Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 21, 2021
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The perfect Sunday roast

Start-to-finish time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Studded with garlic and seasoned with a simple rub, this boneless top sirloin roast is drizzled with a pan sauce, topped with blue cheese, and surrounded with roasted vegetables.

1 4-lb. (1.8-kg) boneless top sirloin roast
5 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into very thin slivers
2 tsp. (10 ml) dried thyme leaves
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. (45 ml) plus ½ c. (125 ml) olive oil, plus more for oiling the pans
3 medium red onions (about 1½ lb./680 g)
12 oz. (340 g) brown mushrooms such as creminis, cleaned and, if large, halved
1½ c. (375 ml) reduced-sodium beef broth
¾ c. (180 ml) dry red wine
1½ tbsp. (20 g) unsalted butter
1 bunch watercress
1 4-oz. (115-g) wedge of blue cheese

Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Using a sharp paring knife, make slits over the entire surface and insert the garlic slivers. In a small bowl, mix together the thyme, 1½ teaspoon (7.5 ml) salt, ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pepper and 3 tablespoon (45 ml) of the oil. Brush on all sides of the roast. (The roast can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before proceeding.)

Arrange one rack in the centre position of the oven and another at a lower position; preheat to 450°F (230°C).

Lightly oil the bottom of a medium, flameproof roasting pan/tray and stand the roast, fat-side up, in the center. (This particular cut of beef sometimes tips over as it roasts. To prevent this, use a roasting rack with sides that you can adjust to steady the meat.) Roast for 15 minutes.

While the meat is roasting, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Oil a large, rimmed baking sheet/tray generously. Peel the onions and cut them into wedges ¾ inches (2 cm) thick, leaving the root ends intact. Arrange the onions on half of the sheet/tray and the mushrooms on the other half, and drizzle both with the remaining ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil. Toss the vegetables lightly to coat well, adding more oil if necessary, and salt and pepper.

After the meat has roasted for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F (180°C) and place the vegetables on the lower shelf. Continue to roast the beef until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 130 to 135°F (55 to 57°C), 50 to 60 minutes. Roast the vegetables, stirring every 15 minutes, until slightly browned and charred around the edges, also 50 to 60 minutes.

When done, transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. If the vegetables are not done, continue roasting a few minutes more, checking every 5 minutes, until done. Remove the vegetables and tent them with foil to keep warm.

Skim off and discard any fat in the roasting pan/tray. Place the pan/tray over medium-high heat, and add the broth and wine. With a wire whisk, scrape any browned bits into the liquid. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then reduce by half. Swirl in the butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the roast, crosswise against the grain, into slices a ¼ inch (6mm) thick and arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with bouquets of watercress and surround with the onions and mushrooms. Drizzle the sliced meat with some sauce and pass extra separately. Top each serving with a thin slice of blue cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

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