This time of year, memories of my grandmother always come flooding back. You know we all have them. What is it about grandmothers that make memories all the better? Mine, like yours and everybody’s, are always of her cooking. She was such an inspiration to me.
Gran had a knack of making things taste that much better. Her four-rib roast beef was nothing short of miraculous. That, coupled with the best Yorkshire puddings ever, made for a feast any time.
Meals like this keep her forever warm in my heart. Not only that, but when cooking a dish like this, the aromas seem to trigger even more fond memories: friends and family, near and far.
4 rib roast joint* (Ask the butcher to leave the fat on if you can)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
6 Medium carrots
12 large shallots
6 Garlic gloves
4 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons regular flour
1 ½ cups red wine (the good stuff)
2 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons blackcurrant jelly
Like any meat you are going to roast, it is to always bring it to room temperature first – an hour is the typical amount of time. Using some kitchen towels, pat dry the meat. Then pour the oil over the meat and gently massage throughout, ensuring all the meat has some oil.
In a small bowl, place the salt, pepper and mustard powder. Mix together and rub all over the meat.
Peel the carrots. Place them inside the roasting pan, making a trivet. Add to this the peeled and whole garlic cloves. Finally place the beef on top adding the sprigs of rosemary to the top of the beef.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the meat in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees F and roast for a further 1 ½ hours. This should give you a medium beef. If you are unsure insert a thermometer into the meat it should read 150 degrees F.
With about 30 minutes cooking time remaining, remove the beef from the oven, baste with the fat in the bottom of the pan, adding the shallots and bay leaf, coating these with the fat. Return back to the oven for final cooking period.
Place a medium sized saucepan on the stove, pour in the wine, bringing to a boil, turn the stove down and leave to simmer until the wine has reduced by two-thirds, set to one side.
Remove the meat from the oven once at the desired temperature, placing it on a drip tray, wrapping it loosely with foil and leaving it to remain warm while resting. Ensure a tray is placed underneath to capture drippings. Place the roasting pan back in the oven with the carrots and shallots for a further 15 minutes, ensuring they are soft and cooked through.
Remove the shallots and carrots setting aside to keep warm. Using a large spoon remove the excess fat from the tray, leaving just a little fat, but most importantly keep all the dark juices behind. Add the flour and cook on top of the stove over a medium heat for ten minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually blend the reduced wine, along with the stock and blackcurrant jelly, scraping up all the tasty bits from the bottom of the tray. Simmer until thickened and rich, add the juices from the resting meat stirring through, then season to taste.
When serving, don’t forget the Yorkshire puddings! So good. We had this with traditional roast potatoes and all the trimmings. Seasons greetings to one and all.
*In Canadian, a roast joint is the centre cut of the fillet. -Ed
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications and a trained chef.