Traditional Sunday Roast


In many corners of the world, families gather for their own ritualized and culturally specific version of the Sunday roast—an old-fashioned meal, traditionally served in the afternoon and based on an important cut of meat (or a whole fowl), and typically accompanied by assorted vegetables. Roasts can be lean, so we add enough beef fat to the pan to give us plenty of drippings. NOTE: You'll need to prepare the batter for the puddings the day before.

1 cup flour
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk

1 8-12-lb. rib roast of beef
4-oz. piece beef fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. flour
1 1⁄2 cups red wine

4 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1⁄2 lbs. small carrots, peeled and trimmed
1 1⁄2 lbs. parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and quartered
1 cup flour
Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup prepared horseradish
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

3 lbs. brussels sprouts, trimmed
3 tbsp. butter

1. For the yorkshire puddings: Sift together flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add eggs and milk to flour, whisking constantly, until batter is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

2. For the roast beef and gravy: Preheat oven to 325°. Put beef, meaty side up, and beef fat into a heavy-bottomed roasting pan and generously season with salt and pepper. Roast meat until internal temperature reaches 120° for rare, 130-135° for medium rare, and 140° for medium, 3-4 1/2 hours.

3. For the roasted vegetables: Put potatoes, carrots, and parsnips into a large pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and parboil vegetables, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water, and set both aside. (Vegetables may be cooked up to 1 hour ahead.)

4. For the horseradish cream: Whisk cream in a medium bowl until medium-soft peaks form. Fold in horseradish and vinegar, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. (Cream may be made up to 1 hour ahead.)

5. Transfer roast to a warm serving platter or a carving board and loosely cover with foil. Increase oven temperature to 450°. Discard rendered piece of beef fat, then pour off all but about 3 tbsp. of the pan drippings into a bowl. Set pan and bowl aside.

6. To finish the roasted vegetables, put about 1/2 cup of the reserved drippings from the bowl into another large roasting pan and put into oven until fat is hot. Meanwhile, put flour and salt and pepper to taste into a large, wide bowl. Dredge potatoes, carrots, and parsnips in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Remove pan from oven, add flour-coated vegetables, and turn to coat in the fat. Return pan to oven and roast vegetables, turning several times, until golden, 30-45 minutes.

7. To finish the yorkshire puddings, put about 1 tsp. of the reserved drippings from the bowl into each mold of two 4-mold yorkshire pudding tins or about 1/4 cup of the drippings into a large baking dish and put into oven until hot. Stir prepared batter until smooth, then pour into hot molds or dish and immediately return to oven. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

8. To make the gravy, put the reserved pan with the drippings on top of stove and heat over medium heat until hot. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved vegetable cooking water and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Stir in any meat juices accumulated from platter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.

9. For the brussels sprouts: Put brussels sprouts into a medium pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until just soft, about 10 minutes. Drain, return to pot, and cover to keep warm.

10. For the peas: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add peas and cook until soft, 3-8 minutes. Drain, return to pot, and cover to keep warm.

11. To serve the Sunday roast, transfer roasted vegetables to a warm serving platter. Unmold yorkshire puddings or cut into large pieces and transfer to a serving plate. Transfer gravy to a warm gravy boat. Transfer brussels sprouts and peas to two separate warm serving dishes, add butter to each, and season to taste with salt. Carve roast at table and serve with the roasted vegetables, yorkshire puddings, gravy, brussels sprouts, peas, and horseradish cream.

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