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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Roast beef, vinegar green beans, and southwestern potatoes

We had a p re-Thanksgiving dinner tonight with semi-family, people who have come to be family to us. Jordan, Christian, and Jacob were here, along with neighbors Jay and Susan and temporary tenant and longtime friend Elizabeth. I admit, this dinner was a lot of work, most of it done last night, but the raves it got were worth it. Jordan said tonight, "It felt like Thanksgiving." Since she will miss Thanksgiving with the family due to another obligation, I thought this was particuarly appropriate.
For years I have had a roast beef recipe in my "Entrees Not Tried" file. I finally decided I had to try it or discard it. When it was published it said this was a reasonably priced cut of meat--not so when I bought it, but hey! Beef and all groceries ahe gone up. The roast required three garlic preparations--first you sauteed garlic cloves in olive oil, poked holes in the beef, and stuck the cloves in. My mom used to do that! Then you made a rub of mashed garlic, powdered thyme and salt, rubbed it all over the meat, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Next day you rub the seasonings off with a paper towel, brown the meat in a 450 overn, and cover with garlic oil (you've made that by sauteeing 12 garlic cloves, split, in olive oil with bay leaves and thyme sprigs). Make a paste of those sauteed garlic cloves and a bit of the olive oil. Brown the roast on all side in a really hot oven, then reduce to 300, rub that last paste on the fat top, and roast until thermometer reads 120. We actually took it out at 116 and it wasn't nearly as rare as I'd hoped. But it was darned good.
I made Christian's green beans--bacon, chopped scallions sauteed in the grease, 2 huge cans of green beans, vinegar over all, and then the bacon sprinkled on top. He loves them.
And then there were southwestern baked potatoes--I didn't feel too bad about eating a twice-baked potato since there were small--the biggest red potatoes I could find.

Southewetern Stuffed Potatoes

Scrub six good-sized red potatoes, cut a bit off the bottom so they'll sit flat, rub with oil, and bake at 350 until tender.
When cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides (carefully) and mash with 1/2 c. shredded cheddar, 2 Tbsp. sour cream, 1 Tbsp. melted butter (I left it in the microwave and forgot it), 2 Tbsp. buttermilk, 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper or to taste, and 1 4-oz. can chopped chillies. Carefully stuff mixture back into the potatoes and bake until bubbly. I took the roast out to rest, turned the oven up and reheated the potatoes while the roast rested.

Here's Susan's picture of her full plate and her after picture.

At the risk of sounding immodest about my cooking, I have to say it was a great dinner. But the company and the sense of family really made it perfect. We are blessed to have these people in our lives.

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