Monday, March 20, 2006

Roast

I don’t normally write about my cooking, because my cooking isn’t normally anything worth writing about. If I make a horrible mistake, and accidentally give Andrea and myself food poisoning, I write about it, but other than that, nothing exciting ever really happens.

But last night, I made a great roast. I’m telling you, this thing was absolutely fabulous. I had never tried a roast before, but as we were trying to decide what to have for supper, I figured that now might as well be the time. So we stopped into the grocery store on the way home from church, and picked up a blade roast and some potatoes, and I figured I’d go home and look for instructions online. (As it turned out, every site that had instructions for cooking a roast said that you can’t really do it without a meat thermometre. So I had to go back to the store and get one of those, too.)

For a while, as it was cooking, I wasn’t very hopeful that it would turn out. For one thing, I wasn’t 100% sure what temperature to put the stove on; the main site I was looking at had different temperatures for different cuts of meat, but none of them explicitly said “blade roast”, so I had to try and figure out other names for a blade roast, since all of these cuts of meat have a bunch of different names. And, more importantly, it started to burn. It didn’t actually burn that bad, but the problem is that you’re supposed to leave the top off the pan, which let the smoke out more freely, and the whole house filled up with it.

So needless to say, I was a bit worried as to how it was turning out. But I need not have feared! When it was done, and I was starting to carve it up, I sliced off a piece to try, and my fears were allayed. As you’ll have noticed from the pictures, I also made mashed potatoes and some steamed vegetables, which also came out perfectly. (Actually, I didn’t make enough mashed potatoes, but the ones I did make came out good.)

I loved it, and Andrea loved it. I’m rather proud of myself.

If you’re looking to cook a roast, and, like me, don’t know how, the Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner site is pretty good. Or you can just follow these simple directions:

  1. Preheat the oven. I had mine at 450° F (230° C), but I think that was too high; I turned it down to 300° F (150° C) later on, after it started to burn. I really don’t know how hot the thing should be, for a “blade roast”. I’d suggest looking for a cut of meat with a name you recognize, so that you can follow the chart.
  2. Put the meat, straight out of the fridge, into the pan. Don’t put it directly on the floor of the pan; put it on a rack.
  3. Cook it until the meat reaches the desired inner temperature. You have to figure that out using a meat thermometre. I got a really nice one, that stays in the meat while it’s in the oven; it has a wire that goes out of the oven to the register, which sits outside, and which can be pre-programmed for the type of meat you’re cooking, and how you want it cooked—well done, medium, medium rare, etc. It has an alarm that goes off when the meat is ready. I didn’t actually use that, though; I followed the directions on the Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner web site, and took it out a bit early, and covered it with foil, to let it continue cooking.
It just goes to show you that with the right cut of meat, anyone can make a great tasting meal.

2 comments: