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Roast Beef, Old Fashioned Sunday Dinner Style


Roast Beef for Sunday Dinner

Whose family had roast beef every Sunday for dinner?

We did. Only we had flaming roast beef. Yes, you read that correctly, flaming.

It all began one time after my parents went out to eat one weekend evening. Owning a bar and restaurant at the time, my Dad was always interested in what was new, and what was being served at various establishments, one of these latest of fascinations, roast beef doused with cognac, lit with a match, and set to diffuse. I can only imagine how this little show transformed the essence into being the talk of the town, likely better than even having a Caesar Salad prepared table-side, and at least equivalent to flaming bananas dolloped with whipped cream. The show was of most certain fascination and thrill to what was four children at the time.

How the flaming cognac enhanced the flavor of the roast beef, I do not know, but I can attest to a heightened flavor in my Mom’s gravy once this new little tradition was established. Owning a bar had its privileges, namely, pulling a bottle of cognac off the shelf readied for the light show spectacular just before Sunday dinner.

Never being much of a breakfast eater, the Monday morning leftovers of sliced medium rare roast beef on Jewish Rye was my only early morning meal that tided me  into the following week. As the years went on some other dishes were introduced to the Sunday meal, and even more years down the road my Mom seemed to have lost her touch on the roast beef, that is, once rejoined to the table began to always cook the heck out of every roast beef causing them to be so dry it kind of became a family joke. But I still remember the days of that special weekly roast, cooked medium rare, flamed with cognac, quickly diffused, moments later drizzling on the homemade gravy with heightened flavor, and fond memories long past of Roast Beef, Old Fashioned Sunday Dinner Style.

Roast Beef, Old Fashioned Sunday Dinner Style
Simple, Old Fashioned, Sunday Roast Beef
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  1. 3 1/2 pound beef roast
  2. coarse kosher salt
  3. cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees for twenty minutes. Sprinkle roast with coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper all over and set into a roasting pan. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, place roast into oven and cook 20-25 minutes per pound for medium rare. Remember roast will continue cooking after removed from the oven. Transfer roast to a platter, tent with aluminum foil and let roast sit for at least ten minutes before slicing. Add any collected juices from setting time into the gravy pan for final heating.
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  1. TheKitchenLioness
    Posted January 30, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Dear Peggy, what a wonderful post with amazing memories. I have never heard of “flaming roast beef” but somehow it makes me smile – I can only imagine the “show” at the table! No roast beef at our Sunday supper table – actually, I do not remember any special meal for any special day, except for Christmas – always meat fondue, always.
    Dear friend, love your posts, your writing, the recipes and your memories that you so lovingly share!

    • Posted January 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      Dear Andrea, thanks so much, yes the idea and the memory of the flaming roast beef makes me smile as well! Meat fondue on Christmas sounds lovely, and a nice tradition as well. Thanks too for your inspiration and support. Hugs, Peggy

  2. Posted February 1, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    What a great story, Peggy. It’s amazing to me how food plays such an integral part in our personal and collective memory. It’s a common thread, across culture and for the most part, socioeconomics. What’s on the plate may vary, but mostly everyone has that commonality woven into their lives. For me, it was baked beans and hot dogs, followed by Lawrence Welk, on a Saturday night. Comfort food, for sure. Happy Sunday!
    Kelly recently posted…Exploring Galicia: Finisterre on Spain’s Death CoastMy Profile

    • Posted February 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kelly, thanks so much, and for sharing the little fun tidbit on your family tradition with hot dogs and Lawrence Welk. Yes, throughout the world, culture and history, food is always woven into the fabric. Oh, and My Dad could not stand Lawrence Welk, and disliked it even more when my great aunt would come to visit- because then he was required to be stuck watching it! No food but a little collective memory hilarity there. LOL.

  3. Posted February 1, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink
    • Posted February 1, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Remmy and Congratulations on the first anniversary of Remmy’s Kitchen, sharing with us so many good Indian recipes!

  4. Gail Wechter
    Posted March 25, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    What cut of beef do you use?

    • Posted April 13, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Hi Gail, This roast is a top round roast. It is important to not overcook this cut in order to keep it tender. Tenting the roast with aluminum foil for at least fifteen minutes before slicing will enable to juices to collect in the meat and provide for the best tenderness. Bottom round and eye roasts may also be prepared using this technique. Thanks for stopping by.

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  • Hi, I'm Peggy. Welcome to our Shared Table at Spiced Peach Blog!
    Subscribe here for my fresh, seasonal recipes with an international twist.