My recent blogging hiatus has finally come to an end. Thankfully my soul crushing and creativity squashing workload has eased up slightly, just enough to allow me a smidgen of extra energy to plan and execute a delicious meal. Earlier this fall, we bought a mixed pack of beef from a local organic farm, and a giant prime rib roast has been haunting my dreams (and my freezer) ever since. This high quality piece of meat had to be treated right, and braising came to mind.
We love roast beef. This is actually my third post on the subject, and I think I have reached the pinnacle of beefy perfection this time.
I found a simple recipe on Epicurious for Beer Braised Beef and Onions, and the reviews did not lie. This 6 ingredient recipe is amazingly easy, low maintenance and DELICIOUS. Basically: brown the meat, saute some onions, add in some beer, put this in the oven for 2-3 hours, and voila. Please try it the next time you have a hunk of beef in your fridge, a cheap cut would certainly suffice. The prime rib roast was falling off the bone, tender, juicy and full of flavour, but I wonder what I could achieve with a less fancy cut. A future challenge!
The only beer I had around was Mill St. Organic, and although the recipe called for pilsner, the lager was fine. It is coincidentally organic, along with my beef, and while everyone who knows me will laugh at the idea of me trying to be healthy, it was a happy accident. I don’t know that the taste was any better or worse, but I felt slightly virtuous while chowing down on a plate of red meat.
I paired the beautiful roast with yorkshire puddings, something no roast beef dinner should be without. Roasted veggies, done on a Silpat mat came out golden and toasty, calling out to be soaked with the onion gravy I made out of the remaining braising liquid.
A few tips for dinner perfection:
- Don’t be afraid to brown the heck out of your roast before braising. This will ensure flavour perfection.
- Use the parchment circle under the lid as they recommend in the Epicurious recipe- it will keep all the juices in the pot as they will condense on the parchment and drip back onto the roast.
- Cook the yorkshire puddings at 450F for about 30 minutes, they will be huge and perfectly crispy on the outside.
- To make the gravy, bring the remaining braising liquid to a boil, whisk plenty so that the onions disintegrate and thicken the sauce. Add a bit of beef stock or bouillon for flavour and some flour or cornstarch that you have pre-mixed with water, and you’ll have excellent gravy in 5 minutes.