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Roast BeefHow to make friends and influence people – serve them roast beef! We love it rare.

Wine Suggestion: a classic dish requires a classic match; good red Bordeaux. Specifically we love left-bank Bordeaux from a good vintage which has all the power but is never heavy; we don’t want to overwhelm the beef as it should be the star. 2009 and 2010 are surprisingly drinking very well and show how good they are but we’ve found the 2005’s are only just opening up. Interestingly we prefer more youthful vintages with this dish and think that the joy of primary fruit with just a little development makes a better match. For this meal we dug into the cellar and pulled out a Chateau Chasse-Spleen 2005 which was still quite tight and structured but the load of tannin in the wine worked perfectly with the proteins in the beef.

Rare roast beef with rosemary, bay & shallots – serves 4

  • rolled sirloin joint, about 1.1kg
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 16 shallots
  • 500g baby new potatoes
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/Fan 200ºC/Gas 7.

Make a bed with the rosemary and bay leaves in the bottom of a large roasting tin.

Smear the beef with mustard, salt and pepper and set on top of the bed of herbs. Make sure the herbs are well tucked in to prevent them burning.

Put the shallots and potatoes around the beef. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and shallots and toss with your hands to coat.

Roast the beef in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn down to 190ºC/Fan 170ºC/Gas 5. Cook for a further 20-25 minutes, then remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes while keeping the potatoes & shallots warm.

(Original recipe in BBC Olive Magazine, March 2011.)

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