We knew it would be difficult to improve on the quintessential holiday combo of a roast with vegetables and mashed potatoes, so instead we give the classics a new look with surprising ingredients. A beef tenderloin with a spice rub made from porcini powder, black and white pepper, and fennel seeds delivers on taste as well as texture. Toasted walnuts and briny capers bring distinctness to our version of a French slaw with celery root and frisée. And our update on pommes Anna, which Julia Child called “the supreme potato recipe of all time,” adds shaved parsnips for contrasting sweetness and minced rosemary and thyme for freshness.
Porcini-Crusted Beef Tenderloin With Mushroom Sauce
Makes 8 servings
You’ll need a spice or coffee grinder to pulverize the dried porcinis and the fennel seeds for the rub. The roast should be trimmed of all visible fat and silver skin before being tied and coated with the rub.
Don’t use a traditional roasting pan to cook the tenderloin; the low sides of a rimmed baking sheet (with a wire rack set inside) ensure the roast browns nicely and cooks evenly.
The best way to test for doneness is to use an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast.
4- to 5-pound beef tenderloin roast, trimmed of fat and silver skin
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, torn into pieces, ground to a fine powder
3 tablespoons fennel seeds, finely ground
1 tablespoon ground white pepper
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, divided
1 pound portobello mushroom caps, gills removed, halved, and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced ¼ inch thick
4 large shallots (6 ounces), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons red miso
Coarse salt, to serve
If the tapered end of the tenderloin is very thin, tuck it under itself so the roast is an even thickness.
Using kitchen twine, tie the tenderloin about every 2 inches; if the tail end has been tucked, make sure that it is secured in place with the twine.
In a small bowl, combine the porcini powder, ground fennel, white pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons black pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons, then rub the remaining mixture over the tenderloin. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Heat the oven to 500 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a wire rack in it.
Unwrap the tenderloin and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top and sides with the oil, taking care not to brush off the rub. Roast for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven to 275 degrees and continue to roast until the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 120 degrees for rare or 125 degrees for medium-rare, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the portobellos, shiitakes, shallots, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and are well browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the reserved porcini rub; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until most of the wine has evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in the miso and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl for serving. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Transfer the roast to a carving board. Remove and discard the kitchen twine, then carve into slices about ½ inch thick. Transfer the slices to a serving platter and sprinkle with coarse salt. Serve with the mushroom sauce.
Celery Root and Frisée Salad With Mustard and Capers
Makes 6 servings
We like the curly, fluffy texture of frisée in this salad, but any variety of slightly bitter green works nicely.
You will need a mandoline for slicing the fennel, celery root, and apples. Don’t peel the apple. The skin adds both color and flavor. And don’t skip toasting the nuts; it crisps their texture and brings out roasted notes that complete the salad.
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup whole-grain mustard
¼ cup drained capers, roughly chopped, plus 1 tablespoon caper brine
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and halved
5 ounces peeled celery root (from 1 small celery root)
1 Granny Smith apple
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped, divided
1 small head frisée, torn into bite-size pieces
½ cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, capers and brine, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.
Adjust the blade of a mandoline to slice 1/16 inch thick. One at a time, hold each fennel half by the base and shave against the grain as far as is safe; discard the base. Set aside.
Adjust the blade of the mandoline to slice 1/8 inch thick, then slice the celery root into planks. Keeping the apple whole and starting on one side, slice the apple into planks until you reach the core. Rotate the apple a quarter turn and repeat on all sides; discard the core. Working in batches, stack the celery root planks and use a chef’s knife to cut into matchsticks; you should have about 1½ cups. Repeat with the apple planks.
Set aside ¼ cup of the chopped walnuts for garnish. Add the remaining walnuts, the fennel, celery root, apple, frisée, and parsley to the bowl with the dressing and fold to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate and sprinkle with the reserved walnuts.
Pommes Anna With Parsnips and Herbs
Makes 8 servings
You will need a few specific kitchen items to prepare this recipe: a Y-style peeler for shaving the parsnips, a mandoline for slicing the potatoes, a 10-inch oven-safe nonstick skillet, and an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan to compress the cake as it cooks. Pommes Anna can be made ahead and reheated: Allow the unmolded potato cake to cool to room temperature, transfer to a large plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to two days. When you’re ready to serve, cut the chilled cake into 8 wedges, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and heat at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
Don’t slice the potatoes thicker than specified or the potato cake will not hold together properly. And don’t be timid about pressing down on the potatoes with the bottom of the cake pan; firm pressure compresses the layers, which helps the cake hold together.
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
12 ounces parsnips (2 to 4 medium), peeled
4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon grape-seed or other neutral oil
5 tablespoons salted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position. In a small bowl, stir together the rosemary, thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Using a Y-style peeler, shave each parsnip from top to bottom into thin strips, rotating the parsnip as you go, until you reach the core; discard the core. Transfer the strips to a medium bowl. Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick rounds, then transfer to a large bowl.
Place a 10-inch oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, and heat until shimmering. Arrange a ring of overlapping potato slices in the pan around the perimeter, then arrange a second ring of overlapping slices inside the first, forming two concentric rings. If a space remains at the center, fill it with additional slices. Gently shake the pan to make sure the potatoes are not sticking, then cook, occasionally shaking the pan and pressing on the potatoes with the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake pan to flatten, until the potatoes are lightly browned around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Layer in a third of the remaining potato slices evenly (these need not be in perfect circles). Sprinkle with about a third of the herb mixture. Arrange half of the parsnips in an even layer, then press down on them with the cake pan. Layer in half of the remaining potatoes and sprinkle with about half of the remaining herb mixture.
Layer in the remaining parsnips, followed by the remaining potatoes, then sprinkle with the remaining herb mixture. Use the cake pan to press down and compact the layers, then scatter the butter on top. Bake until a paring knife inserted at the center meets no resistance, 1¼ to 1½ hours. If the potatoes on top brown before the cake is done, loosely cover with foil.
Remove the skillet from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
Place a sheet of kitchen parchment over the skillet, then invert a wire rack on top. Using oven mitts to protect your hands, hold the wire rack securely against the skillet and carefully invert them together. Lift off the skillet.
Let cool for 30 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the potato cake into 8 wedges. Serve warm.
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