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'87's Best

December 31, 1987

Among the large number of recipes that staff members taste in the Times Test Kitchen each year, there are always some that stand out in our memories. Despite very diverse taste preferences, when the individual votes were tallied, these 12 dishes were judged the overall favorites for 1987.

DONNA'S BEEF POT PIES

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can clear beef broth

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can clear chicken broth

1/2 cup flour

4 cups diced cooked beef, drippings reserved

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained

1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained

Salt, pepper

Pastry

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Heat oil in skillet. Saute onion, garlic, celery and carrot in oil until tender. Combine beef and chicken broths. Add water to measure 4 cups. Add to vegetables. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Combine flour and 2/3 cup water, stirring until smooth. Stir into simmering broth. Heat and stir until boiling and thickened. Stir in meat, horseradish, peas and corn. Add any beef drippings left from roasting meat to broth. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into 2 1/2-quart oven-proof casserole or individual 4- to 5-inch oven-proof casseroles. Set aside while making Pastry.

Roll Pastry to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut round or rounds of dough 1/2 inch larger than tops of casseroles. Press Pastry against edges of each casserole to seal. Cut vent holes on top. Sprinkle cheese over Pastry. Place casseroles on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees about 30 minutes or until pastry is golden. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pastry

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons shortening

1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until size of peas. Stir in cheese. Add enough water so dough clings together. Gather into ball.

WALDORF DEVILED BEEF RIBS WITH MUSTARD SAUCE

8 pounds beef ribs (from prime rib of beef), about 2 racks

Salt, pepper

1/4 cup virgin olive oil, about

1 cup Dijon mustard

2 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs

10 ounces veal or beef stock

1/2 cup Madeira

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon water

2 tablespoons butter

Lightly season bones with salt and pepper. Place bones on baking sheet and roast at 325 degrees 1 1/2 hours. After bones have cooked, allow to cool until easy to handle, about 15 minutes.

Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil and all but 3 tablespoons mustard, blending well. Separate bones into rib sections and lightly coat with mustard mixture. Dredge each piece in bread crumbs and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle bones lightly with more olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Combine stock and Madeira. Reduce by half. Combine cornstarch with water until smooth. Stir into sauce and cook until sauce coats back of spoon. Continue to simmer several minutes to blend flavors over low heat. Add butter and 3 tablespoons reserved mustard. Stir until smooth. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

FLUFFY ORANGE ROLLS

1 package dry yeast

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 cup warm water

2 eggs

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour

Grated peel of 1 orange

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

3 tablespoons orange juice

Combine yeast with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and warm water. Set aside 15 minutes until foamy. Beat together eggs, milk, melted butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and salt.

Stir in yeast mixture. Stir in flour until stickiness is gone and soft dough forms. Knead lightly 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turn to grease top, cover bowl with cloth and place in warm spot to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Reserve 1/4 teaspoon grated peel for glaze. To make filling, combine rest of peel with softened butter and remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar in small bowl. Blend well. Set aside.

Combine powdered sugar, orange juice and reserved 1/4 teaspoon grated peel. Blend well and set aside.

When dough has doubled, punch down and let rest 10 minutes. Light 33 charcoal briquettes. Roll dough out on floured board to 13x9-inch rectangle. Spread with filling, covering completely except for 1/2 inch along one long side. Beginning at opposite long side, roll dough jellyroll fashion, sealing well along unfilled edge. With very sharp floured knife, cut roll into 12 to 15 pieces. Place rolls cut sides up and touching in 12-inch Dutch oven. (Place ends in center to avoid burning.)

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