2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Rib of Beef with Red Wine Gravy

Not a lover of Turkey for Christmas, hubby and I love nothing more than a good bit of beef!

Here you will find a failsafe recipe to a perfectly cooked joint of meat that is sure to get ohhs and ahhs around the table whether you’re serving it for an alternative Christmas dinner or just a special Sunday roast.

(Sadly no photos yet, but I will be sure to post some of our feast this year)

Image from: Allens of Mayfair

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3kg beef rib, on the bone (approx two-ribs)
  • beef dripping**
  • 4 chopped carrots
  • 8 shallots , halved and peeled
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half
  • a couple of large sprigs thyme
  • 350ml red wine
  • 500ml beef stock (powder, cubes or fresh)*
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 2 tsp redcurrant jelly

The Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
2. Season the joint heavily with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, rubbing it into the fat and flesh.  Rub in any herbs you think suitable too, I sprinkle some thyme leaves on top.
3. Heat the beef dripping in a roasting tin and sear the meat quickly on all sides, including the ends, until you get a nice dark brown colour. Remove the meat and set aside.
4. Make a bed of the carrots, shallots, garlic and thyme in the bottom of the roasting tin and sit the meat on top. Roast for 20 minutes then turn the oven down to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 and continue to cook for 20 minutes per 450g for medium or 15 minutes per 450g for rare.
5. Take the meat out of the tin, wrap it in foil and rest on a plate for a good 30 minutes.
6. To make the gravy, put the roasting tin over a medium heat, pour in the red wine, scraping the all the bits off the base of the tin. Bring to the boil and reduce by about half. Add the stock, the redcurrant jelly to taste plus any of the juices you have caught on the plate beneath the beef, then sieve to remove the veg.
7. Serve with all the trimmings and enjoy a beautiful Christmas Dinner (or posh Sunday roast if you’re lucky enough!)

Tips

  • The most important thing is to buy quality meat. Make sure the beef you buy is a good dark red colour, and has a nice marbling of fat.
  • Give the beef a good hour to come up to room temperature before cooking.
  •  Peel the shallots the day before and keep in a sealed bag in the fridge.

*for Christmas I’ll use fresh, but ordinarily my favourite stock cubes are Kallo, they’re much less salty tasting
**you can use olive oil, but it tastes oh so much better with beef dripping.

Natural Beauty – How to make Crystallised Flowers

Crystallised flowers are the perfect solution for a natural long life cake decoration. They’re gorgeous and I have read they will last six months to a year as long as they’re stored in a cool, dry place.  It’s always nicest … Continue reading