As much as I love my mother-in-law, there is one thing I can never forgive her for: the way she roasts beef. She has the ability to reduce the finest cut to a hybrid of shoe leather and charcoal because she is from the generation that cooked the hell out of everything to get rid of food poisoning bugs.
So, my lovely mother-in-law’s four-hour incineration is a lesson in how NOT to cook perfect roast beef. But what’s the best?
I’ve tried several methods, including bunging the joint into a hot oven for one hour to (literally) camping in my kitchen to keep an eye on a low-roast roast (at 60C) for 24 hours.
But the method here is the best – although it’s not actually a roast!! Unfortunately, you’ll need a Sous Vide, so please flick channels if you don’t have one. But if you’re as dedicated to perfect meat as I am, put one on your Christmas list.
The cut I’ve used is wing rib – the joint from which sirloin steak is cut – but you could also use forerib or rib-eye.
1 wing rib of beef, weighing around 1kg
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the beef in a Sous Vide vacuum pouch and seal. Set the water bath to 52C, then put the pouch into the water and leave for 4-5 hours.
2. Remove from the beef from the Sous Vide pouch then, using a very sharp knife, cut the meat from the bone. Slice the beef horizontally through the middle into two thick steaks. Oil the steaks and season with salt (but not pepper yet or it will burn).
3. Heat a large frying pan until smoking hot and fry the steaks for 30-45 secs on each side, to create a Maillard Reaction (when the exterior of the meat browns to form a crust). Cut into thick slices across the grain.
4. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t create too many juices to make a gravy, so you can make one separately with a good quality stock, red wine, mustard and dried thyme, along with the juices from the Sous Vide pouch,.
4. Serve with roast potatoes, roast carrots, cauliflower cheese and Yorkshire Puds.