I wanted to call it Roast Beef 2- Electric Boogaloo, but I am unsure as to the crossover between amateur cooking and early hip hop cinema. I hope it’s a huge cross section, but suspect it may just be me…
I do enjoy a roast joint. This is a more Mediterranean inspired mix than my last, but as ever with roasts, I’ve tried to keep it hearty, as that’s 90% of the point of a nice roast, to my mind.
I can’t remember the provenance of the beef marinade. It’s pretty clever and not my idea, but the soy and balsamic breaks down the sinews of the meat and makes it very tender.
The risotto is an adaptation of a Gordon Ramsay recipe, but I like to use dried wild mushrooms, as they are actually obtainable from most supermarkets (not all of us are blessed with nearby Organic Superstores), and the liquid from rehydrating these adds an extra kick to the flavour.
Serves 2 or 3
500g beef joint
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp olive oil
1tbsp soy sauce
A few sprigs of thyme
100g arborio risotto rice
30g dried wild mushrooms
300 ml chicken stock
75ml nice white wine
1tbsp lemon juice
Mix the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, thyme and pepper in a small bowl. Place the beef joint in the roasting tin, on top of a large freezer bag turned inside out. Slather the balsamic mix all over. If you don’t have much time to let it marinate, go a bit Norman Bates and stab the joint a few times. Turn the bag inside out, seal it up and stick it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Ideally overnight.
All done? Set the oven to 220c. As it heats up, cut the top and tail off the courgettes, and lay them cut face up in a roasting dish. Scatter over basil, a dash of oil and the lemon juice, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
10 minutes in, add the beef too, boil the kettle, and add the mushrooms to a large mug, and pour enough hot water to just cover the shrooms.
When the courgettes are done, turn the oven down to 130c, remove the courgettes, and as they cool, dice them into 1/4 cm pieces.
Now you’re just waiting on the beef. Should be about 35 minutes, plus 35 for every 500g. As I’ve said a few times, better to do it by temperature. 50c is rare, 65c medium and anything over that you should probably be a vegetarian because you clearly dislike meat. When you have about 20 minutes to go, you should start on the risotto. It takes about 30, so remove the beef to rest towards the end.
First, drain the liquid from the mushrooms into the stock. Chop them up a little, and if you so desire, cook them for 2-3 minutes in some butter over a high heat. Not a vital step, but tasty nonetheless.
Heat a very little olive oil in a medium saucepan, and add the rice, stirring constantly, for about a minute. Pour on the white wine, and continue stirring. Let it boil down to next to nothing, then add about 50 ml of stock. Continue stirring. As it boils down, repeat. And continue stirring.
When you’re down to the last batch of stock, add the chopped courgettes and mushrooms, and stir these in too (you can’t over stir a risotto) to reheat. Add the cheese and melt it through. It’s ready when it looks mostly cooked out and gooey.
Serve up and enjoy.