Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gimme The Beef

Of course, just after posting something about adding more vegetables to my diet, I am posting something about finding a better way to consume a bane of climate change in roast beef.

It spawned from my desire to get away from consuming meat purchased from a deli counter. I love deli. Love it. The problem is that the stuff behind the counter is preserved with shelf-stabilizing additives that, I believe, are not fit for human consumption. We are able to process these chemicals but, over time, they wear us down. So I began to look for a meat slicer.

As it turns out, my search was happening around the time of my birthday and someone was generous enough to buy a very nice consumer-grade slicer. (If ever my kitchen decides to expand on its own, a commercial-grade slicer may follow.)

The next task was to find recipes for turkey breast and roast beef. Googling "home made deli meat" gave me several hits to roast beef recipes, so that was my first attempt.

One of the things I wondered about was, what cut of beef is used for your typical, sliced roast beef? Top sirloin and eye of round seemed to be two common cuts for the job. While Peoria Packing in the Fulton Market District had it for $3.29/lb, I took the easy road and bought from Costco for $4.89/lb. (If I start doing it more often, I will likely head for savings.)

The recipe I used, from the Hungry Mouse, called for 500 degrees F for 20 minutes, then drop the temp to 300 for another 30 minutes. In re-reading that, I realize that I failed miserably, still achieving good results. Attention to detail is not always my strong suit. I only blasted the meat at 500 for 20 minutes, then took it out. It's on the rare side, all right! But it is delicious.

Back it up. So here I was with this meat and Bunny, my daughter. She loves to cook, so she helped me pour and spread the olive oil. Then I poured some Kosher salt, ground black pepper, and garlic salt into ramekins for her to sprinkle over top. After we seasoned both sides, into the oven they went.

Now I know why I thought the thermometer was broken! After 10 minutes, I expected the temp to start moving. No such luck. After the "full" 20, nothing. So I pulled the meat and tented it, thinking the thermometer was broken. Turns out, I basically seared the stuff.

Still, it was very tasty. Costco sold two eye of round roasts in a package and the total weight was 2.75 lbs. I roasted both at the same time. They were both wrapped in foil and put into the fridge to cool. (Meat is easier to slice when it's cold.) The roast that was not sliced was put into a Ziploc bag and I sucked as much of the air from it as possible before sealing it and placing in the freezer. Maybe after I thaw it, I will put it back in the oven and cook it low and slow. Could be a great way to partially cook and freeze. Will let you know how that turns out.

In the meantime, roast beef sandwiches all week!!!

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