Engineering and Food
I made a nifty pot roast Sunday night.
You take a piece of beef chuck, or maybe flanken, and sear it very well in a very hot dutch oven. When it’s nicely browned, you put it on a plate, drain excess fat, and soften a lot of sliced onion and some sliced carrots until they begin to caramelize. A little bacon or pancetta at this stage is not necessarily amiss. Then the meat goes back in the pot.
Got some leftover wine? Throw it in, reduce it. Doesn’t matter if it’s red or white. No wine? Skip it.
Throw in some tomatoes, maybe a couple of potatoes, some peppercorns, a couple of bay leaves. Add stock about half way up the meat. Chicken stock will do fine. No stock? Use water. (Water is probably better than using stock from a box.) Heat to boil. Then put it in a 300° oven and watch a football game. Or two.
Chuck and flanken work great; after a few hours, the meat is falling apart but it’s flavorful and not mushy. The key is the mix of fat and meat and its distribution through the roast; the fat cooks out and you’re left with lots of flavor and tenderness that you can eat like a stew or turn into a ragu.
There should be a corresponding cut lamb. Right? But what is it? Lamb shoulder doesn’t work the same way. It’s too lean, and it seizes up where the beef falls apart. I suppose lamb shanks are close. But what’s the right thing to use? Email me.