Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Sunday roast on a saturday: Spiced roast beef and yorkies

on January 10, 2011

I know it’s all wrong.  It’s not even a saturday today – and then to eat a sunday roast on a saturday  – what is the world coming to?!  But you see, an even bigger Sunday tradition happened (well tradition for me) – it was Dim Sum sunday lunch.  And being skint I couldn’t afford to buy more meat, and we had a beef roasting joint in the freezer, so it all made sense.

Somehow, when you’re hungover from the night before, dim sum just hits the spot.  You have it with green tea and some soup, and you feel all cleansed and refreshed.  Now, I’m not saying a good fry up or a sunday roast wouldn’t do the trick too, but there is something a bit special about dim sum.  Try it some time.  You’ll see what I mean.  My favourite dim sum are Ha Kau, Sui Mai and Char Sui Bau.  I also like the steamed ones that are long and white with prawns in them.  No idea what they’re called though.   We also had some crispy fried suckling pork, which was delicious.  Like crispy duck, but pork.

But anyway, you’d be forgiven for thinking this post was about Dim Sum and not about roast dinner at all!  I shall drag myself away from the delights of dim sum to roast beef.  Which was also delightful, but in a very different way.  The great things about roasts, which were expanded upon during the Christmas period – is the leftovers.  You can get a good 2-3 meals out of a roast.  Which makes it very economical meat and great for when you’re skint.  Especially if it also happens to be reduced in the supermarket when you buy it.  Just get it, chuck in the freezer and defrost when you want it.

I didn’t want to do the usual of just seasoning with salt and pepper or a bit of mustard or something.  So I found a Hairy Biker’s recipe for beef brisket which uses lots of lovely spices and just used the spices out of that recipe as a rub for the beef.  Which also meant I got to use my brand new pestle and mortar that I got for Christmas, so that was quite exciting.  I was so excited though, I forgot to take a photo!  Maybe next time. But the spices did work really well with it and made it very enjoyable.

To go with it, I did some roast potatoes, vege and of course, yorkshire puddings.  I’m not going to tell you how to do roast potatoes and vege, I’m sure you can figure that out for yourself.  But I will give you the recipe for yorkies.  It’s so easy.  For some reason, some people seem to struggle with getting these right, but I’ve always followed this recipe and had no problems at all.  It’s from Leith’s Simple Cookery (by Jenny Stringer and Viv Pigeon, published by Bloomsbury, and can be found on Amazon here which is one of my favourite recipe books and something I cook from all the time (when I’m not cooking from Cook in Boots!).  The recipe itself is on page 274.

Spiced roast beef and yorkies

Serves about 3-4

2 tbsp oil (I used olive)

Beef roasting joint of about 650g – 1kilo (I used a silverside of beef)

For the spice rub:

1 tbsp dried allspice (pimento) berries

1 tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For the yorkshire puddings:

100g plain flour

pinch of salt

2 eggs

300ml milk (or 200ml milk with 100ml water)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 22o degrees celsius.  If doing roast potatoes, you want to get these in the oven about now, so they have enough time to roast, especially if your joint is small.
  2. Grind the spice mix to a rough powder in a pestle and mortar (or use a wine bottle in a plastic bowl).
  3. Next, make the yorkshire pudding batter.  It needs time to sit.  Put the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the middle.   Crack the eggs into the middle.  Using a hand whisk, beat the egg, gradually incorporating a bit of the flour mixture into the eggs until it’s all combined.  If it gets too thick add a bit of the milk.  Keep add the milk and whisking hard until it’s all combined and you have a thin mixture.  Cover and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place the roasting joint on a baking tray and cover all over with the oil.  Rub the spice mix over the joint making sure it’s covered on all sides.
  5. Place the joint in the oven and roast for 20 minutes at this temperature.  Then reduce the heat to 170 degrees and roast for 10 minutes per 450g for rare meat, 15 minutes for medium rare and 20 minutes for medium.  If you want it burnt to a crisp, then make a stew or casserole joint instead!
  6. When you’ve got about 40 minutes left for the meat to roast, chuck in your vege for roasting (if you’re doing).  Then when you’ve got about 30 minutes left, oil a baking dish, pan, cupcake tin or yorkshire pudding tray.  Place in the oven until the oil is smoking hot.
  7. Remove the batter from the fridge and pour into the prepared tray/dish and stick in the oven.  When you remove the beef, turn up the heat to 200 degrees celsius.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the batter is golden and risen.  If not using a cupcake or yorkshire pudding tray – do check that your pudding is done in the middle as with that amount of batter all together, it may take a bit longer.
  8. When the beef is done, remove it from the roasting tray, put on a carving board or warmed plate, cover in tin foil and cloths and leave to rest for about 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, using the juices in the roasting tin, make the gravy by adding a tablespoon of flour, mixing well, making sure you scrape up the bits of the bottom of the pan, on a low heat.  Then add a bit of water, mixing well and gradually adding more until you have a thin-ish mix.  Bring to the boil.  If it’s looking a bit anaemic, add some marmite, gravy browning, or some beef stock, reduce to a simmer until thickened as much as you like your gravy done to.  Then remove from the heat and keep warm.
  10. Carve the meat, place on warmed plates with the vege, some yorkshire puddings and top with the gravy.  Serve with a glass of red wine, and enjoy!

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