Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meat: Terri Griffith

I knew there was going to be a hungry crowd for this party and I wanted to fix something that was both out-of-the-ordinary yet still edible. 250 Ways to Prepare Meat (1940) was there for me with “Pot Roast with Prunes.” My first reaction to this was, Yuck! But the more I thought about it, the better it sounded.

I followed the recipe pretty precisely. The only real difference is that I used my new bible, The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. It gives lots of pointers for pot roast, things none of the CAI cookbooklets do. My guess is that in 1940 when this book was published women knew the basics of preparing a pot roast. Well, it’s not 1940 anymore and we have other skills now. Which is precisely why I rely on The Test Kitchen to let me in on the details. I patted it dry and tied it up before browning, then let it rest twenty minutes before serving. I really believe that all these little things really make a difference.

The pot roast itself was extraordinary. It was moist, flavorful, a lovely color. I’m not sure you’re supposed to say this sort of thing, but it was the best pot roast I’ve ever had. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone inclined. (I scanned it high resolution so you can follow the recipe and see the delightful photo.) Next time, I would turn that beefy prune sauce into a gravy and serve it with mashed potatoes. This recipe is super good. Trust me.

("Prunes and apricots with pot roast add glamour to the meat and flavor to the gravy.")

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