I had to share this.
This week at our local grocery store they have bottom round roasts on sale. I know that bottom round roast is very tough, but seeing as all other beef cuts are $3 and $4 more a pound, I figured I’d have to make the best of it. I’ve used it before and although it is a tasty cut of beef, it is tough. Hubby would ask me things like, “Did this die on its own?” or “Is this beef or mule?” Still, for the past 22 years I used this cut more often than any other for economic reasons.
Today however I decided things had to change. I know that if you cook meat at a low temperature for a long period of time, it typically turns out tender. This being said, that is why a crock pot is recommended so often for tougher cuts of meat. I am not a big crock pot fan though. For some reason I find meat cooked in a crock pot to be somewhat flavorless. It is tender but unless you are dousing it with barbecue sauce or a tasty gravy, the flavor just isn’t there. This is just one persons experience, but for me a crock pot is used only on the rarest of occasions.
Another tenderizing trick I have learned through the years is that liquor or vinegar helps to make most meats become fall-off-the-bone tender. Marinating tough cuts of meat even for a few hours in wine or a vinegar based marinade can make a world of difference.
This morning I pulled out the roast I picked up on sale. First I seared it to seal the juices in, then I put it in the roasting pan. Next I put 1 1/2 cups of wine in the pan, covered it tight with foil, and put it in the oven. For 4 hours I cooked the roast covered at 225 degrees. Then I removed the foil and put the broiler on. I left the roast under the broiler for about 10 minutes to brown the fat.
When Hubby went to cut the roast he couldn’t believe how tender it was. It fell apart as he lifted it from the pan and cutting it was more like shredding it. The taste however was the best part. It was flavorful, moist, and tender. Everything a roast should be. Everyone went back for seconds and there were no jokes about how tough it was.
Being able to save money by buying a lesser cut of meat but still serving something that tastes like a more expensive one is a great way to save money, if I can pull it off. Tonight, by using a few things I’ve learned through the years, (why I didn’t think of this sooner I’ll never know), I made what was once an okay meal into something the family will actually look forward to, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.