Rib of beef

It wasn’t all bad news at The Farmer’s Market this morning.

One of the butchers had a fine rib of beef standing proud on the top of the counter. There were two ribs in it and for a second I was tempted to get them both. Then common sense (and my aching wallet) intervene and I agreed with the butcher that he should cut it in half and deliver to me just the one rib.

Watching him go at it with a sharp knife, then saw and then with a cleaver, brought back memories of one of the more grisly episodes of War & Peace and the work that a doctor did with much the same implements with men brought back shattered from the battlefield.

The rib had a satisfying weight to it in my bag as I walked round picking up my bag of potatoes and carrots and some bread for lunch.

At home shortly before cooking it I took it out of its bag and gave it some air and then using my fingers to rub in some olive oil and seasoning it with salt and pepper. It looked good enough to eat as it was even before going into the oven.

At home potatoes were peeled and I rescued a bag of patron peppers that had been forgotten in the rush to produce food last weekend.

The beef went into a very hot oven for about half an hour until it was angry and spitting fat. The heat was then turned down and I boiled the potatoes.

Once the potatoes were done the beef came out of the oven to rest covered in a layer of silver foil and a tea-towel.

The potatoes were cubed and fried in hot olive oil. They fell apart as I cooked them but that didn’t matter. What was important was a good crust of almost burnt potato with plenty of salt and some garlic.

The patron peppers were left until last – fried in oil with salt and then piled up next to the potatoes.

They went mighty good good with the beef.

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