Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pudding

Nothing beats a proper roast on a Sunday and this week, we splashed out had had roast beef. The joint was too big for just the two of us, so I took a sharp knife and cut it in half, popping half in the freezer for another week.

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Beef should always be cooked from room temperature, so be sure to get it out of the fridge early enough.

Start by pre-heating the oven to 220C (fan) and put a roasting tin with some goose fat in it, in the bottom – this will get nice and hot for the roast potatoes. Whilst the oven is heating up, peel and chop the potatoes (I do mine quite small for crispiness) and par-boil until just soft to the touch. Drain and carefully pour into the hot fat in the roasting tin. Sprinkle with rosemary and cracked black pepper and mix them around, so they all get covered in the fat. Put the potatoes in the bottom of the oven and now turn your attention to the beef.

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Rub olive oil over the beef and then sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, salt and a pinch of thyme. Pop in the oven at the high heat for 15mins and then turn the oven down to 170C.

After half an hour, check the meat is getting on ok and baste with any juices that have come out. Pop in another roasting dish with some lard in it – this will be for your Yorkshire pudding. You can also add some carrots to the roast potatoes at this time.

Whilst the meat continues to cook, make your Yorkshire pudding – 140g plain flour, 4 eggs and 200ml of milk whisked together until you have a light batter. Allow the batter to rest until the meat is cooked.

When the beef has had an hour, I took it out – this was a medium-well done roast – and turned the oven back up to 200C. Take the Yorkie’s dish out and get the batter in as quickly as you can and get it back in the oven. Do not open the oven door now until it is time to take the Yorkshire out.

Put the beef on a plate and cover loosely with foil and allow it to rest. Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a jug and add some instant gravy granules (yes, I cheated today).

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The Yorkshire pudding will take around 25mins to really puff up and it really will! You’ll need to have it on a low shelf in the oven. Just before it’s done, finish the gravy with boiling water, any other juices from the rested meat and a splash of red wine.

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Serve everything up and enjoy!

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Beef Stroganoff

Firstly, apologies for the lack of photos – I forgot!

This was a last-minute beef stroganoff request from my fiancé. It’s really easy to whip up though, so don’t panic.

Start by finely chopping an onion and sweating in some olive oil in a saucepan, along with three crushed cloves of garlic. When nicely softened, throw in some skirt steak or frying steak, that has been cut into bite-sized pieces and allow to brown.

Then squeeze in a good amount of tomato puree, before adding beef stock, red wine stock and some Marmite, along with some cornflour. Give the mix a good stir, put the lid on and allow to simmer at a low heat for around 15 minutes, before adding some paprika, mixed herbs, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish sauce, wholegrain mustard and English mustard. As you know by now, I’m not really one for measuring things, so just try and see how it turns out. You can always add more of an ingredient. Stir every now and then to make sure nothing catches on the bottom of the pan. Have to confess, I also added a splash of brandy.

Allow everything to simmer for around 45 minutes, then taste to see if anything is missing. Now you can add some chopped mushrooms and a small tub of soured cream, before allowing to cook for around another half an hour.

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Serve with some boiled rice and if you fancy, as I did, a little grated Parmesan cheese.

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Warm Steak Salad

So, this evening, I presented Mr Doubtful, with a warm steak salad. Now, he is not a salad man, nor is he keen to see potatoes missing from his dinner, so this was quite a challenge, but I was determined to make sure he liked this.

The salad was just a bag of leaves from the supermarket – nice and easy! I took two red onions and thinly sliced them, before putting them in a pan with a little oil and putting it on a low heat and let them start to slowly soften.

In a separate frying pan, I put some chopped up chorizo I found loitering in the fridge and let that start to cook off to release its oils, before adding the steaks – Sir’s goes in before mine, as I like mine nice and rare, where as he likes his ruined, sorry, I mean well done – although I’m slowly bringing him round to medium, which is what he had today. Let the steaks have a good cook on one side, before turning them. I go by the feel and look of meat, so I can’t give you a time. Whilst the meat is cooking, continue to give the onions the occasional stir to make sure they don’t catch.

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In a jug, make a little dressing, with a few glugs of good olive oil, a couple of teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a drizzle of honey and a squeeze sour cream – or yoghurt if you have that in the fridge instead. Add some salt and pepper and give it a taste after giving it a mix together. You can add a bit more of this or that until you are happy.

Pour a few drops over your salad leaves, before adding some chunks of cheese. We had a nice soft blue cheese and a soft goats’ cheese. The chorizo should be ready to add to the salad now too.

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Check on your steaks and if they’re done to your liking, take them out of the pan and let them rest, whilst you finish the onions. By now, they should be nice and soft, add some brown sugar and a glug of balsamic vinegar and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes until caramelised and sticky. Add these to the salad, slice up the steaks and serve on top with some extra dressing.

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Even Mr Doubtful enjoyed this!