Sunday, 1 February 2009

A new oven & Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

I have written about my old oven and hob before, and how absolutely useless they are. Well, with some Christmas present money and a bit of savings, we bought ourselves a replacement - the Neff oven and Hotpoint ceramic hob. We bought them from Comet in the end as they had a sale on and they were cheaper than in Currys. Being quite tight, I didn't want to pay for the installation. I thought, "that is an easy job, just take out the old one, slip the new one in, job done". Start after lunch, ready to do some baking by dinner time.

Eight hours later, I finally cleared up the mess that seemed to have enveloped the whole kitchen, and was exhausted from hours of hard work. It wasn't such an easy job after all. I was so tired that, rather than start cooking, we just got a takeaway.

Now, this is the oven and hob combo - pretty sleek hey!? Check out the double oven action, with a grill/ standard oven on the top and a circotherm (Neff's special type of fan oven) on the bottom. The fan oven is great, seems to work at about 10-20 C lower than a conventional one for the same foods.

This is my favourite feature (after the improved cooking ability that is)...

Dials that, when not in use, can be pushed in flush with the oven for a smooth look.

And a timer too... very handy!

So to test out the oven, I opted for a roast dinner. The dudes at Neff handily supplied a recipe book with the oven, so I went straight to the "Entertaining" section at the back with step-by-step guides on how to cook meals. They have a recipe for roast beef dinner, with all the timings as well. This is for a 1.30 pm meal, so adjust the timings depending on when you want to eat and the size of your meat joint. I found this to be really easy to follow, and it resulted in a lovely moist beef joint, crispy roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings, and fluffy roasted parsnips.

  • 1 kg joint beef
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Plain flour
For the Yorkshire puddings....
  • 110 g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 ml water
  • 100 ml milk
11.30 am - Place the beef directly on the wire grid above the roasting pan, with a cup of water placed in the roasting pan (this seemed to help keep the meat moist, as well as adding to the meat juices for some gravy). Now peel and prepare the vegetables.

12.00 pm Put the potatoes and parsnips in seperate large pans and boil in salted water for 3-4 minutes.

12.15 pm Drain the potatoes and parsnips, saving the water for gravy. Toss in a little oil and place directly onto the wire roasting grid.

Have a look at it in the oven - mmm nicely lined up potatoes, perfect for OCD sufferers.

12.40 pm Turn the temperature up to 190 c.

12.50 pm Remove the beef from the oven... it will be medium rare now. Cover with foil and leave to relax for a bit. This lets all the juices run back through the meat, making it nice and moist.
12.52 pm Grease the Yorkshire pudding tins with a little oil and place on the top shelf of the oven. Whisk all the pudding ingredients together, ensuring that it is really well mixed and aerated.
1.05 pm Take the hot Yorkshire pudding tin out of the oven and place onto a hot stove top, keeping it warm all the time (I always thought Yorkshire puddings were quite difficult to make right, involving some kind of black magic, however it seems the secret is hot oven, hot oil, keep it hot).
Whisk the pudding mixture again then pour it into the pan dividing equally. You should get a nice sizzling sound as you do so, similar to when making pancakes in a hot frying pan. Return to the oven.
1.10 pm Make the gravy. Add a small amount of parsnip water to the roasting tin to loosen off all the tasty burnt bits.
Tip it into a sauce pan and add a tablespoon of plain flour. Bring to the boil, add a little bit more parsnip water and then leave to simmer gently for about 5 minutes or so. Skim the fat off the top (if you are a healthy sort, otherwise leave it for flavour).

1.20 pm Carve the beef, microwave any green vegetables (peas or broccoli or similar), and you should be just about ready to serve for 1.30 pm.... dish up all the veg, Yorkshires and plenty of gravy.
1.30 pm Sit down and enjoy your meal! And don't forget the essential ingredient, Horseradish sauce.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

My mum wants to know what setting you put the yorkshire puddings on in your neff oven?