Sunday, November 02, 2008

Traditional sunday roast, English style.

So I hope to be getting a science research or health care job in England in the spring. PS if anyone can help me with this I will make you lots of goodies!!! Anyhow, this has got me thinking about the food (because heck... its me!) over there. Now a lot of people think that English food is bland boring food. Not so. I have been there twice and I would say its on par with American cuisine, but less fast-foody. They are getting there though, if they arent careful. England has a long history and many classic dishes, the most comical to me being stargazer pie. They have a mecca of different cuisines surrounding them (ie Europe) and plenty of immigrants to bring delicious recipes with them (curries?). BUT there are classics too, well relatively speaking. When I think of English food I think of: PG Tipps, scones, bangers and mash, fish and chips, curry, marmite, McVities anything, roasts, full English brekkie, pasties, bubble and squeak, banoffe... the list goes and goes. Well, I decided lets try some of it before I get there. I have had several of these things, but never a roast dinner. Now let me tell you, I am not the kind of person who eats a lot of meat, let alone big hunks of it. This is precisely the reason I decided to make this dinner. I am more a fresh, light, bright flavors sort of person. I added my own little twists as you will see...

Traditional Sunday Roast, English Style
Salad with spinach, peppers, cukes and tomato.
An olive plate with kalamata, picholine and castelvetrano (my FAVE) olives and brie, goat cheese and cheddar.

Roast beef.
Roast potatoes.
Braised brussel sprouts.
Yorkshire puddings.
Pan gravy.

Meyer lemon cake with eggless lemon curd and Italian butter cream... and PG Tipps tea. :)

The olive plate. I ate all the castelvetrano olives, oops (well, the one bigger green one on the right is the last one). Castelvetrano olives are mild and way less salty than regular olives. I looove them. Aged brie on left, honeyed goat cheese on right.

Roast beef. My family came over so we started to dish it and then I remembered I needed a pic. Lol. Method: used a 2.6 lb top sirloin, night before cut slits and add garlic cloves inside, then rub with seasoned salt. The next day, let rest one hour to come to room temp, then turn oven to 500F. Put in a 9x13 pan: mushroom, celery, carrot and onion scraps and a couple bay leaves, a couple thyme sprigs and a sprig of rosemary. Add 3-4 cups low sodium beef broth. Put on bottom rack of oven. Set roast on top of the pan ON THE RACK above so there will be nice heat circulation and the pan will catch the dripping juice (of which there isn't much). Cook at 500F for 15 mins the bump down to 325 for about 1-1.5 hours. Cook until the internal temp reads 135F, that will give you a med rare center. To make the gravy: strain the pan with the drippings into a bowl, discard scraps. Make a roux on the stove top by heating 3T butter and 3T flour over med heat until light golden. Slowly add the juices from the pan (about a cup at a time) and whiskwhiskwhisk! Drop heat to med-low and simmer for a few mins to thicken. Done deal.

Yorkshire puddings. 4 eggs, 1/2 c milk, 1/2 t salt, 2 c flour. Mix until looks like thick pancake batter. Heat oven to 425F. Put 1t oil (I used EVOO but you can use any oil, shortening or fat like bacon grease) in each of twelve muffin tins. Put into oven until HOT and almost smoking. Pull out oven rack and add some batter into each muffin cup. It should sizzle! Push rack back in and bake for about 25mins, until tall and golden, with some browning on the edges. Mine are hollow, you just cant see it.

Roasted potatoes. I used Nigella Lawson's recipe, with mods. Peel some potatoes. cut into large chunks. Biol for mins, drain. Put into pot and shake up to bash up the edges a little. Add 2T course cornmeal and shake again. Spread onto greased baking sheet and bake at 425F for 45-60mins. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. I also made Brussel sprouts but no picture of those.
Here is my meyer lemon cake! YUMMMM. I served it with some PG Tipps tea. Cake recipe from the accidental scientist, its a little dense, but maybe I did something wrong? I wonder how hers turned out? I think next time Ill just make it 4 eggs and no meringue, and add more leavening. Eggless meyer lemon curd (b/c I cant eat very much yolk or my intestines hate me): 1/4c water, 1/2c sugar, 3T cornstarch, 1/2 c meyer lemon juice. Microwave for 3 mins, until thick and... well, goopy. Then add 1T meyer lemon zest and another 1/4c meyer lemon juice. Let cool and whip until spreadable. I made IMBC (italian meringue buttercream) from Joe Pastry, which is kick ass! Go to the site and be amazed, for real. Don't forget the crumb coat on the cake people! It sort of sticks the crumbs into the cake so you have a nice, crumbless frosting job. Crumb coat-fridge-real coat of IMBC-smooth with a hot spatula. I made 2-8'' cakes and cut those into halves, so I would have 4 layers. I smeared lemon curd thickly onto the top and bottom layers and raspberry jam into the middle one. There will be some leveling off of the sides vertically, so you get easily frostable sides. I made some candied meyer lemons to decorate with!
You could use regular lemons, I just had a little zest and A LOT of juice leftover from my limoncello batch, 18 lemons and 1500mL of vodka!

Buttercream. I could eat SPOONS AND SPOONS of this stuff!!! Its really addicting, and totally hides how much butter is in it! Wolf in sheeps clothes? If you're going to make it get organic butter please! PS note errant crumb in cake photo... dammit!

What you cant see under the cake is... HAAAAARRY POTTER!!! Hehe. Here are the layers for you. The family said the cake was divine, sort of like a light pound cake. BUT pound cake... and lemon curd... and buttercream?!?! Noooo. I wanted a light, airy, delicate cake and this was a bit heavy. I even used cake flour people!

Well, that's the wrap up for my Sunday roast dinner! Hope you liked it and if you have any Qs or suggestions... please comment! GObama!


1 comment:

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