Meiji Tokyo Renka has started off with a bang, and by that, I mean that it’s basically a cross between 1800s Japan and Ouran High Host Club with roast beef. And you know what? I’m here for it. What’s not to love? “Insert self here” girl gets transported to the past and immediately meets a harem of different boy stereotypes who apparently see no problem with her a) very different clothes, b) technology, and c) blatant confusion of the entire situation. I’ll be interested to see where the second episode goes, but I can say for certain that it’s definitely shaping up to be a fun, if not very serious, show.
Something I do love about it is that the main character, Mei, LOVES roast beef. I find this incredibly refreshing because “liking meat” tends to be a stereotype reserved for male characters, so it’s nice to see a girl taking delight in the juicy and delectable delicacy that is beef because this is a love I think everyone can share equally.
Upon reflection, I was actually surprised to find that I’d never had roast beef, and immediately went a-huntin’ online to find some information on it. Roast beef is a pretty ubiquitous term for any hunk of beef you happen to roast in the oven, so there are a lot of variations. Something to note is that there are some types of beef better suited for roasting than others. Rib roasts, for example, top-side of beef, or sirloin roasts. Something like a chuck roast, which my butcher mistakenly pointed me toward, has tissue better suited for low and slow cooking, and not the higher heats of an oven.
Get ye to your butcher! I co-opted the famous Jamie Oliver’s roast recipe to match what I saw in the show. His original recipe is linked below, and I barely made changes. I subbed out a deeper berry jam in the gravy for strawberry, both as a nod to strawberry cake, which is the bread and butter of anime like this one, but also because it was what I had on hand. I went for a sirloin roast instead of top side of beef, because it was what my butcher had. And, I adjusted cooking times for a rarer end result, because I happen to love rare meat. Shockingly, this is very simple to make, yet incredibly impressive! Make it tonight for your friends, and maybe you all will be transported to another time, and another place.
Watch the video below to see the full process.
Ingredients for the Roast Beef
Adapted from this recipe here.
-3 lb sirloin roast
-Salt and pepper
-1/2 large yellow onion
-2 carrots, scrubbed
-1/2 head of celery
-1/2 head of garlic
-2 sprigs rosemary
-3 bay leaves
-1 tablespoon flour
-1 box (roughly 1 liter) of beef stock
-Roughly 1 cup of red wine
-1 tablespoon strawberry jam
To Make the Roast Beef
1. Two days in advance, season the roast with salt. Leave in the fridge.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Get roast pan out and ready to go. When ready to cook, take the roast out and pat dry. Coat with olive oil, and rub in salt and pepper. Heat a pan on high heat. Scrub celery and carrots. Place roast into the pan to sear the side, about 5-7 minutes. While searing, chop onion into large chunks. Chop carrot into large chunks. Flip the roast so the other side can sear, and large chop the celery, and then smash the garlic bulb open so the cloves aren’t stuck together.
3. Sear each side of the roast, about 1 minute on each side. Use your tongs to keep the roast upright. Remove from the heat and set aside on a plate. Add more oil if the pan seems dry. Toss vegetables into the pan along with the rosemary and bay leaf. Toss a few times, and let cook, about 2 minutes or until just seared. Remove from heat, and layer into the bottom of the roast pan.
4. Place roast on top of the vegetables, making sure it’s sitting evenly in the roasting pan. Put in the oven for 1 hour (for medium-medium rare). When done, remove roast from the pan, put on a plate, and cover with foil to rest. Place vegetables back in the pan you used to sear the meat, crank heat up to medium-high, and sprinkle in the flour. Use a wooden spoon to toss the flour through the vegetables, and squash the veggies into smaller chunks and bits. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping up all the burny bits at the bottom of the pan. Tap in the jam, and swirl through the pan.
5. Add in the beef stock. Bring to a simmer, and cook for thirty minutes, smashing down veggies as they cook to release more yummy flavor. You want to let the gravy thicken a good bit. After thirty minutes have passed, or it is thickened to your liking, add in any juices the roast released after resting and stir through.
6. Strain gravy through a sieve to remove any bits. Thinly slice the roast so across the grain. Serve with hot gravy!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Check in next week for another recipe, and to check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a Twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My Tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Find me on Youtube for more video tutorials! Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