Monday, October 22, 2007

Sunday dinner - English style

One nice thing about Sundays, it is possible to have a nice slow cooked meal without too much hassle. I started by pulling the roast out of the freezer a couple days ago to thaw. When it was time, I pulled out my roasting pan and rack and made ready.

I decided since this was the first time I've cooked anything from C&L, I would go simple on the seasoning, so it was kosher salt and pepper. nothing more. I put the roast on the rack and then took two potatoes, washed them, poked holes in the skin and then rubbed them with a bit of canola oil. I then popped those in to the pan in the rack and everything went into the oven at 325F.

I inserted the probe thermometer and set the target temp for 130F and then poured a bit of water into the bottom of the pan.

About 20 minutes before the roast would hit the target temp, I mixed up Yorkshire pudding batter and let that sit. The batter is quite easy. From the Mennonite Cookbook hubby had:

1 1/2 cups flour, sifted (okay, I don't sift, still worked)
3 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
fat of some kind (I used bacon fat)

Beat together the flour, salt, eggs and milk and allow to sit. The longer the better. Do not use a mixer, a wooden spoon is recommended. I like to mix everything up in a pitcher, makes it easier to pour.

For small puddings, use muffin tins. Add a bit of fat to each cup and then put into a 400F oven to melt. Traditionally you would use the drippings from the roast. With todays lean cuts and most of the fat trimmed off, there isn't enough drippings to do these and gravy. So I usually opt for bacon fat or butter. Once melted, pull the tin out for the oven and then fill each cup 1/2 full of the batter. Put back in the oven and bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

yorkshire pudding

Once the roast was out of the oven to rest, I turned up the temp for the puddings and then turned my attention to the gravy. I sliced up crimini mushrooms and added butter to the cast iron skillet and sauteed them. While I was doing that, I added a bit of water to the drippings in the roasting pan and turned up the heat on a burner to lift off the fond (the yummy goodness stuck tot he pan). I added some flour to make a roux and then when that was ready, added milk. Once things thickened up a bit, I added the mushrooms and then seasoned with a bit of salt to taste. I added the juice from the resting roast to add more flavor.

Once everything was ready, I plated and we enjoyed. I tried a bit of the roast plain, and I haven't had anything with that much flavor in a long time. We are definitely going to try and get more beef from C&L when we can.

Roast beef dinner
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