Devilled rib bones for a Vincent Price Halloween cookalong
“I am Frederick Loren, and I have rented the house on haunted hill tonight so that my wife can give a party. She’s so amusing. There’ll be food and drink and ghosts, and perhaps even a few murders. You’re all invited. If any of you will spend the next twelve hours in this house, I will give you each ten thousand dollars, or your next of kin in case you don’t survive. Ah, but here come our other guests.”
You know how it is when you meet someone and like them immediately? I met Jenny Hammerton at a conference in London and was immediately won over by her infectious sense of humour, broad smile which extends to her twinkly eyes and a sense of flying in the face of convention. A film archivist by day, she’s enthralled by an earlier era of old-fashioned glamour and stardom at all times. She’s a quarter of ‘The Shellac Sisters‘, ‘four glamorous retrochics’ who spin the decks with 78s and a wind up gramophone. On her brilliant blog called Silver Screen Suppers, she cooks her way through recipes shared by movie stars of the past. Gwyneth Paltrow is doing nothing new by branching out into cook books; Hollywood idols of the 30s, 40s and 50s shared their love of cooking in magazines, newspapers and books. On Silver Screen Suppers you’ll discover that Marlene Dietrich was partial to whipping up a loaf of banana nut bread, Jean Harlow stuffed celery with shrimp for a starter, Cary Grant was not averse to a dish of tuna fish pie and Marilyn Monroe was a cook with flair who served carrots and peas together as she liked the colour combination!
So who better to inspire a spooky Halloween cook along than Vincent Price? While grizzly ghouls from every tomb were closing in to seal our doom on 31st October, cooks around the globe were sharpening knives in the kitchen and bubbling up a cauldron or two with recipes from Vincent. Banquets were served, eaten on knocking knees in front of House on Haunted Hill (the quote above is from the start of the movie). Victoria Price – Vincent’s daughter – gave her seal of approval to the whole event. How super cool is that?
Jenny gave me this recipe by Vincent – ‘Deviled rib bones’ based on a dish that Mr Price ate at The Ivy in London. He says:
In a country that consumes a lot of roast beef there are bound to be rib bones left over. And sooner or later a clever chef will think of something good to do with them. At The Ivy the Deviled rib bones are almost a better by-product than the original roast. They tell me that this recipe was an old club favorite, and since the ribs must be eaten with the fingers, it is possible that English clubs are a lot less stuffy than we think.
I’ve adapted the recipe as cooking a whole rib roast was out of the question this week. It did give me the excuse to buy some beautiful short ribs (from Prime Gourmet in Dubai) and roast them in the oven until soft and melting before grilling a la VP.
The frugal nature of this recipe really appeals to me, as does his suggestion that the same treatment could be given to the bones of a roast capon. This is a window to a by-gone era with a recipe that’s just as good today.
Serve with a green salad, but dispense with cutlery. Bare your incisors and act like a werewolf. Gnaw those bones.
And though you fight to stay alive, you start to shake and moan,
Cause no mere mortal can resist a deviled roast rib bone.
Deviled rib bones
Recipe by Vincent Price (instructions slightly modified by me into a modern recipe format ).
4 roasted rib bones*
2 tablespoons English mustard
3 tablespoons single cream
75g fine breadcrumbs (sourdough or firm bread)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat the grill (broiler).
- Take 4 freshly roasted rib bones. Trim them but leave a fairly generous portion of meat on the bones.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Make a thin paste with 2 tablespoons of English mustard and 3 tablespoons of cream.
- Coat rib bones all around with the mustard paste.
- Sprinkle generously with fine breadcrumbs, covering bones completely.
- Dot generously with 3 tablespoons melted butter.
- Place under broiler (grill) until crisp and crusty, turning to brown all sides.
Presentation: Serve hot and, says the chef, come to terms with fingers.
* I used 3 beef short ribs which I cooked in a 200C oven, in a baking tray covered with foil, for 1 hour 20 minutes. I poured off the fat and roasted for about 10 minutes on either side with the foil off. The verdict? Short ribs are very rich (they suit braising best) and roasted rib bones (which are leaner) would be better deviled. This is a carnivore’s treat.
For further fiendish feasts in this virtual pot luck party visit: Dinner is Served 1972 – Beef Heart Stewed, Caker Cooking – Fish Fillets Nord Zee, Battenburg Belle – Deviled Shrimp and Rice and Pumpkin pie, Mid Century Menu – Unwealthy Wellington, Bloody Mary and Pumpkin Pie, Glamorous Glutton – Steak Moutarde Flambe, The Past on a Plate – Ayrshire Poacher’s Roll, The Retro WW Experiment – Chinese Chicken, Craftypants Carol – Deviled Crab, Retrorecipe – Cucumber Crocodile and Melon Monster, Beyond the Fringes – Calves liver Marinee , Saucy Cherry – Chicken liver risotto and Bittersweet Susie – Carolina Deviled Clams. Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers made Bloody Marys and cooked Oxtail Creole.
Plus they’ll be a round up on Silver Screen Suppers with additional Vincent Price recipes such as Champignons Grilles Marie Victoire, Chicken Livers Sauteed with Apples and Onion Rings, Liver and Bacon Pate and Shropshire Fidget Pie (I presume you can’t sit still for this).