Cross Rib Roast

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Cooking is so cool. Like not so much the act of doing it, but when you really think about cooking, it’s really fascinating.

It’s taking raw ingredients and turning them into something that’s more than the sum of their parts. And the coolest part, for me, is that we’re really connecting over it.

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Cooking is not innate, it’s all learned, taught, and handed down in some way or another. And as someone who loves vintage and heirlooms, this is just so cool to me.

This cross rib roast recipe is dedicated to all things learned, taught and handed down.

Sliced cross rib roast on a serving platter with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms.

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What Is A Cross Rib Roast?

The cross rib roast hails from the chuck primal cut. This primal is located beneath the neck, between the shoulder and the brisket.

Chuck cuts are perfect if you’re looking for rich, beefy, and flavorful roasts. Like most cuts from the chuck, cross rib roasts perform best when oven roasted or braised to bring out their cut-it-with-a-fork-tenderness.

Cross rib roasts are like the man with two first names! They are also commonly called the boneless chuck roast, Boston cut, clod roast, and shoulder center roast – depending on your location and your butcher.

If you can’t find a cross rib at your local butcher or grocery store, just ask, I’m sure they’d be happy to help you find one!

Cooked pot roast on a platter.

Key Ingredients

Beef cross rib roast: Look for a fresh roast when you’re shopping – the label will tell you the package date, but the appearance of the roast will guide you as well. Look for bright red flesh that’s firm to the touch.

Salt, pepper, garlic: When cooking a roast as tasty as this, we don’t need to mask the flavor. A simple salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic seasoning really make the beef flavor pop and make for a tasty gravy.

Flour and butter: Oh yeah, we’re doing it! I’m gonna walk you through how to make gravy from a roux with your drippings. This will be your new favorite, I’m sure.

Ingredients required for cross rib roast.

How To Make Cross Rib Roast

Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 400f.
  2. Generously apply coarse kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, and garlic powder to the outside of your roast on all sides.

Sear:

  1. Place the roast in a dutch oven or roasting and place in the lower third of the oven, uncovered to sear.
  2. Brown the roast uncovered for 15 minutes, then turn the roast, and brown again on 4 sides, 15 minutes each. For a total of 60 minutes.

Braise:

  1. Add 1-2 cups water to the roaster, enough to make about 1/2″ in the bottom of the pan. Then cover and return to the oven. Reduce temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roast, covered at 275f for 2-3 hours depending on the size of your roast, until the meat is tender. This usually takes 3 hours for a 4lb roast and 2 1/2 – 3 hours for a 3 lb roast. The temptation is often to cook by internal temperature, but when cooking a well-used muscle, like the cuts from the chuck, you need to rely on other methods of doneness. To test the roast for doneness, pierce it with a knife or temperature probe – a tender chuck roast is done when the probe enters the meat with little to no resistance.
  3. Once tender, remove the cross rib roast from the oven, transfer the roast from the dutch oven to a plate, and tent it with tinfoil while you make gravy, if desired. If you’re not making gravy, allow the roast to rest for at least 10 minutes.

How To Make Gravy From A Roux

  1. Strain the liquids in the roaster into a fat separator or a pancake batter dispenser. Wipe the pot dry with a paper towel. If you do not have 2 cups of the reserved liquid, add beef broth or water and beef boullion to the reserved liquids to make 2 cups. Set aside.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of flour to the bottom of the pot, heating over medium-high heat, whisking regularly until nicely caramel brown. This takes a few minutes, but once the flour begins to brown it goes quickly.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of unsalted butter to the pot, and whisk until completely dissolved. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the roux looks like peanut butter and starts to smell nutty, about 4- 5 minutes.
  4. Start adding the drippings to the roux whisking after each addition. Simmer the gravy until it thickens. Add fresh ground pepper if desired.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • This is hands down, my favorite beef main dishes. It’s not Prime Rib, and it doesn’t pretend to be.
  • It’s tender, delicious, and perfect for Sunday Pot Roast Dinners and leftover roast beef sandwiches with mayo and tangy pickles.
  • The cooking time is mostly hands-off, and you’ll love how the oven does the heavy lifting for you in this recipe.
  • The gravy is easy, and I’ve included a family trick to ensure the silkiest gravy you’ll ever make!
  • A high-temperature sear at the beginning of the cooking time helps to lock in moisture and create tons of flavor due to browning.
Steaming sliced cross rib roast.

