i used to be vegetarian and cooking big (expensive) pieces of meat is something that still scares me. i started trying to conquer this with lamb as it tends to be good whether you under or over cook it. pork was next and is something i also feel comfortable with now; tending to choose shoulder or belly which benefits from long slow cooking or pork tenderloin for a quicker option.
beef is unconquered territory – well, it was until this beautiful rib of beef. the advice of various friends was to buy a meat thermometer and having looked at various recipes online the methodology was all about that too – choosing how you want your meat cooked, checking what temperature that equates to and that’s that.
it all seemed a bit easy but i decided to give it a go and invested in a meat thermometer. i chose one of the ones where the temperature probe is on a wire so you can stick it into your joint and then shut the oven, with the wire reaching out (it won’t affect the oven seal) and into the read-out unit.
based on my guests’ preferences, i went for a temperature of 53c – the recommendations i found online, courtesy of heston blumenthal, were 45c (bleu), 50c (rare), 55c (medium rare), 60c (medium) and 70c (well done) – and the result was a beautifully tender piece of meat. and no leftovers, as usual!
we ate this with a potato and jerusalem gratin (there should have been marinated artichoke hearts in there as well but i forgot to add them!) plus a range of sauces - my favourites were the salsa verde and the classic horseradish and crème fraiche combination but i also did a rocket and horseradish sauce plus a watercress and mustard one.
there was another first to this meal - using fresh horseradish which was a tears-streaming-down-my-face-as-i-grated-it eye opener!