No one wrote more of the New Testament than Luke, not even Paul. The Evangelist was author of not only the book that bears his name, but the Acts of the Apostles. He also serves as a bridge between Paul’s life and letters and Jesus’ life in the Gospels.
One fascinating thing that occurs in the middle of the Book of Acts is that Luke starts using the word “we.” This has caused us to believe that he was from Troas (built around the ancient city of Troy), and was a missionary with Paul, probably serving as the mission team’s physician (Col 4:14). Luke is likely the only gentile author of the New Testament and Luke’s mission, like his teacher Paul, was to bring the gospel to the gentiles.
Since he wrote so much, we can gain a sense of his personality. His account is “orderly” showing us that he has an almost modern sense of journalism with interviews from eyewitnesses and preachers. But Luke is not only known for having the greatest attention to detail, but also for being the most artistic, and even musical. His gospel is filled with musical interludes, like Mary’s song, adding a special beauty to his story. It is not surprising that Luke is both the patron saint of medicine and art. Tradition says that he interviewed the Virgin Mary for his project and painted the first icon of her. Luke’s symbol is the evangelist symbol of the winged bull. This is likely because of his focus on the temple and the worship there.
For the celebration of this Evangelist we are having roast beef to remind us of his symbol paired with sour cakes. Sour cakes are a Celtic tradition of ancient origin. Elderly women would gather in a circle around a fire rolling the dough extra thin and then passing it to the “queen,” who would then carefully transfer it for toasting over the fire. Our recipe is a little simpler than that.
Pictured Above: St. Luke painting the Virgin by Maerten van Heemskerck; 1532; oil on panel; 168 x 235 cm; Part of the collection at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Roast Beef with Sour Cakes
1 beef eye round roast, about 3 to 4 pounds
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
13″ x 9″ disposable aluminum roasting pan
Horseradish cream sauce
- Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Rub olive oil all over the roast and season with salt and pepper.
- Combine rosemary, thyme, and parsley in a small bowl. Sprinkle the herb mixture all over the roast, using your hands to pat it into the beef. Wrap the roast tightly in plastic wrap and let marinate for 6 – 12 hours or overnight.
- Light a chimney full of charcoal. When the charcoal is covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Place cooking grate, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place beef on the hot side of the grill and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
- Move beef to an aluminum roasting pan and place on the cool side of the grill. Cover and cook until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the beef reads 125 for medium-rare or 130 for medium, about 40 to 60 minutes more.
- Remove from the grill and let the meat rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve with horseradish cream sauce.
Oat Cakes (Sour Cakes)
2 cups (8 oz/225g) oatmeal (processed medium to fine)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
6 tbsp hot water, plus more, as needed
1 tbsp butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- If you have a food processor, process the oatmeal until it is medium or fine sized.
- Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the melted butter and mix into the dry ingredients adding the hot water, a little at a time, as you mix. Continue adding water until a dough starts to form.
- Once you have a dough, roll into a ball and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate the dough for half an hour
- Thinly roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and cut with a cookie cutter.
- Place on the parchment lined baking tray and bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with cheese and fresh herbs.