Friday, 24 September 2010

Roast beef with roast sweet potato, roast carrots and gravy

I've made this before, but made a small change to cooking the veg, and it made a huge difference.
For two (plus sandwiches) I used:
900g of rolled beef brisket
1 large sweet potato
3 large carrots
2 beef OXO cubes
Tin (aluminium) foil
1 large frying pan
1 large saucepan
1 roasting dish
1 jug
A kettle
A colander

1. Put your frying pan on a high heat with oil, fill and turn on the kettle, turn your oven to 150 degrees C. Put the beef on the frying pan, frying all the sides until brown all over; meanwhile, pour boiling water into jug and mix one OXO cube into the boiling water.
2. Once browned, put the beef into the roasting dish, salt and pepper it, pour the OXO stock over it, and cover the roasting dish with a "tent" of foil. Place in the pre-heated oven.
3. After an hour, turn the meat over. Still tented, return to the oven.
4. Repeat 3.
5. After the beef has been in the oven for about two and a quarter hours, peel your carrots and sweet potato (or not) and chop into large chunks (this is not optional).
6. Boil the sweet potato and carrots in salted water for 4 minutes (i.e. parboil them). Drain them with the colander (or as I did, with the lid of the pan, and a scalding). Return them to the saucepan, put the lid on, and shake them about so they get a bit battered.
7. After the beef has been in the oven for about two and a half hours (or once you're done peeling, slicing and parboiling), put the veg in with it, pour oil and salt over the veg.
8. Clean that saucepan.
9. After a total of three hours, take the roasting dish out of the oven, take out the beef and the veg, and pour the juices into the (clean) saucepan. Return the beef and veg to the roasting dish and into the oven at 170 degrees C.
10. Heat the juices over a medium heat. Put a small amount of boiling water into the jug, mix in an OXO cube, and add that to the saucepan. Put a small amount of cold water into the jug, and mix in some (corn)flour with a fork (or a whisk, if you wanna be posh).
11. After a total of three and a half to four hours in the oven for the beef, take the lot out. Slice up the beef, scrape the blackened, but not burnt, veg off the bottom of the pan and pour the gravy over it.
12. Put off washing that roasting dish until tomorrow - honestly, nothing will move that except an overnight soak (or maybe that stuff that black chef advertises on TV).

Volumise: Add some parsnips, turnips or other root veg (not potatoes) to the veg present. Replace sweet potatoes with these to reduce carbs.
Add carbs: Add some more sweet potatoes or some potatoes.
Add fat: Use almond flour in the gravy. Replace some of the water-based stock with olive oil. Pour more oil over the roasting meat and veg at every possible point. Buy a "self-basting" joint, that is one with a block of fat on top.
Add protein: While you're putting the veg into the pan, wrap the beef in bacon (pig for more fat, turkey for less).
Add a hospitalisation: Don't use oven gloves.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Jerked beef, fried broccoli and peanut-mashed cauliflower

The jerked beef and the fried broccoli I'd made and eaten before, it's not a bad combo, but the herby, peanut-buttery mashed cauliflower was a new one, and I think it worked well (would have worked better had I not rushed it and not cooked the cauliflower to fully mashable, but whatever).
For three, I used:
600g of beef steak (it was on offer in the supermarket)
A whole head of cauliflower
A whole head of broccoli
Peanut Butter
Dunn's River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
2 Frying pans and a saucepan.
1 Colander
1 Masher

1. Put enough water to boil the cauliflower in on the hob to boil.
2. Break up the cauliflower into florets (the larger, the slower they cook), and remove the fibrous stem at the bottom.
3. Place cauliflower in boiling water.
4. Break broccoli into small florets.
5. Heat olive oil to medium heat in smaller frying pan, then add broccoli. Stir every minute or so.
6. Heat olive oil to high heat in larger frying pan, and when hot, add steak and cover in jerk seasoning (to taste). I couldn't fit all my steak in one pan at once, it took me three goes, so it went in as soon as the broccoli did.
7. Once the cauliflower is over-boiled, but not discoloured (when you think you can mash it), strain it in a colander, return it to the pan (which should be on no heat, but on the still-warm hob) and mash. About half-way through mashing add a tablespoon scoop of peanut butter and some mixed herbs (I used thyme, oregano and sage) and continue mashing until its consistency is as close to mashed potato as possible.
8. The broccoli should look a bit brown in places when its cooked (which should be soon) and the beef should be as well done as you like (I always cook to well done because I refrigerate mine). Serve it with the cauliflower in a heap at the bottom, the beef on top of it and the broccoli around the edge so that the cauliflower absorbs the beef juices.

Volumise: It's broccoli and cauliflower. Add more of it and ta-da; it's volumised!
Add carbs: Replace cauliflower with potato. Sprinkle a little sugar on the beef as well as the seasoning. Add a little sugar to the mash.
Add fat: Add more peanut butter in the mash. Replace the broccoli with fried avocado (I haven't tried this, but I will).
Add protein: Um, more beef. Make the beef a leaner cut. If you're desperate, you could try adding a small amount of whey powder paste to the mash, but I would not advise it.
Add anger-management: Tenderise the beef with your fists. Just punch the shit out of it. Trust me, I've done it, it works.