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Monday, February 15, 2010

Pot Roast

Is this not a beauty? I just never thought one single chedron would become such a big part of my life. It is a Lodge of course. Denise gave it to me as a gift and I use it for so much. I should just leave it out on the stove.

Did I tell you that this is what I bake my bread in? My Oregon bread? I have dough rising now which I will bake off sometime time around midnight tomorrow night after having risen over 20 hours total. The rising dome over the dough isn't as high as it should be tonight, but that it because I was talking to D~ just before she left today and I nicked the plastic wrap and I could feel the air coming out. So I had to re-wrap the bowl. But it had no effect on the dough. Still high, still beautiful, like most of us were when we were hippies in the early seventies.

Pot Roast. My first. D~ encouraged me to seek the expert advice of the butchers at our local grocer. I hadn't thought of that because the store is part of a huge chain and I guess I mistakenly thought they would not have a real butcher behind the counter, expecially on a Sunday, and Valentine's day to boot! But when I asked for advice, three showed up and pointed to the expert with such humor and sweetness, I felt well taken care of. So this is what I bought. A Beef Chuck Blade Roast Select. As you can see, it is thin, not some big thick cut. In all the reading I did before cooking this thing, I realized I had some adjusting to do to the recipe.

Actually, I looked for a Pot Roast recipe for a couple of hours. I was not finding anything that had the ingredients I was familiar with from my childhood. Potatoes, carrots, onions. Everything I was finding had wine and weird spices, were cooked in crock pots, microwaves. Green peppers. GREEN PEPPERS!!! I'm sorry. Total mush.

So I finally found a working recipe on I spiced the meat with coarse salt, pepper, paprika and turmeric and browned it on medium high heat in the dutch oven. I was supposed to make a beef broth but I ran out. I always have beef broth. So,I made a broth with tomato paste and soy sauce. 2 cups with bay leaves and I reduced the heat to a slow simmer and put the cover on.

I peeled the carrots and cut them into a good big bite-sized pieces. I used small red potatoes which I washed and just cut those up. I took a large onion and cut that in half lengthwise and wedged it into large pieces. I cooked the meat for an hour. Then I turned it and put in the vegetables for the second hour. The vegetables were cooked but the meat was tough. Very tough. I cut off a small piece and I couldn't chew it. It was like leather.

I removed the vegetables. I had more raw vegetables, so I cut those up like the first batch, and, seeing there was plenty of broth, I simply added them to the pot and cooked the meat for a third hour, hoping that it would be more tender.

Now you have to understand that I am not a meat cooker. I have heard that the longer you cook tough meat the more flaky and sweet it will get. I was really banking on this. Well, when the vegetables were done, my hopes were founded. The meat just fell apart. It was wonderful. I ate a serving immediately. I suppose I could have salted this a little more, but I have a tendency to over salt when I think something needs salt.

This isn't a clear picture, but it certainly was a success. I can do this again. I can honestly say that I was successful with my first pot roast. Even though it was not as salty as I remember pot roast being when I was a child.

I have put some in a container for D~. I will make her bread and hope that she gets here for it all soon.

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