It’s easy to create imaginative, original dishes without having to spend the whole day in the kitchen. My juniper - and rosemary-scented cure only takes a minute - just rub it onto the beef, then leave in the fridge. Don’t be alarmed by the quantity of sugar and salt, as almost all of it is washed away before cooking. Alice Hart
Juniper-cured sirloin with roast garlic cream
- Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus curing
- Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus resting
- Total time: 1 hour 35 minutes
1½ tbsp juniper berries, crushed
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves only
175g light brown soft sugar
100g coarse sea salt
1kg beef sirloin, trimmed of sinew and excess fat
To make the roast garlic cream
2 garlic bulbs
1 tbsp olive oil
200ml crème fraîche
1. Combine the juniper berries, rosemary, sugar and salt. Spread half over the base of a deep, non-metallic dish, just big enough to hold the beef. Lay the meat on top and cover with the remaining mixture. Cover with clingfi lm and chill for 8-12 hours.
2. For the garlic cream, preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Slice the tops off the garlic bulbs so the cloves are just exposed. Lay on a sheet of kitchen foil, drizzle with the oil and season. Create a loose parcel, folding the foil edges to seal thoroughly. Bake for 1 hour, until the cloves are soft and golden.
3. Squeeze out the garlic fl esh and mash with a fork. Mix with the crème fraîche, season and chill.
4. Brush the cure from the beef and rinse under cool running water. Dry the meat thoroughly with kitchen paper, then season with black pepper. Heat an ovenproof griddle pan till it’s smoking hot, sear the beef for 3 minutes on each side, then roast for 8-10 minutes for medium-rare. Rest for 10 minutes.
5. Slice the beef thinly and serve with the roast garlic cream.