Perfect roast beef with fresh horseradish
- Now, I go against so much of the recipes you read and salt my beef hours before I cook it. For me this adds a deep flavour and dries out the surface so you get a proper stunning crust when it is browned before roasting, which just makes it all wonderful. Try it, you will see what I mean. As soon as you get home unwrap your beef, set it on a suitable plate or container for your fridge. Season liberally with sea salt on both sides and place in the bottom of your fridge, away from all raw and high risk foods. Leave overnight if possible, or a minimum four hours.
- Next, plan ahead, remove your beef from the fridge 30 minutes before you cook it. Pop it somewhere the cat can't get it and have a cuppa. This will bring the meat up to room temperature which is essential for even roasting - there is nothing worse than your lovely tasty expensive beef being stone cold and raw in the centre.
- Once it's reached room temp, turn the oven on to 190 degrees and heat a heavy based frying pan that's large enough to accommodate the beef, to good and hot - about half flame on gas. Do this with no oil in the pan.
- Now, pour a small amount of olive oil. About two teaspoons, onto the beef and massage it in all over.
- Place the beef, fat side (the narrow bone side not the big flat surface) down in the pan and hold it there, flattening it out so all the fat touches the surface of the pan. This helps to render out the fat and therefore gives you tasty tasty natural fat to cook your beef in.
- Once nicely browned and crispy all over, turn onto one of its sides and leave undisturbed til it's a deep dark crispy mahogany brown. Then flip over, season with the black pepper and repeat on the other side. Once happy with all the browning, either transfer your beef to an oven proof tray to roast or ideally put your frying pan in the oven as a roasting tray if its suitable.
- Now, I like my beef medium for rib, so for this size piece I cooked it for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through the time. As a guide you want to cook it around 7-10 minutes per pound for medium, 5 for rare and 15 for well done.
- While it’s cooking make the horseradish sauce. First whip the cream to stiff peaks but still silky, don't go too far. Next peel and grate the fresh horseradish into a bowl. This will sting like the worst onion you have ever chopped crossed with tear gas, if it doesn't your horseradish root was dried out and a bit naff, so just grin and bear it. The end result is far superior to any jar version. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the grated horseradish and toss together, add a pinch of salt and then enough whipped cream to bind it together to a thick paste. Boom. Done.
- Remove the beef from the oven, add a knob of butter to the pan which will fizzle and melt immediately. Turn the beef over and rub it around in the melted butter as this just makes the flavour sing, Then leave the beef to rest, drape a clean tea towel over it and be patient. Have another cuppa. It's worth the wait.
- Now transfer the beef to a board, remove the bone and place to one side to gnaw on - Chef's treat, shhhh, we won't tell on you. Carve into big slices and serve with a big dollop of the hot horseradish sauce. Add a few watercress or other bitter leaf, the buttery roasting and resting juices drizzled over everything.
- Perfection. Ah, the simple pleasures.
- Serve this with a Red Bordeaux or Dark Ale.
- Make ahead: If you prefer a more relaxed evening without the beef aroma running round the house when your guests arrive, do steps 1-6 earlier in the day and pop the beef in the fridge, getting it out an hour before you want to serve to allow for it to come to room temperature and for cooking.