SUNDAY LUNCH: A SLAB OF WELSH BEEF
Although we have posted many Sunday lunches on DOS HERMANOS and a good chunk of them have been in honour of the cow, my return from Wales with a 1.5kg slab of 45 day aged Welsh longhorn rib from N.R. James, purveyors of fine faggots to the cognoscenti, gave particular cause for celebration.
I am pretty certain I saw a tear in HP’s eye and we took it in turns to stroke the glistening and slightly yellow fat and murmur words of lust normally reserved for the honeymoon suite. There may even have been a little dance involved.
I placed its preparation in the hands of HP whose skills with such things should never be doubted and he spent a good chunk of Saturday night preparing stock for the gravy, with roasted beef bones from a previous meal, and the batter for the obligatory mound of Yorkshire puddings.
This morning, before a brisk post gym walk to work up an appetite, he removed the royal rib from the fridge and allowed it to come up to room temperature and, while we waited for it to cook, a half bottle of Mazanilla, some olives and a mound of excellent pork scratchings kept me from clawing at the oven door.
As the beef was removed (fat stripped to be returned to the oven alongside the puddings for extra crispness, of course) I was pretty sure it would be worth the wait while it rested.
Well of course it was worth the wait, with a bowl of fiery, fresh horseradish and some perfunctory greens the beef was allowed to shine through in all its aged glory. The primary taste was clean with none of the whiff of stale fat you get from lesser meat and HP’s expert cooking left enough bite to the perfectly rare flesh to put up some toothsome resistance and to combat an equally meaty bottle of Bierzo from Castilla Y Leon.
HP was disappointed with the Yorkshire puddings, but I was not, preferring mine slightly doughy to soak up the juices, particularly when said gravy has been made, as it was, with a good, generous splosh of Madeira.
To keep the booze quotient suitably high, HP finished his afternoon’s entertainment with a large glass of Patxaran while I cracked the stopper from a bottle of Penderyn, Wales’ only single malt whisky, in this case the version aged in Oloroso barrels and really not bad at all.
With me back out on the road on Tuesday, it is going to be a while until we get chance to do this Sunday lunch thing again, but I shall take with me a happy memory of a classic HP meat fest.