The combination of the creamy corn purée spiked with hot chilli and cooling lime acts as a good foil for the rich beef.

Ingredients

The pickled onions, which can be prepared hours or days ahead, lighten and enliven the whole dish. The sirloin of beef on the bone is a fantastic cut and somewhat easier to carve than the more traditional wing rib.

This is another of those cuts of meat that will be best if ordered from your butcher a bit in advance so as to give your butcher time to put aside a piece of properly hung beef for you.

Like most cuts of meat, especially the larger ones, the roast will sit quite happily for at least half an hour after cooking. I often use a grilled steak or hamburger in place of the roast beef in this recipe.

Serves 6–8

  • 2.5kg sirloin of beef on the bone
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • creamed corn
  • pickled red onions
  • rustic roast potatoes with balsamic butter

Creamed Corn

I prefer to use fresh summer corn in this dish but I have also made it with cooked frozen corn and the result was excellent, so this dish can be a year-round possibility.

The corn can be prepared early in the day or even the previous day if you wish. It will thicken a little when prepared in advance, but I add some chicken stock, vegetable stock or water to it when reheating and it works perfectly.

Serves 6–8

  • 4 cooked ears of corn
  • 50g butter
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 medium-hot chilli, deseeded and coarsely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 175ml sour cream
  • 120ml chicken stock

Pickled Red Onions

These piquant onions could not be much simpler. Apart from serving them with the beef and corn purée in this meal, I also serve them with a beef or lamb burger, with a sharp Cheddar cheese, with smoked or marinated fish and with most cold roast meats. Makes 1 jar

  • 2 red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cider, red wine or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar pinch of salt

Rustic Roast Potatoes with Balsamic Butter

When in Ireland I eat only Irish potatoes, preferably from Ballycotton in County Cork where I live, and I always buy them unscrubbed, or in other words, with some of the earth they grew in still attached.

Pre-scrubbed potatoes lose a lot of their flavour and texture between being scrubbed and getting to your kitchen. The difference is quite extraordinary and it seems such a pity to lose the magical quality of the Irish potato for the sake of a few minutes of scrubbing.

The combination of potato, butter, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and a hint of garlic is hard to beat.

Serves 6

  • 900g potatoes (preferably Golden Wonder)
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on and lightly bashed
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, duck or goose fat
  • 50g butter
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Begin by preparing the corn purée and pickled onions on the following pages.
  2. Preheat the oven to 240°C.
  3. Lightly score the fat on the surface of the beef, then place on a roasting tin and season the beef with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 180°C and cooking the beef to your liking. A roast of this size will need to cook for a further 35 minutes for rare, 45 minutes for medium and 75 minutes for well done.
  5. When the beef is cooked, remove it from the oven and reduce the temperature again to 100°C. Allow to rest and keep warm in the low oven for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving.
  6. To serve, reheat the corn purée to a bubble and spread it out over hot plates. Place one or two slices of beef on top and scatter over a few pickled onions.
  7. Finish with a drizzle of any beef cooking juices and a sprinkle of sea salt and serve immediately with the rustic roast potatoes on the side.

Creamed Corn

  1. Preheat the grill to high or your oven to 250°C or as hot as it will go.
  2. Cut the kernels off the cooked ears of corn and place on a roasting tray. Add the butter, lime juice (I put the squeezed rinds on the tray too) and the chopped chilli and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together and spread out to cover the tray.
  3. Place under a hot grill or in your hottest oven and cook for about 15 minutes, until the corn is getting charred. I stir the contents of the tray a couple of times during the cooking time to ensure the corn colours evenly.
  4. When the corn is sufficiently coloured, remove the lime rinds and squeeze the soft pulp back onto the corn. Scrape the contents of the tray into a blender with the sour cream and chicken stock.
  5. Blend to a slightly coarse purée, then taste and correct the seasoning. The corn reheats perfectly, but you may need to add a little more chicken stock or water to loosen the mixture.

Pickled Red Onions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl and allow the onions to wilt, which will take about 30 minutes. The onions will keep covered in the fridge for weeks.

Rustic Roast Potatoes with Balsamic Butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Scrub the potatoes until spotlessly clean. There is no need to peel them. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and then into wedges rather than chips. Put in a bowl with the garlic and rosemary and drizzle on the olive oil or fat.
  3. Turn the potatoes in the fat to coat lightly. There should not be a pool of fat in the bottom of the bowl, but the potatoes should be covered with a thin sheen of fat. Do not season the potatoes until they are cooked, as it tends to cause the potatoes to stick to the roasting tray and you may lose the crispy skins.
  4. Place the potatoes on a roasting tray in a single layer, skin side down and ideally with a little space between each potato, and scatter the garlic and rosemary between the wedges.
  5. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes, until the skins are crispy and the centres are tender. Avoid the temptation to move them on the tray halfway through the cooking time, as this will only break up the potato skins. The potatoes will eventually crisp up and loosen from the bottom of the tray.
  6. When cooked, remove from the oven and immediately add the butter and vinegar to the tray with a seasoning of salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to glaze them in the melting butter and vinegar and serve immediately.