Friday, March 19, 2010

Pot Roast

I realized that this was the first time I cooked a whole hunk of beef in a roast. I have done stews with "stew meat," i.e. cubed beef, but not a 4lb. chuck roast. A first! Where does one get such a large chunk of beast, you ask? Well, from a grass-fed cow, grown right here in WA State. Perhaps you recall that 1/4-steer I purchased back in late summer. I finally broke into the big guns. I have used quite a few 1.5lb. hamburger tubes, and a few steaks, but not these guys.
It simmered for three hours in wine, chicken broth, tomato sauce and herbs - no aromatics! It was quite good, simply shredding as I sliced it. I served it with roasted root vegetables and soda bread. The sauce paired so well with the caraway in the bread, mellowing it somehow. Delicious. My only complaint was that I salted it too heavily. I have seen Bobby Flay salt big chunks like this generously, declaring that such a large piece needs lots more seasoning than you would think. Well, I put on more than I would ever think of ... too much.
Speaking of grass-fed beef ... Josh and I have begun to tackle the garden. The last garden I planted was in raised beds that were already present. Josh and I just removed weeds, mixed in compost, and planted food. Simple. The rest of the land was planted with beautiful flowers and grasses and shrubs, all courtesy of the owners of 121. And maintained by their gardeners, since we were merely renting. But now! It's all ours. And what a mess it is. So, thinking of grass made me think of the weeds that I have been working to pull. They are so very good at what they do, aren't they? I am trying to convince Josh that (a) we seem to have so many more weeds than anyone else that our yard must be the very Origin of Weed; and (b) we should remove the top 5 inches of soil, just to be safe, because they are IN THERE. You pull them, and a few days later you see new ones come up.

I respect the weeds. They send their roots deep - some even have runners, so they go deep and far! We have one species that knows when it is being pulled, and it jettisons a billion seeds as you handle it. Brilliant and horrible all at one. Maybe we should slash and burn.


  1. My favorite cut of meat!! With potatoes and onions all simmered together. When I cooked it was a staple. Mom

  2. Classic Americana is your cooking, Mom. Nice little pearl onions would be wonderful in there. Next time.