Spice-Crusted Tip Roast

Roast Beef
We go in with friends on half a cow/steer each year but this year we doubled our take. Rather than all of us take 1/8 each as we usually do, our household took a quarter and the others took 1/12th each. I’m sorry for beginning this post about food with advanced mathematics. The point is we have rather a lot more beef in our freezer than we usually do. It’s good beef, so having a lot of it is not a problem in and of itself. The cattle are raised locally, without any hormones or antibiotics, they roam freely but are not  entirely grass-fed. When it comes time for slaughter they are taken to a local meat-processing facility/butcher’s and we place our cut order. This is not a fancy artisanal butcher and most of the cuts available are standard-issue: we get flank and skirt, for instance, but not flat iron or hanger. This is not a problem either. The problem is that when you have a quarter of a large cow or steer in your freezer you need to come up with many ways of cooking it for, no matter how delicious they are, if only a few recipes comprise your repertoire, monotony must follow, as the night the day or as hateful inanity follows the opening of Donald Trump’s mouth.  Continue reading

Pot Roast with Indian Spices

Pot Roast with Indian Spices
There’s a lot of ahistorical nonsense going on right now in India about the eating of beef (see here for the latest outrage and here for some context) and so you can consider this a political recipe.

It represents a melding of American/European technique with Indian flavours. Though Indians (and other South Asians) do roast and braise larger cuts of meat, there is nothing traditional about this recipe: it is improvised by me. It takes the usual American approach to beef roasts—season the meat, sear it and then braise it with liquid and aromatics in an oven or on the stove—and merely switches the seasoning and aromatics. It might look like fusion but if I were to cut the beef into cubes and do everything else more or less the same way it would look like a very unremarkable “curry”. Anyway, you can do this with larger cuts of lamb and mutton (goat) too, though you might have to adjust the cooking time. And you could also do it in the slow cooker as well, though in that case you might need to use less liquid. Continue reading