Friday, January 1, 2010

Traditional British Food, Part 23: Belated Christmas Dinner

This is a pretty exciting post for me, because it includes my first YouTube video! (Keep reading for more.)

We had a lovely (if snowbound) Christmas in Oklahoma City, but Paul and I had to come back to Wichita so we could have our Christmas Pudding! You'll remember I made it back in November. The post is here.

Before we get to the pudding, here's the recipe for the yummy roast that we had along with the BEST Brussels sprouts EVER! Paul doesn't like Brussels sprouts and he likes these. You should give them a try.

Roast Beef with Cabernet Gravy

1 Beef Roast (ours was 3 lbs)
Olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
6-7 garlic cloves, peeled
2 sprigs thyme
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (or other suitable red wine)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously season beef all over with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in the roasting pan (or other pan that can go on the stove and in the oven) and sear the meat on all sides. Set the meat aside.

Remove the roasting pan from the heat and add all the vegetables. Place the meat on top of the vegetables and put the roasting pan in the oven for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 325 degrees and continue cooking for 15 minutes per pound.

Take the roasting pan out of the oven and put the meat on a platter, surrounded by the carrots, parsnips, and onions. Cover with aluminum foil. Leave the garlic and thyme in the roasting tin and set aside for making gravy. Let the meat rest for 30 minutes.

After the meat has rested, place the roasting pan over high heat. When the drippings have gotten nice and hot, pour in the wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce to a rather thin gravy consistency and strain into individual bowls for dipping.

This recipe makes enough vegetables for 2 people and enough meat for at least 6 (we'll have lots of yummy cold roast beef). If you need to serve more people, just increase the number of vegetables.

While the meat is resting, make these delicious Brussels sprouts:

Buttered Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

serves 4

4 ounces bacon, cut into lardons
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, large sprouts cut in half
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the bacon until crispy.

Add the Brussels sprouts and toss for a minute or so, until they are sufficiently coated in bacon fat. Then, pour in the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the stock is reduced to a glaze and the sprouts are tender.

Stir in the butter until it melts, then season with salt and pepper. You probably won't need that much salt because of the bacon.


Both recipes adapted from BBC Good Food.


On to finishing up the Christmas Pudding. I removed it from the larder, re-covered it in parchment paper and tin foil (watch this video) and steamed it for another hour and forty minutes. Then, I turned the pudding out onto a plate, topped it with holly (a big thanks to Susan's Floral) and Paul set it on fire. Here is a video of Paul heating the brandy and pouring the flaming liquor over our Christmas Pudding. Please excuse the poor video quality. I filmed it on my digital camera's video setting. Please also excuse me being a total wuss about the whole thing. I have a healthy fear of setting the house on fire. Rebecca- I hope this is Dickensian enough for you!

P.S. Delia Smith does say to leave the holly on when flambéing the pudding.

Here's a photo of the lovely lush and moist interior of the Christmas Pudding. It's basically fruit soaked in a lot of brandy suspended in a wisp of cake soaked in a lot of brandy. Yum.


A note on shopping at health food stores:

The parsnips for the roast beef came from our local health food store. Unfortunately, the parsnips (and everything else we picked up) tasted like incense. Rather like licking a denizen of Haight-Ashbury circa 1967. Not pleasant. Cooking didn't seem to help. Moral of the story: if the entire store smells of patchouli, your produce might taste funky. I love how trying to do the right thing for the earth, et cetera, et cetera, sometimes (most of the time, really) bites me in the ass.

Coming up next week: Twelfth Night celebrations

1 comment:

  1. Ha Ha! I LOVED the video. Made me laugh - I would've been a big ball of nerves too. Congratulations on becoming distinctly Dickensian.


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