A Toast to the Roast
Hilary Biller adds unexpected twists of flavour to the traditional Sunday lunch
ROASTED RIB OF BEEF WITH SAVOURY BREAD PUDDINGS
Good roast beef must be made with quality meat and it should be served medium rare. Well done is a sin. Beef rib from the forequarter is the very best cut for roasting, because of the marbling of fat in the meat, and because a joint on the bone is more flavoursome than one that is boneless.
Beef rib on the bone, about 3kg
Salt and pepper
15ml (1 tbsp) mustard powder
45ml (3 tbsp) oil
6 carrots, chopped
3 large onions, cut into quarters
1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves without peeling
5 sprigs fresh thyme
30ml (2 tbsp) cake flour
500ml (2 cups) beef stock
500ml (2 cups) red wine
Savoury bread puddings:
6 slices white bread, crusts removed, buttered and cut into cubes
250ml (1 cup) fresh cream
125ml ( cup) milk
3 extra-large eggs
30ml (2 tbsp) creamed horseradish
Salt and black pepper
15ml (1 tbsp) fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Generously season the joint with salt and pepper, rubbing it into the meat. Sprinkle over the mustard powder. Heat the oil in a roasting pan on the stove top till almost smoking and brown the joint on all sides. Set aside.
Make a bed of the carrots, onions, garlic cloves and thyme in the roasting tin and place the meat on top of this.
Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170°C and roast for 20 minutes per 500g for medium, or 15 minutes per 500g for rare.
Remove the meat from the oven, wrap in foil and rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over medium heat. Add the flour and using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the bits. Slowly add the stock, squashing the vegetables and stirring continuously. Add the red wine and reduce by a third. Strain and keep warm.
For the puddings, divide the bread cubes between 8 openings of a greased or sprayed muffin tin. Combine the cream, milk, eggs, horseradish, seasoning and parsley and pour over the bread. Allow to stand for 15 minutes before baking at 200°C for 20 minutes. Serve with the sliced beef and gravy.
SLOW-ROASTED PERSIAN LAMB WITH JEWELLED COUSCOUS
1 shoulder of lamb, about 2.5kg
60ml ( cup) pomegranate molasses
5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large onions, sliced
Handful dried cranberries (or pomegranate arils)
Handful pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped.
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place the lamb in a large ziplock bag. Mix the marinade ingredients, pour into the bag, seal and refrigerate for an hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the onions in the roasting pan with the lamb and pour over the marinade. Cover with foil and roast for 3 hours, turning a few times. Pour off the liquid into a pot, remove the foil and roast for a further 30 minutes to brown. For gravy, bring the reserved juices to the boil. Cook till reduced and thickened, adding water if necessary. Prepare the couscous according to instructions and toss with the remaining ingredients. Slice the lamb and serve with couscous and gravy.
SAGE AND ONION PORK NECK ROAST WITH MAPLE PEARS
Large handful fresh sage or 15ml (1 tbsp) dried sage
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pork neck, about 2kg
2 large onions, cut into wedges
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
5 brown pears
60ml ( cup) maple syrup
Pound the sage and garlic with a generous pinch of coarse salt in a pestle and mortar. Mix in enough olive oil to make a paste. Rub this all over the pork, massaging it into the meat. Place in a large roasting pan and arrange the onion wedges around the pork. Pour the stock over the onions. Cover with foil and roast at 180°C for 90 minutes. Remove foil and turn the meat. Cut the pears into quarters and place around the meat. Cover with foil and roast for a further 30 minutes. Remove the foil, drizzle the pears with maple syrup and roast for a further 30 minutes until the pears are lightly caramelised and the meat brown.