Dinner for the Premiere of Downton Abbey!

Credit Jenny Audring/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired December 18 and 21, 2013.

Our Food Schmooze® crew decided to throw a Downton Abbey dinner party on the air to celebrate the return of our beloved PBS series, season four. As you can see, we've provided you with all of our delicious recipes, in case you decide to have your own Downton Abbey feast.

Across America, fans of the show are getting ready with celebratory foods ranging from a simple bowl of popcorn to dinners worthy of the royal family.

We spent hours re-watching episodes, to see what was on those platters served at table, and we researched the food of the period to understand what our choices might be for a dinner in the Downton style. (Chris Prosperi had never seen the series, and is now hooked.)

I'll admit it, I salivated reading about crispy bone-in roasts, oysters on the half shell, salads with port wine dressing and Stilton cheese, followed by thick English cream and fresh berries… and then swooned at the idea of glorious wines to match, including Pol Roger Champagne, a red Bordeaux and port.

Money could be the object with a Downton dinner, but it doesn't have to be; I'm chipping in with my enthusiastic neighbors for it all, which leaves only the matter of whose television set is largest.

Of all the recipes we discovered, we were most inspired by the menu from Epicurious, so we have tweaked it to match our own tastes as well as the period. Below, please see an invitation to be part of a CPTV screening event in Hartford with other Downton fans.

Rib Roast
(Serves 6-8)

6 lb. Rib roast bone-in
¼ Cup parsley chopped
2 Tbsp. Oregano chopped (rosemary or sage)
6 to 8 Cloves garlic minced 
1 Tbsp. Vegetable oil (canola)
2 Tbsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper

Mix ingredients and coat the roast. Preheat oven 425° cook for 15 minutes. Lower to 350° for 1½ hours. Internal temperature 125°–130° is medium rare.

Madeira Green Peppercorn Sauce


1 tsp. vegetable or olive oil
½ Cup finely chopped shallot
½ Cup Madeira wine
¾ Cup beef or veal demi-glace
2 tsp. drained green peppercorns in brine, coarsely chopped
2 tsp. unsalted butter


While meat stands, add the oil and shallots to skillet  and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add Madeira and deglaze skillet by boiling and stirring until liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add demi-glace and boil, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in peppercorns and butter, then remove from heat. Season to taste with salt if necessary. 

Recipe taken from Epicurious 2004

Oysters with Champagne-Vinegar Mignonette

Fig and Stilton Salad with Port Wine Dressing


  • Pol Roger traditional style (white foil) $50
  • Pol Roger pure (silver foil) $50
  • Chateau Saint Sulpice Bordeaux 2010 $45 
  • Churchills Finest Port (ruby style) $15–$20

Downton Abbey Season 4 Screening Event

For an unbeatable large screen experience, CPTV invites you to be among the first to preview Downton's season four. On January 3rd, CPTV presents a screening event at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Guests are invited to celebrate with dinner and dancing at the Downton Abbey Masterpiece Ball… or… join us for a complimentary screening with light refreshments. 

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