New Year’s Beef

27 Dec

Skating WaiterOne of my favourite New Year’s Eve parties was an evening spent with friends skating and tobogganing behind the Banff Springs Hotel. When the gang walked into our place for dinner afterward, the heavenly aroma of roast beef filled the air. It was my first go trying Best of Bridge’s Unattended Roast Beef, and it worked like a charm. I stuffed garlic cloves into the roast beforehand, and it was a great addition. Everyone made their own sandwiches with horseradish cream, grainy mustard mayo, and caramelized onions.

Word for word, this is the recipe for an 8 to 14 lb rolled rib roast, bones removed:

“Preheat oven to 500F. Sprinkle roast liberally with pepper, salt and garlic powder. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes at 500F, then turn oven down to lowest setting. Leave for 8 hours. DO NOT PEEK. Tape oven door so you won’t forget not to peek. Before serving, turn oven to 350F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest.”

That menu was such a hit, I stopped looking at other beef on a bun recipes until this doozy caught my eye at Stampede time:

CRANBERRY PEPPERED BEEF TENDERLOIN ON A BUN WITH GORGONZOLA CREAM

This recipe by Stephen Gilmour, executive chef at Red Tree Catering and Kitchen, calls for pumpkin seed kaiser buns, which he recommends buying from Charlie’s Bakery on Kensington Road in the city’s northwest. The bakery’s poppy seed or sesame seed varieties are good choices, too.

1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries

1/4 cup (50 mL) 5 peppercorn spice

1 tsp (5 mL) water

sea or kosher salt

11/4 lb (625 g) beef tenderloin, cut into 4 medallions

4 pumpkin seed kaiser buns

4 small handfuls mesclun greens

Gorgonzola Cream (see recipe below)

2 oz (54 g) crumbled gorgonzola

To make the cranberry pepper, preheat oven to 350 degreesF (180 degrees C). Combine dried cranberries and peppercorns with water and bake for 15 minutes. (This toasts the peppercorns for a nutty, smoky flavour, and further dries out the cranberries so they’ll crumble easily.) If you can, let the mixture dry overnight. If you are pressed for time, let cool for 3 hours. Once cool, grind the mix in a clean coffee grinder. Stored in an airtight container, it will keep for several months in your pantry.

Season the beef with salt and press 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the cranberry pepper into the meat all over. Retain the last 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the cranberry pepper for sprinkling at the end. Grill to desired doneness on a medium-hot barbecue. Allow meat to rest for five minutes and slice into pieces as thin as possible.

To serve, slice open the buns and brush the insides with a little olive oil and then rub with a garlic clove. Toast in the oven.

Put mesclun greens and sliced beef on the toasted buns. Liberally spoon on about 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the gorgonzola cream in each bun and garnish with the crumbled gorgonzola.

Serves 4.

Gorgonzola Cream

1/2 cup (125 mL) gorgonzola

1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise

1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream

juice and zest of one lemon

2 green onions, finely chopped

dash Tabasco sauce

fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Makes about 11/2 cups (675 mL).

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