Sunday, May 24, 2009

Deus ex pot roast

Current book: O Pioneers!
Pages read: Still none.

I don't feel guilty for not reading, since it's a holiday weekend, after all. My husband and I went swimming today to usher in the summer, and that was lovely and excellent. In addition to that, I made Pot Roast Bordelaise, which I'll go ahead and tell you about, since I'm in the habit of talking about food, apparently.

It's a James Beard recipe (also known as the father of American cookery), and it's really quite simple. You have to use a whole beef brisket, which gets up there in cost, and actually, the most difficult part of the process is finding a brisket that hasn't been trimmed. It took me a butcher and two grocery stores before I got one. (The guy at the butcher actually seemed pretty sheepish that they didn't have one, since it is kind of their job.) Anyway, you trim off the enormous layer of fat on the bottom so that you can render it to liquid in the biggest pan you've got. I know, not exactly health food, but using liquefied beef fat for a braising liquid base is pretty much the best idea ever. Then you coat your brisket in flour and brown it in the hot fat, after which you dump in some thyme and marjoram, beef broth, an onion stuck with cloves, a bay leaf, and a carrot. Then you cook it for three hours on the stove. Ta-da! Delicious, amazing meat. I usually thicken the sauce with cornstarch to make gravy, as well. It's so good. Somehow the simple combination of spices intensely enhances the taste of the meat, making it taste richer and fuller than any other pot roast you've ever had. The only problem is that you can't stop eating it. Also, it makes excellent leftovers, hot or cold.

Like I said, cooking blog.

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