The plan is for a relaxing Sunday – I have prepared all this in advance and let the slow cooker do the work for the most part. A houseful of children around the table tonight who all have a solid week of work and sport ahead of them so a good opportunity to sneak the good stuff in when they least expect it. Vitamin packed, tasty and comforting, all will be wolfed down without a fight.
Yorkshire puddings are not renowned for their health benefits but these are made with wholemeal flour to up the fibre content of the meal and they are no worse off for it. I use James Martins Yorkshire pudding recipe as a base as it has proved to be pretty fool proof over the years and again, you can make it in advance and store the batter in the fridge until needed.
The beef is slowly roasted in red wine, rich beef stock and root vegetables and left to rest while you get the sides ready. The remaining liquid in the cooker is put into a blender to cool, skimmed of any fat on the surface and blended to make a really tasty and flavoursome gravy. Buy as good a quality joint as you can afford – organic and well aged if at all possible. However, this recipe is very forgiving and a good slab of brisket or silverside should not break the bank.
The vegetable side is so easy – chop up a colourful assortment of seasonal veg with a bulbs worth of garlic cloves and roast slowly for approximately 45 minutes . Choose what other sides you want – in this instance we had an extra couple of mouths to feed at the last minute so I added some tiny smoked paprika potatoes and some wilted garlic spinach.
Slow Roast Beef with Wholemeal Yorkshire Puddings – Serves 5-6
1 x joint of slow roast beef – brisket or silverside as a guide. Size to suit your guests but make sure it fits into your slow cooker with a comfortably fitting lid.
1 x fat garlic clove
1/2 swede, chopped
2 x small onions, sliced
good glass of red wine
500ml rich beef stock
Wholemeal Yorkshire Puddings
100g wholemeal flour
100g white organic flour
5 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
Selection of vegetables in quantities to suit your head count – onions, whole chestnut mushrooms, cauliflower and broccoli florets, parsnips, carrots, sliced leeks, 1 x garlic bulb, etc..
Vegetable or Carotino oil.
Here we go……
Season and oil your beef joint and sear off in a hot frying pan to seal the meat and brown the outer surface. Pop into the slow cooker and cover with the stock, wine, root vegetables. Pop the onions and garlic into the frying pan with a little oil and cook until softened and golden. Add to the slow cooker and nestle it all in together. Cook on high for 1 hour and then reduce to a low setting and leave for 8-9 hours.
To make the Yorkshire puddings, put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until a smooth batter is formed. You can now hold this for up to 24 hours in the fridge in a jug. When you are an hour away from serving dinner, heat a dessertspoon of oil in each of nine holes of a muffin tin in a hot oven (Gas 7/220dg) and heat until smoking – approx 5 minutes. Pour the Yorkshire batter evenly into the tin and pop into the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
At this point, start roasting the vegetables in a separate oven on Gas 6/200dg for the same length of time, turning now and again to avoid scorching.
Take the beef out of the slow cooker and allow to rest under some foil and a couple of tea towels to keep warm. Pour all the cooking liquid, veg and all into a blender and allow to cool. You can lift off the fat that floats to the top with a ladle. When cool, blitz the liquid to form a creamy gravy. Pour into a jug, ready to reheat in the microwave before serving.
When you are near eating time, carve or tear the meat and serve onto warmed plates with a Yorkshire pudding each and a healthy serving of the fragrant vegetables. Pour over the sneaky vegetable gravy and pour yourself a glass of red.
Happy Sunday everyone, keep warm in the winds!