Monday, 7 March 2016

Roast Beef with a Mustard and Herb Crust

Few dishes can rival Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings as a traditional Sunday lunch and this is especially true, on a cold and frosty winters day - I know it's March and supposedly the start of spring but try telling that to the Bristish climate!

With the fires lit around the house, all is still and quiet outside, and there is that lazy Sunday-nowhere-to-be-but-here feeling, I find this is the time when there is nothing nicer than pottering around the warmth of the kitchen preparing a traditional Sunday lunch. Taking time on the side dishes, making up puddings and generally making that little extra effort with the whole meal.

Having said all that, I never usually feel the need to over complicate a joint of beef, preferring to simply season and perhaps roast on a bed of herbs and onions - but this time, probably because it was so frosty and cold outside, I decided to prepare a mustard crust to cover the top and add a little 'mustard-warmth' to the dish.

Recipe - enough for a Medium Roasting Joint approx 4-5lbs ( will give you enough for 4 with some leftovers)

2 teaspoons English Mustard Powder
2 teaspoons Dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon Herb de provence

Simple place all the ingredients, minus the herbs, into a pestle and then pound into a thick paste.

Remove the joint of beef from the fridge and allow it to warm to room temperature before roasting, usually about 20 minutes.

Take this time to check the joint over, remove any excess fat and tie with string if your butcher hasn't already done it. I dislike the elastic net bags that some supermarkets wrap over their joints, and strongly recommend that you remove them before cooking and instead bind the joint with string. It's easy to do, make carving simpler and allows any toppings to stay on the meat when served.

Now take you paste and work into the fat on the top of the meat. Make sure you get a good, even covering.

Sprinkle over the herbs. You can add more herbs if you wish and it doesn't have to be herb de provence, thyme and rosemary will work just as well.

Pop your joint into a pre-heated oven and cook as you usually would.

I roasted ours on a bed of red onions and served with traditional yorkshire puddings, creamy horseradish and loads of hot buttered cabbage - perfect.

Here's my Simple guide for Roast Beef Cooking Times - it never fails

Oven set at 180C / Gas 4 - for every 1lb (450g) in weight just cook your joint for as follows.

Rare - 20 minutes per 1lb plus 20 minutes

Medium - 25 minutes per 1lb plus 25 minutes

Well Done - 30 minutes per 1lb plus 30 minutes.

And the secret is to let the meat rest before calving - this not only makes the meat more relaxed and tender but it releases loads of juices to add to a gravy and also allows you to ramp up the oven temperature to cook the yorkshire puddings. The beef will happily sit, for up to an hour, in a warm place waiting for the rest of the meal to be prepared.

 Yorkshire puddings

Have a good start to your week
Love Lizx

 Roast Beef