How To Cook Roast Beef! - Recipe!
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Roasting
On the morning of cooking, get the Beef joint out of the fridge, and let it stand to warm up to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and place the roasting tin you propose to use in the oven to heat up. If you have a spare one, place another onion in the tin as it heats up. Try and use a cast-iron roasting tin. They conduct heat better.

Now, mix some plain flour, a little rock-salt and a good pinch of ground pepper, and 'dust' the fatty edges of the joint with the mixture, moistening the fat first by wiping it with a damp cloth, so the flour sticks better.

In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil, then seal (i.e. briefly fry) the fatty edges of the meat until they are a dark brown colour. You may need to hold the joint with a fork whilst you do this to ensure an 'all over tan'. It is a good idea, at this point, to brown the surface of the meat itself. This will trigger Maillard reactions (browning of sugars and amino acids), giving the meat a brown colour, and improving the flavour immensely. At the same time add the spare bones to the frying pan, and make sure these are also well browned too.

At the end of this process, remove joint and bones from the frying pan, leaving the pan on the heat. Add a generous glass of a full bodied red wine to the frying pan and 'deglaze' it well.

Using the spare beef bones, make a 'bed' for the joint on the bottom of the roasting tin (preferably cast iron) which has been heating up in the oven, adding a coarsely chopped onion to the “bed” . If you have been unable to get some extra bones, see if you can find a roasting rack and place it in the tin. Alternatively, you can sit the joint on roughly chopped vegetables (preferably sweet ones, such as carrots and onions. Also add some leeks and a little bit of celery. Too much celery, however, will add a bitter note to the gravy), which will later help the gravy. The idea is to keep the joint a little raised from the bottom of the tin. It does not need to sit in the cooking juices. Add a cupful of water and pour the contents of the deglazed frying pan, including the onion, over the joint.

Place the joint on its bed, or on the rack, and put near the top shelf of the oven. Leave the meat to cook, without opening the oven for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes at the preheated 200°C (400°F), open the oven and baste the joint, at the same time turning the oven down to about 180°C (350°F). You no longer need to baste the joint now.

Depending on the way you like your beef, leave the joint in the oven for the following time:

for 15 minutes per pound (~450g) if you like it rare
for 20 minutes per pound (~450g) if you like it medium
for 25 minutes per pound (~450g) if you like it well done
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Ingredients
For the Roast beef
1 Joint of Rib or rolled rib beef of good quality (about 3 pounds or 1.5 kg, for 4 people)
if possible, some extra beef bones
1/2 cup of sifted flour
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt (rock salt preferred)
1 pinch of ground black pepper (as much as can be held between the finger/thumb)
1/4 cup olive oil or other good cooking oil
2 cups of water
1 onion
1 glass of red wine

For gravy
1 teaspoon (45 ml) of red jam (mix with a little water and strain out the seeds if using raspberry or blackberry)
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce and/or Maggi stock
1 more glass of red wine


















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Buying...
Best buy a 'joint' of Rib, Wing Rib or Sirloin Beef (I believe in the U.S. it is called Prime Rib, and is usually excellent) from a reliable butcher, and preferably not from a supermarket. If rolled, the Sirloin should come preferably 'bone in'. The word 'joint' is used in the U.K. to refer to any large lump of meat for roasting, whether or not it actually contains a joint (hip or shoulder) of an animal.

A boneless 3 pound or 1.5 kg 'joint' will be enough for 4 people with some left over. If the meat is bone-in (still has bones in it) then double the weight required.

Also best you don't buy simply for the number of people expected at table. Cold roast beef is also delicious. Allow for 'fridge thieves', cold lunches and at least 3 rounds of Beef and Horseradish Sandwiches in the days to come. So, let's be straight here, the larger the joint, the better!
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Identifying...
Make sure your joint has a good quantity of 'marbling' - cream-coloured fat both around the outside, as well as some through the meat itself. If the joint is coloured bright red, steer clear. It has not been hung long enough. It may be cheaper, but leave it behind for 'them'! "We" are after quality!

Supermarket meat has often been treated with a harmless chemical to make it look bright red, before it is sealed in plastic. It is difficult to determine the condition of such meat so unless you have no choice, buy from a specialist butcher.

