Rib of Beef with Garlic and Rosemary

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Advantages of having Rib of Beef for Christmas dinner:  you don’t need to get up at dawn to cook it; if you haven’t cooked it for long enough, it’s even more delicious; there is less washing up, especially if you just serve it with mashed potato and red cabbage.  We haven’t had turkey for three years now.

I think our beast was big-boned, as I asked for rib of beef with two bones, and it weighed 4kg.  About 3kg would be fine for six people, and give you some leftovers (rib of beef and red onion sandwich?  Heaven!).  Leave the joint out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking.  Preheat the oven to 245 degrees.

Get a handful of rosemary leaves, 2 cloves of garlic and a teaspoonful of sea salt.  Whoosh up together in a mini-processor with three tablespoons of olive oil.  Rub HALF of this mixture all over the beef, and save the rest for later.

Put the beef into a large roasting tin, and cook at a savage temperature for the first 20 minutes.  Now, lower the heat to 190 degrees and cook for 30 minutes per kilo.  When the meat is about 40 minutes from ready, turn it over and pop a whole bulb of garlic in to roast alongside.

When the garlic bulb is squishy (after about 30-40 minutes), leave it to cool for a few minutes before squeezing the cloves into the processor with the remaining rosemary rub.  Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of runny honey.  Whoosh up until well blended.

Once the beef is cooked, brush over some tiny spots of butter (about 30g) until they have melted in.  Now brush the meat well with the rosemary-garlic-honey-vinegar mixture.  Cover in tin foil and leave to rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes.  Plenty of time to cook some potatoes and mash them with nutmeg and cream and to warm the red cabbage you might have made the day before.

Trim away any fatty bits and cut the joint into manageable chunks.  You can carve them more prettily at the table.  So easy.

Chicken Schnitzel

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The perfect TV dinner for Epic Movie Night.

Take two chicken breasts and slice them very thinly (about half a centimetre thick).  Beat an egg in a flattish bowl and add a little salt and pepper.  Whizz up the end slice of a wholemeal loaf (not too fresh) in a mini-processor until it resembles, well, breadcrumbs.  Put the breadcrumbs onto a large plate.

Immerse the chicken slices in the egg, then press them onto the breadcrumbs until they are well covered.

Foam a small knob of butter in a large frying pan and add a tablespoon or two of oil.  Fry the chicken for about 3-4 minutes each side on a hottish hob until golden brown.  If in any doubt about whether they are cooked, cut in half to check, and if you like to be doubly sure, place in a medium oven for a few minutes.