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Need a special occasion feast? Something festive but not too expensive? This one feeds 6 people and includes roast beef, mushroom gravy, Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, baked potatoes, and horseradish cream sauce—all for under $50! It uses fresh ingredients and doesn't resort to any chintzy boxed or canned ingredients. Timing is key. Start with what takes the longest (the beef), and everything will come together by the end. This is the perfect holiday meal for Christmas or any occasion that you're at home, popping in and out of the kitchen during the day. Yes, it takes a few hours, but you'll have plenty of downtime in between to crush a beer, sip some eggnog, have a cocktail, or mingle with your guests before you all sit down to a satisfying feast fit for kings and queens. - Chris Ying

Serves 6

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding
  • 2 center-cut beef chuck roasts (a.k.a. 7-bone steaks), about 5 pounds total
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups (150 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (150 grams) whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
Baked Potatoes and Horseradish Sauce:
  • 4 russet potatoes (about 4 pounds total)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
  • 1/3 cup jarred fresh ground horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave or sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives or scallion greens

  • 8 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon beef base (or other beef bouillon)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave or sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Creamed Spinach:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bags (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg

  1. Prep and roast the beef: If you have time, season the beef all over with salt and pepper and let it sit on a plate, uncovered, in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. Pre-salting helps keep the meat juicy inside and crusty outside. If you don't have time, just start here: Preheat the oven to 400ºF (and season the beef if you haven't already). Lay the beef in a large (6-7 quart) Dutch oven, cover, and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF and cook until the meat is tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours more. At that point, remove the meat to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Pour the fat and juices from the pan into a glass measuring cup, and let the liquid rest so you can skim the fat from the surface. When the fat has risen to the top, use a big shallow spoon (an actual table spoon) to skim about 5 tablespoons of fat from the top into small bowl for the Yorkshire pudding. Reserve the rest of the drippings too. Also reserve the Dutch oven with all the browned beef bits in the bottom for your gravy.
  2. Prep the Yorkshire pudding: While the beef is roasting, whisk together the flour, milk, eggs, and a big pinch of salt in a medium mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.
  3. Bake the potatoes: Prick the top of the potatoes with a fork in a big X shape. That vents the potatoes and allows you to easily pop them open after baking. Place in a small sheet pan or ovenproof dish and bake in the 350ºF oven until a fork slides in and out easily, about 1 1/4 hours. (If you have a second oven and prefer crispier skin, bake at 400ºF.) When the spuds are done, keep them in a warm spot until everything else is ready.
  4. Make the horseradish sauce: Whisk together the sour cream, mayo, lemon juice (if using), horseradish, Worcestershire, and agave or sugar in a medium bowl. Add a pinch of salt and a several grindings of fresh ground black pepper. Taste and add more of any ingredient you think it needs. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  5. Make the gravy: When you're within 30 to 40 minutes of eating, slice the mushrooms. Heat the reserved Dutch oven (from the beef) over medium heat. Skim the remaining beef fat (about 4 tablespoons) from the top of the reserved beef drippings, and transfer the beef fat to the Dutch oven. Add the mushrooms, season with a pinch of salt, and saute until the mushrooms start to lose their liquid, about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining beef drippings, beef base or bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, agave or sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water, and a few grindings of black pepper. Stir, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom and sides of the pan into the gravy. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the gravy thickens slightly. It should be more like slightly thickened beef juices than thick turkey gravy. If it's too thick, stir in a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Taste it, and add more salt, pepper, or Worcestershire if you think it needs it. Cover and keep warm over the lowest heat.
  6. Finish the Yorkshire pudding: Heat the oven to 400ºF and pour the reserved beef fat into a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan or a half-sheet pan (you can also do this in batches with an 8-inch ovenproof skillet instead). Put the pan in the oven to heat up both the pan and the fat. Re-whisk the batter and pour it into the hot fat, quickly swirling the pan to cover the pan bottom with batter. Bake (with convection on if you have it) until puffed and browned around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove and cut into several pieces, stacking them on a serving plate (if you used a skillet in batches, just stack the rounds on the plate).
  7. Make the creamed spinach: Meanwhile, put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and nuke on High until melted, about 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, cover, and nuke again for 1 minute. Whisk in the fish sauce, a big pinch of salt, and a few grindings of black pepper. Cover and nuke again for 2 minutes. Then remove and whisk again. At this point, the sauce (called béchamel) should have thickened up a bit. Stir in the spinach, nutmeg, and another grinding of pepper if you're a fan of pepper. Cover and nuke at 70% power for 8 minutes, stopping to stir every 2 minutes.
  8. Carve the rested beef by cutting it across the grain into 2-inch chunks, and placing the chunks on a serving platter.
  9. Pop open the still-warm potatoes by squeezing and pushing up the sides; if they don't pop easily, use a knife to cut along the X you made earlier and open them up. Season each potato with a healthy pinch of salt and nestle a tablespoon of butter in each one so it melts into the flesh. Put the chives or scallion greens in a bowl for everyone to scatter on their potatoes as desired.
  10. Serve the platter of beef with the mushroom gravy (pour the gravy right over the platter of beef if you like) with the Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, baked potatoes, and horseradish sauce on the table. Everyone can build a plate with a bit of each.


Watch the full recipe video on the Majordomo YouTube Channel

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