So, we unexpectedly had a boned forerib joint of beef on our hands! What to do? We popped half of it into the freezer and roasted the other half for an indulgent weeknight dinner.
With it we enjoyed potatoes harvested from the garden just minutes before cooking, a beautiful yellow courgette and two teeny tiny parsnips that were far too small to have been pulled! Oops!
Now, I have to be honest, I wasn’t that excited about trying the boned joint. We switched to rib of beef for our roast dinners a couple of years ago when I finally got round to trying it and realised the hype was true – it’s a truly marvellous cut of beef. And we buy it regularly from our local Waitrose. Waitrose has a pretty good reputation for the quality of it’s meat so I just assumed the Abel & Cole version would be more of the same but for a higher price. It had really been the bone in joint I’d wanted to try as that’s a cut I’ve not found easy to source locally and is reputed to be even better.
To my shock, the flavour of this beef absolutely blew me away. As soon as it came out of the oven I (as the Mrs Spratt of the family) sliced off some of the crisped fat. The orgasmic sounds started there and then! And all the way through the meal I just couldn’t stop myself oohing and aahing and making delighted comments about how exceedingly good the meat was. I was so repetitive about it Pete near as damnit told me to shut the hell up! The texture was as good as it always is for this cut, and the moistness that results from the marbling of fat was evident too – so far so expected. But it was the flavour that was so unexpectedly fantastic. I cannot remember the last time I so enjoyed a piece of beef in any format or dish.
Some of you may assume that I’m being extra nice because of the free nature of this beef. Anyone who knows me in person knows I’m far too blunt for that! (And did you see my comment on the utterly manky carrots I received in my first free delivery?)
This beef genuinely left me gobsmacked. Before we ate it, I was curious about how it could possibly justify it’s £26 price tag. Now I’m thinking about how far in advance I should order for Christmas Day! Yeah, really!
Oh and our first home-grown roasties were delicious too as was the courgette. It had grown so much in the last couple of days before we harvested it that I’d worried it may have gone too far towards bland marrowhood but it was sweet and flavoursome and a great foil to the beef. The parsnips didn’t taste of anything much and I’m hoping another few months underground will turn them into something more special.