Recently, I cooked a roast by myself for the first time. It was an exciting and nerve-wracking time.
While pot roast is not on my list of top ten favourite foods, it still seems like one of those “Things an Adult Should Know How to Do”. So I chose a day that I had off and I took on the challenge.
Research was a must.
In the end, The Joy of Cooking and the internet were the biggest helps. I always appreciate The Joy of Cooking when it comes to basic instruction. Cook with Jamie can be helpful when it comes to learning about cuts and flavours of meat but he tends toward the overly fancy. I wanted basic, basic, basic.
Since I hadn’t exactly planned this out in advance, I just took what vegetables I already had and cut them up. That’s carrots, potatoes, and two different types of onion halves.
This is the serious part, where the rings come off and you have to touch raw meat.
Then comes the hardcore hand-washing part.
You can also tell that things are serious because now I’m wearing an apron.
The recipe I (sort of) followed called for a brief searing of the meat in hot oil. (Hence the apron. The burns on my arm from the last time I used hot oil are just about healed.) What the recipe didn’t remind me to do was cut off the strings around the roast. Whoops.
Some quick finagling and I snipped them off without burning myself. Yay!
Then in go the vegetables.
Also, it goes without saying, but our Le Creuset pot that we received as a wedding gift is AWESOME. I love that thing.
I try to keep some sort of broth on hand as much as I can but I almost never buy beef broth because I don’t like the way it tastes. Probably would have gone better with a pot roast, but you use what you have, right?
Then you wait. Our roast was a little on the small side so it was finished faster than the recipe called for (about two and a half hours). I am always nervous about serving meat that may not be cooked properly (especially chicken) but I just got a meat thermometer (not pictured) which was super helpful in allaying my fears. My previous solution was generally to cut into things and check visually.
In the meantime, I read my book with a rather fitting title.
I neglected to take a photo of the finished product so instead enjoy this photograph of my dinner table, ready for food.
That’s my cooking trick: If you’re unsure how the food will taste, at least make the table look decent.
The pot roast got good reviews from Peter. I thought it was okay. Now that I’ve done the basic, next time, I’ll try for something with a little more excitement/flavour.