Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Like Butta'"

As a newly married bride I was terrified by the thought of a classic 1950's style family dinner. I never thought I could make a pot roast, let alone one that tasted good. But I was determined to be the kind of wife that cooked lovely Sunday meals where the family and any friends that wanted to could gather together and have some warm, comforting food and good times, too.
I was wrong about not being able to do it, and you know what, if you believe that... so are you!
I have decided recently that a good cook is a bold, confident cook. If you believe you will be able to cook something, get a recipe for it, and are brave enough to try - you will be able to cook anything. Perhaps it won't be perfect the first (or first few) times, but in time you will be surprised at all the things you can learn how to do.
So. My tips for a pot roast that will melt in your mouth and please everyone at the table:

A. Brown it first. (I suppose I could tell you first buy a good cut of beef but I don't know what that would be. I think with the right kind of cooking any portion of meat will be good.) This gives it a nice color. I was watching Alton Brown once and he did an experiment to see if browining your meat first REALLY helped lock in the moisture. According to him it didn't matter. Thing is, regardless of the moisture thing, an un-browned roast looks the color of a corpse. So. Eat with your eyes first, right? BROWN YOUR ROAST! Plus it gets all these lovely crumblies in your pan that you then use beef broth to de-glaze and have delicious little meat particles that add flavor as your roast cooks away.
B. Cook it with veggies. Use the aromatics- onions, carrots, and celery (including the leaves). I know, I know, "EW. Leaves?!" but seriously. You don't eat them, but they really do add more flavor. I like to brown my onions while I brown my meat, get a little more of that flavor going and what not, but probably it doesn't make a huge difference
C. Find a seasoning combo you like.
This does have MSG (AGH!!!!!!), but I have to say that this is the BEST tasting seasoning for beef I have ever had. Essentially it is brown sugar, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, and hickory. I could imitate it 'cept how does one get hickory? WHen I find this out I will sit down one day and make my own
MSG free seasoning. Until then I use it sparingly (as in not often. I douse my steaks in it).
I usually rub some of this on before browning my roast and dump a little in while it is simmering. Delicious.
D. Pour beef broth in, bring to a boil and then simmer for a few hours. I don't have an exact time (check Better Homes and Gardens [p.s. if you don't own this cook book, run out and get it. I couldn't live without it]) but when that is up you will have a moist, flavorful, and fabulous pot roast!!!

1 comment:

Holly said...

My husband would eat this up and quick. I was always intimidated to make a meal like this, but it's not too bad after a few tries! Thanks for stopping by hipweddings and following. I have a home blog too, I will follow you too! LOVE the Ikea mirrors - so much potential!