Saturday, December 18, 2010

An Easy Anglo-Indian Lunch... Ready in 1 Hour.

     It's raining and cold here in Sonoma. We're sitting in the middle of a parade of storms that are working their way across Northern California. Perfect weather to snuggle up  by the fire and do nothing. Also, perfect weather for a meal that practically cooks itself. What about an Indian meal that practically cooks itself? Those are a little harder to come by, but then I remembered The Raj.
   Back in the day of the Burra Memsahibs there was a curious blending of Anglo-Indian cuisine; hearty British dishes cooked and served with an Indian twist. I decided that my answer might be found there. So I channeled my Inner Kitchen Wallah and decided on a nice traditional roast of beef done with Indian spices, and to accompany them in the tradition of meat and two veg, I'd serve parchment paper potatoes and creamless spinach.
  This beef dish is one I've been doing for years and had forgotten about. I hate when that happens, but I'm so glad it finally popped up again in my memory palace. It's super simple and perfect for this time of year since it cooks up in an hour and the left-overs are amazing. This works well with any sort of beef roast, but this time I used a 2.5 pound tri tip.

Roast Beef With Indian Spices

Here's what to do:

 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
 Mix together:
 1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of coriander seeds
 1/2 tsp of whole black peppercorns
 3/4   tsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
 1/8 tsp of kashmiri chili or if you don't have that, cayenne
   Blend all of the spices together into a fine powder.
  Cut slits in the beef and stuff in bits of raw shallot or garlic.
Rub the meat with 1 Tbs of olive oil then rub the spice powder into the meat well.
Pop the roast into the oven for 1 hour for medium rare. It's done when the interior temperature reaches 125 degrees.

Meanwhile, for one of the two veg get some small creamer potatoes. Place them in Parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
 Sprinkle them with some fresh herbs. I used rosemary and thyme. Dot them with a bit of unsalted butter, sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt, then seal them up in the bag.
When you roast has been in for 15 minutes, slide the potatoes onto the rack below the meat and let them roast for at least 45 minutes.
 Unwrap them, give them a quick stir and you're done! Meat and potatoes done together with not a lick of work after sticking it all in the oven. It's almost as easy as having someone cook lunch or dinner for me. Just they way I like it.

   While Alan carved the meat I kept thinking of the perfect dessert to go with this. The Infamous Floating Islands of the Damned. They are my Moriarty of desserts. One day we will meet again, and  I will conquer them.  Meanwhile I'm thinking about what sort of trouble I could get into making pudding in a cup in my microwave. Any suggestions?


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