Meal No. 43: Roast Beef with Horseradish Sauce; Green Cabbage with Leek; Currant Scones; Baked Cinnamon Apples
This is the “Spring” meal I skipped back in March/ April because it was already 80 degrees. What with the baked apples and extensive oven time, it sounded more appropriate for a cool fall day, although I guess it was supposed to be for St. Patrick’s Day? Only Martha knows what is in her heart…..
I have gone through most of the last 80 years thinking I didn’t care for scones. I tried them in coffee houses, where they were stale. I tried making them at home, and they came out of the oven tasting stale. But I loved the ones we had at the bed and breakfast last month so I was cautiously optimistic that maybe, just maybe, these would at least be edible.
They were, in fact, quite edible! I made a half batch (4), lest they be hideous,but they were the perfect texture of dry/moist, and weren’t too sweet. I wasn’t sure about the currants as, after all, aren’t they just dwarf raisins? But they were fine. In fact, I think this is an excellent base recipe, and plan to make another batch using some dried cherries we have in the pantry.
Oh, did I mention that I made these in the morning, and we ate them for breakfast/brunch, warm from the oven? We tried them again later, with the meat per Martha’s recipe, and it was quite an odd choice to serve with beef and cabbage and horseradish. No, no, no. Eat these little lovelies on their own and let them shine.
(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home):
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour,
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/3 cup dried currants
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted,
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in currants. Add cream, and stir just until combined. Dough should be sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently gather dough into a mound just until it holds together. Pat into an 8″ circle about 1/2″ thick. Cut into 8 equal wedges with a bench scraper.
Arrange wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Transfer scones to a wire rack, and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature .
*The recipe calls for 1/4 c wheat germ, which I didn’t use. I also forgot to brush them with butter until they were halfway done cooking.
Well, it’s a bit of a long story, but my farm share co-op substituted an eye of round roast for the bottom round I had ordered. I wasn’t sure if I could still cook it the way the recipe suggests: browned, then roasted at 350 for a an hour or so with some onions. So, I perused the wisdom of the internetz and found this recipe, which also got rave reviews on the Chowhound boards.
I rubbed the roast with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder, then placed it in the 500 degree oven, immediately turning it down to 475. After 12.5 minutes (7 min/lb), I turned the oven off, set an alarm on my phone for 2.5 hours later and hoped for the best.
Curiosity got the better of me at hour two, so I checked the temperature, even though the recipe forbids opening the oven prematurely. The temperature seemed low, so I turned the oven up to 225 for the last 30 minutes. At that point, the meat thermometer still wasn’t registering 140 degrees (for medium rare), so I turned it up to 350 and left it in for about 10-15 minutes, as we prefer our meat medium. (Well, The Husband prefers his burnt to a crisp, but he can always put his piece in the microwave or oven).
The meat turned out perfectly! It was still pink in the middle and nice and tender. We liked the crust it got on the edge.
Martha suggested serving the meat with a sour cream/horseradish/lemon juice sauce, which I didn’t care for (STOP PUTTING SAUCES ON BEEF UNLESS IT IS AN AU JUS!) and The Husband thought straight horseradish was better.
The grocery store I shopped for this meal didn’t have leeks and I wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere else, so we did without, just like in the Great Leek Famine of 1907. I was supposed to simmer cabbage wedges and a leek in chicken broth with peppercorns and a bay leaf. I added a potato, because everyone knows that beef needs potato, plus this is supposedly an Irish dish (I guess?) so why not?
The cabbage and potatoes were ok–nothing to write home or a blog about. I would have preferred some kind of good potato dish with the roast. Ah, well.
I have never made baked apples before, as I am not a fan of hot fruit. But they have a special place in my heart because on our first date at the Coventry Arabica, The Pre-Husband had to leave after a couple of hours because he had left some apples baking in his oven. How cute is that? (I was worried that he would burn his apartment down, but evidently they turned out fine).
These did not turn out fine. At all! And now my baked apple fondnesses are RUINED!!! First I melted butter in a skillet, then mixed in some sugar, ground cinnamon, and added the apples cut side down and a cinnamon stick. They were to bake a mere 12 minutes. At that point, two were tender and two needed more time. I put the non-tender two in for another four minutes. When I went back, the apples had exploded out from under the skin.
The ones that didn’t explode were ok, but the skins were still tough, and the “butter sauce” was really closer to a taffy consistency. The ones that exploded had browned on their exposed edges, and had an oily taste. Boo!
What an odd meal–it was as incomprehensible as a James Joyce novel.
Scones: A At last, a good baked dessert.
Roast Beast: N/A, as this wasn’t a Martha recipe
Cabbage: B- Nothing special, or anything you couldn’t have come up with on your own