Pangrattato-topped beef with slow-roast tomato, garlic and basil lentil salad

Pangrattato-topped beef with slow-roast tomato, garlic and basil lentil salad
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 50 min, oven time 1 hour 10 min, plus cooling

Picnics are more than soggy sandwiches and biscuits – pack up this beef and salad combo, head to the nearest park and enjoy your summer roast al fresco.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
836kcals
Fat
21.1g (3.7g saturated)
Protein
72.5g
Carbohydrates
63.5g (10.4g sugars)
Fibre
13.8g
Salt
1.1g
Calories
836kcals
Fat
21.1g (3.7g saturated)
Protein
72.5g
Carbohydrates
63.5g (10.4g sugars)
Fibre
13.8g
Salt
1.1g

Ingredients

  • 1.2kg British topside beef joint
  • Rapeseed or olive oil for rubbing and drizzling
  • 800g mixed-colour small tomatoes (larger ones halved)
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 200ml brandy or madeira wine
  • Small bunch each fresh thyme and rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 400g puy lentils
  • 500ml fresh chicken stock
  • 200g sourdough loaf, torn 
  • Bunch each fresh basil and flatleaf parsley
  • 100g spinach

For the pangrattato

  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • 70ml cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • Finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • Bunch each fresh basil and flatleaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3½. Season the beef and rub with the oil. Heat a large frying pan and, when hot, sear the beef for 2-3 minutes on each side, then put in a large deep roasting tray.
  2. Roast for 1 hour 10 minutes for medium rare (it should read 54°C when tested with a digital probe thermometer, if you have one). Meanwhile, put all the pangrattato ingredients into a mini food processor and whizz to a breadcrumb-like texture. 
  3. Put the tomatoes, onions, brandy, thyme, rosemary and garlic into
  4. a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. After the beef has been roasting for 20 minutes, tumble the tomato and brandy mixture into the beef roasting tray, then spread the pangrattato on top of the beef. Return the tray to the oven for the remaining 50 minutes. 
  5. Once the beef joint is back in the oven, put the lentils in a saucepan with the stock and 250ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook on a low-medium heat for 25 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are tender. Set aside to cool. 
  6. When the beef is cooked, remove from the oven and transfer to a lipped plate. Discard the herb stems from the tray and squeeze the garlic from their skins, then stir in the lentils. It may seem watery but the mixture will dry as it cools and the bread will soak up the juices too. Leave to cool.
  7. Put the bread pieces into another roasting tray with a drizzle of oil, then bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted. If you’re not taking on a picnic, stir the croutons, basil, parsley and spinach into the lentils and eat straightaway. If you’re packing it up for a picnic, see left for instructions. Assemble on arrival. 

delicious. tips

  1. Both are best cooked on the morning of the picnic but can be made up to 24 hours in advance. In which case, toss the salad in olive oil, then cover and chill. Cover and chill the beef.

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