I’ve always known my husband can cook. From coq au vin in his college apartment’s roach-infested kitchen (we did our fair share of eating out) to the first birthday breakfast he made me after we were married (I took a photo of the Eggs Benedict; he thought that was odd), G has created many memorable meals. But this recent creation topped them all.
We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Wow. That’s a “wow” for the years as well as the meal:
I could kick myself for not getting a photo of the best part of the meal: the gravy. It was the richest, most robust gravy we’ve ever made; absolutely incredible beef flavor with a depth enhanced by the mushrooms and red wine. This was an extravagant meal that I didn’t lift a finger to prepare. The little foodies helped a bit with the popovers, which, even though we did not have a popover pan, tasted delicious (especially smothered in brown gravy). Well done, hubby! I’m looking forward to the next 18 years. And many more fabulous dinners.
Classic Roast Beef and Gravy
from Cook’s Country
NOTE: For the best flavor and texture, refrigerate the roast overnight after salting. If you don’t have a V-rack, cook the roast on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.
- 1 4-pound top sirloin roast, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick (hubby used a prime rib)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped fine
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Pat roast dry with paper towels. Rub 2 teaspoons salt evenly over surface of meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 275°F. Pat roast dry with paper towels and rub with 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown roast all over, 8 to 12 minutes, then transfer to V-rack set inside roasting pan (do not wipe out Dutch oven). Transfer to oven and cook until meat registers 125°F (for medium-rare), 1½ to 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, add mushrooms to fat in Dutch oven and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in onions, carrot, and celery and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garlic, and flour and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in wine and broth, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Strain gravy, then stir in Worcestershire and season with salt and pepper; cover and keep warm.
- Transfer roast to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Slice roast crosswise against grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve with gravy.
- Serves 6 to 8
from Cook’s Country
Makes 6 popovers
NOTE: Greasing the pans with shortening ensures the best release, but cooking spray may be substituted; do not use butter. To gauge the popovers’ progress without opening the oven door, use the oven light during baking. Bread flour makes for the highest and sturdiest popovers, but an equal amount of all-purpose flour may be substituted.
- Vegetable shortening (see note)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups low-fat milk , heated to 110 degrees
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups bread flour (see note)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450°F. Grease interior of 6-cup popover pan with shortening, then dust lightly with flour. Whisk eggs until light and foamy in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in milk and butter until incorporated. (We used a muffin tin, but the ideal shape is only achieved with a popover pan.)
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Whisk three-quarters of milk mixture into flour mixture until no lumps remain, then whisk in remaining milk mixture. Transfer batter to large measuring cup, cover with plastic, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. (Alternatively, batter can be refrigerated for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with recipe.)
- Whisk batter to recombine, then pour into prepared popover pan (batter will not quite reach top of cups). Bake until just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Without opening oven door, decrease oven temperature to 300°F and continue to bake until popovers are golden brown all over, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Poke small hole in top of each popover with skewer and continue to bake until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer popover pan to wire rack. Poke again with skewer and let cool 2 minutes. Turn out popovers. Serve.
Make Ahead: Once popovers have cooled completely, they can be stored at room temperature in zipper-lock bag for 2 days. To serve, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F. Heat popovers on rimmed baking sheet until crisp and heated through, 5 to 8 minutes.