The joint of beef referred to in my "Roast" post got me thinking, about roast beef in general, and about the recipe for the roast beef salad that features in the title photo of both my blog* and website
Whenever you roast a joint of beef, always do more than you are going to need for the meal you’re roasting it for, and not just a bit more, to allow for exceptionally hearty appetites, but a lot more. Enough to feed you and your family for a week if you’ve enough space in your oven and your fridge. Because however good your roast is hot (or rather, warm – as it should have been left to rest for at least 20-30 minutes between coming out of the oven and carving) it is, arguably, even better cold. And there are so many good things you can do with it.
Cold roast beef and chips is one of my all time favourite meals – in some ways, on some days, better even than good steak and chips. A simple roast beef sandwich is about as good as a sandwich can get, preferably on good chewy rye bread, with horseradish or english mustard – or both, I can never make myself choose – and thinly sliced red onion; or mustard and gherkin; or thick sliced tomatoes with lots of fresh ground black pepper, rocket and mayo; or shavings of pecorino or parmesan; or… I could go on, but you get the point.
Here’s a great late summer, early autumn salad that can be served cold or warm, that I put together to make good use of some borlotti beans in their fabulously beautiful pods (is there a more beautiful food stuff in the world?) that I came across at the local farmers market. The version pictured was made with fresh borlotti and broad beans and frozen peas, but any combination of beans or peas would work. Simply boil or steam your chosen legumes until just al dente, then plunge into cold water to stop them cooking. Cut your cold roast beef into thick strips or chunks and mix with the beans and a vinaigrette dressing. If you have any gravy left over from the hot roast beef dinner you had the night before, you can use that to make a warm dressing with equal parts gravy, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Lay the bean and beef mix over young spinach leaves and thinly sliced red onion in a bowl and there you go. Some roughly chopped flat leaf parsley will finish it off.
This would work just as well with lamb and some fresh mint leaves.
* The title photo on the blog has since changed - but that's it at the top of this page...