The butcher in Lebanon is a trusted friend and partner in the kitchen; certain dishes are prepared by him and all one has to do is cook them.
This is a rib-eye roast (called shahbayeh) that comes already tied in string. It only requires browning then braising for one hour or longer in a little wine and aromatics.
The polenta is fun served this way ; delicious smothered with gravy.
- 2 pound of roast beef
- To flavor the gravy: 2 onions (cut in quarters), 6 cloves of garlic (peeled), 2 carrots (peeled and cut in three chunks); a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme or rosemary, several peppercorns, some dried zaatar or oregano
- To flavor the roast: Salt, pepper, 2 tsp of seven-spice, a dash of coriander and 3 or 4 tbsp of flour
- 1 1/4 cup of white wine
- 2 cups of polenta, cooked according to the package directions
- 1 cup of shredded hard cheese, like Swiss or Comté to flavor the polenta
- oil and butter as needed
- 1 or 2 slices of prosciutto to garnish (optional)
- 1 or 2 tbsp of cornstarch to thicken gravy (use one tbsp per cup of gravy)
- Sprinkle the roast with all the spices, leaving out the salt which will be added towards the end of cooking. Pat with flour and heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large and heavy-bottomed pot. Brown the roast evenly with the quartered onions, garlic and carrot. Splash with the wine and throw in the bay leaf and other aromatics.
- Cover the pot with a large piece of foil then the lid; let the roast braise over very low heat, regulating the heat so that it does not boil just simmers gently. After 30 minutes or so, flip the roast and check the broth; if the wine is totally evaporated, add a cup of hot water. Let the roast simmer gently until cooked. Remove the roast, untie the strings and slice. Strain the sauce and thicken it with a little cornstarch. Serve with warm polenta.
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