Sunday, February 19, 2012

Anyone Can Roast Beef!

Question: What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?
The answer is the title. *Cue laugh track.
A few hours to yourself on a weekend, having scored a cheap deal on meat is the perfect time to try a new recipe, or in this case, an alternative cooking method. Usually, with beef roasts one follows the "low and slow" rule when it comes to temperature and cooking time. Well, after being convinced by a not-too-impressive cooking website (I don't usually like to get my recipes from random people, but this time...) I was willing to give it a go! You rub the roast with whatever spices you fancy, I used thyme, rosemerry and marjoram, place it in a roasting tin and shove it in a blazing hot oven, about 475F. You immediately turn the heat off and let the puppy cook for 7 minutes/pound. The idea is to develop an initial crust on the meat that will seal in the juices as it cooks to medium rare from the residual heat. And, let me tell you, it was pretty fantastic. The meat was juicy and tender, and as you can tell by the picture, it was rather easy to slice. Much of this has to do with the quality of the meat, too. The "low and slow" method definitely produces more juices for gravy-making, whereas this time, I collected only a few tablespoons. I supplemented the gravy with home-made beef stock and red-wine. Serve with crispy, roasted potatoes and the green of your choice.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Couch Surfing, Paid in Steak

My friend Evelyn was lovely enough to have me stay at her condo-with-a-view this weekend, in Toronto. While we have both been to the big city many times, it was nice to explore Toronto, for nothing but curiosity's sake. We wandered through all the districts, rode the rocket/streetcar, ate our way through Kensington Market and Chinatown and visited the Art Gallery of Ontario and the CN tower. I was sure to grab a hunk of perfect Crotonese cheese from an artisan cheese shop and Ev grabbed a loaf of crusty sourdough bread from a little bakery. In an effort to save cash, we spent our last night in with a home-made dinner: Rosemerry roasted potatoes, buttery steamed vegetables and a beautiful, flash-fry New York striploin, cut against the grain and served with home-made a red-wine gravy. It was totally delicious and totally cheap. The top photo was taken post-swim, when Evelyn caught me in a very good mood. *Tip: to dive further into studentville, serve with mojitos. Because they are awesome, not because you're short of wine-pairings.