© David Loftus
rib roast of beef with beetroot and horseradish
This rib roast of beef makes the perfect roast. Even if there are fewer than eight of you its still worth cooking the whole roast and enjoying the leftovers. Beef and beetroot work so well together. When buying beetroot, try and get hold of some different shapes and colors.
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Wash and scrub the beetroots thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit, place in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 50 minutes. Meanwhile, put all the marinade ingredients and a few generous pinches of salt in a pestle and mortar or Flavour Shaker, bash them up, add a couple of glugs of olive oil and rub all over your roast. Put the roast on a large roasting pan and into the preheated oven for an hour and a half.
When your beetroot is almost cooked, drain and peel while still warm, then cut each one in half and toss all the pieces in a bowl with the garlic, thyme sprigs, balsamic vinegar and a few glugs of olive oil. After its hour is up, remove the beef from the oven and scatter the beetroot halves all around the meat in the pan. Place the pan back in the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes, by which time the beef should be medium-rare and the beetroot perfectly roasted (feel free to cook the meat to your liking, though). Allow the meat to rest for up to 20 minutes you may need to keep the beetroot warm in a low oven.
Chop the marjoram or parsley leaves and mix with the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Spike well with the horseradish and season to taste. Carve the beef on to a large platter with the resting juices. Serve with the roast beetroots, flavored crème fraîche and some lovely roast potatoes.
41⁄2 lb fresh, different colored beetroots
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 11131⁄2lb rib roast,
preferably free-range or organic, French-trimmed, rolled and tied
2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled a small bunch of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons balsamic
a small handful of freshly picked marjoram or parsley leaves
11oz crème fraîche juice of 2 lemons
11⁄2 inch chunk of fresh horseradish, peeled and grated, or 3 tablespoons from a jar
for the marinade
a small handful of freshly picked rosemary leaves
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
6 good-quality anchovy fillets in oil, drained
zest of 2 lemons