Sunday, October 7, 2007

Yet another Dutch Oven Roast Recipe

Today, I was going to try a great experiment. I had invited a friend and his family over to celebrate his birthday. We’ve known each other for years. He’s also a musican, a drummer, and we’ve worked together a lot of times and played in a few bands together. He helped me with the drums on my first CD. I haven’t seen him in a long time, and I was going to prepare a magnificent roast for him.

So, I looked over the ‘net to find something that would just “wow” to the next level. I found a bunch of great recipes, and after a bit of thinking, I came up with one that would just be amazing. And, I was going to throw in an extra touch that would just throw it over the edge. In addition to all the spices and flavorings, I would drape the roasts in thick sliced bacon!

So, I made the roast according to my mishmashed recipes, and served it up with some dutch oven biscuits, and it was fantastic. Then when I came downstairs to blog about it, I realized I had forgotten the one magical ingredient. The bacon. So, instead of being magical and innovative, it turned out to be just another cool dutch oven roast recipe.

Oh, well. Next time I make it I’ll remember, and I’ll tell you how it turned out.

In the meantime, this was truly a fantastic roast. In fact, my friend, always quick with a quip, sat back and sighed, “Well, that cow sure died with honors!” So, I guess the recipe still passed approval. Here it is in its original form. Maybe YOU can cook it and tell me how it turns out.

Dutch Oven Bacon-Draped Roast

12” deep dutch oven

14-16 coals above
14-16 coals below

Start with slab of roast meat. I actually did two that added up to a little over 5 pounds. I knew we’d be feeding two families. I started the coals, and when they were ready, put some olive oil in the bottom, and set the dutch oven on about 20-25 coals (underneath) to heat up. While that was heating, I prepared the rub.

The Rub

  1. Liberal shakes of salt and coarse ground pepper, maybe as much as a Tbsp of each. I used sea salt, but I don’t know if that made a difference or not.
  2. 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  3. ½ tsp mustard seed
  4. ½ tsp marjoram
  5. ½ tsp rosemary
  6. ½ tsp thyme
  7. 1 Tbsp parsley

I stirred it all up and rubbed it all over the meat. That was a bit messy. Then I put the meat in the oven, and let it brown on all sides.

While it was browning, I prepared the liquid. What do you call that, in the roast? The sauce? The baste?

The Baste

  1. 1 Cup hot beef broth (I used an Au Jus mix)
  2. 3 Tbsp brown Sugar (I was out of brown sugar, so I used honey)
  3. A couple of liberal shakes of soy sauce and balsamic vineagar
  4. A couple of bay leaves
  5. A bit more liberal shakes of black pepper. I like it coarse ground.

Now, had I been thinking, I would have carried the bacon out to the meat when I carried out the baste, but I wasn’t thinking, so I didn’t. If I had, I would have draped a bunch of slices of the bacon over the top of the roast at this point. But I didn’t. Did I mention that I forgot that part? Did I mention that I was upset that I forgot that part? Just checking.

So, I poured in the baste. At that point, I pulled the oven off the coals, put 14 coals on the lid, and put 14 coals below in a circle (I had to pull some from my side fire).

Then, I set about making the biscuits. Just for the record, I used the same recipe I used for the Split Pea Soup a couple of months back. So, interspersed with all the cooking of the roast, I was also cooking the biscuits. Maybe that’s why I forget so much. I’m not so good at multitasking.

While the roast was cooking, I rested for a while. I figured it would take about 3 hours to cook the roast. So, after about half that, I chopped up the veggies, stirred them up, and added them. All the while, I’m maintaining my side fire, and pulling fresh coals to replenish the ones that were burning out on the (now three ovens) that I had cooking (one with the roast, and two shallow 12”-ers with the biscuits).

The Veggies:

  1. 2 medium onions, sliced
  2. a bunch of small green onions, sliced
  3. 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  4. a green bell pepper, sliced
  5. I took a jalapeno pepper and sliced about 6 very very thin slices off of it. Then I chopped those slices a little
  6. 1 large carrot, sliced
  7. 4 medium potatoes, quartered and sliced
  8. A handful of mushrooms, sliced

At that point, everything that was goin in was in. It was just a matter of keeping the coals hot and waiting for it to get done.

Just before my guests arrived, I got out my 8” dutch oven and a ladle. I carefully pulled about 1 ½-2 cups of broth out of the big dutch oven, and poured it into the small one. By this time, I’d taken the biscuits off, so I had some extra coals. I arranged them packed pretty tight and close on my bricks and set the 8”-er on top. Then I stirred up some flour into some water. I don’t really know how much, maybe a total of 2-3 Tbsp into about a half cup of water, maybe less. I stirred it up to dissolve the flour, and poured it into the broth. I let that sit and boil for a while, stirring it as it got thicker and thicker.

Finally it was ready to serve, and we all ate hearty tonight.

Even without the bacon…

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