WHERE’S THE BEEF
This was an ingenious advertising promotion invented by Wendy’s back in 84.
The words were catchy. Wendy did not receive too much success in such a campaign whereas beef became an alerting reminder.
Of course we are not talking about commercials. We came to re-examine the mechanics of making roast beef.
The choice of meat should be prime rib. The word prime has evolved to a generic term for a class of beef. What we should be looking for is prime GRADE beef.
The general observation should prevail. We should be looking for beef that is fresh, nice colour, with whitish layer of fat and with bones. The marbling in the meat is also important. Flavour does not derive from the meat but from the bones, and the fat that caps the beef. It is like BBQ pork, 100% lean tenderloin would produce a dry end product. When you visit your friendly butcher, the preference should go from the first rib down. You let him know the number of people you want to serve and he would prepare the roast for you. Depending on the appetite of your guests, it is pretty safe to estimate a ¾ pound of meat per person.
There are 2 camps of thought on cooking a roast.
Low temperature cooking is popular for the past few years. The method depends on preheating up the oven to the highest temperature. Then put the roast in to be cooked. After a certain time, (this gets a bit tricky, some say 10 minutes/pound, and some say more minutes/pound), the oven is shut off. The remaining heat would cook the meat through. When the oven is cool down, the roast is done.
Some people go to the extent of taking the meat out of the oven after a certain time and they claim the meat is also cooked.
The other method is using high heat 400 to sear the outside of the roast first. After 20 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 325. Estimate 15 minutes per pound and you will have a lovely roast.
Personally I prefer the sear and cook method. It makes more sense. Get a meat thermometer too. The hand held job that goes for $6 at kitchen plus. Beef should be medium rare when it reaches the temperature of 140. This degree of doneness is of general acceptance.
If you are of the all in one nature, you can certainly put all your preferred root vegetables under the roast. Everything will be done at the same time.
French bread, unsalted butter, some side canapé, together with your favourite bottle of wine, light the candles, soft music, put a bouquet along the side of the plate for the lady and you will have a romantic evening.
Who knows, you might have a new addition in the family by next year.