Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter linner

Braised beef round bottom roast
Roasted garlic and asparagus
Baked Yukon Gold Potatoes

In our house, we have Easter linner or Easter dunch, whichever you prefer. This year, I wanted to channel my inner Julia Child. I had a beautiful round bottom roast that we had the butcher pre-rub with Montreal Steak Seasoning. My fear with roasts is that I'm always going to overcook it, so I consulted Julia and her Mastering the Art of French Cooking (a Christmas gift from my husband) and her solution was to braise the meat. I thawed my roast, rubbed it dry and seared it on all sides in a pan coated with cooking oil and a little butter. Once the roast was properly seared, I poured off the remaining oil and added in 5 cups of red wine and 1/3 cup of brandy.

I fired up the pan to high and rapidly reduced the alcohol to about half its original size. Once reduced I added about 3 cups of beef stock (until the liquid came up to about 2/3 of the meat). I simmered and skimmed anything that rose to the top, put the lid on and put it in a preheated 350 degree oven for roughly 1 & 1/2 hours. I turned the meat every 30 minutes or so to ensure proper coverage. Once I could easily pierce the meat with a fork, I removed it and set the meat on a cutting board covered with foil to give it time to rest. I put the braising liquid on high heat and reduced it in half, thickening with a little flour and water (I was out of cornstarch). When the sauce was ready, I added two small pads of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. It was gorgeous!

Meanwhile, in my portable oven, I pierced and wrapped 8 Yukon Gold (my favorite potato) potatoes in aluminum foil and cooked them for 1 & 1/2 hours at 350.

For the green part of this meal, I took two big bunches of asparagus, broke them at their natural breaking point, and piled them on a half cookie sheet. I peeled 3 heads of garlic and set whole cloves on the sheet pan with the asparagus. I coated all of it with olive oil, salt and pepper and then roasted in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. The garlic was rich, soft and caramelized and the asparagus was crunchy, caramelized and delicious.

Lastly, we threw some rolls in the oven and a meal was born. Our friend Dave made cute cupcakes that looked like bunny rabbits and were fun to eat!

I hope you all had a blessed Easter or as they call it in my church, Resurrection Day!

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