I was threatened with divorce towards the end of last year – 25 times. Turns out I have more male readers than I realised and pretty much none of them found my festive season bias toward all things sweet particularly pleasing. I admit it’s been a while since I’ve done a big old hunk of meat. So this roast beef recipe is especially for all my male readers, and most particularly for the 25 chaps who wrote to show me the error of my ways. You can do this beef roast in the oven, or chuck it on the Weber as long as you use the indirect cooking method, with a basket of coals on either side of the roast. Enjoy!
All you need is…
FOR THE MARINADE
¾ cup sesame seeds
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup dark soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, roughly crushed (no need to peel them)
1 heaped tablespoon dark brown sugar
juice of one lemon
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, sliced
3cm piece of ginger, sliced
1 green chilli, sliced in half
3 whole star anise
FOR THE ROAST
1,5-2kg beef roast (topside or silverside)
3 tbs oil, for frying
2 large carrots
1 large onion
2 tbs cornflour
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan. They’re ready as soon as they’re golden and you can smell them. Add the sesame seeds to a large bowl along with the rest of the marinade ingredients. Lower the beef into the marinade, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. Turn it a few times so the entire roast comes into contact with the marinade.
Peel and quarter the carrots and the onion. Place them in the bottom of a large roasting tray along with two tablespoons of water. Remove the beef from the fridge and pat dry. Pour 3tbs oil into a large very hot frying pan and brown the beef on all sides. Place the meat on top of the veggies and spoon over a generous bit of the marinade. Roast uncovered at 200 degrees Celsius. I cook my beef roast rare, so I whip it out of the oven when it’s internal temperature in the thickest part of the roast is 50 degrees Celsius. As it rests, it will continue cooking and the temperature will go up a bit more. For medium rare, 55 degrees Celsius is perfect. Topside or silverside are marvellously beefy beef cuts, but you don’t want them to be tough, therefore I don’t recommend anything more cooked than medium rare. Cover the beef roast with tinfoil and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes.
In the meantime, make the gravy. Now before you throw your hands up in horror – yes, I am using the serious-cook’s-love-to-hate ingredient: cornflour. I don’t care. This roast beef takes its inspiration from the East and as the Chinese use cornflour for thickening with gay abandon, I figure I can too.
Simply place the roasting tray on your hob. Add some water (how much you add depends on how much liquid there is in the tray, if there’s plenty, don’t add any water at all.) Also add 2-3 tablespoons of the leftover marinade. Boil to lift all those lovely caramelized bits from the bottom. Then thicken by stirring in the cornflour (dissolved in two tbs water) and boiling it until it starts to thicken nicely.
I love broccoli with beef and think the long tenderstem broccoli is just perfect with this. If you want a starch, keep it simple with some baby potatoes boiled in the skin. Or pull through the Asian theme with some wholewheat noodles.