It was quite a hectic shabbos over here. All of my wife’s family was in, for my niece Maayan’s kiddush, and my other niece Yummy’s Bat-Mitzvah, and we had the honor of hosting everyone Friday night. We were 16 people in all including kids, and now that I’m a super-professional foodie, everything had to be amazing (I guess anything that didn’t come out good, I could have blamed on my wife, but everyone would know I was lying…[cue: awwwwwwwww – laaame]). Anyway, since I was off for the week, I had the task of cooking most of the stuff. Mainly, the one thing that in my opinion had to come out good was the roast. Besides the fact it was one of the main dishes for 16 people, and if it didn’t come out right, we’d have that much less food, it also had to come out good because everyone expected it to. And on top of that – Isaac my brother in law (yah that’s right – major shout out to you Isaac) was over, and let’s just say that meats are “his thing.” Now this is not to say that Moishe, Howie, and Tzvi (my other brother in laws….Dovi, and for that matter Shloime, you guys dont count here….especially you Dovi!) aren’t good cooks (Moishe makes amazing pizza, Howie would patent pizza if you give him the chance, and Tzvi, well let’s just say Tzvi has four older sisters, so he never had to cook…), it’s just that Isaac knows his meats.
We decided to get the silver tip roast from Wasserman and Lemberger, 5lbs in total, and I found a recipe in Kosher by Design – Entertains.
This particular recipe only called for garlic, shallots, sage, thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
I threw the garlic and shallots into a food processor to chop em up but good. Then combined olive oil, dried sage and dried thyme (yeah I know…even though I have fresh thyme growing on my porch, I used dry, because that’s what the recipe called for)
I rubbed it all over the meat, put it in my dutch oven, and let it chill in the fridge for 3 hours.
Now here’s the part where you are going to have to trust me, because I plain and simple forgot to take pictures.
In general, whenever I cook a roast, I like cooking it the day before. This accomplishes two things – for one, it’s one less thing to do on friday, and we all know how much Ayelet loves doing less on Friday. But mainly, the reason why I roast it the night before is so that’s it much easier to cut when cold. And then you can take all the slices, put the gravy/juices/jus/whatever on top, and heat that up, and serve.
The official recipe says to preheat the oven to 450, and put roast in uncovered for 30 minutes, and then take down to 350 for another hour and a half, and no more than 2 and a half hours. However, being that I have a hard time just blindly following recipes, without knowing why I’m doing it, I figured like this: the whole reason why they’re saying crank it up to 450 for 30 minutes, is to get a nice sear on the outside, and we all know “browned meat = good meat” (and no, browning is not done to “seal in the juices,” it’s done because thanks to the Maillard reaction, a ton of more flavors are put into the dish, that wouldn’t have been there without searing…but we’ll put chemistry aside…for now…), so I figured, instead of “searing” it in the oven, why not actually sear it in the dutch oven? So that’s exactly what I did! I put some olive oil in the dutch oven, heated it up, and seared on all sides. I then transferred the meat to the pre-heated 350 degree oven, and roasted for 2 hours. It’s that simple. I then let it cool down, and transferred to the fridge.
As awesome as this came out, there were a few problems that I encountered.
First – I wasn’t sure if searing it in the pan was the right thing to do (of course I thought of this afterwords) mainly because of the garlic. Garlic tends to burn very easily, and when it does, it lends a very bitter taste, and by searing the meat, I’m pretty much scorching the garlic, so I wasn’t sure if the bitter taste of the garlic would come through in the final product. (Luckily it didn’t, and I would still do the same thing, if I made this dish again.)
Second – This was the first time I was ever doing a “dry roast.” Meaning – I’ve made roast before, but usually they were pot roasts with some sort of liquid environment which can be a safe guard against over cooking and drying out because it constantly bastes the meat as it cooks (this is the unique feature of a dutch oven, and can also be accomplished by any really tight-fitting lid, but we’ll get into that another time), but this time there was no liquid, ie no basting, ie possibility of drying out. I also wasn’t sure when to check for doneness, and the more you open the oven, the lower the temperature…not good…After about an hour, I went in to check the meat out (I had a thermometer in it, but it wasn’t giving me an accurate reading, for some reason I don’t have much luck with thermometers, and if anyone wants to buy me one, I want nothing less than this one..thanks), and wasn’t sure if I should take it…Ayelet said leave it in, and as a good husband I obliged…and it was good advise. It needed that 30 minutes, at which point it was perfect. We even had enough to have leftovers on sunday to get our last fleishig fix before the nine days
next up – ice cream….someone graciously bought us an ice cream maker (thanks Nechemia), and I havent made an ice cream yet (of course I’ve used it. Once for frozen margaritas, and lemon-lime sorbet, but I haven’t made real ice cream yet) because I can’t decide what to inaugurate the ice cream maker with…it’s tough…I wanna try and make a pralines and cream ice cream (my favorite)…anyone have any recipes?? Or any other suggestions?