So Far In October: Rye Bread, Roast Beef, Ham, Shortcake and Spuds

I tried Greg’s Rufus Guide Hasselback potatoes. It’s a really easy recipe to follow, and the tip for cutting the potatoes without slicing straight through is very clever, too. Next time I make these I’ll make the slices thinner in the hope that they’ll fan out more during baking. I had some leftover shredded Emmental cheese I bought in France, so I used that instead of my lovely, local Sussex cheddar.

I also tried Nigel Slater’s Ham and Parsley Sauce that was in The Saturday Telegraph a few weekends ago. I love trying new recipes printed in the newspaper because they’re usually fool-proof. The ham was perfection, slowly simmered for about 2 hours, and the parsley sauce is finished using a hand-blender with cooked Jerusalem artichokes. I’m not impressed with the Jerusalem artichokes. It’s the first time I’ve tried them – they’re off my “bucket list”. We weren’t convinced by the parsley sauce either, preferring our traditional recipe to Nigel’s updated one. The ham was very moist and tender, and the 3rd night’s leftovers went directly into a pot of ham and lentil soup.

I also had a craving for strawberry shortcake, so I made up half a recipe of cream biscuits, sliced up some strawberries, and whipped up a bit of cream. I’ll post the cream biscuit recipe later in the week. It’s easy and quick because everything is popped into a food processor and pulsed 2-3 times.  I froze the remaining biscuits for use later. A quick zap in the microwave makes them fresh as the day I baked them.

And then I discovered the perfect method of roasting beef. Crank up the oven to full blast (as high as the temperature will go!) about a half hour before you want to put the roast in. While the oven is warming up, rub flour all over the surface of the roast, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then set it on a shallow baking sheet with a lip so the juices don’t spill out. Cooking time is 5-minutes per pound, so a 5-pound roast is cooked in a super-hot oven for 25-minutes. At the end of the cooking time, turn off the oven (don’t open the door!) and walk away. Go to the cinema and see a movie; take a walk along the seaside. The roast needs 2-3 hours to complete cooking for medium-rarish. It will stay plenty warm in the oven for up to 4 hours — as long as you DON’T open the oven door. Residual heat does all the work for you. I insert a meat thermometer before the roast goes in the oven, just so I can be certain of this method, but so far, it’s never let me down. I’ve tried it three times now, and success every single time.

And there’s no doubt that autumn is here. We woke this morning to find that the trees behind the house had shed most of their leaves into our garden. If it would just stop raining, I could rake them up!

And finally, I think I’ve perfected my Danish-style rye bread. Mr Misky says there’s no need to buy that dry stuff imported from Germany any longer. Now to me, that indicates that I’ve cracked this recipe. If you’d like the recipe, shout. Danish-style rye bread isn’t to everyone’s liking.

Have you cooked or baked something new recently?


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Emily says:

    Hi Misky, I’d love to have the rye bread recipe!

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Emily, I’ll decipher my chicken-scratch notes and write it up this week as a separate post.

  2. Wow, great stuff here. Glad you tried the potatoes. Those thin slices are tricky!

    1. Misky says:

      Practise makes perfect! I’ll be making them again. 🙂

  3. Will says:

    Roast beef looks lovely! I’ll be trying that…

    Haven’t baked anything in forever! Partly because lifestyle has become far more hectic, and partly due to a period of severe wheat-avoidance. So I would very much like the recipe for your rye bread, it looks delicious, and I’m planning a series of rye-speriments soon…

    1. Misky says:

      Be sure that your oven is totally-smoking-hot before you stick your beef roast in there. When it’s hot enough the outside will crust up and brown. Totally amazing method, Will.

      I’m writing up the rye bread recipe now, and it should be set for release tomorrow morning. Check back them. By the way, have you noticed that many supermarkets are running low on rye flour? I had to go to 3 different supermarkets before I found it at ASDA, and I detest ASDA! I growl at anything that Walmart is involved in.

      See you tomorrow at the rye bread post!

      p.s., sorry to hear about your wheat intolerance. Not nice that.

      1. Will says:

        Fortunately I’ve not developed an intolerance, just dieting! I actually had a couple of slices of _good_ bread with breakfast at a cafe this morning… It was heaven! Not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep this diet up!

        1. Misky says:

          Is that a zero carb type diet?

          1. Will says:

            No, just no wheat, and no carbs after 6 (as well as no sugar, no dairy (except a little milk) and no booze). It delivered on it’s promise of 7lbs in two weeks (actually over-delivered) but has ground to a halt, not entirely surprisingly.

            1. Misky says:

              That sounds like a tough one to stick to, at least for me. I need milk in my tea! I do enjoy a bit of sugar, too.

  4. Glenda says:

    Hi Misky. You have certainly been busy. I like the look of those potatoes. I am going over to have a look:)

    1. Misky says:

      The potatoes are super. Next time I’ll slice them more thinly though.

  5. Gerry Wilson says:

    Misky, what cut is the roast? It looks fabulous, and I would love to try your high heat method. What am I cooking? Banana bread with chocolate chips!

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Gerry, It’s a beef topside roast. No ribs (bones) in this one. If it has ribs, you need to calculate differently. Oh my, your banana bread sounds heavenly! It’s such a wonderful combination of flavours, too — chocolate and banana!

      1. Gerry Wilson says:

        I’m not sure how “beef topside” translates, but it looks wonderful. I’ll have a go at it.

        1. J9 says:

          Gerry, it’s “top round” here.

          1. Misky says:

            Thanks, J9. Gerry, any cut of beef roast will work with this method, except if it’s a standing rib roast in which case the bones muck with the calculation.

  6. J9 says:

    Your Danish rye looks similar to the Dutch rye my grandmother use to buy. It tasted like soggy cereal to me, but it sure was good with a sharp Dutch farmer’s cheese. Parsley sauce is something I’ve never had, I may try that soon. We just had ham and lentils tonight! I have been waiting all summer to try your Lemonade Scones. November 1st marks the day I can trust the weather to stay cool enough to start baking again.

    1. Misky says:

      Hi J9, Oh dear, soggy cereal doesn’t sound very appetising! 🙂 Well as I said, it’s not to everyone’s taste. It is heavy and strong on flavour. Parsley sauce is really nice with a chunk of white fish, too. There are recipes all over the place for parsley sauce, it’s a basic, so give it a try and report back with your views on it. I sure can’t recommend putting Jerusalem artichokes in it though. (shiver) Not very nice.

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