Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Autumn Dinner Recipes

Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable, the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street or road by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese. Both are warnings of chill days ahead, fireside and topcoat weather. ~Hal Borland

Regular reader and contributor Liz told me about a fabulous Octoberfest dinner she gave for friends and family. I asked for her Sauerbraten recipe a few years ago since she said it was such a success (read below)!

Of everything, I think the gravy for the sauerbraten was the biggest surprise hit. They were about to just eat it like a side dish instead of just over the meat! ~Liz

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2005, Food Network
4-6 Servings
2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, additional seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves
12 juniper berries (natural food stores may have this in bulk)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 (3 ½ to 4 lb.) bottom round roast beef
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
18 dark old-fashioned gingersnaps, crushed fine
1/2 cup seedless raisins, optional

In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the water, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, juniper and mustard seeds. Cover and bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Pat the roast dry and rub with vegetable oil and salt on all sides. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, add the meat and brown on all sides, approx. 2-3 minutes per side.

When the marinade has cooled to a point where you can stick your finger in it and not be burned, place the meat in a non-reactive vessel and pour over the marinade (I used a very large hefty zip lock bag & placed it in a large dish). Place into the refrigerator for 3 days. If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over once a day. After 3 days of marinating, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Add the sugar to the meat and marinade, put it in a roasting pan, cover and place on the middle rack of the oven and cook until tender, approx. 4 hours. (Don't leave it in the plastic bag!)

Remove the meat from the vessel and keep warm. Strain the liquid to remove the solids. Return the liquid to the pan and place over medium high heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps (I found if the cookies were crushed super fine enough, there were no lumps). Add the raisins if desired (I didn't). Slice the meat and serve with the sauce (gravy).

Super Deep Dish Baked Apples
From Comstock/Wilderness

30 oz. can Comstock/Wilderness® More Fruit Apple Pie Filling
1 1/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped (divided)
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tsp. ground cinnamon (divided)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter (cut into pieces)

Preheat oven to 425°F. In medium bowl combine fruit filling, raisins, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 cup nuts; divide and spoon into 4 individual ovenproof serving bowls. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, butter and 1 tsp. cinnamon. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until a crumbly mixture is formed, stir in 3/4 cups walnuts. Divide and top each of the 4 bowls of filling with crumbly mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until pie filling is bubbly and topping is crispy. Serve with ice cream if desired. Makes 4-6 servings

Squash with Apples and Dried Cranberries

1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Jonathan or Macintosh apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. unsalted butter, melted

Place squash in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover saucepan and steam 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from steamer basket and set aside. Combine the apples, cranberries and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook 12 minutes, stirring frequently until juice has evaporated. Add apple mixture to squash. Cook 4 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in melted butter and salt to taste and toss.

Need a new turkey dressing this holiday season?