Saturday, February 21, 2009

Red

It started with an Instant Message to my husband. "I can't make the roast stop bleeding." It goes on from there. Be happy I'm not providing pictures. If you're a vegetarian you may want to stop reading now.

I have a confession to make.

I do have a section on here entitled Recipes. And I do talk about food...a lot...but in reality I am not a very good cook. I'm not a good cook and I'm the daughter of a not very good cook (sorry Mom). In fact, my parents joke that my father taught my mother how to cook. And all he knows to make is spaghetti.

So I get a bit confused when someone hands me a nice piece of meat.

My mother did buy meat on occasion. Mostly hamburger. For hamburgers. But every so often she bought a pork chop or swiss steak and would fry it until it was the right color or put it on a cookie sheet in the oven until it was the right color.

Until we started buying meat from a farm I really had no idea of all the cuts available. Even now I still have to look some things up and get an idea of what I'm dealing with.

I didn't worry about that too much yesterday when I was cooking a beef roast. Roasts, like chickens seem pretty foolproof. It's more about knowing when to take them out than anything else.

I was wrong.

I was making raisin bread yesterday and the oven was warm so I decided to pop the thawed roast in. I rinsed it carefully and put it in a large casserole dish. I put a little bit of olive oil on and rubbed it in. I added some salt and pepper.

An hour later I checked How to Cook Everything. 125 degrees for rare. 155 degrees for well. Don't let it get over 155 degrees. It was 140-160 degrees in different sections. I took it out. It was sitting in a pool of thick, brown, sticky stuff and the inside was bright red. BRIGHT red. I put it back in.

10 minutes later..still red.
30 minutes later...still red.
An hour later...still red.

Now it's been two hours. It's reading at least 155 or more everywhere on the roast. I cut into it and blood flicks out onto my bread. There's blood on the knife. There's blood bubbling up when I stick my fork in. I pick it up and drain it over the sink, rinse out the pan, and stick the whole mess back in the oven.

Men sure are carnivores. I was hoping my husband would know what to do. I shut off the oven and gave the boys another piece of bread and butter. He came home half an hour later.

He took it out. Looked at it. Said that it was indeed red. Left it on the counter. Got a dish of cranberry sauce. Went to go install a dvd drive on his computer. Eventually I went and put it away.

So now I have to ponder...why was it so red? Was it not done? Did the butcher not drain it properly? Was the dish I used too small? And most of all, why can't Google help me figure this out??

Any thoughts welcome.

On another note, I'm thinking of hennaing my hair (nice segue, I know). Henna is an herb used for thousands of years for dying hair red. It doesn't coat the hair shaft (like other dyes do) but pierces and strengthens the hair shaft. This also means that you can't strip the color as easily as a regular dye.

I'm trying to remind myself that hair changes when you're housebound or bored are not the best idea (I had to learn not to cut my own bangs the hard way), but it's so fun setting up little dye experiments with castoffs from my hairbrush that I'm not listening to reason yet.

Today I gave my children a good example of why wool needs carding. While making swatches of my hair from the bag I've been saving them in I came to the realization that my hair is like a pair of black corduroy pants. I had at least one child say, 'mom, is that what your hair looks like??'

I guess they can't see it way down there. I'll have to bend down a bit more often.

2 comments:

Balisha said...

Hi Tam,
Here's my roast beef recipe:

Ingredients
3 to 3 1/2 lbs of Boneless Rump Roast
Olive oil
8 slivers of garlic
Salt and pepper
You will need a meat thermometer

Method
1 Start with the roast at room temperature (remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking - keep it wrapped). Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2 With a sharp knife make 8 small incisions around the roast. Place a sliver of garlic into each incision. Take a tablespoon or so of olive oil and spread all around the roast. Sprinkle around the roast with salt and pepper. Place the roast directly on a rack in a shallow baking pan.This arrangement creates convection in the oven so that you do not need to turn the roast. The roast is placed fat side up so that as the fat melts it will bathe the entire roast in its juices.

Brown the roast at 375°F for half an hour. Lower the heat to 225°F. The roast should take somewhere from 2 to 3 hours additionally to cook. When the roast just starts to drip its juices and it is brown on the outside, check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Pull the roast from the oven when the inside temperature of the roast is 135° to 140°F. Let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes, tented in aluminum foil to keep warm, before carving to serve.

Serves 4-6.

To make the gravy:
Remove the dripping pan from the oven and place on the stove top at medium heat. Note that if you are pulling the roast out early, for rare or a medium rare level of doneness, you may not have a lot of drippings. Hopefully you will have some. If not, you may want to leave the roast in a little longer at even lower heat, 175°F, to ease some more drippings out of it. Add some water, red wine, or beef stock to the drippings to deglaze (loosen the drippings from the pan). Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in a little water and add to the drip pan. Stir quickly while the gravy thickens to avoid lumping. You can add a little butter if there is not a lot of fat in the drippings. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Or use a packet of gravy mix.

sasa said...
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