Tips


  1. Browning flour for the gravy is a trick I learned from my Grandma! It speeds up the cooking time of your roux-based gravy substantially, and it’s so easy. Browning the flour also takes out the “raw” flavor flour can have and it doesn’t clump the same as unbrowned flour would.
  2. Don’t skip the sear! I say this with every single recipe that requires a sear, and I mean it sincerely. Searing a roast at a high temperature and then reducing the temperature for the remainder of the cooking time greatly improves the outcome by locking in moisture and slowly allowing the entire cut to come to cooked temperature, you’re reducing evaporation and dryness.
  3. This recipe is a combination of both dry roasting and braising and the results are epic, but to ensure even more tenderness when your yummy roast hits your plate, ensure that you rest it for at least 10 minutes before slicing, and as always, slice against the grain of the meat for the most tender, melt in your mouth bite.
  4. It’s scary, but don’t rely solely on internal temperature when you’re cooking a tough roast filled with connective tissue. Think of a tough roast like you would a brisket or pork butt, both are absolutely delicious when cooked properly, but if undercooked, they can be tough and unpalatable. See the recipe below for information on doneness.

Batch + Storage

Batch:

When shopping for roast beef, purchase 1/2 lb per adult and 1/4 lb per child that will be served.

A 2 lb roast is enough to feed my family of 4 with very little leftovers, but my kids are basically teenagers!

Storage:

This cross rib roast will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or sealed in a freezer friendly container for up to 2 months.

Alternatively, your leftover cross rib can be thinly sliced and used in sandwiches (made with dill pickle sourdough and homemade half-sour pickles, obviously!) Yum!

Sliced cross rib roast on a serving platter.

Reheating Leftovers

In the oven:

If you’re planning on reheating your roast, preheat the oven to 325f. Slice the roast into serving sized slices, like 1/2 inch or so. Place them into a baking dish and pour enough beef broth to cover the slices. Cover the dish and bake at 325f for 30-45 minutes, or until heated through.

Via sous vide:

Slice the roast into 1/2″ slices, and place in a ziplock bag, Stasher bag, or vacuum seal with a few tablespoons of beef broth and place into a preheated water bath at 150f and heat 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Side Dish Suggestions

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Sliced cross rib roast on a serving platter with potatoes, carrots and mushrooms.

Cross Rib Roast

Allyson Letal
Looking for a show-stopping main course for your next family dinner, try this incredibly delicious cross rib roast recipe. This savory cut of beef is seasoned with a simple blend of spices, making it juicy and flavorful. With just a few ingredients and easy steps, this recipe is perfect for special occasions or weeknight dinners. Don't forget the easy gravy!
4.37 from 124 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes
Course Main Dishes, Roasted
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 625 kcal

Ingredients
  

for the roast:

  • 3 lb cross rib roast
  • coarse kosher salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1 to 2 cups water

for the gravy:

Instructions
 

Cross Rib Roast:

  • Preheat oven to 400f.
  • Generously apply coarse kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, and garlic powder to the outside of your roast on all sides.
  • Place the roast in an oven-safe dutch oven and place in the lower third of the oven, uncovered to sear.
  • Brown the roast uncovered for 15 minutes, then turn the roast, and brown again on 4 sides, 15 minutes each. For a total of 60 minutes.
  • Add 1-2 cups water to the roaster, enough to make about 1/2" in the bottom of the pan. Then cover and return to the oven. Reduce temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roast, covered at 275f for 2-3 hours depending on the size of your roast, until the meat is tender. This usually takes 3 hours for a 4lb roast and 2 1/2 – 3 hours for a 3 lb roast. The temptation is often to cook by internal temperature, but when cooking a well-used muscle, like the cuts from the chuck, you need to rely on other methods of doneness. To test the roast for doneness, pierce it with a knife or temperature probe – a tender chuck roast is done when the probe enters the meat with little to no resistance.
  • Once tender, remove the cross rib roast from the oven, transfer the roast from the dutch oven to a plate, and tent it with tinfoil while you make gravy, if desired. If you're not making gravy, allow the roast to rest for at least 10 minutes.

Gravy:

  • Strain the liquids in the roaster into a fat separator or a PANCAKE BATTER DISPENSER. Wipe the pot dry with a paper towel. If you do not have 2 cups of the reserved liquid, add beef broth or water and beef boullion to the reserved liquids to make 2 cups. Set aside.
  • Add 1/4 cup of flour to the bottom of the pot, heating over medium-high heat, whisking regularly until nicely caramel brown. This takes a few minutes, but once the flour begins to brown it goes quickly.
  • Add 1/4 cup of unsalted butter to the pot, and whisk until completely dissolved. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until the roux looks like peanut butter and starts to smell nutty, about 4- 5 minutes.
  • Start adding the drippings to the roux whisking after each addition. Simmer the gravy until it thickens. Add fresh ground pepper if desired.

