My previous attempts at achieving tender roast beef, using the cheaper 'Silverside' or 'Topside' cuts were all pretty disastrous. A lot of websites will tell you these cuts of meat are better slow roasted. Yet I've also seen instructions for conventional roasting.
Today I thought I would experiment. Having been spurred on by the ever increasing cost of roast beef on the deli counter and my thrifty conscience.
There was a hint of where I had been going wrong after I tested out Michel Roux's method of roasting pork loin.
This fabulous open beef sandwich includes just a few of the deliciously sweet and sticky shallots which went into the roasting tin. The meal is under 400 calories - and very satisfying! If you don't have time - use some deli slices, but if you want to try this recipe - here's what I did:
HOT OPEN BEEF SANDWICH
a few shallots
50g (per person) thickly sliced white bread such as ciabatta etc
Heat the oven to 180ºC.
Dry the beef with a paper towel, rub with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown in a hot frying pan for a few minutes.
Place in an oiled oven proof dish and add about 2 tablespoons of water to the pan. No need to cover with foil.
Peel the shallots and add (whole) to the baking tin/dish. Stir around to coat lightly with oil.
I followed the guidelines for a medium/rare piece of beef: 15-20 mins per 450g plus 20 mins extra, basting every now and again. I took the beef out after 50 minutes and checked the temperature with a thermometer. It showed the beef was just above 'rare'. So I cooked it for a further 5 minutes (just in case….).
Remove the meat (and shallots), cover loosely with foil and leave it to rest for 20 minutes. Yes - that's the secret - don't touch it for 20 minutes. I learned this from Michel Roux's recipe. Try it yourself: carve a slice of meat just as it comes out of the oven. Then carve another slice 20 minutes later. I was surprised at the difference - the second slice was much more tender.
The only thing I wish I hadn't done was cook for that extra 5 minutes - because I doubt it needed it. It can be difficult trusting new recipes and doing things differently. I'm still learning!
Rub the bread with garlic, oil and a little horseradish sauce. I found cooking the bread on a griddle rather than toasting under a grill gave it a much softer texture.
Pile on the beef and shallots, and serve with a lightly dressed salad.
****REMEMBER: - Do you know how many calories you are allowed each day?
Here's a link to our very first blog post about our weight loss journey, which we began in January 2011. We started this blog as a way of recording what we ate while losing weight. The blog is a food diary, and contains lots of recipes, tips and ideas about losing weight.
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