I wasn’t sure what to expect of this recipe (from How Easy is That?), but it turned out to be our favorite roast beef recipe so far. The combination of dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly cracked pepper, but only just a little bit of each, made a light, delicious seasoning. This probably my husband’s top five list.
One of my faithful readers asked a good question about affordability of some of these fancy ingredients. I gave her kind of a cheeky answer that picked on one of our mutual friends, but it was a good question. For the filet of beef/tenderloin recipes, I bought some tenderloin steaks (filets) at Costco. I used to be able to buy an entire beef tenderloin there, but maybe they only carry those during the holiday season? This time, they had a package of tenderloin filets, and I divided them up and froze them in small amounts. It’s still more expensive than, say, ground beef, but it’s still much cheaper than eating out, and it’s not something that we eat every night. For cooking smaller amounts, I adjust the oven time and check the meat often. Instead of lobster, I bought wild-caught langoustines at Costco, and just thaw what I need as I need it. Our CSA box is a huge source of savings for us, not only for the organic produce that it delivers, but also because it forces us to plan meals and eat at home. I buy in bulk when I can, I buy generic ingredients when it makes sense, and I pay attention to seasonal ingredients and sales. I make substitutions based on what I have on hand, and we have weeks where we eat up what needs to be used from the freezer or the pantry. I make chicken stock out of a chicken carcass, a couple of quarts of water, and the greens and herbs from the CSA box (carrot greens, onion skins, etc.). I get a special thrill out of grocery shopping, so bargain hunting is just part and parcel of that.
All that being said, I wouldn’t make this dish for a crowd of 20 people, unless they were bringing their own cows to butcher.