During the holiday season, families are often torn in different directions when it comes to which Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas dinner to attend. The bigger the family, the more varied the options. Robin and I came up with a solution for Thanksgiving—go wherever you choose on Thanksgiving, but everyone comes to us the next day for a "Non-Turkey Experience." Our Black Friday Feast features roast beef with Wine Merchants sauce, twice-baked potatoes, asparagus sautéed in olive oil and pancetta, a salad made with field greens and tomatoes (keep it simple), plus plenty of desserts the guests can bring and lots of good quality red wine (Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot) and some whites as an aperitif as well. For appetizers, anything “non-Thanksgiving” goes well; think brie, gouda, cornichons, Irish cheddar, olives.
For eight to 10 people, a full-sized and trimmed 8-10-pound Top Sirloin roast should do it. This cut is tasty, reasonably priced and roasts up very tender. Last year I found a great discount at Gelson’s for a Prime-graded roast. Choice will also be very good. Buy it at least three days in advance and dry rub it (use your choice of dry rub, but make sure you include Kosher salt). Leave it uncovered in the fridge until about an hour before roasting. This will dry age and tenderize it. Preheat to 450 and roast at that temp for 10 minutes, then cut back to 325 to slow roast for about 20-25 minutes per pound for medium rare (145), plus a few medium outside slices for those who do not know any better. Remember, the roast continues to cook after it is removed from the oven, so let it sit for a while. Get ready for the ravenous hordes!
Wine Merchants sauce is easy to prepare. Use beef stock, red wine, mushrooms, a shallot and olive oil or butter. Steam the asparagus al dente, sauté with cooked down crispy pancetta and some olive oil. Twice-baked potatoes are also easy…. bake ‘em, mash with butter and sour cream, chives and a little Half & Half. Restuff, top with shredded cheddar and reheat.
Clearly this meal is not for veggie/vegan/non-gluten food fanciers or dieters. That’s okay—more for me! Bon appetit!