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Saturday, March 13, 2010


It's been a while since I've shared kitchen secrets with those of you who are kind enough to read my drivel, so here's a delicious favorite that is both easy to make and jack-off-on-your-grandma delicious. I learned the basics of this from my mother back in the early-1980's and have tweaked it a little since, but trust me when I say that it's fantastic.

You'll need a crock pot and the ingredients are few:
  • 1 chuck roast
  • beef broth
  • 1 tube of anchovy paste
  • 1 box of Lipton's powdered onion soup mix
  • 1 can of those fried onions that are used to top casseroles
Armed with all of that stuff, it's time to begin!

Pour about two inches of beef broth into the crock pot, basically enough to cover 1/3 of the roast.

The above shot gives you a good idea of the physical size of the roast required for this endeavor.

Unwrap the roast and place it in the broth.

Poke open the tube of anchovy paste and slather the doody-looking stuff all over as much of the roast as remains above the level of the liquid. Use the whole tube.

Smooth the anchovy paste all over the roast in the same way as you would frost a cake.

Then apply the powdered onion soup mix, taking care to pat as much of onto the anchovy paste to make it stick above the liquid level. The average box of the stuff comes with two packets of soup mix and I use them both, but one will do for most tastes.

With that done, cover the roast with as much of the fried onions as you like. I try to liberally coat the whole bloody thing, making it look like one of Ben Grimm's butt-cheeks, and not necessarily caring if some of it ends up in the broth.

Cover the crock pot and set it to "LOW" heat. That's it; just set it and forget it for between nine to fourteen hours, depending on super-tender you like it. I recommend the longest slow-cook as possible, for reasons to be explained shortly.

NOTE: while the "set it and forget it" rule is paramount, the roast must be basted in its own juices after about the second hour. The fried onions will have begun to get mushy, but that's what we want here. I recommend bastin every hour and a half after the first two hours of undisturbed cooking.

By the time the roast is finished (above), the fried onions will have pretty much "sweated" and melted into the very fabric of the meat, along with the anchovy paste and the ambient gravy.

After it's done, transplant the roast to a smaller container, one that will fit in your fridge and not take up too much space.

Pour the drippings/gravy over the roast and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the roast overnight, allowing it to congeal into a solid mass.

The next day, take the roast out of the pot and place it on a carving board. I recommend slicing it to manageably thin pieces, and that is most easily accomplished with a chef's knife, meaning one with a straight edge, not serrated. The straight edge allows to to slice cleanly and not leave tattered edges on your slices. It's also important to slice against the "grain" of the meat, because of you slice with the grain you'll get something stringy (though tender) that looks like what's seen above, and such stringy stuff can get caught in hard-to-reach places in the eater's teeth.

Slicing against the grain yields results that look like what you see above. It looks great in presentation, reheats more efficiently, and is simply a more pleasant culinary experience all around.

When you're done with the slicing, transfer the meat to a handy container of your choice and make sure to pour the gravy over it before putting it away.

When reheated, the meat will be tender like you will not believe, and juicy/gravy-laden to match. It's awesome on sandwiches and perfect on a plate with potatoes and vegetables. Enjoy!


Dave G said...

Thanks for the recipe Bunche. I might give it a try next weekend.

And, I'm thinking "Ambient Gravy" would make a great band name.

ChrisV82 said...

Looks good; will have to try.