From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When all is said and done, Christmas is much like a wedding. Weeks of planning and preparation are over in nanoseconds, and along with the special memories we create are the remains of the day, which someone must attend to. The best part of being responsible for planning and execution of a feast is being excused from its clean-up detail. That gives me time to sit a spell and tell you about our dinner tonight, as others, very noisily I might add, tackle table debris and the dishes. Being queen is not half-bad on these occasions. One of the delights of living in an area where cattle and sheep are raised, is the abundance and affordability of meat, especially during the holiday season. Beef, standing rib and loin, can be had for under $5 a pound and that means that groaning boards in this area don't groan, they moan under the weight of holiday meat entrées. Most years, I prepare a really large boneless rib roast, but my trip to the market this week revealed some really nice looking New York Strip roasts that I decided to bring home as well. I've had a recipe developed by Wolfgang Puck for several years now and the roasts gave me the perfect opportunity to experiment with it. This is a nice alternative to a standing rib roast for the holiday. It is very easy to do and I made the roast as directed, save for the fact that I used coarse garlic salt and seasoned the roast 24 hours before cooking. It may be in my head, but I think the meat is more flavorful if its seasoned and sits for a good long while before baking. Our dinner began with a fresh pea soup and gravlax. Because of the potential sweetness of the sauce, I kept the remainder of the food quite simple and served the roast with Potatoes Anna and plain, lightly steamed asparagus. As it turned out, the sauce is wonderfully nuanced and I recommend it without reservation. I do think the beef, if cooked to specifications, will be overdone. I personally will aim for rare beef next time around. I also had to make a last-minute slurry to thicken the sauce, but in the light of eternity that was a small glitch and easily taken care of. I'm so glad I gave this recipe a try. It did not disappoint. Here's how the roast is made.
New York Strip Roast with Port Wine and Mustard Sauce...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Wolfgang Puck
1 whole New York strip, about 5 pounds, trimmed, trimmings reserved
Kosher salt (I used a coarse garlic salt)
Freshly ground black pepper
Port Wine Dijon Sauce
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 cup port wine
1 cup beef stock
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground pepper
1) Place rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Generously season all surfaces of roast with salt and pepper. Place a heavy metal roasting pan or cast iron skillet on a burner over high heat. Heat pan, then film bottom of pan with olive oil. When oil begins to smoke, carefully put meat in pan and turn down heat to medium-high; scatter reserved trimming scraps around it. Sear until meat is evenly brown, about 5 minutes per side.
3) Transfer meat and trimmings to a roasting pan. Place roasting pan in oven and cook meat for about 45 minutes, or until it is medium rare, 140 to 145 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
4) Transfer meat from roasting pan to a serving platter, tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
5) While meat rests, remove and discard scraps from roasting pan. Pour off all but a thin film of fat. Transfer pan to stovetop and heat drippings over medium-high heat. Add shallot and, as soon as it starts to sizzle, pour in port wine and stock, stirring and scraping with a wooden spoon to dissolve pan deposits. With a whisk, stir in the cream. Reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer and, a piece at a time, whisk in butter until it melts. Continue cooking until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Turn off heat and stir in mustard. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer sauce to a small saucepan. Keep warm, but do not let boil.
6) Uncover New York strip and transfer it to a cutting board. Stir any juices that have collected into sauce. With a sharp knife, cut meat across grain into slices about 1/2-inch thick and place on a serving platter. Ladle a little sauce over meat. Pass remainder of sauce at table. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.
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