Roast Beef Salad

Roast Beef Salad – a grown up feast for summer – to feed 6

Large platter
180/190C oven/Gas 4 or 5
4 roasting tins (1 for the beef, 1 small one for the beetroot (if using), 1 small one for the tomatoes and 1 for the peppers).

200g spinach leaves
100g watercress
100g other leaves – shredded raddicio, rocket, beet tops
50g pine nuts, carefully dry toasted in a frying pan
1 bunch radishes, topped and halved
1 bunch basil – small bags are usually about 30g – leaves picked off stem.
200g green beans
1 cucumber, sliced thinly
6 ripe tomatoes, or 20 cherry tomatoes
2 red or yellow peppers
6 small – medium raw beetroot
A few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
A few pinches of sugar
Salt & Pepper
Balsamic vinegar

If you do not like any of the above salad ingredients, leave them out and replace with those you do like – roasted asparagus, a couple of ripe avocados, cucumber etc.

Dressing – make in a jam jar or container with a screw top lid
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Olive or Rapeseed Oil
Salt to taste

Roast Beef
800g filet or 1kg narrow long piece of well-hung rump roast or topside – depending on your budget. The topside and rump will have way more flavour than the filet, but the filet will have a softer texture.
About 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil for roasting

Preheat your oven. If the beetroot are small to medium sized, just top and tail and cut into quarters. If they are larger, they will need peeling and cutting into eighths. Put them in a small roasting tin. Add about 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of salt and of pepper. Add a couple of sprigs of thyme or rosemary, and a pinch of chilli flakes. Toss the beetroot well in the oil, vinegar and seasonings. Cover the dish tightly with foil before putting into the oven. The beetroot will take the longest to cook of the roasting ingredients – usually about 45 minutes, but it could be up to an hour.

Halve your tomatoes and place cut side up in a small roasting tin. Drizzle with Olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of thyme, a pinch of sugar and a good grind of pepper to each half. Put in the oven to roast.

Deseed the peppers, place in a roasting tin, and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop into the oven.

Place the beef in a roasting tin. Rub about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the outside of the joint. Sprinkle over the English Mustard powder, and spread all over the fat. Season really well with salt and pepper – this is going to be eaten warm with a salad, and will need liberal seasoning. Put it at the top of the oven and roast for 30 – 40 minutes (40 minutes per kg – for rare meat).

Whilst everything is roasting, top and tail your green beans, and cut in half if very long. Barely cover with water, add a bit of salt, cover the pan and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and immediately refill the pan with cold water to stop them cooking further. Drain once the beans are cool.

Take the beef out of the oven at the end of its cooking period. Check the tomatoes, peppers and beetroot – the peppers should be fairly soft and slightly charred at the edges, the beetroot should feel done when pierced with a knife and the tomatoes should look cooked.
Remove from the oven once done, and allow to cool a bit on a work surface.

Whilst everything is roasting, start assembling the salad.
Put a good deep layer of leaves on the platter. Quarter the radishes and scatter over. If you are using cucumbers or avocados, slice or prepare as you wish and scatter over the leaves.
Slice the beef as you like it, either a smaller number of fairly thick slices or lots of thinner slices. Place on top of the leaves and other ingredients, interspersed with green beans, tomatoes, roast peppers and roast beetroot quarters. Roughly tear the basil leaves over the top and sprinkle with the dry toasted pine nuts.

To make the dressing, put the mustards, salt, pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a jam jar. Shake well to mix. Add olive or rape seed oil until the jar is about ¾ full. Put the lid on and shake well to combine. Check the seasonings, before drizzling a little over the salad. Put the rest in a bowl or jug for your guests to add their own.

This is a meal in itself in the summer, but some good bread or some buttery minted new potatoes would not go amiss.

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