Roast dinner (Serves 4)
For the beef
1kg beef sirloin
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
600ml beef stock
3 tblspns beef fat or vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
For the potatoes
1kg waxy potatoes (eg Desiree)
100g beef or duck fat
Few sprigs thyme
2 garlic cloves
Salt and black pepper
- Twenty-four hours before you want to serve the roast, peel and cut the potatoes into large, evenly sized pieces. Bring a large pan of salted water to a rapid boil, add the potatoes and cook for 12-15 minutes until they are starting to break up around the edges.
- Drain, season with salt and black pepper and place on a tray in a single layer. Store in the fridge overnight, which gives the starch a chance to set, resulting in a crispier potato.
- Next day, preheat the oven to 130°C. Season the sirloin all over with salt and black pepper. Spread the chopped vegetables over the base of a baking tray. Place the sirloin on top, transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes for medium/medium rare. If you have a meat thermometer then the core temperature should read 50°C. Cooking the beef at a low temperature helps to keep it tender. If you prefer your beef well done, then continue to cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of beef fat or vegetable oil in a frying pan. When the oil is smoking hot, add the sirloin and sear for 3-4 minutes, until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for 10-15 minutes while you finish the potatoes and gravy.
- Pour the beef or duck fat into a large frying pan. When hot, add the potatoes, thyme and garlic. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning the potatoes frequently, until they are golden and crispy on all sides.
- Place a separate frying pan over a medium heat, add the cooked vegetables, bay leaves and any meat juices. Stir well and add the beef stock. Bring to the boil, then cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly reduced. Strain through a sieve, pressing down on the vegetables to extract as much flavour as possible.
- Slice the beef thinly and arrange on serving plates with the potatoes, vegetables, and Yorkshire puddings. Pour the gravy over and serve.
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