Saturday, February 27, 2010

What's for Dinner? Andrew's Roast Beef


...Named after the person who enjoyed it most! This was a basic prime rib roast, the kind you would coat in flour and brown in a dutch oven then let simmer in stock with a bay leaf for a few hours. Sick of the usual, I tried something a bit different and was thoroughly impressed with the finished product. I took the 'cylinder' roast and cut it into a spiral (going with the grain - important) and rolled it out into somewhat of a rectangle. I put down a layer of cooked wild mushrooms, red and white onions, basil and spinach, then rolled the beef back up into it's cylinder and secured it with 6 strings of tight butcher twine. I browned it, then let it cook in 2/3 stock 1/3 red wine. I let the roast overcook by about an hour and a half with no fear of it becoming tough. The wine was absorbed and the stock kept the meat tender. With a few other spices in the mix, the crust on the meat was blackened but not burnt in any way. It sort of reminded me of a dark caramel. The outer-layer was chewy and full of long-simmered flavour and the inside was beautifully salty (not in a fast food way). I cut the cylinder against the grain so that the meat just barely held together on your fork. It was presented as a simple pinwheel on the plate, twirled with the stuffing.

It's hard to describe the flavour of good meat slowly cooked in wine. I've heard the term 'Umami' used to describe full-bodied flavours like meaty mushrooms,aged cheese, red meat and richer foods. It's not like roasted turkey or Worshteshire sauce... think more a slab of fresh tuna and fermented fish sauce....
You just have to try this one! The recipe is flexible, what's important is the method. And if you add a simple gravy made from the reduced stock and wine...WOW! I guarantee that the result will taste rather familiar, almost like brisket!

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