Friday, January 6, 2017

Recipes by Alec McCowen: Summer Pudding; Sunday Meal-in-One

Alec McCowen's Summer Pudding

8 slices white bread, crusts trimmed
2 pints cleaned fresh red raspberries
Vanilla sugar to taste (about 1/3 cup)
1 cup heavy cream (or sour cream)

1. Place four slices of bread in bottom at a glass basin. Top with crushed raspberries sweetened with vanilla sugar. Top with four remaining bread slices. Cover with a plate and weight it on top. Refrigerate several hours (or until bread is very moist.)

2. Whip cream until stiff. Sweeten as desired to spoon over the top. Serves 6-8.

Thoughts: Vanilla sugar can be made by placing a vanilla pod (available at grocery stores) in a closed sugar canister.

Alec McCowen's Sunday Meal-in-One

Knob of suet (size of walnut)
Sirloin or rib roast beef, weighing about 5 lbs.
8 small potatoes
8 small tender parsnips
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place suet in roasting pan (the pan should be large enough to comfortably hold roast and vegetables); place roasting pan in oven until suet begins to sizzle. Place roast in heated roasting pan; return to oven. Brown meat on all sides (about 20 minutes). Reduce temperature to 325 degrees F.

2. Peel potatoes and parsnips; rinse off, dry well with paper toweling. Arrange potatoes and parsnips around the roast in roasting pan. Season roast liberally with salt and pepper. Continue cooking uncovered about 1 1/2 hours (or until meat tests rare by running a skewer into the roast and juice is a pinkish-red color). Baste roast once with pan juices. Turn vegetables several times to brown on all sides.

3. Remove meat to heated platter while keeping vegetables hot in oven. Pour off excess fat in the roasting pan, use natural juices to make the gravy. Stir in any small scraps of meat, dilute slightly with water, add salt and pepper to taste. Heat to boiling, reduce slightly. Strain and serve in a sauce boat with roast. Roast may also be served with horseradish sauce. Serves 6-8.

Horseradish Sauce

1/3 cup prepared horseradish, drained
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
Dash of cayenne
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsps. cream

1. Combine all the ingredients except cream; mix well. Gradually stir in cream. Serve cold with roast beef.

Thoughts: Alec McCowen's Sunday dinner is cooked in the truly English fashion with minimal seasoning. For more exact timing of the roast, allow 15-18 mins. per lb. for beef rare. 20-24 mins. for medium and 25-30 mins. for well done. Vegetables cooked in this fashion will come out crisp and browned on the outside. For vegetable accompaniments Alec suggests broad beans (cooked quickly like fresh peas, flavored with fresh summer savory or parsley butter sauce) and cauliflower (cooked, drained and annointed with Hollandaise sauce or lightly dusted with sieved hard-cooked egg, snipped fresh parsley, butter-browned bread crumbs, salt and pepper).

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