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Crumb-crusted Top Sirloin and Roasted Garlic Potatoes with Bourbon Sauce
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These beef dishes will add panache to holiday entertaining
By Kathleen Ostrander

Beef can be just as elegant as something wrapped in classic puff pastry. While a standing rib roast is impressive when entertaining, there are other tony beef recipes to tempt even the most jaded palate.

Consider these holiday recipes recommended by the Illinois Beef Association.

Moroccan-Style Beef Kabobs with Spiced Bulgur: Highlight top sirloin steak kabobs with a touch of molasses-orange sweetness and serve over steaming bulgur, flavored with raisins, pumpkin pie spice and cumin. Guests will savor every last bite.

Crumb-Crusted Top Sirloin and Roasted Garlic Potatoes with Bourbon Sauce: Start with a thick-cut top sirloin steak and top with a seasoned bread crumb mixture. Pop thickly cut garlic-seasoned potato wedges alongside in a separate pan. For the crowning pizzazz, drizzle with bourbon sauce created out of drippings in the roasting pan.

Parmesan-Crusted Tenderloin with Savory Mushroom Sauce: Mushrooms, tomatoes, beef broth, red wine and a touch of thyme simmer together for a sensational sauce that enhances the elegance of roasted beef tenderloin.

Both top sirloin and tenderloin cuts are widely available, and several of the 29 cuts meet government guidelines for lean.

Which roast

Premium roasts such as ribeye, rib and tenderloin are holiday favorites. However, more economical roast choices - round tip, top sirloin and eye round - are also tasty holiday options.

How much to buy

The amount of beef you need to buy varies with the cut. Cooked yields per pound are related to the amount of bone, fat trim and cooking method.

These guidelines will help determine what size roast to purchase.

Boneless roasts, such as tenderloin, round tip, eye round, top sirloin and tri-tip will yield four 3-ounce servings of cooked, trimmed beef per pound. (For example, a 3-pound roast will yield 12 3-ounce cooked servings.)

Ribeye roasts, which have fat that is trimmed off, will yield three 3-ounce servings of cooked, trimmed beef per pound. (For example, a 3-pound roast will yield nine 3-ounce cooked servings.)

Bone-in rib roasts will yield 21⁄2 3-ounce servings of cooked, trimmed beef per pound. (For example, a 3-pound roast will yield 71⁄2 3-ounce cooked servings.

Shop smart

Choose meat last when shopping to ensure that beef stays cold.

Choose beef with a bright cherry-red color, without any grayish or brown blotches. A darker purplish-red color is typical of vacuum-packaged beef. Once exposed to oxygen, beef will turn dark red to bright red.

Choose packages that are cold, tightly wrapped and without tears, punctures or excessive liquid.

Purchase before the "sell by" date printed on the package label.

Store properly

Refrigerate or freeze beef roasts as soon as possible after purchasing. Roasts wrapped in transparent film can be refrigerated three to four days (or frozen up to two weeks) without rewrapping.

For longer freezer storage, repackage in heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer paper or plastic freezer bags, removing as much air as possible.

Refrigerate in meat compartment or coldest part of refrigerator, or freeze at 0°F or colder.

Cook properly

Season the roast prior to cooking or after, depending on personal preference. (Always add salt after cooking.)

Make sure to use a meat thermometer to check doneness.

To prevent overcooking, remove roast from oven when thermometer registers 10°F below desired doneness and let it stand, tented with aluminum foil. During the 15 to 20 minute standing, the temperature will rise to the desired doneness. For example:

* For medium-rare doneness (145°F), remove roast from oven when thermometer registers 135°F.

* For medium doneness (160°F), remove roast from oven when thermometer registers 150°F.

* Never cover or add water during roasting.

Rest

After removing roast from the oven, the temperature will rise to reach the desired temperature and juices will redistribute, making carving easier.

 


 

Crumb-crusted Top Sirloin and Roasted Garlic Potatoes with Bourbon Sauce

Total preparation and cooking time: 11⁄4 hours

1 boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 2 inches thick (about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon prepared spicy brown mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

1⁄2 cup soft whole wheat bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Roasted Garlic Potatoes:    

2 large russet potatoes, each cut lengthwise into 8 wedges (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

Bourbon Sauce:    

1⁄2 cup ready-to-serve beef broth

2 tablespoons bourbon

1⁄4 cup half-and-half

Pepper

Heat oven to 425°F. To prepare Roasted Garlic Potatoes, place potato wedges in 15- by 10-inch metal baking pan. Combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper in small bowl. Drizzle over potatoes; toss to coat. Spread potatoes in single layer. Set aside.

