Growing up, roast beef meant a monthly Sunday dinner at my grandparents' house. There was the novelty of signing their guestbook every other time we went over. We'd sit in their dining room to eat, with the one wall wallpapered with a giant forest scene that often lured my attention away from the table conversation. We'd jostle for the last popover. My grandfather would start clearing plates as we were still chewing our last forkful. With his endless sweet tooth, he'd bring out the crisper drawer from the fridge chock-full of candy bars for dessert, while my grandmother would take orders for tea. They now live in an assisted living facility, where we've maintained the informality that defines our family, and that comes from having lived streets apart. It took B by surprise when we started dating that we call our grandparents by their first names, we speak our minds, and we engage in occasional black humour about ageing. My brother now lives in my grandparents' old home. While the wallpaper is no longer, I hope he fills it with just as many memories.
My grandparents came from an old-school style of cooking where roast beef is well-done and tough. I love them to bits, but I definitely lived for the popovers, vegetables, gravy and candy bars. Then I met B and discovered his dad's succulent prime rib, slow-roasted on the BBQ. Since we share a communal BBQ in our condo building which we can't take over for hours at a time, I've had to try to recreate the results in the oven. The main purpose for me posting this dish was to link to an article about how to cook roast beef which impressed me with its logic. Sear at a high temperature then reduce heat? NO. Here's why.