Notes

how to store + freeze

This cross rib roast will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Alternatively, your leftover cross rib can be thinly sliced and used in sandwiches (with dill pickles, obviously!) Yum!

how to reheat

In the oven:

If you’re planning on reheating your roast, preheat the oven to 325f. Slice the roast into serving-sized slices, like 1/2 inch or so. Place them into a baking dish and pour enough beef broth to cover the slices. Cover the dish and bake at 325f for 30-45 minutes, or until heated through.

Via sous vide:

Slice the roast into 1/2" slices, and place in a ziplock bag, stasher bag, or vacuum seal with a few tablespoons of beef broth and place into a preheated water bath at 150f and heat 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 625kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 57gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 209mgSodium: 289mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Cross rib roast on a platter with text overlay: tender and delicious cross rib roast.

Note:

This recipe was updated with new photos in April 2023 and extra information added. The recipe remains unchanged. The original photos can be seen below.

A sliced cross rib roast thats fall apart tender
Cooked cross rib roast.
Cross rib roast pinterest graphic.
cross rib roast on a glass cutting board.

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38 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So good and so easy! This was extremely tasty and tender. I made the recipe as written and result was beyond what I had hoped for. Probably the best roast I have made in years! I recommend this one, I want to make it every week.

  2. I have done this with couple days as rib and it was soooo good. Could a blade roast be used with same results?
    Thank you

    1. @Ally, I used Blade and Eye of the Round at two different times. Both worked out great! Making it again today with a Blade Roast. For some reason, it is difficult to find Cross Rib.
      Thanks again for a great recipe!

      1. Great to hear, Carolyn! Thanks for letting us know. Actually, in the time between your first comment and the follow up, I found a blade roast in the freezer and cooked it just like this. Was perfect!

    2. @Ally, your original recipe stated 20 minutes per side, I see it is now 15 minutes. Why the change. I am cooking a 2 lb roast today so was thinking of only 15 minutes or less per side for browning and then a couple of hours of braising.

      1. Hey Carolyn, I did reduce the time of the sear, if you like you can continue to sear for 20 minutes per side, but based on a few emails and calls I was receiving, more people were using smaller roasts so I reduced the time to accommodate that.

        If you did have a larger roast, it wouldn’t do any harm to reduce the sear time, but on smaller roasts it might increase the likelihood of dryness or overcooking.

  3. When browning the roast do you turn it every 20 minutes for a total of 80 minutes? Thanks looking forward to making this.

    1. Hi Debby, sorry the wording wasn’t clear I’ve fixed that. Yes, you’ll need to brown it on all 4 sides for 20 minutes each for a total of 80 minutes!

    1. No, I don’t, the fats in the roast will render down. Any little sticky bits should easily scrape off after the water has been added and the roast has been fully cooked.

  4. I know most people today seem to think you add liquid to beef roasts, this is a POT ROAST not Roast Beef.
    Defination To roast DRY HEAT

  5. I purchased a cross rib roast today at an excellent price and will be trying this recipe to cook it tomorrow! Thank you and I will comment upon completing my cooking adventure! 🙂 Da

  6. Hi there, I have a 2 lb cross rib roast, how would you adjust the cook time for thus size? Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Sorry for the delay on this! I would probably reduce the browning time by 5 minutes per side and then cook for about 30 minutes left once covered. But that’s a total guess right now!

  7. You have a section titled, “how to store + freeze,” but I don’t see anything about freezing. Do you have anything to say about it other than traditional tips for freezing beef and ‘best by’ timing for using?

    1. Oh my gosh! I joke all the time that I was born with blonde hair for a reason. So sorry for that.

      Basically, standard fare with this one, freeze in in air-tight packages for best results, I always use my vac sealer. If vac sealed, leftovers will last 6+ months, if frozen in freezer bags, try to use them within 6 weeks or so. A lot of that timing depends on where you freeze it too – it will last longer in a chest freezer that’s only opened once a week vs a fridge freezer that’s opened multiple times a day. Thaw in the fridge if you can, if not, cold water works too!

  8. Ohhhhhh man this recipe is delicious!!If followed correctly!!

    My kids whacked this beautiful slab of deliciousness!!

    Thank you very much!!

  9. I made this and it was delicious! The roast was so tender, it was falling apart. I also made the gravy. It was so easy and also delicious! I made mashed potatoes to go with this and my family loved everything! Such a good recipe ! Thank you for sharing.

    1. So happy to hear this, Robin! This recipe is one of my favorites for Sunday Dinners. My kids always make mashed potato volcanoes and fill them with peas before topping off with gravy. I’d have thought it would stop when they hit the teen years, but no, the volcanoes just get bigger hahah!