Greetings and Salutations, fellow LadyNerds (and Brian)! Since it's Wednesday, I know a lot of you are at work, wishing for something awesome to get you through the rest of your week. Well look no further, FYA readers, for it is time for another lesson in how to balance your nerd with being a proper lady!
This week, I will lead you through the many steps of how to make a traditional Sunday dinner, paired with a screening of the latest episode of The Walking Dead. (So I'm behind! A lady is never rushed, which is why DVRs were invented!) Why Sunday dinner? (You might ask.) Well, because ladies (and quite a few gents) throughout history have provided their families with them -- the food that warms the heart and the belly. As adults, we can choose to continue this tradition, without all the guilt and questions about what we're doing with our life!
You might be wondering whatever you could replace familial pressure and general uncomfortability with at your very own traditional Sunday dinner. You invite your friends over and/or watch tv, of course! But not just any tv! Something that you love, like Erin's Netflix suggestions, OR, as was the case in my house, The Walking Dead, because while a lady loves Sunday dinner, a (this) nerd likes zombie flicks. You could indulge and fill in the blank with your favorite nerdalicious shows, because after slaving away in the kitchen all afternoon, a lady needs her rest.
For tradition's sake, we will begin with:
The Pot Roast
There are many variations on this dish, but here's mine
3 lbs. Chuck Roast
7-8 new potatoes, cut in half
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 carrots, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 bottles of brown ale (1 for the roast and 1 for momma
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat all sides of the roast in the flour. Add a healthy amount of salt and pepper. In a saucepan over medium heat, brown all sides of the roast in melted butter, before transferring the roast to a broiling pan. (Or do the whole thing in a dutch oven, if you have one.) Add the vegetables, and the beer. Season with more fresh pepper, cover, and roast for 1 - 1 1/2 hours (until meat is tender). Let the roast rest covered for at least 15 minutes after you take it out of the oven. Drain liquid and set aside for sauce.
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a saucepan, quickly whisking in 1 Tbsp flour until smooth. Whisk in liquid from the roast, a small amount at a time, until you achieve the consistency you desire. (Thin sauce or thick gravy.) Put in your belly.
One of the best things about a pot roast is that you've pretty much got your whole meal done all at once. However, what's a Sunday dinner without Brussels Sprouts?
Brussels Sprouts with a Prune and Balsamic Reduction
1 lb Brussels sprouts
1 dozen prunes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
Blanch brussels sprouts.
In a skillet, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar and prunes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Add brussels sprouts and cover, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened and reduced by at least half. Serve and enjoy.
Finally, because no traditional Sunday dinner is complete without them (and potatoes just aren't enough starch): I've included a tutorial on how to make Yorkshire Pudding:
And it all comes together much like friends and family gather around the dining room table.
Dessert? What, I haven't slaved enough for you kids today? No, seriously, if you can eat dessert after that meal, go to the store and get some ice cream.