March 7, 2007


Giada's Roast Beef with Spicy Parsley Tomato Sauce was the recipe I made for dinner tonight. Very straight forward and simple. All done in about an hour. I even threw in a side of cabbage and long strands of carrot sautéed in butter, flavored with only salt, pepper and a tad of my bastardized Herbes de Provence*.

Everything was going swimmingly. I mean EVERYTHING.

The sauce? Perfect. I mean, it's fricking AWESOME!

The side dish? Fantastic. Always love veggies sautéed in butter.

The roast? That is when disaster struck. When I sliced the roast after resting, I found 2 things were wrong.

First, the meat was cooked to perfect medium rare after being in the oven for 50 minutes. It's PERFECT for me, but not for Brandon. I was aiming for a medium going for 40 minutes according to the recipe, but the meat thermometer didn't register so I left the roast in for extra 10 minutes. And it was still undercooked.

Second, the roast was tough when I slice it. That alarmed me. But hey, maybe my knife was dull. But then, I took the first cut into my slice and found it "sticky". Sure enough, tonight's dinner was mainly the veggies and may be 2 pieces of beef. The rest was the nutrient we managed to suck out of the roast before our jaws got tired. Lots of mangled cow pieces in the trash tonight.

The choices of meat for the recipe are sirloin tip or chuck beef roast. I bought the latter. And yes I sliced it across the grain! That was possibly the worst piece of beef I've cooked.

Wait. Is it the beef? Or is it me?

Try out this recipe, guys. Let me know if yours result in something more edible.

As for me, I will cook up 2 pieces of sirloin Friday night...and I will top them with the leftover spicy parsley tomato sauce, a redemption from tonight's disaster. Hopefully.

*Bastardized Herbes de Provence: I was going to buy a bottle at the store but Brandon doesn't like rosemary, one of the key ingredients. After sorting through a few homemade recipes, I kind of went to town with what I have in the spice cabinet to try to create a blend close enough to the HDP. I ended up with 1/2 teaspoon each of basil and thyme, 1 crushed up bay leaf, and a shake each of fennel seeds and ground coriander. Pretty tasty, I must say. Whatever I had left from sprinkling over the tomatoes, I threw into the cabbage+carrot, tying the flavor together with the beef and sauce.


Friday night, Brenda was kind enough to pick up a hunk of top sirloin steak from Plowboy for me. I walked away from her house with not only the giant piece of meat but also with baggies of spices from Penzey's Brenda recently ordered in bulk.

In all of the goodies, she gave me a baggy full of Parisien Bon Herbes which I could mix in lavender, which she also gave me, to substitute for rosemary-less Herbes de Provance. No more bastardized HdP!

Brenda also handed me the Alton Brown’s pan seared method so that I wouldn’t accidentally repeat the disaster. Steak is one thing I had down somewhat. But it’s good to learn yet another fool-proof method.

I did redeem myself. :)

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