Recently, I caught an episode of Heston's latest cooking show on SBS. It left me wanting more and the first thing I did was to get a copy of all his episodes online. After being amazed at each episode and still wanting more, I found out his latest cookbook was meant to be for home cooks and bought a copy.
Flipping through the book, I realise his definition of home cooks and my definition of home cooks is still a mile away. Most recipes either require some form of complication (to me) or a ridiculous amount of time. It's fun to learn how to age meant and brine meat but really?
After leaving the book on the shelf for a week or two, I took it out again and decided I will try one of his slow cooking recipes. The idea of slow roasting is so that you retain moisture and the meat won't dry out. So it was, roast chicken or roast beef. After having roasted chicken before, beef it was.
The first thing to do was to get a juicy 2kg rib eye roast. If you want to age the meat, simply put it the meat on a cake tray and then on top of a plate and into the fridge. The time the meat sits in the fridge is really up to you, butchers generally aged their meat anywhere between 3-6 weeks. I left mine in for a day (doubt there was a difference). Bear in mind, the longer you age, the more you got to trim (the dry bits). I say if you are really keen, a week should do the trick.
First step: Take the meat and bring it to room temperature. A hour out of the fridge should be good (depending where you stay obviously).
Second step: To brown the meat. To really get a lot of flavour, get some beef fat from the butcher and extract the oil to brown your meat. Season with plenty of salt. Apparently, pepper burns in the pan and you should leave it for later.
You are looking at 4-5 minutes a side on high heat.
Third Step: Put the meat on a bunch of garlic and thyme. Put the beef fat on top of the meat as a layer of protection. Now is when you sprinkle plenty of pepper.
Fourth Step: Original recipe says 60 degrees for anywhere between 4-6 hours, till the meat reaches an internal temperature of 55 degrees.
I was running short of time and during the 3.5 hours, I cranked it from 65 degrees to 90 degrees (for the last half hour). However, putting the meat in that kind of temperature means you really don't have to check the temperature until the 3 hour mark (unless your block of meat is small).
Fifth step: Rest the meat. I think I had 40 minutes to rest it but the recipe says an hour. Trust me when you really do need an hour.
Sixth step: Dig into some really juicy and tender roast. Mine was still bleeding but if you look closely, the meat is not raw as an undercooked steak would be. Melt in your mouth and food orgasm at its best.
Was spending half a day cooking this roast worth it? YES!