Combine mustard, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in same small bowl; spread evenly onto beef steak. Combine bread crumbs and parsley in another small bowl. Pat mixture evenly over mustard mixture. Place steak on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef, not resting in fat. Do not add water or cover. Roast steak and potatoes in 425°F oven 25 minutes; turn potatoes. Continue roasting 15 to 20 minutes to medium rare to medium doneness for steak and until potatoes are tender.

Remove steak when meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium. Transfer steak to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10°F to reach 145°F for medium rare; 160°F for medium.)

Meanwhile, prepare Bourbon Sauce. Add broth and bourbon to roasting pan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until browned bits attached to pan are dissolved. Boil 2 minutes. Add half-and-half; bring to a boil. Season with pepper, as desired. Keep warm.

Carve steak into slices. Spoon sauce over beef. Serve with potatoes.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving, 1/6 of recipe:  358 calories; 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 69 mg cholesterol; 433 mg sodium; 24 g carbohydrate; 1.9 g fiber; 38 g protein; 11.3 mg niacin; 1.2 mg vitamin B6; 2.0 mcg vitamin B12; 3.5 mg iron; 42.7 mcg selenium; 7.0 mg zinc.

 


 

Moroccan-style Beef Kabobs with Spiced Bulgur

Total preparation and cooking time: 40 to 45 minutes. Marinating time: 30 minutes to 2 hours

1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak or beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick

Marinade:    

1⁄4 cup molasses

3 tablespoons orange juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin

Spiced Bulgur:    

1⁄2 cup uncooked quick-cooking bulgur

1⁄2 cup water

1⁄3 cup golden raisins

1⁄4 cup orange juice

1⁄2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove garlic, minced

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

 

Cut beef steak into 11⁄4 inch pieces. Whisk marinade ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add beef; toss to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Meanwhile prepare Spiced Bulgur. Combine bulgur, water, raisins, orange juice, pumpkin pie spice, cumin, garlic and salt in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until bulgur is tender and water is absorbed. Fluff with fork; stir in parsley. Keep warm.

Soak eight 6-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Thread beef pieces onto skewers, leaving small space between pieces.

Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 6 to 8 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 9 minutes) for medium rare (145ºF) to medium (160ºF) doneness, turning occasionally.

Serve kabobs with Spiced Bulgur.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving, using top sirloin:  303 calories; 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat); 49 mg cholesterol; 212 mg sodium; 34 g carbohydrate; 4.2 g fiber; 29 g protein; 8.6 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 3.3 mg iron; 32.9 mcg selenium; 5.3 mg zinc.

Nutrition information per serving, using tenderloin:  318 calories; 8 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 3 g monounsaturated fat); 67 mg cholesterol; 209 mg sodium; 34 g carbohydrate; 4.2 g fiber; 28 g protein; 8.2 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 1.4 mcg vitamin B12; 3.2 mg iron; 31.2 mcg selenium; 5.0 mg zinc.

 


 

Parmesan-crusted Tenderloin with Savory Mushroom Sauce

Total preparation and cooking time: 11⁄4 to 11⁄2 hours

1 center-cut beef tenderloin roast (2 to 3 pounds)

1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped, divided

1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced

2 cups finely diced fresh tomatoes

1 cup ready-to-serve beef broth

1⁄2 cup dry red wine

Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425°F. Combine cheese, 2 tablespoons thyme and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper; roll roast in cheese mixture to cover all surfaces.

Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 425°F oven 35 to 40 minutes for medium rare; 45 to 50 minutes for medium doneness.

Meanwhile heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Add tomatoes, broth, wine and remaining 1 tablespoon thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until sauce is reduced to 2 cups and is a rich, brown color, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare; 150°F for medium. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10ºF to reach 145°F for medium rare; 160°F for medium.)

Carve roast into slices. Season with salt, as desired. Serve with Savory Mushroom Sauce.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Nutrition information per serving, 1⁄8 of recipe:  226 calories; 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 4 g monounsaturated fat); 69 mg cholesterol; 205 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 0.9 g fiber; 27 g protein; 8.5 mg niacin; 0.6 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 2.1 mg iron; 36.5 mcg selenium; 5.1 mg zinc.

Story published Friday, January 9, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 1 )

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