...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

19 degrees and sun + a recipe for roast beef

For those who spend the last 5 months or so in winter darkness and freezing temperatures, there's nothing quite like the feeling of sitting out and being able to report "[insert 15+ degrees or more here] and sun". Around here, that phrase pretty much means the good life.

Also, it signals the half of the year when we can use our balcony, which we recently bought new furniture for. I thought I'd share some pictures and tell you that things are just doing alright here.


Here's the new addition to the balcony since yesterday, a café table set in acacia. (Made in Malaysia. Funny to be buying something in Sweden that's made close to home!). Marcus is surfing and our plastic bird-scarer "Snakey" is doing is job scaring off the birds. For the most part, Snakey does an OK job (It even manages to shock some guests), but the birds still perch on the roof when no one's looking...

Meow? Are you talking to meeee?

Below is the view from Marcus' end of the table. The sun beds are from last year (they're from IKEA, as is the striped blue-and-white thingee). The Swedish flag is our neighbors', but if you look right under it you can see some of the river.

We tried to have breakfast out in our new table set, but I'm afraid it's still too cold in the mornings (10 degrees C) as it can still drop to zero degrees at night.Morning and afternoon fika is perfect though, when the temperature is right, which it was yesterday. We also look forward to eating some dinners out in the summer, when nights are long and warm.

At the moment though, it's raining and only 12 degrees so we're staying indoors. Because spring weather is so fickle, you understand why "[insert 15+ degrees or more here] and sun" is the perfect state of things!

Even if you can't sit outdoors, you can always eat summer food. So I thought I'd throw in a recipe of one of our favorites, roast beef. As I blogged about before, we prefer a lot of "slow mode"-kind of food in the summer months - something that doesn't require too much energy. Roast beef is perfect for this since you just rub it with salt and pepper, pop it in the oven for an hour and you're got meat sandwiches or salads with roast beef for days!

Roast beef

ca. 1 kilo beef (we used a cut called fransyska, rump steak I think)
sea salt - lots
pepper - lots
a small oven pan where the meat fits almost exactly
meat thermometer
tin foil

Rub the meat generously with salt and pepper. Line an oven pan with tin foil. I've read that it's important to have a tin pan that is just big enough to fit the meat, so the meat won't dry up. Place the meat into the pan and insert a meat thermometer into the beef in such a way that the end of the thermometer is at the thickest part.

Now, according to my recipe book:

For English roast beef: Set oven at 175 C
For French roast beef (redder center, as in the picture): Set oven at 125 C

Just pop in the pan into the preheated oven until the thermometer shows 52 - 53 degrees C. For a kilo of beef, this takes about an hour. Check the thermometer after 40 minutes, since the inner temperature of the meat tends to go up faster at the end than it does at the beginning.

When the desired inner temperature is reached, remove the pan from the oven and carefully wrap the hot roast beef with more tin foil. I do this with the help of tongs or two forks. Wrap the meat well so that it is sealed. The inner temperature of the meat will continue to go up to 60 while it is wrapped. But you needn't do anything. Just do other things for an hour more or so. Do your laundry or something until it's time to eat.

When the meat has cooled down some, you can finally reap (eat) the fruits of your oven's labour. Just slice the roast beef into thin pieces and eat on a salad, on a sandwich, or with potato salad. No effort at all!

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