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1.8kg (4lb) sirloin of beef, well hung
Extra virgin olive oil
25-55g (1-2oz) black peppercorns, freshly cracked
Pan-grilled spring onions — see recipe Anchoiade — see recipe Roasted red pepper pesto — see recipe
Garnish: sprigs of rosemary,
watercress or flat parsley.
An hour or so before you plan to cook the meat, score the fat lightly, brush the surface of the meat with olive oil and coat with freshly cracked black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 250C/475F/regulo 9.
Place the meat in a roasting tin, fat side up, sprinkle with sea salt and put into the fully preheated oven. Reduce the heat to moderate 180C/350F/regulo 4 after 15 minutes. As the fat renders down, it will baste the meat. Roast until the beef is cooked to your taste — another 10-15 minutes.
Test by pressing a lean surface. If the flesh springs back readily and feels quite soft it is rare. Alternatively, use a meat thermometer — the thermometer should not touch a bone though, or you’ll get an inaccurate reading.
Beef is rare at an internal temperature of 60C/140F; medium — 70C/155F; well done — 75C/165F. When the meat is cooked, allow to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving, depending on the size of the roast. Store it on a plate in a warming oven. The internal temperature will continue to rise by as much as 2 or 3C/5F, so remove the roast from the oven when it is still slightly less done than you would like.
Meanwhile, pan-grill the onions.
I’m not a gadget person so I tend to keep kitchen equipment to the basics to avoid clutter. However one good buy is a pan-grill. This is a black ridged cast iron pan which I find gives a super result for vegetables, fish meat and polenta. For me, its one of the few pieces of indispensable kitchen equipment.
18 spring onions or scallions
3 tbsp olive oil
Wash the spring onions, trim the root ends and cut into 6 inch (15cm) lengths approx. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss on a preheated pan-grill. Cook on a medium heat until golden on one side, turn and allow to cook on the other side. Serve hot as part of a vegetable plate with grilled fish or meat.
To carve: Transfer the meat to a hot carving dish, add any meat juices to the gravy if making. Slice the meat vertically into slices about 3mm thick with a good sharp carving knife. Serve on hot plates with the pan-grilled onions.
Serve the anchoiade and red pepper pesto separately.
Serve with roast beef or on warm olive oil fried crostini or as a sauce for pasta with extra Parmesan cheese.
2 large fresh red peppers, preferably Irish or Spanish
5 anchovy fillets
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ dried red chilli or a pinch of red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Roast the peppers over a chargrill, under a radiant grill or in a hot oven. When they are well charred, transfer to a plastic bag, twist the neck of the bag and leave the peppers until they are cool enough to handle. The skin should peel off easily, split the peppers and remove the seeds. Do not wash or you will loose the sweet juices.
Chop the peppers roughly.
Put with all the other ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until the mixture has a slightly chunky texture.
Serve with roast beef, cruditees or just slathered on toast, bruschetta or warm /pitta bread.
4oz (110g) tinned anchovy fillets (weigh out of tin)
10 fl oz (300ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Whiz all ingredients, except the oil, together in a food processor. Add the oil gradually. Taste. Add a little more oil if necessary.
Store in a covered jar in the fridge — keeps for 3-4 weeks.