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3) Summer’s Beef

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Article Originally Submitted 2003

Carrying on from last time, here is the converse recipe for a really fresh beef roast.

This garnish is taken straight from “The Accomplisht Cooke” by Robert May, a book that was First Published in 1660. I have a faximile copy of it, and it is full of good, wholesome “receipts”. The Sauce is actually for Veal, but went extremely well with my Beef.

  • 1 large topside of Beef (I think this is a “Round Roast” in the US) that the Butcher has rolled, with Fat included.
  • “All Manner of Sweet Herbs, Chopped small” I used Parsley, Tarragon, Thyme and Sage. But really, use what you have. Do try and use Fresh herbs.
  • Ground Cinnmon
  • Small amount of Ground Clove
  • Currents
  • Small amount of Brown sugar
  • 2 Lemons and 2 Oranges, Sliced thickly
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • White Wine

Take the Joint, untie it, and remove the fat. If it has not been sliced to roll it, do so, so that you have 4 exposed surfaces of meat, the Inside, and the Outside.

Fold a Large piece of Aluminium Foil (preferably “Turkey” size) in two, place ¼ of the Beef fat in the middle, with some Slices of Lemon and Orange on it.

Put the joint on top of the Fat on the foil

Mix all the Herbs, Cinamon, Cloves and sugar together, then rub it all over the meat, inside and out.

Put ¼ of the Beef fat on the inside, making sure that there is a slice or two of Lemon and Orange on either side of it.

Close up the joint (You are not retying it, so this can be awkward), Lay more orange and lemon slices on it, then cover that with the remainder of the fat. Pull the foil around it to make an envelope, but before sealing the package, make the foil into a bowl, so you can chuck at least ¼ of the bottle of white, and a good splash of Vinegar over the meat. Preferably make sure you get it on the inside as well, by opening up the joint slightly.

Seal tightly, (If paranoid, do another layer of foil) then roast, at GM3, (170C, 325F) for about an hour and a half (allow for the size of your joint, roasting times are usually indicated on the labels).

Remove from the Oven, and allow to cook under its own steam until cool, and then refrigerate overnight

Next day, carefully unwrap and pour the juices into a saucepan.

Remove what is left of the fat slabs and discard (or keep to cook other things with), and then slice it quite thick onto a Platter.

Add the Lemons, oranges and herbs from the meat to the juices. Add some more white wine (about a glassful) to extend the Stock, and then boil for about 5 minutes, to really get the citrus oils going. Add a little butter, and some Beurre Marie (Equal parts Softened Butter and Flour mixed) to the Sauce to thicken it when the Sauce has reduced by about 1/3. (To make this more LC, sprinkle in Xantham Gum instead of the Beurre Marie. You still want to add some straight butter though…)

Pour the Sauce over the meat and Serve Immediately!

This Roasting technique gives a rare, yet very tender and flavourful piece of Beef. To make it less rare, increase cooking time as per the label instructions, but still keep the heat low, I would guess 2 and a half hours for Medium, and 3 and a half for well done, I haven’t tried, as if you read last month recipe, you know that I like my cow so that a good vet can get it back on its feet again in ½ an hour!

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