Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings and Red Wine Gravy
3 to 3-1/2-lbs rib beef, on the bone
1/2 tsp salt plus more for seasoning beef
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil (or beef dripping)
3 to 4 sprigs thyme
4 garlic cloves
2 red onions, peeled and sliced
4 plum tomatoes, halved
1/2 bottle red wine (about 1-1/2 cups)
5 cups beef stock
Season the beef with salt and pepper and sear in a hot roasting pan with the olive oil to brown on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to the oven and roast, allowing 15 minutes per 1 lb for rare or 20 minutes per 1 lb for medium.
In the meantime make the batter for the Yorkshire pudding batter; sift the flour and ½ tsp of salt in a large bowl. Add the eggs and half the milk and beat until smooth. Mix in the remaining milk and let the batter rest.
When the beef is cooked, transfer it to a warmed plate and let it rest, lightly covered with foil, in a warm place while you cook the puddings and make the gravy.
Increase the oven setting to 450 degrees F.
Put 1 tsp of vegetable oil or, better still, hot fat from the beef roasting pan, into each section of a 12-hole Yorkshire pudding tray (or muffin tray) and put it in the oven on the top shelf until very hot, almost smoking.
Whisk the batter again in the meantime. As soon as you take the tray from the oven, ladle in the batter so each tin section is three-quarters full (it should sizzle) and immediately put the tray back in the oven. Bake for 12 to 20 minutes until the Yorkshire puddings are well risen, golden brown and crisp. Don't open the oven door until the end or they might collapse.
To make the gravy, pour off the excess fat from the roasting pan, place it on medium heat, and add the thyme, garlic, onions and tomatoes. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, then pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Squash the tomatoes using a potato masher to help thicken the sauce. Pour in the stock and bubble until reduced by half, for about 10 minutes until reduced by half. Pass the gravy through a sieve, pressing the vegetables to extract their flavor. Bring it back to a boil and reduce to a gravy consistency. Check the seasoning.
Carve the beef thinly. Serve with the gravy and Yorkshire puddings
6 - 8