Foodie Friday – Roast Beef for New Years

A New Year’s Eve Menu for Two (31 December 2000)

This is actually a rather British dinner, but without the usual Yorkshire pudding. It is well loved in North America which makes me include it in this section.

When one does not have roast beef for Christmas (we had a seafood extravaganza – see just above), it is appropriate to serve for the end of the Second Millennium, Anno Domini. Do you have any idea how few people have the good fortune to observe such a significant human chronometric event?

And if you care to recall, those of us in North America also had the opportunity to observe a very rare celestial event, a partial solar eclipse on Christmas Day. Sadly, it was overcast at Mom’s house on Christmas day, even though I got up early to see it inside my little pinhole cardboard camera box (the “over-the-shoulder” model). Thanks to the gift and scourge of television, I saw several excellent video images on CNN.

Carolyn also had a hankerin’ for Caesar salad (see the Original), which she does better than anyone I know, so it was quite a feast (and there were some leftovers). You may be able to tell that smoked barbequed turkey (see the Original) was a recent feature (Thanksgiving), as I use stock a couple of times in the menu below.

The Roast Beast

The Roast and Its “Coating”

2 tablespoons Keen’s or Coleman’s mustard powder
2 teaspoons cold water
1 tablespoon onion powder
Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fireweed (or mesquite) honey

Mix it all well, beginning with the mustard powder and water. When it is a smooth paste (takes 5 minutes of patience), add the spices and honey.

1-1/2 pound aged standing rib beef roast, patted dry

Our roast was a specially aged roast beast, so I was careful to treat it gently. I hand-rubbed my coating all over the outside of the beast. The oven was preheated to 450° F.

I placed the roast, fat-side up, on a rack over a large baking dish. After the roast was seared (about 20 minutes), I turned the heat down to 350° F. I cooked it until the meat thermometer told me it was 130° F. internal temperature at the thickest part (I.T. will rise by about 5-8° F. while resting).

Remove the roast to a cutting board to rest (and cover it with foil to keep warm) while you prepare:

The Gravy

1/4 to 1/3 cup beef stock (or broth)
1/5 cup red wine (the one you will serve with dinner)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, emulsified in 1/5 cup of heavy cream

Place the roasting pan onto a burner on your stove. Skim excess fat from the drippings, then bring the drippings to a rolling simmer. Add about 1/4 cup of beef stock and the red wine, stirring to incorporate all the beautiful brown bits.

After the sauce is reduced to about 1/3 cup of liquid, stir in the flour emulsion. Stir, simmering, until the gravy thickens. Strain it and keep it warm while you slice the roast.

Serve the roast with the gravy, and horseradish or hot mustard (or both) as spicy condiments on the side.

The Roasted Potatoes

Preheat your other oven to 350° F.

3 large Yukon gold potatoes, washed and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ground pasilla chile
Cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup smoked turkey stock or chicken broth

Drizzle olive oil into a baking dish. Place potato pieces into dish, ensuring that each side of every potato piece is coated with oil. Potatoes should be skin side down to begin roasting. Sprinkle lightly with pasilla powder and cumin, then salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 50 to 55 minutes, uncovered, carefully pouring the stock into the dish just 1/4 cup at a time every 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes each time you add turkey stock. The idea is to brown the potatoes thoroughly.

Creamed Onions

2 medium yellow (Spanish) onions, skinned

1 cup smoked turkey stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon basil, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the last 4 ingredients, pour the liquid over the onions in an uncovered baking dish, and bake at 350° F. for 35 to 45 minutes.

Steamed Brussels Sprouts for Two

1/2 pound fresh brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your steamer pot about 20 minutes before you believe the roast beast and roast potatoes will be done to perfection. When the water in your steamer is boiling, add everything, mixing well, and steam for about 20 minutes.

Richard Jehn

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