Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fly-by-the-seat-of-my-Pot Roast

My frugality sometimes works in mysterious ways.

See, e.g.: last night. The scene: Giant (chosen because of its proximity to Lowe's). The mission: buy supplementary ingredients for pho. One of our friends generously gifted us an entire pot of leftover pho broth, and I already had noodles and lemons (not limes, but the lemons were way cheaper) at home. So all I needed: bean sprouts, scallions, and meat.

The meat was what got to me. They didn't have the kind that I normally buy. I don't know the name of it; I just look and poke at all the cuts of beef until I find one that kinda sorta looks like what I normally use. If you slice it thin enough it doesn't matter anyway.

Well, the only beef that was on sale at Giant was Bottom Round Roast. Like, 3 lbs. And they were priced at $3.49/lb, which isn't the best deal ever, but certainly better than the $6.99/lb sirloin that was on the next shelf up.

So I ended up buying the roast and shaving off some thin slices for us to eat with pho, and that worked great. But then! I decided that I would actually roast the roast. I rubbed it all over with salt, pepper, and some garlic powder, and put it in a plastic bag with four cloves of peeled garlic, several generous dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and about a half cup of water. Then I stuck it in the fridge.

Then, on my way home from work today I stopped and bought a bottle of merlot (Hayes Ranch, a good wine for a good price). I got home, popped it open and poured myself a glass while I got to work on tomorrow's dinner. Yes, that is right. Because pot roast takes forever to cook.

I browned the roast on all sides and then poured the marinade (such as it was) into the pan to deglaze. Then I glugged in probably a good 1/2 or 3/4 cup of the wine. Then I stuck the whole thing in the oven, where it has been sitting happily for the last two hours. I'm going to give it another hour I think. But I started it at 375 for about an hour; reduced to 350 for another 45 minutes; then covered it and reduced to 200. We'll see how this goes; part of me says that anything with wine that sits in the oven for that long is bound to be good. The other part of me says "What were you thinking to combine Worcestershire and merlot!?"

Cross your fingers that we don't have to order pizza tomorrow!

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