Star chef Grant Achatz, of Alinea in Chicago, gives his elegant roast beef unexpected flavor with an ultrasavory shallot-and-prune marinade.
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1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
4 shallots, chopped
1/3 cup rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons juniper berries
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
One 5- to 6-pound cap-on boneless rib eye roast
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 heads of black garlic, peeled (1/3 cup)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry red wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 quart beef broth
3 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
How to Make It
Make the roast In a blender, combine all of the ingredients except the rib eye and puree until smooth. Set a rack in a roasting pan. Set the roast on the rack and rub the marinade all over. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Roast the beef for about 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 120°. Transfer the roast to a rack and let stand for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the gravy In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black garlic, crushed garlic, flour and sugar and cook, stirring often, until a golden-brown paste forms, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the wine and the soy sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the broth, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to 4 cups, about 30 minutes.
Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon of wine and the vinegar into the gravy and season with salt and pepper. Strain into a gravy boat. Thinly slice the roast across the grain and serve the gravy alongside.
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