Meat and ‘Taters

On Tuesday night we roasted a beast, baked some potatoes and steamed a few carrots.

Here’s a nifty thing: we got a Beef Chart! From our butcher, we picked up a free copy of a two-sided poster which explains all the different cuts of beef, the part of the beast that produces each cut, how each type of cut should be cooked (including done-ness temperatures in both Celsius and Fahrenheit), beef trivia, safe practices for handling raw meat, vitamins contained within said raw meat and a picture of a happy, omnivorous family.

Despite this very informative chart and the relatively easy preparation of this meal, we totally fucked it up. (Except the carrots which were much less fucked than the rest.) We started this blog to brag about all the cooking we do but I would be remiss if I did not mention the episodes in which we burn things, sever fingers, eat things that the dog may have already licked, add salt instead of sugar or a tablespoon instead of a teaspoon (this only occurs when the substance being measured is a volcano-hot spice) and continue to prepare foods that have briefly come in contact with the floor. It would cheapen the rest of this site to project an image of consistent perfection (like anyone we know was ever fooled, anyway). What follows is a list of everything we did in a less-than-perfect manner on Tuesday:

1. We opened the good wine before we started cooking; should’ve finished the house wine first and saved the good stuff for the meal.

2. The recipe called for beef tenderloin but we cheaped-out and got inside round. There is nothing wrong with cheaping-out but when faced with roasting it, we had a choice: roast the beast according to the instructions for cooking a tenderloin cut in the recipe for Roast Beef Tenderloin with Wasabi-Garlic Cream [incorrect] or roast the beast according to the instructions on the poster for cooking an inside round cut [correct]. We chose the former.

3. We intended to make cubed potatoes tossed with lemon and scallions. However, instead of cubing the potatoes, we sliced them up with the mandolin just because we have so much fun using it. This shape of potato resists even the best efforts to toss, with lemon and scallions or otherwise.

4. We started cooking the carrots WAY too early. Way too early = kinda mushy.

5. We were forced to bake the potatoes in a kind of gratin with butter and scallions. We did not bake them enough. Some were still raw.

6. The roast emerged from the oven. said to slice against the grain of the meat, so what do we do? Slice with the grain.

7. We plated and ate raw-ish potatoes, kinda-mushy carrots and cooked-to-toughness beef with wasabi-garlic cream. The cream was really good; it distracted us from the fact that we may have been eating leather.

Funnily enough, the leftovers were quite delicious. The potatoes were no longer raw and the meat somehow mellowed (because it rested overnight?). The wine was extraordinary: AlphaZeta, a Valpolicella from the Veneto, just north of Verona. Even leather with wasabi couldn’t crush this velvety red.

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