Whenever I smell beef roasting in the oven when I walk in the door I'm reminded of home. Nana would have given Dad a lump of meat from the farm to roast for the family, and I would come home from swimming, cold and still feeling wet, to the smell of meat roasting in the oven.
It warms you up almost instantly. We've come a long way since then, and I've had many roasts before. But over christmas I wanted to try something different. Inspired by German black forest, I made a oregano and cacao nib encrusted beef with a berry and wine sauce. Delicious. My cacao nibs were hand-delivered from Costa Rica - but any cacao nibs will do. Cocoa powder will not.
- Pestle and Mortar
- Roasting Tray
- Tin Foil
- Glad Wrap
- Carving Knife
- Roasting beef- this can be Bolar, Topside, Rib Roast, you choose.
- Cacao nibs
- Dried oregano
- Fresh or frozen mixed berries (crucially: blueberries, boysenberries and raspberries)
- Red wine, something like a merlot
- Himilayan Pink Salt
- 2 Eggs
The method is simple. Preheat the oven to 60 C. Yes you read right - this is like sous vide, but in the oven.
Cover your roast in cling wrap - make sure it's bound very tightly, to help seal in some of the juices. Cover it with tin foil, put it in the roasting tray, and then into the oven for five hours.
In the pestle and mortar, grind two tablespoons of oregano, 2 teaspoons of cacao nibs, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper into dust.
In a pot, bring 3 cups of the red wine, and 1 cup of frozen/fresh berries to the boil. Cook until the wine has lost its alcohol tang and has integrated some of the berry flavour. Add a nudge of salt (about a half a teaspoon) and a few grinds of black pepper. Simmer until it starts to thicken, then take off the heat.
Wait for the roast to be ready.
When its nearing done, take the whites of two eggs and beat them until they're foamy - almost like a meringue! Take the roast out of the oven, and increase the heat to 200 C.
Remove the tinfoil, cling wrap, and with the brush, one side at a time, brush the foamy egg white on, and then dust with the powder from the mortar. Continue on all sides until well covered. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes, or until the outside is a bit crusty.
In this time, put a bit of heat through the sauce. Remove the meat from the oven, slice into pieces about 5mm thick. You should have a nice even cook all the way through the middle, probably better than the picture above - I ran out of time in that photo!
Serve with a roast potato accompaniment, or a mash, or whatever your creativity pushes for!