St George’s Day: Roast rib of beef

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2 x 800g fore rib of beef cutlets
1 small picked sprig of thyme
1 small picked sprig of rosemary
75g beef dripping
½ tsp Colman’s English mustard powder
½ tsp Maldon sea salt
½ tsp freshly milled or ground white peppercorns
2 tsp cornflour
1 bunch of English watercress

For the gravy:
150g of finely diced onions
150g finely diced carrots
150g finely diced leeks
500ml homemade beef stock or boeuf bouillon stock cube
300ml good red wine

Preheat the oven to 240°C. Calculate the beef’s cooking time at 7-10 minutes per 800g for rare, 13-16 minutes for medium and 20-25 minutes for well done. Allow 15-20 minutes for resting.

Mix the milled pepper, mustard powder and sea salt, rub over all sides of the beef.

Put the dripping in a metal frying pan (no plastic handles) on full heat until it slightly smokes.

Place the beef cutlets in the pan and brown quickly on all sides, sprinkle the herbs and garlic over the beef and place frying pan on the middle shelf in the oven.

Lower the oven temperature to 190°C after the beef has sizzled for 8 minutes and cook as required.

Remove the beef from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220°C for the Yorkshire pudding. Drain the cutlets on a cooling rack, covered with foil with a tray underneath to collect the juices and allow to rest.

Make the gravy by draining most of the dripping from the frying pan (reserving it for your roast potatoes). Place the diced vegetables in the pan and brown on top of the stove for five minutes until slightly caramelized. Stir in the cornflour and mix well with the vegetables, gradually adding the wine and stirring well until the mixture thickens. Bring to the boil and reduce by half before adding the stock. Stir well and simmer the gravy for 15 minutes. Pass through a sieve to remove the vegetables and keep warm until needed.

Tip juices from the beef into the gravy. Place the beef on a chopping board and carve across the grain, placing the slices on a warm platter. Drizzle around some of the gravy, garnish with watercress and serve with Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes.

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