Roasting involves cooking the meat at a high temperature for a fairly short amount of time. This recipe will guide you through preparing the perfect roast rib of beef, including how to make a delicious flour-thickened gravy to go with it.

...Cook roast beef

Ingredients

Serves 10

1 rib of beef, about 2.5 kg
1-2 tsp English mustard powder
1-2 tbsp plain flour
500 ml brown chicken and veal stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
Yorkshire puddings (see link below)
Horseradish sauce (see link below)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
  2. Weigh joint of beef to calculate the cooking time. Allow 20 minutes per 450g for medium, 15 minutes per 450g for medium-rare and 10-15 minutes per 450g for rare.
  3. Rub the mustard powder over the meat and season well with salt and plenty of pepper. Place in a roasting tin just big enough to fit the meat comfortably, and roast for 20 minutes. Now lower the oven setting to 170C/gas mark 3 and time the cooking from this point.
  4. Check to see if the meat is already cooked to your liking 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Depending on the shape, it can sometimes be cooked a little sooner than the calculated time. To check, insert a skewer through the thickest part and leave it there for 10 seconds. Remove and touch it to your inner wrist; it should be just warm for rare, warm for medium rare and hot for medium.
  5. Once the beef is cooked, place it on a board over a tray to catch the juices and rest for at least 15-20 minutes while you make the gravy (and cook the Yorkshire puddings). Resting the meat will make it easier to carve and the beef with retain more of its juices.
  6. To make the gravy, pour the fat and juices from the roasting tin into a bowl and allow them to separate. Adding a splash of cold water helps this. Skim off the fat and return 2 tbsp of it to the roasting tin. Add the flour and stir over a medium heat until the flour has browned a little and any sediment from the bottom of the pan is loosened.
  7. Add back the roasting juices and pour in up to 500ml stock. Stir over the heat until simmering, then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste and continue to simmer until the gravy has developed a good strong, meaty flavour, then season with salt and pepper. The juices released from the meat while it is resting can also be added to the gravy or poured over the carved meat. Strain the gravy through a fine sieve into a warmed jug or sauceboat.
  8. Carve the beef very thinly. Serve with the gravy, Yorkshire puddings, horseradish sauce, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Variations...

Roast sirloin
Weigh and calculate the cooking time and proceed as for the recipe for roast rib above.

Roast peppered fillet of beef
Weigh and calculate the cooking time. Fillet roasts are long and narrow and the cooking time may need to be reduced a little, by 15 minutes or so. Sesason the fillet with salt and brown in half to 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Brush the fillet with melted butter and roll it in finely crushed black peppercorns so the peppercorns form a crust around the fillet. Roast the fillet for the required cooking time before resting and carving.

A note on gravy...

Adding 100ml red wine before the stock will enhance the flavour of the gravy. If you don't want to serve the beef with a flour-thickened gravy, then jus de viande - simply the roasting and resting juices - can be poured over instead.

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