My first ever dinner in
Despite the love for roast beef (and lamb in that matter), I have rarely made it since I gain my `independence´ (i.e. living by myself, not under any `family control´). However, as colder days approach, I feel a real craving for some nicely cooked roast dinner. So here it comes….
But what makes great roast? The meat? Or for me personally, it is the gravy. Real gravy made from the roast vegetable and the burn bits from the roast. Just quickly deglaze the roast pan with some red wine, then add the hot steamy stock (or even simply water), a bit of boiling to reduce the sauce and the flavours come out so wonderfully. Have a taste and I wonder why I even bother with tasteless package gravy.
Yes, I have a heart for real gravy. In the recipe I use today, the quality of the vegetables really makes the difference. And don´t forget those tiny sprigs of thyme whose fragrance does bring the whole dish to a new level. How simple, how marvelous. Packed with flavours, I am sending this entry to the gorgeous Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook who is our host of Weekend Herb Blogging this weekend.
Before leaving you with the recipe, I would like to apology for the quality of the roast photos. I seldom take photos with food these days (no time!) and it seems like I have lost the touch with it.Oh well, hopefully it will come back soon.
Based on a recipe by Shannon Bennet.
1 piece of Scotch fillet piece, about 1 kg, rolled and tied (or you can use other cuts which are suitable for roasting)
Salt & Pepper
Some olive oil
1 head of garlic, halve across
1 small carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 leek, white part only, roughly chopped
8 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
1.5 tbsp plain flour
200ml red wine
500ml beef stock or plain water
To serve: pan-fried potatoes, steamed beans (up to you!)
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Put a large roasting tray over med high heat on top of the stove.
- Generously season the beef with salt & pepper. When the tray is hot, add oil and then the beef. Pan-roast the beef until dark and caramelized all sides. Add the veg to the tray, cook until they have some color, then the herbs.
- Roast in the oven for about 45 mins (a meat thermometer is handy here).
- Remove the tray from the oven. Cover the beef with foil and rest it for about 20 mins,
- Meanwhile, prepare the gravy by putting the roasting tray over med high heat on top of the stove. Sprinkle some plain flour all over, cook the flour, then add the red wine, scraping all the caramelized pieces off the base. Reduce the liquid by two-thirds. Then, add hot stock. Bring to the boil and reduced by half. Check seasoning.
- Save all the meat juices from the foil and add to the gravy. Strain, discard solids. Keep warm.
- Slice the beef to serve with the gravy, potatoes and veg.