Downton Abbey Dinner

My Downton Dinner

(I first posted this in March 2014 but as a fan of Downton it only seemed appropriate to repost on January 3, 2016 because tonight Canadians finally get to see the final season of this beloved show)

I am a fan of Downton Abbey and the Sunday dinner.

(Please read the following with an upper class English accent) So if by chance you should take complete leave of your senses and attempt to contact me on a Sunday evening in the months of January or February, you shall be gravely disappointed, because I am incommunicado between 9:00 pm and 10:00 pm. 11:00 pm on the night of the season premiere and the season finale. I am repose on the settee absorbed in an episode of Downton Abbey.

(Please revert to reading this with a Canadian accent) Downton Abbey, for anyone who’s missed this epic drama on PBS, follows an upper class family and their servants over several decades through thick and thin, war and peace, tragedies and new births.

Maybe it’s my English, Irish and Scots DNA but Downton Abbey grabbed me from the get go one cold January evening four years ago. I started watching because of the hats, I stayed for the drama, the story, my love of history, and the dinners they sit down to.  

I started watching because of the hats, I stayed for the drama.

I started watching because of the hats, I stayed for the drama.

 

I really believe in using the good stuff. Seriously what’s the point in keeping your good china, silver, table cloths only for really special occasions? I use the good stuff every Sunday when we have family dinner night.

 

My mother's china, using the good dishes

My mother’s china, using the good dishes

 

Note: I await Julien Fellows (the writer and creator of Downton Abbey) to come to his senses and write me a continuing role as the rather eccentric Aunt from Canada who is twice removed from dearly departed (spoiler alert from Season 3) Mathew and is loaded with money. I know I could save the family from their financial woes without going into (spoiler alert from Season 4) pig farming.

 

 

Game Plan to Pull off a Downton Dinner

Invite your Friends who are fans of the show

Fabulous friends and Downton Abbey Fans, of course.

Fabulous friends and Downton Abbey Fans, of course.

 

Shop – always the day before

We had just finished taping Cityline's 30th Anniversary Show - hence I'm shopping in my dress up clothes!

We had just finished taping Cityline’s 30th Anniversary Show – hence I’m shopping in my dress up clothes!

 

Make the dessert the day before or the morning of to save your sanity

It's just a wee trifle...

It’s just a wee trifle…

 

Clean the silver – I clean my silver at least three days in advance

Enviromantally safe way to clean sliver: really hot water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking soda, tin foil, let silver sit in this for 10-15 minutes and viola!

Environmentally friendly way to clean sliver: really hot water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking soda, tin foil, let silver sit in this mixture for 10-15 minutes and viola!

 

Iron the linens – up to two days before

To get a really crisp look to linen serviettes, sprinkle with water, then iron with a hot iron

To get a really crisp look to linen serviettes, sprinkle with water, then iron with a hot iron

 

Set the table – the day before or the morning of

I like to set me table the day before or the morning of

 

Prep the vegetables – prep the the morning of

Vegetables prepped and ready to go

Vegetables prepped and ready to go

 

Ice the sparkling wine and sparkling water – the Canadian way…..

The original Canadian ice bucket

The original Canadian ice bucket

 

The day of – invite Cityline over to tape it! Was I out of my mind? A TV crew while I served dinner? Watch what happened that night.

I'm my own Mrs Patmore as my son interviews me!

I’m my own Mrs Patmore as my son interviews me! To see the behind the scenes video click here

 

Menu

(see recipes below)

Prime Rib Roast

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Steamed and Mashed Carrots and Rutabaga

Roasted Potatoes

Yorkshire Pudding

Trifle

 

The Main Course

The Main Course

 

Roast Prime Rib

I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel.  So with permission from Canada Beef here is the absolute best way to roast beef.

·        For generous portions (and maybe even some yummy leftovers), buy 250 g (8 oz) per person (raw).

·        For a roast that has bone, increase that by about 30% – so, 375 g (12 oz) per person.

·        What’s a serving? A Canada Food Guide serving is 75 g (a bit over 2 oz) of cooked beef (which you get from about 125 g (4 oz) raw beef.

 

Roasting Right: Low and slow’s the way to go. Roasting beef at 275°F (140°C) makes for the most tender juicy roast beef. Follow these simple steps:

1. Season roast and place in shallow roasting pan without water and lid/cover. Insert an oven-safe meat thermometer into the centre of roast, avoiding fat or bone.

2. Oven-sear seasoned roast in preheated 450°F (230°C) oven for 10 minutes.

3. Reduce heat to 275°F (140°C); roast to desired doneness, removing from oven when 5°F (3°C) below finished temperatures. (Cook Time charts are estimates only. The thermometer is the best way to determine doneness.)

4. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest at least 15 minutes until temperature rises by at least 5°F (3°C) before carving into thin slices.

For the cook times from Canada Beef and a video check this out.

 

Time-Saver Roasting: Use this method for the tenderest cuts if you’re in a time crunch. Skip Step 2 and roast at 325°F (160°C) for approx. 30 min per lb (500 g) for medium doneness. Tenderloin can be roasted at temperatures up to 400°F (200°C).

