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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Garlic Roast Beef with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Home Canned Green Beans

Garlic has been richly entrenched in folklore for warding off vampires.  This likely stemmed from the practice of wearing garlic around the neck in days long ago.  Garlic is a tasty culinary herb but it also has medicinal properties.  It has antibiotic properties (contains the sulfur compound allicin), lowers blood pressure, is good for the circulatory system, promotes heart health, promotes a healthy immune system, increases bile production, decreases liver fat and reduces cholesterol.  Furthermore, ingesting garlic offers protection against mosquitoes which in turn protects you from contracting diseases via mosquito bites (eg. West Nile Disease).  Chewing on a raw clove of garlic releases allicin which kills the strep throat bacteria.  Other medicinal uses include relieving the pain of insect bites; treating sprains, toothache, tonsillitis, bruising, ringworm and clearing sinuses.  While you can buy garlic capsules, incorporating an abundance of fresh garlic into your diet works better and is less expensive.

searing the cross cut rib roast in Dutch oven
We are nearing that time of year again when our beef on the hoof will be ready.  This year the estimated time we will be getting it is the first week of June which gives me a bit more time to pare down our freezer contents.  Still, we are in high gear eating from the pantry and freezers!

I thawed a cross cut rib roast to cook for garlic roast beef  in my new enamel coated Dutch oven.  I often cook roasts without thawing so this was a bit different.  I let the roast thaw for a little over 24 hours in the refrigerator.  The roast was tied, very close to rectangular shaped.  I heated extra virgin olive oil in the Dutch oven then quickly seared the roast on all four sides.   Normally I don't sear roasts unless cooking is a slow cooking but this time I wanted to cook at a low temperature so seared for flavour.

seared cross cut rib roast seasoned
I pre-heated the oven to 200°F.  I seasoned the cross cut rib roast with Worcestershire sauce and garlic pepper then topped with whole cloves of garlic and slices of onion.  This gave me two elements of garlic, fresh and powdered for flavour.  The fresh garlic would roast as it cooked but not to the degree of plain roasted garlic that has a deeper caramelized note mingling with a hint of sweetness.  I added about a three quarter cup of water to the bottom of the Dutch oven.  The lid of the Dutch oven is designed to be self basting so reasoned that there would be just enough gravy for that night's dinner.  Once the roast was prepared, I covered it and place the hot Dutch oven into the pre-heated oven.  I cooked the covered  roast at 200°F for 1½ hr  then raised the temperature to 275°F for ½ hr. 

garlic roast beef
While the roast was cooking, I prepared the roasted garlic mashed potatoes (recipe below).   These would be reheated during the last ½ hr of the roast cooking.  The garlic mashed potatoes can actually be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you want to warm them for a meal. 

I was rather pleased with the results!  The roast was nicely browned for nice eye appeal with a rich looking au jus that could have been strained then used without thickening.  The aroma was divine!  I removed the roast to rest.  I lightly strained the au jus, mashing in the roasted garlic then thickened with a lightly seasoned corn starch slurry.  Really, there is nothing wrong with leaving the onion slices and garlic pieces in the au jus for serving.  Mashing the garlic just adds more flavour to the au jus.

roasted garlic potatoes
Swedish potatoes have been a long time family favourite with their rich, creamy texture and just a bit of tang in the flavour.  I originally learned to make them from my Mother-in-Law and while I still make the original, I have developed several potato dishes based on the original.  The original Swedish potato dish is heavy on sour cream, cream cheese, butter and heavy cream all of which make this dish higher in fat content.  My roasted garlic mashed potatoes cut that fat significantly.  The potatoes are not as creamy as I purposely leave in smaller chunks of potatoes but the flavour is a sure winner!  These potatoes freeze and reheat well.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
recipe by: Garden Gnome

8 - 10 medium sized potatoes
½ c sour cream
½ c cream cheese
½ small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp roasted garlic
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tbsp butter
½ c 2% milk

dry bread crumbs
1 tsp butter
garlic chives (optional)

Wash and peel the potatoes.  Cut into chunks.  Peel garlic cloves.  Thinly slice the onion.  Place potatoes, onion slices and garlic cloves into steamer basket.  Steam until the potatoes are fork tender.  Pour the potatoes, garlic and onion mix into stand mixer bowl.  Add the remainder of the ingredients.  Mix until semi-smooth (mainly smooth with some small chunks).  Spoon the mixture into an oven proof casserole dish.  Divide the topping butting into small dabs and scatter over top of the potatoes.  Sprinkle a light coating of dry bread crumbs on top.  Sprinkle chopped garlic chives on top.  Heat in oven until top is lightly golden.

garlic roast beef with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and home canned green beans
I served the garlic roast beef with the roasted garlic mashed potatoes, home canned green beans, and a side salad with homemade creamy garlic dressing.  Home canned green beans are one of our favourite side dishes so I can a lot of them.  I'm very much looking forward to the upcoming growing season as there are only 4 - 500ml jars of green beans left!

This was a sure to please, easy to prepare dinner packed full of garlic goodness!  Each of the layers of garlic (fresh, roasted, dry) added their own distinctive notes yet were not over powering.  Garnishing the potatoes with garlic chives will add another subtle garlic note.  The end result was delightfully delicious!  And no we did not have garlic breath :)

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