When cooking for a big crowd, sometimes you want to make something that's low maintenance so that you're not spending all night in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun. This past New Years, I wanted to create a meal that was hearty, festive, and delicious, without keeping me confined in the kitchen all night long. I decided on making a rib roast with potato and celery root puree and roasted bacon brussel sprouts. This meal is a classic large party menu with a lot of flavor, but is simple enough to keep even picky eaters happy.
For the roast, I bought a 4 bone, 8 lbs roast. This was more than enough to feed 10 people, but I always feel that it's better to overestimate on quantities than run out of food at the wrong time. I found a rub recipe for the roast using horseradish, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil that sounded delicious. Roast beef has a really rich meaty flavor, so adding the horseradish and herbs creates a nice bright contrast in flavor to go with the meat. I rubbed the meat with the rub and let it sit out to get to room temperature for about 1/2 hour before cooking.
For my sides, I wanted something that would go well with the meat and was relatively easy to prepare. The potato and celery root puree was perfect as the starch to go with the roast. The celery root gives the potatoes an interesting flavor, and the puree creates a nice base to meld with the juices from the meat and the gravy. The brussel sprouts with bacon are a crowd favorite and they disappeared first from the table when we sat down to eat. The meal turned out well, but I'd have to say that rib roast is a bit of a pain to cook. When the bone is still attached to the meat, the temperature is very difficult to regulate. The outside can be a perfect medium rare, but the inner portion of the roast can be almost blue, which is not good when the meat is a bit tough, and many people don't like rare meat. One recommendation I received was to remove the meat from the bone prior to cooking. This takes away from the ribs acting as a rack and from the flavors running through the meat and into the bones, but it cooks more evenly.
(Serves 10 people)
For the Roast
1 7-8 lbs rib roast (bone in or out depending on preference)
3 sprigs rosemary
5 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup shredded horseradish
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons flour
1.5 cups chicken broth
For the Potato Puree
3.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 lb celery root peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 medium onion cut into 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk or cream
4 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
For the Brussel Sprouts
4 lbs brussel sprouts
8 slices bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
- Pull the rosemary and thyme from the sprigs, peel the garlic, and puree them with the shredded horseradish, olive oil, salt and pepper until its a paste
- Rub thoroughly over the meat and let sit for 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 375
- Place the meat in a roasting pan with the bones down to act as a rack
- Roast the meat for 2 hours until a meat thermometer reads an internal temperature of 125 degrees
- Remove meat from the pan, let rest for 15 minutes, and place the pan on the stovetop
- Turn the heat to medium and add the onions and sautee until translucent
- Add the wine, scrape the pan and then add the flour, stirring until flour turns golden
- Add the broth and simmer for 5-7 minutes until gravy thickens
- Carve the meat off the bone, then in slices and serve the gravy over the meat
- Bring the broth to a boil and add the potatoes, celery root, onion, and garlic
- Boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes
- Pour off all but about 1 cup of the broth and use a hand blender to puree the potatoes etc.
- Add the milk/cream and butter and continue to puree until very smooth
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve
The Brussel Sprouts
- Slice the sprouts, removing the brown stem and the outside leaves
- Cook the bacon in a frying pan until brown and crispy. Once cooked, set the bacon on a plate with paper towel and pour the bacon fat over the brussel sprouts
- Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper to the brussels, toss to coat, and spread in a large baking sheet
- Roast at 375 for 25-30 minutes until leaves are starting to brown
- While sprouts are cooking, tear the bacon into small pieces, and once the sprouts are done, add in the bacon and toss to distribute throughout
loved the photo of the puree...beautiful (unintentional) design going on inside the bowl!
Made the brussel sprouts this weekend with a set of NY Strips...
Outstanding and very simple to execute.
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