Tuesday, 26 March 2013
A part of the order of meat which arrived last Thursday from the Westin Gourmet people was a delicious looking Mini Beef Roasting Joint. Weighing in at just over a pound, it is calculated to serve two people generously, with leftovers.
Westin Gourmet meat is sourced from the best suppliers. Their beef is grass fed and butchered responsibly and traceable right from the cow in the field and on to your plate. You cannot ask for much better than that.
I used the recipe which I normally use to roast my beef, cutting back the cooking time considerably as it was a much smaller roast. In all it took 1 hour from putting it into the oven to resting time.
As you can see it was perfectly cooked just the way that we like it, medium rare in the centre. Of course if you like your meat more well done than that you can cook it for longer, but it has been my experience that over cooking beef toughens it . . . cooked this way it is juicy and tender.
It made for a delicious Sunday Roast dinner and yielded plenty of meat for the two of us and some very generous leftovers.
*Perfect Roast Beef*
This is more of a technique than it is a recipe. There is a lot more to cooking a roast than just banging into an oven. Whilst it is also very simple to cook, there is a proper way to do it and helps and tips that can produce the perfect roast every time. (if you follow them!) First of all, allow approximately 350g or 12 ounces of meat per portion.
8 to 10 pound wing, rib or strip loin roast of beef
2 TBS prepared English Mustard
1 TBS maple syrup
4 TBS water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS of beef dripping
I think it's best to cook meat always from room temperature so plan ahead and take your meat out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it. Pre-heat your oven to 250*C/480*F.
Mix together the water, mustard and maple syrup. Massage this mixture into the meat on all sides. This concoction will help to flavour and colour your meat. (Trust me here.) After you have massaged most of it in, or as much as you can, season your meat liberally all over with the salt and pepper. The fat will largely wash off a large portion of it so more is better. Always season just prior to cooking it as well, to prevent the salt from drawing out the blood and juices.
Heat a heavy based roasting tray over high heat with the dripping inside. (If you have no dripping a knob of butter will do.) Once the fat is hot, lower the beef into it to commence the browning process, lightly browning it on all sides.
Lower the oven temperature to 220*C/425*F. Roast the beef in it for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with the pan juices. Lower the temperature to 180*C/350*F. Return the beef to the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes per pound of beef, plys an extra 15 minutes. The end result will be a perfectly cooked joint, pink in the middle without being overdone.
Once the meat is cooked allow a further 30 minutes resting time in a turned off oven or a warm place.
This resting time is very important. This helps the juices and the temperature of your meat to stabilize and relax, which helps to make the meat much more succulent and easier to carve. When you cut into hot meat alot of the delicious juices escape, and we really don't want that.
I often roast my meat on a bed of root vegetables . . . chunky carrots, parsnips, onions. This helps to raise the meat above the fat in the roasting tin and prevents it from frying instead of roasting, not to mention it gives a lovely flaour to the juices and the gravy!
To make a delicious gravy, add some liquid to the pan, once the meat has been removed and set aside to warm. (leave the vegetables in the pan) Your liquid can be some beef stock, or even a bit of red wine. It's your choice. Cook and stir, scraping up from the bottom to get all your brown bits etc. Strain this into a saucepan, removing all the solids. Skim any fat off of the top. I then shake some flour together with some water in a jar until it's smooth and I strain this back into the pan juices in the saucepan. I then cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Leave to cook over low heat for at least five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a gravy boat and pass with the meat
With the leftovers I was able to make a delicious cottage type of pie for our supper on Monday, and with all of the vegetables and topping, it was ample enough to feed four people, which makes it very thrifty.
*Monday Night Meat Pie*
A delicious casserole cottage pie made from your Sunday leftovers.
For the mash topping:
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
a small quantity of warm milk
a knob of butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g of grated strong cheddar (1/2 cup)
3 spring onions, trimmed and chopped
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups of finely chopped leftover cooked roast beef
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium carrot peeled and finely chopped
1 lump of swede, peeled and finely chopped
(alternately you can use leftover cooked carrot and swede, chopped)
a handful of frozen peas or leftover cooked peas
1 generous cup of leftover gravy
1 dessert spoon of tomato ketchup
1 dessert spoon of barbeque sauce
a splash of Worcestershire sauce
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried thyme or summer savory
a splash of balsamic vinegar
Put the potatoes into a pot of lightly salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until fork tender. Drain well and then shake the pot over the residual heat of the burner to dry them out. Mash well along with some warm milk and a knob of butter. Stir in the cheese and spring onions. Season to taste. Set aside.
Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion, shallot and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until they have softened. Add the chopped beef, carrot, swede and peas. Season to taste with some salt and pepper and the thyme or summer savory. Add the tomato ketchup, barbeque sauce, gravy, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a quick simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender and you have a thick mixture. Spread this mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish. Dollop the cheese and spring onion mash over top of the hot meat mixture.
Bake in a preheated 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5 oven until the filling is bubbling and the mash is golden brown. Serve hot.
And I also got two hot roasted beef sandwiches for a hearty lunch . . . I simply heated leftover thinly sliced roast beef in some strong beef boullion and then layered it onto toasted buns which I had spread with horseradish sauce and topped it with some strong cheddar. And I can tell you . . . it was twice as delicious as it looks! Nom! Nom!
So far I have been more than pleased with the products I have received from Westin Gourmet. Everything has been of fantastic quality and what makes me happiest is I know where it came from and I can trust what it is.
All of their steaks and cuts of beef come from specially selected grass and grain fed cattle who wear their happy badges with lots of pride. You can't beat that.
Up next . . .
Veal Meatballs . . . now whatever do you think I will do with them?? Hmmm . . . the wheels are turning . . .