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Style Magazine

Roasts for Fall

Oct 13, 2011 12:40PM ● By Style

Photos courtesy of Chronicle Books.


Veal Shanks Roasted in Red Wine with Tomatoes and Sage

Sunday Roasts by Betty Rosbottom

(Chronicle Books, 2011, $24.95)

These veal shanks, prepared ossobuco style, are cut crosswise into round pieces, and then cooked in an aromatic mixture of vegetables, broth, and wine. In this version, the veal simmers in the oven instead of on the stovetop, and, when done, the tender shanks are served with buttered fettuccine in place of traditional risotto. This dish improves in flavor when prepared in advance, so there’s no last-minute angst. At serving time, you simply reheat the veal in its sauce, cook the pasta, and arrange both on a platter.

  • 6 veal shanks, cut about 1 to 1 1/4 in. (4 lb. total)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into slices 1/2 in. thick
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • Two 28-oz.-cans Italian-style tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 4 tsp. dried sage leaves, crumbled (not powdered sage)
  • 2 bay leaves, broken in half
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb. fresh or dried fettuccine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Pat the veal shanks dry and season generously with salt on both sides. Heat the oil in an extra large, deep-sided frying pan (with a lid) over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have a frying pan large enough to fit all of the veal shanks and then the vegetables, use a large, flameproof roasting pan/tray.) When the oil is hot, add the veal and brown well, for 4 minutes per side. Remove the veal to a platter. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic to the pan. Sauté the vegetables, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Return the veal to the pan along with any juices that have collected on the platter. Add the tomatoes, sage, bay leaves, 2 tsp. salt, broth, and wine.

Bring this mixture to a simmer, then cover and place it in the oven. (If using a roasting pan/tray, cover tightly with a double thickness of foil.) Roast until the meat is very tender, for about 2 hours. (The veal can be prepared 2 days ahead; cool, cover, and refrigerate. The veal can also be frozen; defrost under refrigeration 1 day before needed. Reheat covered in a 350°F preheated oven until hot, for about 25 minutes.)

When the veal has finished roasting, return the frying pan to the stove top and set over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the liquids have reduced and thickened slightly, for 5 to 10 minutes or longer. Cover to keep warm while you prepare the pasta.

Cook the fettuccine in a large pot of boiling salted water until it is tender, for about 5 minutes for fresh or 12 minutes for dried. Drain, toss with butter, and season with salt.

To serve, mound the pasta on a serving platter and top with veal shanks. Nap both the veal and pasta with sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6

Prep time: 25 minutes

Start-to-finish time: About 3 hours

Sides: A spinach or arugula/rocket salad tossed in lemon juice and olive oil and a loaf of ciabatta for sopping up the delicious sauce are all you need.

Leftover tips: Any veal and pasta that remains can be quickly reheated in a microwave or in a frying pan set over medium heat on the stove.


Rib Roast

Standing Rib Roast with Porcini-Mushroom Sauce

Sunday Roasts by Betty Rosbottom

(Chronicle Books, 2011, $24.95)

This tall, stately roast with its rich marbled flesh is definitely meant for special occasions. Brushed with olive oil and seasoned with rosemary and coarse pepper, this big roast needs a long time in the oven, but when it comes out you’ll be rewarded with exceptionally tender and flavorful meat. A glorious mushroom sauce, made with both dried porcini and fresh white mushrooms, can be partially prepared a day ahead and pairs exquisitely with the beef. For extra ease with carving, be sure to check the market note that follows the recipe.

  • 1 standing rib roast with 4 ribs, about 8 to 9 lb/3.6 to 4 kg (see market note)
  • 6 1/2 tsp. dried crushed rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 oz. white mushrooms, sliced 1/4 in/6 mm thick
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 bunches fresh rosemary for the garnish

Place the roast, fat-side up, in a heavy, shallow roasting pan/tray. In a small bowl, mix together 4 tsp. of the rosemary, 1 tbsp. kosher salt, and 2 tsp pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Brush the roast on all sides, including the bottom, with this mixture. (The roast can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature for 45 minutes before roasting.)

Put the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water. Let stand until the mushrooms are softened, for 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms in a fine strainer over a small bowl, pressing down on them to release as much liquid as possible. You should get 1 cup; if not, add enough water to make this amount. Reserve the soaking liquid and coarsely chop the porcini.

Heat 2 tbsp. of the butter and the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the white mushrooms and cook, stirring, until browned, for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped porcini and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Season with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper.

Combine the remaining 2 tbsp. butter, remaining 2 1/2 tsp. rosemary, and flour in a small bowl and mash with a fork to make a paste. (The porcini soaking liquid, mushroom mixture, and flour/butter paste can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover separately and refrigerate.)

