbed beef into the cooking pot, and let it sear just a bit on all sides. You want some color, but you won’t need to brown it fully. If there’s a fat cap on your roast, put that side down first, then let it sear 20-30 seconds. Turn, and sear about 10 seconds on each of the other sides. When you have finished searing all sides, remove the roast to a plate.
Stop the pot. Pour your liquids and add-ins into the pot. Put the trivet (that came with the pot) in place, and position the roast on the trivet. If there’s a fat cap, make sure the fat side is up.
Lock the lid in place and close the pressure valve. Set the pot using the Manual function to low pressure, 4 minutes. Don’t cancel the Keep Warm function – you want it to enter that state when pressure cooking has finished. When the unit beeps, wait about 45 minutes – see note below on adjusting this time for different sizes of roasts.
After 45 minutes of standing/keep warm time, check for doneness. Open the lid to check the temperature of your roast with an instant-read meat thermometer. For a very rare roast, you’re looking for 115-120˚F; for medium-rare, 125-130˚F. If the roast is not up to the desired temperature, replace the lid and continue with the Keep Warm cycle. Once the roast has reached your desired temperature, remove the roast, cover it with foil, and let stand 15-20 minutes before slicing.
The roast will continue to cook while standing – this is carry-over cooking, and is quite normal. That’s one reason my suggested temperatures are so low. In addition, the moisture within the roast will be somewhat re-absorbed during standing time. If you cut into it right away, much of the internal moisture would leak right out, leaving you with a dry cut of cooked meat.
Slice and serve. For the very thinnest slices, chill the roast overnight in the refrigerator. It’s very difficult to get neat thin slices from a hot roast.
Save the cooking liquid! You could use it as is for French Dip sandwiches, or make gravy with it. It would contribute to a fabulous soup. If you have no other plans, strain it and chill. When it's cold, lift off any fat from the top, then freeze the liquid. When you make your next IP roast beef, use this, thawed, as the start of your cooking liquid.
About cooking/Keep Warm times: naturally, you’ll need to adjust the Keep Warm time for a larger or smaller roast. For a 2-pound roast, I’d suggest you begin checking the internal temperature at 30 minutes. For a 4-pound roast, start checking at 60 minutes. That is, for every pound of roast over/under 3 lbs, add or subtract 15 minutes.The shape of the roast will also affect these times. A longer but thinner roast will cook sooner. The good thing about the Keep Warm cycle on the Instant Pot is that opening the lid doesn’t stop the heat, so if the roast isn’t done yet, just close the lid, wait a bit more, and check again later.