November 9th, 2003

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Books read last week

"Guilty Pleasures" by Laurell K. Hamilton (library)
"The Laughing Corpse" by Laurell K. Hamilton (library)
"The Lunatic Cafe" by Laurell K. Hamilton (library)
"Circus of the Damned" by Laurell K. Hamilton (library)
"FlatterLand" by Ian Stewart (library - unfinished, was a little more physics and a little less fiction than I was feeling up to)
"The Scar" by China Mieville (new, unfinished)
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How to Cook a Roast Beef Dinner (instructions from my mother-in-law)

Thought it was about time I copied this out somewhere as after 7 or so years the pieces of paper are getting a bit tatty. And anyway, I know I promised at least one person I'd type the instructions up ... Timings are for well-done beef, if cooking a joint that's about big enough for 2, say 1lb or so. And yes, if you read closely that does mean I cook 9 Yorkshires when I'm making dinner for 2 people ;)

2.5 hours before lunch:

  • Put oven on to 180°C.
  • Mix batter for puddings
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ pint of milk
    1. Put eggs, flour, salt and a little of the milk in a bowl
    2. Beat until a smooth cream
    3. Add rest of milk, stir thoroughly
    4. Leave to stand (no idea why, personally)
  • Mix gravy if using Bisto gravy type stuff:
    1. Put 4 teaspoons of bisto powder in a jug
    2. Add a small amount of cold water and stir until a runny cream

2 hours before:

  1. Rinse meat under cold tap
  2. Put in tin
  3. Add ½ to ¾ inch boiling water
  4. Put in oven

1.5 hours before:

  1. Put loaf tin (containing 1 - 1.5 inches of fat or oil) in oven
  2. Peel and cut potatoes into roastie sized chunks
  3. Boil for about 10 minutes
  4. Drain and leave
  5. Put bun tray in oven to heat, with a tiny piece of lard in each compartment

1 hour before:

  1. Take loaf tin out of oven and add roast potatoes
  2. Put back in oven on top shelf

45 minutes before:

  1. Take out pudding tin and put batter in, using a tablespoon. I find 2 tablespoons per Yorkshire works well, and that amount of batter gives 9 Yorkshire puddings.
  2. Return to oven</i>
  3. Peel potatoes for mash

35 minutes before:

  • Put potatoes for mash in to boil in salted water

15 minutes before (or to taste):

  • Put rest of veg on to boil

5 minutes before:

  • Mash potatoes with knob of butter and a little milk
  • If using packet gravy, follow instructions now</i>
  • If using Bisto gravy:
    • Wait till meat is cooked
    • re-stir gravy in jug</i>
    • add the stock from the meat tin while stirring, should thicken and become gravy
Serve :)
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