Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Roast Dinner

Sun 1 July 2007

The new 'no smoking' rule appeared to dampen very few spirits at North's birthday party on Sunday afternoon, and even the rain couldn't stop the beer drinkers from being happy.

We weren't in for the long haul as we'd invested a whole £9 in a 1 kg piece of beef (topside) on Sunday morning. I'm not sure if this is expensive or not because I don't really absorb food prices and I don't do roasts that often.

Our piece of beef came from a Highlander, bred near Wakefield by the Gascoignes. Highlanders are the very pretty, shaggy cows. It turns out they also taste rather good.

Our piece of beef was given very simple treatment (cooking times as advised by Delia Smith): 20 minutes on 240C followed by half an hour (15 minutes per pound) or so at 190C. The end bits weren't quite as rare as I would have liked, but by the time we got through to the middle (for sandwiches the next day!) it was a pretty good colour. We served the beef with roast potatoes, roast onions, roast carrots and steamed beans. And Yorkshire pudding (which rose most impressively). Andy also added some hot water to some brown granules and called it gravy (yuck!), while I bemoaned the lack of horseradish sauce.

I'm always bemused by people who think roasts are tricky: the only trick is to not over cook whatever you're eating. Other than that, you don't really need to do anything other than turn the oven on.

The Highland Cattle Society has a list of breeders, and you can buy the meat in a variety of locations.

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Blogger Leigh said...

hi there - you're right - people give roasts a bad name cos they think it's 'hard work'. its not - just plan and let the meat rest! recently i've gotten addicted to roast beef with cauliflower cheese - perfect partnership!

4:30 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Oh my goodness! I can't believe I left the most important bit out of my post! We left the meat to rest (covered in foil) for about 40 minutes. It was still hot when we came to eat it (off hot plates, of course!). And of course, the resting time gives you plenty of time to finish off roast vegetables, side dishes etc etc.

11:36 am  
Blogger Ros said...

I mostly agree with you, roasts are pretty easy providing you don't overcook and rest them. However I do have trouble with topside. It's always on the tough side, even if it is a perfect pink like in your picture. But maybe I just need to find a different supplier.

4:43 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Ros - I'd definitely recommend seeking out some highland beef. The meat wasn't tough at all and was great in sandwiches the next day! The piece of meat we had was pretty well marbled and very well rested - maybe it was just a lucky combination!

11:56 am  

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