Monday, 28 December 2009

The Christmas roast

Now that you know the background of my quest for a Christmas roast rib of beef, here's the final product and the recipe to go with it:

Ingredients (serves 8, with leftovers)
  • 3.4 kg rib of beef (4 ribs, french-trimmed)
  • 2 red onions, thickly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, skin-on
  • Flaky sea salt (I use Maldon)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 300 ml beef stock (fresh or made from concentrate)
  • 300 ml red wine
  1. Preheat your oven to 220C regular or 200C fan.
  2. Generously season your meat all over with salt and pepper and use your hands to rub it into the flesh and fat.
  3. Heat a large pan on the stove (or you can use your roasting tin if suitable) and sear the meat on all sides until browned (about a minute on each side). This helps to protect the juices during roasting.
  4. Make a bed of garlic and onions in the roasting tin, then transfer the meat to sit on top
  5. Put in the oven (mid-level will do) and leave for about 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 160C regular or 140C fan. For a medium-rare finish calculate a total roasting time of 15 minutes per 450g, so in our case roast for another 85 minutes. Alternatively, you could use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the thickest part of the meat and away from bones and fat. For medium-rare the temperature should read about 63C and for medium about 71C.
  6. Take meat out of the oven, transfer it to a serving plate and cover it with foil. Leave it to rest for 30-40 minutes. 
For the gravy
  1. Use a spoon to remove any excess fat from the roasting tin. You may want to keep the fat to use instead of sunflower oil to make Yorkies with a hint of roast-flavoring.
  2. Mash onion and garlic with a fork or a potato masher.
  3. Put the roasting tin on the stove, sprinkle in the flour and mix well.
  4. Pour in the red wine and beef stock and simmer until everything is thickened and reduced by half.
  5. Strain into a serving jug. When you uncover the meat to start carving you can add any juices to the gravy for an additional meat flavors.
We served our roast with a side of Yorkshire puddings and a mixture of carrots and parsnips roasted with grainy mustard and maple syrup. 

A tip for easier carving:  slice the bones away from the meat first, it's less impressive on the serving plate but a lot easier to carve individual and thin slices.

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