Roast Beef with all the Trimmings
Ok, we did end up getting a ridiculously large roast. On the other hand, it cooked up beautifully. I followed the process described for Classic Prime Rib, but rubbed the outside with the spices described in a Penzey’s catalog.
Since it cooks at a fairly low temperature, I started the Scalloped Potatoes at the same time as the roast. I’m not sure that I would always want to cook scalloped potatoes for 3 hours, but they ended up tender with the top all golden and caramelized. This is probably the closest I’ve ever come to matching Grandpa’s scalloped potatoes. Fortunately I got a new mandolin for Christmas, so slicing up the potatoes was a breeze. Here’s the method if you want to give it a try:
Grandpa’s Scalloped Potatoes
2-3 lb sliced russet potatoes (amount depends on the size of your pan)
1 onion, sliced
1lb (approx) shredded cheddar cheese
flour, salt, pepper, butter
3 cups cream
Layer about a third of the potatoes in the bottom of a greased pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and some flour. Dot with butter, then add about a third of the sliced onions and a third of the cheese. Repeat the layers two more times. Scald the cream (heat until it just begins to bubble), and pour over the top. Cover with foil and bake. It seems to be very forgiving about temperature, low temperature for longer, or high temperature for a quicker result. Once the potatoes are tender, take the foil off, and cook 15 minutes more to brown the top.
Finally, with roast beef you just have to have Yorkshire puddings.
I like to make them in muffin tins to that each one of them has a little hollow to hold gravy. I followed Mark Bittman’s recipe in How to Cook Everything, but you can find standard recipes many places on the web. The main thing was to use some of the fat from the roast in each tin, then get the whole tin really hot before adding the batter.
Tom remembered his napkin folding lessons from the waiters at the Mount Washington Hotel, so all in all we had a very pretty table.