Monday, January 21, 2008

Can't Win them All

A Cooking Light recipe on braising prompted me to make something braised this weekend. It's been gloomy, we all have colds, and the thought of some slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth beef was just what the doctor ordered.

Being of stuffy-headed mind, I read the recipes and article twice and watched the videos on the website carefully. The videos were a disaster. The talking heads didn't discuss cuts of meat at all. They didn't show browning techniques. I wanted something more than a pot roast. I wanted delicious, braised beef. can guess what happened. It was Saturday afternoon, so all the smaller cuts of bottom round were sold. There was a huge brisket--but I don't have a container big enough for a whole brisket. If I'm going to buy flank steak I'm going to marinate and grill it. No roasts. So, I got a four-pounder. It had to be cooked in my bigger, lighter pot.

I forgot that it heats faster. What happened as I was dicing onions? Yup, I burnt instead of browned. Picture it: the Bug coughing from smoke, the baby crying, and I'm scraping meat like it's toast. Juiceboy to the rescue, and dinner got back on track.

I slowly simmered it in a lovely red wine sauce with parsnips, carrots and red potatos (those added about 45 minutes from serving time). I served it on top of wide egg noodles.

In the end, dinner was an hour late. The veggies were just barely cooked and the meat was tough. was your basic pot roast.

It made for good leftovers. I slowly simmered it the next two days, cooking extra egg noodles right in the sauce the second night. They were pretty good.

So--I don't know if I'm too excited by braising. I've yet to have truly tender beef come out of something braised. But then again, I'm known for my kitchen fiascos.

Did I mention I burnt the bacon the next day?

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