Roast beef

Today, for the first time in absolutely ages we had roast beef for dinner. We don’t generally have a Sunday roast – we haven’t for many years partly because of children’s work patterns, partly because… well, not sure, but we just don’t! When we did it would nearly always be roast chicken because we have a particular (not fussy) eater who really only likes chicken. Another reason for not having beef, it is comparatively expensive and to have a good flavoured joint – beef more than pork, you need a bigger one which costs even more.

For the first time in a while  we were all together today and so we had a roast dinner. I asked son what he would like, beef would be his preference, I asked husband, beef would be his preference too, and daughter said she would be quite happy to have just a chicken portion so I went shopping. I went to Lidl as a first call; I know it’s a cheaper supermarket than many but we like it for its quality, variety and of course pricing. They had some good sized joints for sale and I bought one. Unfortunately I forgot completely to buy any horseradish sauce – later when we ate the beef I had to make do with English mustard! I bought sprouts, carrots, a swede, broccoli and a lemon tart – yes, I could have made one, but I was feeling lazy!

Because it was a long time since I’d cooked a joint of beef, I read the cooking instructions carefully and was glad i did because they were very useful. Normally I would have heated the pan in the oven with a little fat, bunged in the beef, cooked it, maybe covering it with foil towards the end of the cooking time. The instructions told me to heat a frying pan, rub each side of the joint with a little cooking oil, then sear it on every side in the frying pan… which I did, and then put it in the preheated oven in the usual way. Another thing I did which I didn’t do before – and this is thanks to Masterchef, when the joint had finished cooking, I took it out of the oven, put foil over it, and tea towels, and let it rest while I made the gravy and cooked the vegetables.

The joint certainly looked splendid as it arrived at table, the vegetables all in their bowls, the gravy in its jug, and by golly it tasted mighty fine too. We all had plenty and there was more left over for tomorrow. I couldn’t help but think back to being a child when we did have a roast every Sunday, and chicken was the luxury meat.  One of my favourite meals was using up the left over beef to make rissoles, my mum’s rissoles were the finest, I can almost taste them now… and maybe I’ll taste them tomorrow if I make them for our dinner!

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