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We celebrated two birthdays yesterday, Emma and my brother Carmine. On the menu, a delicious roast beef with amazing oven-roasted potatoes, all inspired by Jamie Oliver. The best cut of roast beef is a rib of beef left on the bone. The marbling of fat throughout helps keep the meat moist. It was French-trimmed by my butcher, meaning the meat was cut off the bone. The eye of the rib, the meat, was then placed back on top of the ribs and tied together with twine. Keeping it on the bone prevents it from getting dry during roasting, as well as adding flavour to the pan drippings, making for a deliciously rich gravy.

There are a few choices on how to cook a roast and at what temperature. You can seize it on all sides first, on the stove-top, and then roast in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes per pound. Or you can seize it in the oven for 15 minutes at a high temperature of 425 F and then reduce the heat to 350 F, for 15 minutes per lb. I did no seizing. I made a yummy rub, slathered it over the roast and popped it into the oven at 400 F for 15 minutes per lb.

For an 8 lb. Rib of Beef Roast

*Remove roast from fridge 30 minutes prior to using it.

6 or 8 garlic cloves

1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves

8 anchovy filets, packed in oil and drained

Zest of 2 lemons

3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 onions, peeled and quartered

3 carrots. peeled and cut in 3

2 fresh rosemary sprigs

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Don’t let the anchovy filets deter you from making this rub. They have an affinity with red meat and there is absolutely no “fishy” taste whatsoever. Anchovies are used to add saltiness and depth of flavour to a dish. One would never know they’re in there unless they were told. I tried to use my mortar and pestle to mash up the rub, but I’ve discovered that I really need a proper mortar and pestle. I had to use the mini part of my food processor to turn the ingredients into a paste-rub. If you’ve got a good mortar and pestle, add the garlic, rosemary leaves, anchovy filets and lemon zest and mash it all up. Otherwise, use something electric to help you along. Add enough olive oil to turn it into a nice paste and rub it over the roast.

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Throw the onions, carrots and rosemary sprigs into a large roasting pan. Sit the roast on top of the veggies and plunk the whole thing into a preheated 400 F oven. Roast for 15 minutes per lb. My 8 lb. roast took 2 hours.

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Oh, the aroma that came wafting out of my kitchen was out of this world! Once the roast is done, remove it to a serving platter and tent it with foil, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. This is when I popped my amazing oven-roasted potatoes, which I will post later, into the oven and began working on the gravy. Once you’re ready to slice up the roast, cut off the twine and remove that gorgeous hunk of meat off the ribs. If you’ve got a dog, lucky him! Or her!

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Gravy

Skim about half the fat out of the roasting pan. Mash-up the veggies. Place the pan on the stove-top over medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, add 1 cup of white wine. It doesn’t have to be wine. You could add some beef stock or water instead. Stir in 2 tablespoons of flour, salt and pepper, stirring and scraping up all the little bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Those little brown bits are the tastiest little morsels ever! Once it’s thickened a little, you’re done. It ends up being a cross between a jus and a gravy. Pour it into a gravy separator, pushing down on those veggies through the little holes, releasing those flavourful juices into the gravy. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fill your plate with a thick slice of roast, a little gravy over the top, some of those yummy roasted potatoes and enjoy your Sunday roast!

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