Basic Roast Beef

1 2 1/2- to 3-pound piece sirloin strip
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place a heavy skillet, large enough to hold the roast, in the oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Sprinkle the meat liberally on all sides with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan, with top (fatty) side down. Ten minutes later, turn and roast with the fatty side up. After 10 more minutes, turn and roast for 5 minutes on each side. The total cooking time is 30 minutes for meat to brown nicely all over.

Test with a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the meat, about 1 inch from one of the ends. When it registers 120 degrees, meat will be rare to medium-rare. Cook longer if you like, but beware that from this point on it will increase a stage of doneness every 3 to 5 minutes.

Let roast rest 5 to 10 minutes, then carve and serve with its juices, or with a simple pan sauce.

from Bitten: The meat is excellent plain, but you can also make a quick red wine sauce for it after you remove the meat from the skillet. Just combine two cups of red wine with a quarter cup of minced shallots in the pan and reduce over high heat until about half a cup of syrupy liquid remains. Stir in a tablespoon of butter and some salt and pepper and spoon the sauce over the sliced meat.