Monday, December 28, 2015

A Very Late Merry Christmas - Christmas Big Beef and Roast Duck with Orange Sauce

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I still have no definitive answers regarding global warming, but I have noticed that the weather is frankly peculiar for Christmas Day.  I don't expect a White Christmas or even a Freezing Christmas, but after 24 years in Central Florida, I do expect a Cool Christmas, which is anything below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  I do not expect beach weather, or flip flop weather, or wearing shorts weather. All I know is that the air conditioner is working to keep up with the heat. This is starting to remind me of a Twilight Zone episode with Lois Nettleton.  You know the one.

I'm on the third day of a Doctor Who marathon, waiting waiting waiting for the Christmas special tonight at 9:00.  We've been hooked into the BBC for so long, Robert wasn't sure if that was the real Queen giving her Christmas Day greating to Great Britain, or a character on a DW episode.

Inspiration is where you find it, and as I often do, I found inspiration for my Christmas beef in a Paula Deen cookbook. I made a few changes, thus the title of the recipe. I like eye round because it is solid and well-shaped for even roasting. I am also very conscious of the fact that eye round is very lean, and not the most tender cut of beef, so I cook it with extra care and aim for very rare.  This needs to be sliced thin (haul out your electric knives). It has a good, beefy flavor, as long as you do NOT overcook it. I know that my craving for Christmas Big Beef would be best served with a prime rib, but I didn't have time to arrange for a bank loan.

"If It's Not Perfect, Don't Blame Paula Deen" Eye of Round Beef Roast

2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1- 2.5 pound eye of round beef roast, well- trimmed

Combine the seasoning and spices in a shaker-top jar or bottle.  Place the eye round on a sheet of aluminum foil. Rub the olive oil over all of the beef's surfaces.  Sprinkle the seasoning all over the beef (use some or all of the seasoning). Wrap the aluminum foil around the beef, and place in the refrigerator for several hours, until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Unwrap the roast and place it in an aluminum baking pan.*  Put the roast in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Roast the beef for approximately 15 minutes per pound, but you must use a thermometer to check the roast and adjust the total cooking time.  By all that is holy, do not roast the meat past 125 degrees internal temperature, which will give you a medium-rare roast. (If you like your beef done more than medium, we have nothing to talk about.) Keep in mind that the shape of the roast will affect the length of cooking. Since my family likes super-rare meat, I'm aiming for 115-120 degrees, then pulling that roast out of the oven to cool for 15 minutes before carving.

*Paula Deen places the beef in an iron skillet for roasting. I have always used the aluminum pan, but since I now own a cast iron skillet, I'm going to try that.

Roast Duck with Orange Sauce (from Mama Leah's Jewish Kitchen by Leah Loeb Fischer)

I adore duck; it is one of my very favorite foods in the Known Universe and all Alternate Universes I have visited during a long life of reading and watching science fiction. It's right up there with lobster, king crab, and chocolate.

This is the only way I prepare whole duck. (Boneless duck breasts are another matter, but I have been denied reasonable access to them which causes me much anguish and annoyance at least several times a year.)

Now, you will notice that I do NOT prick the skin. Therefore, should you choose to try this recipe, you shall not prick the skin.  Trust me, and if you don't trust me, trust Mama Leah.

I'll be honest, I haven't the energy nor patience to type up the recipe right now, but I did find A LINK to the recipe exactly as it appears in the book.

If you can find this book, buy it - it is a lovely, hamisch Jewish cookbook. If you have this and Mimi Sheraton's book From My Mother's Kitchen, you can spend an afternoon in Flatbush whenever you feel the need.

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