Arrange a rack at lower position and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Roast until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 125 to 130°F for meat that is rosy-pink (medium-rare), for about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Transfer the roast to a serving platter and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 35 to 40 minutes while you prepare the sauce. Skim and discard any fat from the pan juices (there will be a small amount of pan drippings); reserve the juices in pan.

Set the roasting pan/tray over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Add the reserved porcini soaking liquid, the broth, and the wine. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom and sides of the pan into the liquids, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture and cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the butter/flour mixture, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, garnish the roast on the platter with several bouquets of rosemary. Slice the roast and pass the mushroom sauce in a separate bowl. Serves 8

Market note: Ask the butcher to prepare an 8 to 9 lb/3.6 to 4 kg standing rib roast with 4 ribs. I usually request that the roast be “boned and tied.” What this means is that the butcher removes the back or chine bone from the rack, then cuts the meat off in one piece from the ribs and finally ties it back on to the bones, so that the roast has the exact same appearance as one that has not been boned. At serving time, it’s a breeze to slice the meat. The rib bones are still intact, but can be cut into individual servings for any guest who wants to nibble on one.

Prep time: 35 minutes

Start-to-finish time: 4 hours, including resting time for cooked meat

Sides: Yorkshire Pudding with Bacon and Sage and Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots are delectable accompaniments for this showstopper roast.

Leftover tips: What could be better than a warm roast beef open-faced sandwich made with succulent slices of this roast? Toast bread slices (a good sourdough is particularly nice), then top with slices of roast, and finally nap with leftover sauce.


Pork Lion

Pork Loin with a Blue Cheese Stuffing and Roasted Pears

Sunday Roasts by Betty Rosbottom

(Chronicle Books, 2011, $24.95)

Natural partners, blue cheese and pears can be used inventively to turn an ordinary pork loin into something extra-special. The cheese finds its way into the herbed bread stuffing, which is packed compactly into the center of this boneless roast. Quartered pears, brushed with a balsamic glaze, roast alongside the meat. The pork slices with their delicious nuggets of stuffing are napped with a simple pan sauce and garnished with golden pear wedges.

  • One 2 1/2-lb center-cut boneless pork loin, trimmed and tied
  • 2 tbsp. dried crushed rosemary
  • 2 tbsp.. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (85 g) fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup (115 g) crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 tbsp. plus 1 cup/240 ml reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 to 5 tbsp/60 to 75 ml olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 slightly under-ripe Bartlett/Williams’ pears, unpeeled, quartered, and cored (keep stems on the pears if you like)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Using a long, narrow knife, insert the blade into the center of one end the pork and push the knife all the way through to the other end. Turn the knife to create a pocket about 1 in. in diameter all the way through the roast.

Mix together the rosemary, thyme, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Put half of this mixture in a bowl with the bread crumbs and the cheese; reserve the rest.

Using your fingers, rub together the breadcrumb mixture (as you would for a crumble), and then stir in 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp of the broth, just to moisten mixture. Using the end of a wooden spoon (or, if easier, your thumb), push the stuffing into the pocket to within 1/2 in. of each end. (It will seem as if you have too much stuffing, but it will be compacted as it is pushed into the cavity.) Pat the roast dry with paper towels/absorbent paper and rub the remaining seasoning mixture over the entire surface. (The roast can be prepared 4 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, then add the pears and toss to coat.

In a large, flameproof roasting pan/tray, add the remaining 2 tbsp oil, or enough to lightly cover the bottom, and set the pan over 1 to 2 burners on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the pork on all sides, for 6 to 8 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and roast the pork for 10 minutes, and then scatter the pears, skin sides up, around the meat. Roast for another 10 minutes, and then turn the meat and pears. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F when inserted into the thickest part of the meat and the pears are tender and golden, for 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove the meat and pears to a cutting board; cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove and discard (or sample!) any loose stuffing from the pan. Skim off and discard any fat in the pan.

Place the roasting pan/tray over high heat and add the remaining 1 cup broth and remaining 1 tbsp vinegar; reduce the liquids by a third while scraping the bits on the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Swirl in the butter and season with additional salt if needed.

To serve, slice the roast into slices 3/4 in. thick, removing the strings. Place the slices on a serving platter and garnish with the pears and, if desired, with fresh herbs. Drizzle the meat and pears with some pan sauce. Serves 6

Cooking tip: To make coarse bread crumbs, use a good-quality peasant or country bread loaf that is 1 to 2 days old; sourdough works particularly well. Remove the crust and process large chunks of the bread in a food processor until you have 1 1/2 cups.

Prep time: 30 minutes, including making the fresh bread crumbs

Start-to-finish time: 1 hour, 40 minutes, including resting time for cooked meat

Sides: Honey-Glazed Carrots and Parsnips would make a colorful and tempting accompaniment for this roast.

Leftover tips: Serve leftover slices as you would a pâté or terrine with some French cornichons and a good crusty baguette. A green salad tossed in a vinaigrette could round out the garnishes.