All meat, and in particular, beef must be well hung. At least 20 days, so the colour of the meat is more a dark maroon, rather than bright red. If a ribbed joint looks just a little shrivelled, that's fine too. Sign of good ageing (a little like us humans!)

If you are fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where political correctness is still a twinkle in your country's Dictator's eye, or more likely your butcher takes risks in the interests of, ... well....being a good butcher, then ask him to add a few spare beef bones to your order; if need be tell him they are 'for the dog'!
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When to buy...
If you're planning your roast beef for a Sunday lunch, please remember to buy the joint by Thursday lunchtime. Most butchers sell out fast thereafter; to efficient housewives on a Friday, to us less efficient mortals on a Saturday morning! By Saturday afternoon the choice is usually pretty sparse and you may even have to settle for lamb or worse, something really healthy like chicken!

Try and make your joint feel welcome when you get it home. It needs to relax in preparation for its weekend ordeal. Put it high in the fridge on a dish - don't even think about freezing it - together with the bones and a quartered onion, and cover with foil. Turn it over occasionally making sure you don't drain any juices which may seep out.

Letting the meat rest is very important!
Once the cooking has completed, take the joint out of the roasting tin and place it on its own separate dish, cover it loosely with lots of tin-foil and leave it to "rest" for about 15 minutes in a warm part of the kitchen. If the joint can be stood up, sprinkle a very little rock salt over the top. Adds to the taste.

Resting is absolutely essential, as the juices, which has been drawn towards the surface of the joint will "relax" and diffuse back into the joint.

The resting time also gives you time to make a delicious gravy and start baking the Yorkshire pudding, if that is required.

A note on carving
A large sharp carving knife is of course essential, and it may well need a little resharpening during the carving process (remember to wipe the blade on a cloth before re-attacking the meat other you smother the first slice in metal shavings!)

If you are carving the joint with the bone in, it is regarded as "de rigueur" to carve from the outside of the joint parallel to the bone. Very difficult to do, difficult to produce uniform, thin slices, and extremely dangerous as often a small slice of finger or knuckle will add to the taste !!

I suggest carving across the shortest cross section of the joint, with the joint lying on its side. It is much easier, neater, and affords greater control over the thickness and size of slices you carve. A purist may disagree, but who cares!
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Gravy
Place the roasting dish on the stove (if need be light 2 rings, one for either end) and allow the juice to heat up a little. Add a large cup of red wine to the dish, and thoroughly deglaze the dish on a high heat. This will also evaporate the alcohol from the wine.

Add a little water (if you are cooking vegetables, add a little of their water) and, if to hand, some Worcestershire Sauce or Maggi stock, and once again bring to a low boil.

Now add 1 generous teaspoon of red jam (doesn’t really matter what flavour) a small teaspoon of mustard, and a generous scrape of Nutmeg, and stir in. If you are really feeling naughty, you can add some Crème fraîche!

Continue to heat everything on the stove, adding water (or cream or more red wine, depending on taste) until the gravy begins to thicken just a little, (on its own please - don't add cornflour!) then carefully sieve the lot, with the gravy reserved in a bowl (don't do what I once did and, without thinking, sieved the gravy over the kitchen sink....!)

Remember you need enough gravy for the number of people at the table, and they will take loads of gravy.... it's that good!

By this time, the meat will be ready to carve (thin slices please) and will be delicious served with the roast potatoes, as well as 3 or more side vegetables, for example, roast parsnips, green beans, and cabbage with a little bacon.

Oh... and don't forget some good quality (or better still home made) creamed horse-radish sauce, and Coleman's mustard (mixed from dry powder, not the ready made mustard) goes with this dish as well, as does of course, Yorkshire pudding which is a savoury batter also cooked in the oven.
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You May Also Be Interested In:
National Beef Month
French Dip Sandwich
Italian Beef Sandwich
Types of Hamburgers
Meatless Monday
How to seat dinner guests












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Resources:  This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses some material from Wikipedia/article beef /and other related pages. Top photo
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Recommended Accompaniments
Roasted Potatoes
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Roast parsnips
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Condiments
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English mustard (preferably mixed from dry ground mustard. Colemans in the yellow tin is still the best)
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Meat Related!
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Types of Hamburgers Salted Meat

Pictured: Roast Beef cooked under high heat.
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