Happy Festivus everyone!!!
Since we just did another spatchcocked bird for dinner last night, I figured I would show you what we did for our Festivus dinner that we made on the Dec 22. Ok, I know it was more a pre-Festivus dinner because everyone knows Festivus is Dec 23, but we figured Saturday night would be better than Sunday night.
Festivus dinner ended up being a big potluck with some of our friends so I will just go through the dishes as we had them, not as I cooked everything. Not everything was done on the Big Green Egg, but it was ALL fantastic!!!
First up was the appetizer, home made spring rolls and shrimp rolls with a Thai peanut sauce. No, these weren’t done on the Egg, but they were still amazing!!!!
Sorry these last 2 pics were a little foggy, I had the camera outside and it was -20 Celsius out.
Next course was a Fennel & Goat Cheese salad
We served this with a Sancerre and the wine pairing worked great. The acidity in the vinaigrette as well as the goat cheese was matched by acidity and minerallity in the wine. (For those who don’t know I am also a certified Sommelier, so food and wine pairings are also one of my favorite hobbies)
The main course was a whole beef tenderloin with dijon and fresh herbs that I cooked on the Big Green Egg. I also made some Bacon Balsamic Brussel Sprouts (also Egged) & Marsala Creamed Mushrooms (not Egged) to go with.
Our friends then brought some home made Cabbage Rolls (not Egged, but awesome)
And some Blue Cheese and Bacon Scalloped Potatoes (that were done on the Egg and equally awesome).
As for what I made, first up, the Marsala Creamed Mushrooms.
I started out with about 2 and a half pounds of button, cremini & shitake mushrooms, which I browned until caramelized in butter and olive oil.
I also used 2 packs of dried porcini mushrooms (1oz) that I re-hydrated (and saved the liquid after straining it through a cheese cloth), some fresh thyme, butter, shallots, dry marsala and heavy whipping cream. I never said this was good for you!!!
When the shrooms were nice and caramelized I added all the ingredients and let the sauce reduce until it thickened up.
I was supposed to garnish with flat leaf parsley, but was in a rush when I did the shopping and grabbed cilantro instead!!! Ooops!!! I blame the store for keep both herbs side by side like that
Anyway, these were done, but supposed to be a bit greener with the parsley. They were fantastic!!!
Let’s talk meat now!!!
I ordered a 6-8 pound whole beef tenderloin from my butcher, Kelmar Country Meats, and Steve tied this beauty up perfect for me!!! He had it all cleaned and trimmed and trussed together so that the thin part of the tenderloin would cook with the thicker part and the whole thing would cook nice and even!!! The best part too was when I picked it up, along with 2 pork butts and some other goodies, they gave me a nice discount too!!! Thanks guys!!!
So I made a rub for the this with grainy Dijon mustard, fresh thyme and rosemary, fresh cracked pepper, about 4 big cloves of garlic and some EVOO to give it a nice paste-like texture.
I spread it all over the roast and then put it in the fridge to set up for about a few hours.
When it was about 5pm I decided to put it on the Egg. I wasn’t entirely sure how long it would take to cook. I had debated about searing it off first, like I do with steaks, but then in the end decided that I didn’t want to burn the mustard rub and I would cook it gently. So I set the XL Big Green Egg up to cook indirectly at about 375F.
I did not open the lid until the meat probe I had stuck in it hit 120F. I did not move this thing around at all, I just let it sit there and do it’s thing and get happy. I pulled it off when my Thermapen read 125F in the center. All said it took about an hour and 40 minutes to get there.
I then let it rest probably another 30 minutes, lightly tented while I finsished the Brussel Sprouts and we ate the salad.
In the end, it was a perfect beauty of a roast, so moist and tender!!! Everyone agreed, this was the best roast I have ever cooked! It was like butter it was so soft and juicy!
Finally we have the Bacon Balsamic Brussel Sprouts
While the beef was cooking on the XL, I did the sprouts on the Large. I cooked all of this directly in a cast iron skillet with the bottom air vent set to about what I would have it at if I wanted to the Egg to be at about 375-400F. Of course since I continually opened the dome, it never stayed at that temp, but it is the temp I stabilized the Egg to.
So I started off by cooking down some thick cut slab bacon that I got at Kelmar Country Meats as well.
When it rendered down, I scooped it out and added the Brussel Sprouts directly to the baconny skillet (again, this isn’t healthy for you )
I let the sprouts cook until they were almost finished. At that point I added the bacon back in, about 3 finely sliced shallots and a bunch of balsamic vinegar (sorry I didn’t measure) as well as salt and pepper and some butter.
I know this last picture, they look kind of burned, but trust me, they weren’t. The balsamic darkened the already caramelized sprouts and these things were the best sprouts I think I’ve ever eaten.
We also ended the evening with a Vintage Port and an assortment of dark chocolate, my own home made candied pecans, brie stuffed dates and some cheeses but I forgot to take pictures. It was a good nibble kind of end to the meal, because we were all so full and everything paired great with the Port.
Well there you have it. A Festivus dinner for the rest of us. It was so good that there weren’t a lot of grievances to be aired and I was so full my buddy’s 2 year old pinned me in the feats of strength.