Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Secret to the perfect Roast Beef

1 joint of aged rib of beef (3-4 ribs worth), or aged sirloin on the bone, weighing about 4-6kg
A little olive oil or good dripping
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Massage the whole joint with olive oil or dripping, and season lightly all over with salt and pepper. Place in a roasting tin and put in a hot oven (220-230c). Cook for about 30 min, until the meat is well browned and sizzling. (If you have chosen a piece of sirloin with the fillet still attached, carve off the fillet at this point or it will get horribly overcooked).
Turn the oven down to 160c (leave the door open for half a minute to help it cool down). Then use the following guidelines:
Allow 9-10 minutes per 500g for very rare meat, 12-15 for medium, or 18-20 if you insist on having it well done.
Remove the meat from the oven Transfer to a warm serving plate or carving tray and cover loosely with a piece of foil. Leave to rest for NO LESS THEN HALF AND HOUR! Before carving and serving.

So this recipe may seem a bit obvious to some people. It’s just roasting a piece of meat, but actually, it taught me the elusive tricks to making really beautiful perfect roasts that are just like at the best restaurants and taste like every roast wishes it could taste.

Here are the two big secrets…

One is that you have to cook it at a super high temperature in the beginning to sort of seal the outside of it. This will give it a great texture, and also help to keep all the juices in. After that you cook it slower in a cooler oven so that you don’t loose the beautiful red center (which is what happened to me last time I tried one of these, and I was so gutted I haven’t had the heart to try it again till now).

The other trick is making sure you let it rest for at least the half an hour no matter how good it smells and how hungry you are. From what I understand, this helps to redistribute the juices in the roast, so that it’s not dry tasting.

For this recipe, I consulted the The River Cottage Meat Book. I have to say, this book is amazing. If you want to know everything about cooking meat, get this book. It may be overwhelming at first. I actually had it for a while before I was ready to tackle it. The whole first half is like a text book for taking an advanced meat class, then the second half is the most amazing and varied and creative and non threatening recipes for all kinds of meat. I love this book.

The roast I used was slightly different. I couldn’t find an aged bone in rib roast of that size. I wound up using a 2.5kg, boned and rolled rib roast. It was not aged, but it was Scottish beef, which is supposed to be extra good. The difference was no problem at all, I just used his timing table, and then I had the best roast beef dinner in the world. I was so proud of it, it was just how I wanted it to be.

I also used the same book to make all of the trimmings, which I will try to blog tomorrow, as it’s going to be a bunch of typing. All together it was a six recipe meal, all from this book, and all of it so good that you could seriously cry. It was our latest guests last dinner here, and they could not stop being amazed by how good it was. This was probably one of my biggest successes. Buy this book. Make this roast with all the trimmings.

1 comment:

Carole said...

I was wondering if you would like to put up a link to this beef recipe in my Food on Friday Series.