For all the Downton Abbey fans, you'll recognize me as Cora now.....

For all the Downton Abbey fans, you’ll recognize me as Cora

To see the video from Cityline click here.

 Yorkshire Pudding

 

Yorkshire perfection

Yorkshire perfection

My Grandma’s recipe – works every time.

4 large eggs

1 cup (250 mL) 1% milk

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

Fat from the roast or canola oil – you will need 3 tbsp (45 mL) in total – 1 tsp (5 mL) per muffin

 

1.      In a large bowl: whisk the eggs until fluffy. Whisk in milk. Add flour and salt and whisk until smooth. Let rest for at least 30 minutes, up to 45 minutes.

2.      While roast is resting, turn oven to 450°F (230°C)

3.      Pour 1 tsp (5 mL) of either oil or the fat from the roast into each muffin tin. Place in oven until the oil is hot. Remove from oven and quickly pour approximately ¼ cup (60 mL) of the batter into each muffin tin, bake for 10 minutes then reduce temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue baking for 30-35 minutes or until the Yorkshires are puffy and cooked through. Serve right away.  Professional home economist tip: don’t open the oven during the first 10 minutes or you will deflate the Yorkshires.

 

 

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

 My dear Grandma could cook a wicked Yorkshire Pudding but her Brussels were grey blobs of mush, this is my version – a lovely shade of green and full of flavour and shape.

 2 oz (50 g) diced bacon, approximately 2 slices (optional)

3 shallots, sliced thinly into rings

1 lb (500 g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced into thin slices

2 tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup

 

 

1  Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté until golden brown. [if you aren’t using bacon heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil]

2        Add shallots and sauté until golden brown.

3        Add Brussels sprouts and vinegar, sauté and then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 2-4 minutes, please don’t overcook, you don’t want grey blobs of overcooked Brussels sprouts.

4        Remove lid, drizzle with maple syrup and sauté for 30 seconds. Serve. 

 Makes 3 cups (750 mL)

Makes 6 servings = one serving = ½ cup (125 mL)

For the Trifle Recipe in case you missed it in the Menu

 

And a final tip: enlist your husband and your son to play the head butler and the footman. They may even wash all of the dishes and clean the house…..mine did, yes I know, I’m blessed.

 

With the Staff!

With the Staff!

 

more shots from the night

Mrs Patmore fraternizing with the guests...

Mrs Patmore fraternizing with the guests…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Recipes Recently Seen on TV Tagged with: , , , , ,
11 comments on “Downton Abbey Dinner
  1. Byrl Staples says:

    Fabulous! I love Downton Abbey & think you make a wonderful Mrs. Patmore. The recipes sound delicious. The idea of a wealthy Canadian aunt is a very good one. I love seeing you on TV & receiving your news. Thanks for the chuckles.

  2. Wanda says:

    Your dinner looks fabulous! Sounds like a great show that I would like, too….but I’ve never heard of it – what channel is it on? I love seeing you on TV and following your page. Thanks & keep it up!

  3. Linda says:

    How absolutely perfect. Not possible for me to replicate on SV ONEDAY which is where we are now, but something to look forward to when we get back to land base in April.

  4. Marilou Matthews says:

    I was in the audience of Cityline the morning this was aired. I must say that I am anxious to try the Brussell Sprouts because I am the only one in my family that likes them. This recipe may make them into converts.

    On another issue, your Yorkshires remained puffed even the next day (or so you said on Cityline). I make wonderful tasting Yorkshires but mine never stay puffy. They always deflate by the time I get them to the table. What is the secret?

  5. Mairlyn says:

    Cooking on a boat must be so challenging!
    But a prime rib with all of the trimmings was pretty sweet on land.
    Peace, love and fibre,
    Mairlyn

  6. Mairlyn says:

    Hi Marilou,
    Hopefully we will have another group of Brussels sprouts lovers in our club! RE: Yorkshire pudding – I think its the recipe. The eggs give the Yorkshires structure so they don’t collapse the day after. Try my Gran’s recipe. 🙂
    Peace, love and fibre,
    Mairlyn

  7. Mairlyn says:

    Cityline is on the same channel as Breakfast TV. I don’t know where you live but tune into CITY TV and search for Cityline.
    Peace, love and fibre,
    Mairlyn

  8. Mairlyn says:

    Hi Byrl,
    I loved being both Cora and Mrs Patmore – but truth be said – it was way more fun that my staff (husband and son) cleaned up after the dinner!
    Peace, love and fibre,
    Mairlyn

  9. simone says:

    So glad you did this and it was such a success! Can I be invited next time?

  10. Karen MacDonald says:

    Hi Mair,
    Love you and your recipes on Cityline. Keep them coming.

    Your son and husband were angels to help you out for the Downton Dinner.

    I will copy the recipes and try them before the weather turns warmer?? As if that is ever going to happen?

  11. Mairlyn says:

    Hi Karen,
    You’re right, they were both angels! They earned their dinner that night!
    Peace, love and fibre,
    Mairlyn

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