A very rustic repast with old friends on a perfect Sydney autumn night – it was warm enough that we could still eat outdoors. Roast rib of beef with the trimmings, a wonderful lemon cake, and a great cab sav from Stag’s Leap in the Napa Valley.
Choosing the meat
The most important thing is to buy good meat. Make sure the beef you buy is a good dark red colour, not bright red, and has a nice marbling of fat. This beautiful piece of meat is pasture fed, free range, the only meat to buy from the ethical and taste point of view.
Heat the oven to 220 degrees C. Season the joint heavily with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, rubbing it into the fat and flesh.
Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed roasting pan and sear the meat quickly on all sides, including the ends, until you get a nice dark brown colour then remove the meat and set aside.
Make a bed of red onions cut in halves or thirds, and place with garlic and some thyme in the bottom of the roasting pan, sitting the meat on top. Roast for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 160 degrees C and continue to cook for 15 minutes per 450 grams for rare or 20 minutes per 450 grams for medium.
An hour from the completion of cooking, scatter some baby carrots and potatoes into the pan, or whatever root vegetables take your fancy, making sure to baste with the pan juices.
When cooking is complete, remove the roast meat from the pan, wrap it in foil and rest it on a plate for a 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the vegetables to a plate and also cover with foil.
To make the gravy, put the roasting pan over a medium heat on the stove top.
Add a tablespoon of beurre manié to the pan (equal quantities of flour and butter combined together to thicken the gravy).
Tip in a half a bottle of good red wine, scraping the crunchy bits off the base of the pan.
Add some chicken stock and the pan juices from the beef, and the juice of an orange or lemon for piquancy.
Cook gently until the gravy has thickened.
Baby Yorkies – adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe
Extra light olive oil
3 large free-range eggs
115 grams plain flour
285 mls milk
Pinch of salt
When you have taken the beef form the oven to rest, heat the oven to high (about 220 degrees C) while you make your Yorkshire pudding batter.
Beat eggs, flour, milk and a pinch of salt together, either by hand or in a food processor, until light and smooth. Transfer the mixture into a jug. I make this ahead of time – the mixture actually improves in the fridge.
Pour a small amount of oil into a muffin tin, so you have a thin layer covering the bottom of each muffin well. Pop the tray on to the top shelf in the hot oven for around 10 to 15 minutes, so the oil gets so hot that it smokes.
Carefully take the tray out of the oven and quickly and confidently pour the batter into the hot tin so it nearly fills each well. Return the tray to the top shelf of the oven to cook for around 10 to 12 minutes, or until the Yorkies are puffed up and golden. Whatever you do, don’t open the oven door!
Serve beef, veggies, yorkies and gravy with the bottle of red and a crisp green salad.
Finish the meal with the delightful Lemon, Yoghurt and White Chocolate Cake already featured in a recent post.