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5/23/10

Roast Beef Au Jus Dinner Plate for a Spring evening.


When the temperatures warm out of doors and the windows and doors are flung open wide the grilling season begins.  When it is rainy we go directly to sandwich but not necessarily grilled!  Close to the top of my husbands list is roast beef au jus.  The Knob Hill Tavern is where he first had one and it was my job to make an at home version. I have found no match for a cooked to melt in your mouth rump roast to be the basis.  Here is how I fix them. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  I use a cast iron dutch oven with a round rack in the bottom. 

1 3-4 pound rump roast
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Hogie Rolls or French rolls
Au Jus base optional
1 c water

Unwrap and rinse the beef then pat it dry. Place the rack in the bottom of a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid.  If you don't have a rack you could improvise by putting some can lids of assorted sizes in the bottom of the pan.  The objective is to keep the beef off the bottom of the pan.  Place the beef FAT SIDE up  on the rack and season well with salt and pepper. Put  the water in the pan, cover and cook in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours till desired doneness.  I use a meat thermometer and cook it well done.  This is a cut of meat that is very lean so it is going to make it's own au jus and steam a bit to achieve that melt in your mouth goal.  When it is done let it cool before slicing.  I often let it get cold as it is easier slice it thin the colder it is.  Many times I cook it ahead and refrigerate it before slicing and then reheat. Use your sharpest knife and slice as thin as you can for sandwiches.  Strain the meat juices and reheat to dip the sandwiches.  You may want to use additional au jus base purchased at Gorden's Food Service or elsewhere if you find it.  It is darker and saltier than beef base.  We use small dipping bowls or small tea cups with the diner plates for individual service.  Horseradish is very good with this too.

Twice Baked Potato
Wash and wrap large baking potatoes in foil.  Roast at 425 degrees 1- 1  1/2 hours depending on size.
Pierce with fork to test for doneness.  Cool slightly and unwrap.  Slice the potato in half longways and scoop carefully the meat into a large mixer bowl.  Add salt, pepper, butter, cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, minced green onion, milk or ranch dressing and mix with electric mixer til blended and desired consistency. Taste and add anything else you have on hand and want to use.  Bacon and leftover veggies can become stars here! Top with additional cheese.  I place them on a baking pan and cover til time to reheat and serve.  These can be made a week ahead and refrigerated and are fine.

Mother's Fruit Salad

This is my Mom's fruit salad and her Mother made it too.  The cherries make it different.  It is a combination of canned and fresh fruit.

juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 can fruit cocktail
1 can sliced peaches
1 can sliced pears
1 can apricots
1 can pineapple tidbits
1 can cherries
Mandarin or fresh oranges
3-4 bananas
fresh seedless grapes
any other fresh fruit available, I used blackberries in this time

Squeeze the lemon juice into the bottom of a large glass bowl and slice the bananas into the juice. Then  combine all the fruit in a large glass bowl.  If you use sour pie cherries add about 1/2 - 3/4 c additional sugar.  If using sweet cherries I do not add any sugar. This will keep well in the
refrigerator.

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