I cooked a joint of beef this evening for the ravening children.
And when I say “children”, I really mean hungry men and women.
You know, old ways are often best, and certainly, when I was growing up, my mother had only one way of doing a roast : slowly. It went into the oven as we retired, at a low temperature, and came out in the morning, swimming in intense dark juices.
It was delicious, and I haven’t added anything to it, because there’s no point trying to improve on perfection. All I did was to insert a little piece of shallot or onion in the meat for added flavour.
80 degrees, nothing more than that. Into the oven for hours and hours. Wake up to the delicious aroma of roasting beef. What could be more delicious?
The gravy makes itself, with perhaps a little reducing to intensify the flavour.
I usually let the joint cool down so that it can be carved finely, and I serve it with — of course — roasted potatoes.
I also like to do some Balkan braised carrots, fried in butter with paprika and demerara sugar.
The guest-vegetable can be anything you like. Mangetout, parsnips in honey, even the tried and trusted cauliflower cheese, though I don’t like it myself.
Wash it down with good wine and fine company. How can you go wrong?