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Southern Maryland is a beautiful piece of country nestled between the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River. Our area is rich with farmland, Amish and Mennonite communities, farmer's markets, roadside stands, beautiful waterways and seductive scenery. Southern Marylander's are famous for crabs, oysters, rockfish, and "Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham." Although we are very proud of our famous dishes and relish every opportunity to get together to enjoy them, not everything we eat is seasoned with Old Bay. We do eat "regular" food too. :o) Many families have been here for generation upon generation, each of them blessing the next with many treasured recipes. Our region is populated with several military bases, giving us the added benefit of diverse recipe collections. I hope to share with you our true food heritage, our famous recipes, and some of the diversity we've picked up along the way.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Beef Roast Marsala Dinner (full meal feature)

Beef Roast Marsala Dinner (Electric Roaster)

Roast and Gravy Ingredients:

3-4 pound boneless beef roast

Olive oil

2 1/2 cups Marsala wine

4 cups beef broth

3 medium to large onions (diced)

4-6 carrots (peeled/washed)



2-3 TBSP all-purpose flour

1-2 cups of sliced mushroom (save these for later in the recipe)

Roast and Gravy Spices:

2 Bay leaves

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp thyme

2 tsp rosemary

1 TBSP parsley

1 TBSP chopped basil or basil flakes

Not pictured: mushrooms, green beans, Worcestershire... because... I originally wasn't going to make the gravy, beans, and toast - just the roast... but I changed my mind. I changed my mind because I'm a woman. It's my right. Please don't hate me.

Roasted Fresh Green Beans – Ingredients:

1/2 - 1 LB Fresh green beans – or enough to fill your serving dish

1 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce


Garlic pepper

Preheat the roasting pan to 375 degrees.

Heat a large skillet and add 2 TBSP olive oil.

Dust all sides of the beef with salt, pepper, flour.

When the oil is hot (not smoking), add the beef to the skillet.

Brown the beef on all sides 1-2 minutes each side.

Flip that baby...

Add roughly 3 TBSP of olive oil to the preheated electric roasting pan.

Add chopped onion...

and carrots...

I like big random hunks of carrots in this recipe because I love the way they hold their shape and retain their flavor and firmness. I hate soggy, mushy carrots.


Add all of the dry spices to the onions/carrots and stir again.

Make a space for the beef in the center and add the browned beef roast to the roasting pan.

Pour ½ cup of Marsala in the skillet to deglaze, being sure to stir and scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove all of the brown bits of beefy flavor from the bottom.

Bring it to a boil and stir very well, continuing to get every bit from the bottom of the skillet.

Remove from heat and pour into roasting pan.

Pour 2 cups of Marsala in Roasting pan, followed by 4 cups of beef broth.

Top with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cover the roasting pan.

If you would like to serve roasted green beans with your meal, lay two-three sheets of aluminum foil on the countertop. Top the foil with washed and trimmed green beans.

Drizzle with olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Top with 1 TBSP butter. Sprinkle with salt and garlic pepper. Bring the foil up and fold the edges over tightly. Roll the foil down to form a sealed pocket, leaving some room for steam to build inside the pocket.

Open the roasting pan and set the foil pouch inside on top of the carrots, onions and sauce.

Cover the roasting pan and cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 225 and continue to cook another 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Go do something. Set the table, fold napkins. Put your feet up. Check your email. Leave the roasting pan alone. Do not lift the lid. Lifting the lid on your electric roaster will increase the cooking time or worse, dry out your roast.

Remove the roast from the pan when the internal temperature reaches 140-145 degrees with a meat thermometer for medium, or 150-160 for well done. Return the lid to the roasting pan to cover the veggies and juice.

Lay the roast on sheets of aluminum foil and drizzle about ¼ cup of juice from the roasting pan over the roast. Wrap the roast with aluminum foil and let it rest.

The roast needs to rest for at least 15 minutes, so let’s make Beefy Mushroom Marsala Gravy.

In a hot skillet, add 1 TBSP butter.

Add mushrooms and sauté until desired doneness is achieved.

Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside for now.

Remove pouch of green beans from roasting pan and set aside. Keep them wrapped until ready to serve.

With a slotted spoon, remove carrots and half of the onions from the roasting pan. Ladle them right into the serving dish and cover to maintain warmth.

Add 2 TBSP butter into the same hot skillet. (Shush, my thighs. It simply must be done. It must be done for Marsala gravy. Amen.)

Once the butter is melted, add 3 TBSP all-purpose flour and stir quickly to form a roux. Pour all of the remaining juice and onions from the roasting pan into the skillet, stirring to avoid the creation of lumps. (I would have loved to have shown you the roux but I didn't get a picture of it thanks to teenagers and car keys).

Carefully remove the bay leaf. Simmer and stir until your desired gravy consistency has been reached. (I wish you could smell this. I just wanna eat this with a spoon!)

Add the mushrooms back into the skillet and stir. Remove from heat.

Stop for just a moment and repeat after me: "Dear Lord, Thank you for this gravy. Amen."

Set the table with carrots, mushroom gravy, and green beans. Unwrap the roast and slice. Move to serving platter and pour the juices from the aluminum foil wrapper over the slices. Serve. Mmmmm, you can cut this with a fork!

When I make this, I also like to toast slices of pumpernickel or pumpernickel & rye bread in the oven. To do this, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly brush slices of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with a light dusting of garlic pepper. Bake for 5-10 minutes until desired level of toasting has been reached. Serve.



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