‘Tis the season for beef recipes. Winter is the time to dig out the flannel and the down from the basement and pull the crock-pot out from the back of the pantry. As the temperatures drop and we want to be outside for shorter spurts of time, hearty and long-cooking foods become more pleasing to our palates. Beef lends itself to both stewing and roasting, and depending on the cut and your schedule, will even come together in a few minutes under the broiler. Paired with its old friend, the potato, or any number of seasonal root vegetable, beef also holds up beautifully with stronger flavors and spices.
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Beef is also a great keystone for a big, communal, family or holiday meal. Presented in large format and then carved for serving, a beef roast can be a wow-worthy as any turkey. The added benefit to such a preparation is the lingering complex odor of preparing such a dish. Even beef on the grill, if you are willing to brave the cold outside, will produce such an appetizing scent, on that even food writer Claudia Roden remarks upon the combination of beef and fire in Picnics: “The smell of roasting meat together with that of burning fruit wood and dried herbs, as voluptuous as incense in a church, is enough to turn anyone into a budding gastronome.” So as you prepare to invite a big bunch over for mulled wine and board games, hit your favorite butcher up first and consider cooking up one of these crowd-pleasing beef recipes.