Today is the 4th Sunday of the Lenten Season. So why are we talking about a big, beautiful Roast Beef smack dab in the middle of Lent? Two reasons. First, it’s Sunday! Sundays are traditionally a time for family, for celebration and a day for reconnecting. Even during the abstinence of Lent, Sundays are a reason to rejoice. Secondly, it’s Sunday! Once upon a time, Sunday’s Roast was a part of family life. Now, not so much.
Many family traditions are falling by the wayside. I wouldn’t object so much if old family traditions were being replaced with new family traditions, but they really aren’t. Just look at what’s happening to the American Thanksgiving. It’s not about giving thanks and reconnecting with loved ones. It’s more about standing in line to get a great deal on the latest electronic device that will separate us even further from the connections of the real world. It’s sad to see the Sunday Roast Beef Supper, an English tradition dating as far back as 1485 and the court of King Henry the VII fall victim to social changes.
Growing up, Sunday’s roast was either a good Beef Roast or a plump Roast Chicken. I will admit, more often than not, Sundays revolved around the fowl rather than the cow. While my parents were born oceans apart during the Great Depression, both were familiar with chickens in the yard. I think Roast Beef was more a city thing, and Roast Chicken more a country thing. A perfect example would be that during the Industrial Age, folks would drop off a roast at the local baker, and the baker would roast it in big bread ovens while everyone was at church. The empty bread ovens were perfect, and the city villagers could count on a perfect roast after church. Another reason for the beef dinner was that a slow-roasted hunk of meal provided Sunday Suppers and plenty of meat for sandwiches during the work week.
Here’s to Sundays, families and a great roast!
Sirloin Tip Peppered Roast with Red Wine Gravy
2 tablespoons Peppercorns
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
3 lb Sirloin Beef Roast
2 Garlic Cloves; sliced
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
Red Wine Gravy
2 tablespoons Butter
1 small onion ; finely chopped
2 tablespoons All-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Beef stock
1/2 cup Red wine
Salt to taste
Peel garlic and cut into slivers. Set aside.
Coarsely crush the peppercorns. This can be done using a spice grinder, a Mortar and Pestle or by placing the peppercorns between sheets of waxed paper and pounding with a mallet.
Spread the peppercorns out on a sheet of waxed paper. Sprinkle with the dried oregano.
Cut small slits in the roast, insert garlic slivers into each slit. Brush roast with oil.
Roll the roast in the peppercorn mixture to coat evenly. Place the roast on the rack of the roasting pan.
Pour 1 cup of beef stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. This will prime the pan and help keep the roast moist.
Roast in the warm oven for 2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 140 degrees for rare or 160 degrees for medium. Turn the oven to 500 degrees and roast for 10 minutes longer to create a nice crust. Transfer to warmed platter; tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes. Slice thinly.
Meanwhile, remove the rack from the roasting pan, reserve the pan drippings and place the empty pan directly over medium heat. Melt the butter, then cook the onions, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until golden.
Stir in flour; cook, stirring, for several minutes until the flour is beginning to turn golden. Combine beef stock with the pan juices to measure 1 1/2 cups, then pour into the flour mixture along with the wine. Season with salt; bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes or until thickened. Strain into gravy boat; pass with meat. The roast can be carved at the table as desired or sliced thin before serving.
With all that wonderful gravy, be sure to make plenty of mashed potatoes.