John Torode's roast rib of beef and Yorkshire puddings
He popped the question to partner Lisa Faulkner on Christmas Day, and newly-engaged chef John Torode joins us to cook roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and all the best sides.
If you’re planning a Sunday with the family, this is the ultimate cookery masterclass you can’t afford to miss.
John says: Roast beef is the one thing that I remember as a kid that would have everybody wearing a smile - not just because it smells so amazing when it is cooking or that it arguably makes the best gravy of any roast meat or even that there will be bones to chew if you are fast enough or lucky enough.
The real reason is that it is the crowd pleaser - everyone gets to eat the bit they like, rare, well done or in between. It has crispy bits and fatty bits and soggy bits and all the bits that go to make up a proper roast, and have I mentioned it makes the best gravy?
1 three bone rib of beef, trimmed by the butcher
4 carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 tbsp plain flour
Salt and pepper
Remove the beef from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking, to allow to come to room temperature. Rub it all over with a little oil but lots of salt and pepper and score the fat just a little.
To cook the beef, preheat the oven to 220C. Place the carrots in a roasting tray and sit the beef on it, these will act as a trivet and let the heat circulate around this rather large hunk of meat.
Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200C and cook for another 2 hours 15 minutes for a rare-medium result. If you prefer your meat less rare, cook for a further 30 minutes. This gives you time to make the gravy and the Yorkshires.
Once the beef has been taken from the oven the meat will need to rest somewhere that is not draughty. Take the carrots from the tray and keep to one side - these are delicious. The fat will be used for the Yorkshires and all the bits on the bottom of the tray will make the gravy (these are the best bits).
So, drain the fat and keep in a jug for the Yorkshires, you may need to add some more vegetable oil but that’s okay because the roasting fat has all the flavour
Once the fat is all drained place the roasting tin over a low heat and sprinkle over the flour
Using a large spoon stir the flour and juices together, scraping the bottom of the pan to take up all the lovely bits. The flour will begin to turn brown and once it is smelling toasty, add a good cup of water, stir together and squash out any lumps. Add more water to make the mix more liquid and bring to the boil, then continue to cook the gravy for a good 5 minutes and stirring all the time. Add a little more water if needed, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
There is also a short cut if you can’t be bothered!
Place the fat drained tray over a medium heat and pour in a 300mls of water and bring to the boil, scarp all the goodies off the bottom of the tray and then add the desired amount of gravy granules.
Return to the boil and bingo - gravy with the meat juices
John says: This make lots. You have to remember that I am an Aussie and really had not had the privilege of the Yorkie phenomena. It took me a good couple of years of searching, testing and failing before I got this one right. They are great, the oil must be hot and everything should be room temperature so make the mix and leave it out on the side whilst everything else cooks, and most importantly they deserve their own oven, free of anything else and the door always closed. They truly are that special.
Makes approx. 20 large (depending on the size of your tin)
½ tsp salt
80ml melted beef dripping
Preheat the oven to 220C (it should be hot anyway but make sure it comes back to temperature)
Beat the eggs with the salt, and leave to sit for 5 minutes, this make the egg liquid and not blobby so easier to mix
Sieve the flour twice to aerate. Add the milk to the eggs and beat then add the sieved flour and beat well so there are no lumps. Leave to come to room temperature for or a good hour somewhere.
Decant the batter into a jug for easy pouring and place the Yorkshire trays in the oven until hot
Add a good amount of melted dripping into each section. Return to the oven and heat until the fat is smoking -be careful as the fat is very hot.
Pour the mix into each one so they are half full, return to the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 200C and cook for 15 minutes, then turn the tray around and cook for another 5 mins… yum!
These freeze once cooked, I doubt you have any left overs to freeze but you can give it a go, or if you have a big day and little oven space then just make in advance and freeze and just heat them up when you want them. Clever!
The best roast potatoes
10 large potatoes
125ml vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 200C. Peel the potatoes, then cut in half or quarters if they are huge, and put in a pot large enough to hold them all.
Boil the kettle and cover the potatoes with boiling water. Cook over a high heat for 5-10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and drain well then put the potatoes back in the pot over a low heat to dry them out, shaking the pot – but not too vigorously – or they will be damaged.
Heat the oil in the baking dish and add the potatoes, coat well with the oil and place in the oven, wherever you have space, but preferably not at the bottom. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn over and return to the oven for a further 40 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.