What’s cooking Thursday?

It’s nearly Friday! I start to get into weekend mode today, start switching off a little bit and thinking about what activities are happening over the weekend. Our weekends start with early Saturday morning sports until about lunch time, where I pull out whatever leftovers are lurking in the fridge, a bit of this, a bit of that and we have a meal. If I haven’t planned my meals properly for Thursday to allow leftovers (for Saturday) I find myself picking up takeaway or stopping past a bakery, which is high in cost and calories but low in nutrition.

So, what are you cooking tonight? Me? I will be doing a beef roast with a tray of roast vegetables. These are great as leftovers, you can add them to fresh baked rolls or salads or on their own with a lovely mustard dressing. 

There are millions of recipes and ways to cook a roast beef, depending on size and cut. I’ve pulled out a beautiful piece of organic grass fed topside (if you are Victorian based, check out The gourmet cow http://grass-fed-steak.street-directory.com.au/). I’m not going to stand on my soap box and preach organic, but for those of you who have toyed with the idea, but (like me) often feel overwhelmed by it all, start small. What do you consume a lot of? Our standard organic purchases are beef and lamb (both purchased through the gourmet cow – it’s cheaper than  buying standard meat from the supermarket and it’s delivered to me), pork and chicken is always free range. We buy organic milk and as much organic fresh produce as possible. I shop at a green grocer that offers organic and conventional produce, so I assess my options (including costs and freshness). I recommend buying direct from the farmers, where possible, as you can ask exactly how they grow/raise their produce. It’s really interesting reading up about grass fed animals vs grain fed. The nutrition of the meat completely changes as does the quality and taste. Anyhoo, on with a recipe!!

Roast Topside beef and vegetables

I am home today, so will be popping my roast into the oven early, in a slow oven, in a covered dish.

Take some fresh garlic (I use quite a bit, around 8 cloves but use less if you prefer)

a handful of fresh rosemary or other fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme are all good too)

a good spoon of salt and sprinkle of pepper

Put these into a mortar and pestle and bash them together until you get a dry pasty consistency, add a tablespoon or so of olive oil.  Using a sharp knife, poke holes into the roast and shove the paste into the holes and coat the outside generously. I do this on the roasting tray, so any mess made doesn’t get wasted. I pour a little bit of water into the tray and cover with foil and into the oven. You can also use red wine or stock. You can also add veggies such as onion and celery to the water/stock/wine to help flavor it. Today, I’m keeping it simple though. The general rule of cooking roast is 1 hour per kilo of meat, but today I will be cooking my 1.5kg roast for around 4 hours.

Keep an eye on the liquid levels, you don’t want it to dry out, so top it up if you need to.

Prepare the veggies…

Today I am cooking potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, onions,swede and beetroot. Peel and chop your veggies, in a bowl or a separate tray, coat them in olive oil, some crushed garlic, and I like to add a bit of dried oregano, and of course salt and pepper. Mix the vegetables, so that they have an even coating, and either put in with the roast or cook separately. Again, I add a bit of water to the tray to help cook them. Depending on size, the cooking time will differ, so just poke them with a fork, if they are soft, they’re cooked 😉 Try to time it so that the vegetables are cooked a bit later than the meat to allow the roast to rest.

About half hour before I take the meat out of the oven, I uncover it, turn the oven to around 180-200’C to brown it.  To test the meat, I use a skewer or sharp knife to poke through to the middle of the roast. The liquid coming out should still be a bit pink, unless you like quite well done meat, then cook it longer, but this will really dry the roast out. Take your roast out when it’s cooked to your liking, and leave it covered to rest, remember it will continue to cook while resting. The general rule for resting meat is to rest it for half the time you cooked it (1 hour cook, 1/2 hour rest). I’ll confess here, that my roasts usually only get to rest for half hour tops, because I am super impatient and we eat early. Once rested, you can slice up your roast. While your meat rests, finish cooking the vegetables. If you cooked them with the meat, mix them around in the beautiful juices to add flavor. If you didn’t, you can use the juices to make gravy or just pour into a gravy jug and tip over your meat. Yum! Serve with a simple green salad and that’s it. Dinner tonight and lunch for Saturday 🙂

If I have time, I will try to add some photo’s of the roast later tonight for you – I hate recipes without photos!!

M xx 

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