I decided to give the Hairy Bikers’ Family Cookbook Roast Beef recipe a go, with some adaptations.
1Kg beef joint (try to buy organic if your budget stretches, much better for both you and the animal)
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
Freshly grated horseradish (optional)
Salt and pepper
Olive Oil (get mild and light, it has a higher smoking point which means you can cook with it)
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, halved
2 small glasses of good quality red wine (one for the gravy, and one for the chef!)
1 dessert spoon of cornflower
Meat thermometer (ideally, but optional)
First thing to do is get the beef up to room temperature – so, leave the meat on the side for an hour or so. Turn on the oven to 220 degrees, to get it ready for the joint. Then, use kitchen roll to get ride of any “shine”.
Rub the olive oil over the meat, giving it a good coat. Then, heat up a frying pan to a high temperature and slap the meat in. Turn/roll the meat so that each side is “browned”, make sure you don’t burn it though.
Once it’s finished transfer to a plate. Mix the mustard powder, salt, pepper, rosemary and horseradish together, then rub all over the beef joint.
Put the carrot and onion in a roasting tin (I used a pyrex dish), poring in water to reach about 5mm deep. Put the roast beef in the tin, push the meat thermometer into the middle of the meat and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
After this time, decrease to 160 degrees, and cook for the time below (I actually cooked mine for 25 minutes to get medium rare).
160 degrees at the following times:
20 mins / kg – rare
25 mins / kg – medium rare
30 mins / kg – medium
35 mins / kg – medium – well
40 mins / kg – well done
The Hairy Bikers’ cookbook also has a table of temperature guides for beef (see below). They say that the beef should be taken out of the oven when the thermometer registers 10 degrees below that level, to then “rest” in a warm place for 15 minutes – and the temperature would reach the desired level. My thermometer has beef at medium rare around 70 degrees, and keeping it in the oven for the time period they list put the needle in 60 degrees, 10 below the desired level on my one…
Temperature Guide: Beef
Rare: 45 degrees
Medium Rare: 50 degrees
Medium: 60 degrees
Medium well done: 68 degrees
Well done: 72 degrees
If you are cooking potatoes etc in the same oven, then put the meat tin perhaps in the (upper) grill section, or even just on top of the oven (where it’s a bit warm). As we have two ovens, I actually turned the heat off and kept the oven door open (with the tin inside).
Next, home-made gravy. Pour away some of the fat from the roasting tin, then put on the hob and add a glass of wine. Leave it to boil for a minute or two. Add the cornflower in with some beef stock. Add the rest of the beef stock, then the cornflour mix. They then say to mash the veg and add any juices from the meat – when mashing, make sure you have a good “masher”, the handle came down on mine which meant the gravy went ALL over the kitchen! Considering I spilt a whole glass of red wine the night before on the sofa, I wasn’t having much luck with wine as of late :-)
Carve the meat into thin slices (I personally purchased an electric carving knife, the meat I was carving wasn’t going very far because of too thick a slice), sprinkle over the freshly grated horseradish over the beef. Add any potatoes, vegetables, yorkshire pudding etc. Strain the gravy, and pour over the roast… and voilà!
My thoughts on the recipe – the beef was very tender and cooked medium rare through quite a bit of it. It was the first time I had made gravy, I didn’t realise quite how simple it was! The gravy came out very nicely and I am not sure if I would actually change anything with this…
Click here to buy the Mum Knows Best: Hairy Bikers’ Family Cookbook from Amazon UK.