Winter, the season of succulent slow-roasted meats and warming reds, is upon us. Zac Shearer of historic Carlton pub The Lincoln Hotel has a recipe for a long-weekend roast that makes staying in worth it.
“It’s a Sunday morning get-up-and-into-it sort of dish,” Shearer says, “and a late, long lunch when you’re eating it.”
A sumptuous roast lunch calls for a great cut of meat. Shearer’s producer of choice is Robbins Island Wagyu, located off the north-west coast of Tasmania and famous for its full-blood Japanese Wagyu cattle.
“I’m Tasmanian and I love the product – it’s great as a slow-roasted cut,” says Shearer. “It’s got a lot of marbling through it. I like to get a nice sear on the roast first – get it nice and coloured and the flavour and caramelisation going before I chuck it in the oven.” Shearer says nice and slow is the way to go, and you can even do it overnight in an 80- or 90-degree oven to produce an incredibly tender meat, a shade or two away from the texture of pulled pork.
Shearer says certain sides – and wine – should accompany the beef. First, a chestnut puree with caramelised brussel sprouts. “The chestnut puree is nice and sweet with the caramelised brussels sprouts, which makes them a lovely match with the rich Wagyu rump,” he says.
To that Shearer suggests pouring the 2015 Levantine Hill Melissa’s Paddock Syrah with the roast Wagyu, saying the “spicy and savoury” syrah cuts through the richness of the dishes. A milder alternative is the Levantine Hill Colleen’s Paddock Pinot Noir. “The cherry and dark chocolate notes work well with the caramelised brussel sprouts and sweet chestnut puree,” he says.
Finally, finish with a Yorkshire pudding. Shearer elevates his puddings with the addition of truffles, also in season at the moment. Find fresh truffles at your local market, or you can pick up a freeze-dried packet for use year-round.
“Use a microplane to grate them finely so they go all through the batter,” says Shearer says.
The chef shares a couple of tricks for making Yorkshire pudding. One, let the batter rest before putting it in the oven – you can even make it the day before and store it in the fridge. Two, preheat your oiled muffin tray in the oven, “so when you pour in the batter, the puddings pop up and start cooking straight away”.
Zac Shearer’s slow-roasted Robbins Island Wagyu rump with chestnut puree, caramelised brussel sprouts and truffled Yorkshire pudding
Preparation time: 45 minutes to an hour
Cooking time: 1.5 hours (plus resting time)
For the beef
2kg Robbins Island Wagyu Rump or similar
Salt and pepper to season
For the chestnut puree
550g fresh chestnuts
Salt to season
For the brussel sprouts
500g brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp thyme
Pinch of salt
For the Yorkshire pudding
12 tbsp beef fat
140g plain flour
5g fresh or freeze-dried truffle, grated Salt and pepper, to taste
To prepare the meat, score the fat of the beef in a criss-cross pattern using a sharp knife, then season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan on high. Seal the rump by putting it skin-side down in a hot pan for 3–5 minutes to get a good crust on the rump. Turn the meat and cook the other side for another 1–2 minutes until browned. Place the beef, fat-side facing downwards, into a roasting tray and place in the oven at 130°C for 45 minutes (for medium-rare), or up to an hour until cooked to your liking – although bear in mind that the meat will continue to cook as it rests. Once cooked, transfer the beef to a large plate, cover with aluminium foil and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
To make the chestnut puree, heat the oven to 200°C. Place the chestnuts flat-side down on a cutting board. Use a small paring knife to score an X through the skin on the rounded side of each chestnut. Place the scored chestnuts in a roasting tray and cook in oven until skins have pulled back from the cuts and nutmeats have softened. The time required depends on the chestnuts but will be at least 15–20 minutes.
Peel carefully but quickly while warm, then place peeled chestnuts in a saucepan. Add milk, cream and butter and set over medium heat on the stove. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and gently simmer until softened (about 40 minutes). Place chestnuts and most of the milk-cream mixture left in the pan into a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Add a little more of the milk-cream mixture if required. Season with salt. Keep warm.
For the brussel sprouts, blanch the quartered sprouts in a pot of hot water for 3 minutes, then remove and plunge into bowl of iced water until completely chilled. Remove and drain well. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add brussel sprouts face down and only one layer deep. Add a sprinkle of thyme and salt, and fry for a few minutes until caramelised and crispy. Set aside.
To make the Yorkshire pudding, put a tablespoon of beef fat into each hole of a 12-hole non-stick muffin tray and place in the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes to heat through. To make the batter, pour flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre, then whisk in the eggs one at a time, bringing in the flour from the insides of the well as you do so. Gradually whisk in the milk and carry on whisking until the mix is completely lump-free, smooth and well combined. Add grated truffle and fold through. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the batter into a jug, then remove the hot tins from the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the muffin tray, till each hole is three-quarters full. Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20–25 minutes until the puddings have puffed up and browned. Serve immediately.
To serve, place some of the warm chestnut puree on a serving platter. Slice beef and place over puree. Place the brussel sprouts around the beef then drizzle with pan juices from the roasting tray. Serve with Yorkshire puddings, hot English mustard and horseradish on the side.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Levantine Hill Estate. Explore the full range of Levantine Hills wines.