Lesson the first: Read the entire recipe/technique before beginning.
Lesson applied! I am *much* happier with the stock I made this weekend. It was a serious investment of time, and of course I managed to make one new mistake. Cooking dinner while *making* stock/demi-glace/glace de viande. While I have the mad skills to manage all of that, I do not have the burners. Jeebus. I did some serious juggling and managed to pull it out, but I don’t plan on repeating the experience. I must have lost 10 pounds last night.
Then put it back on with dinner. Heh. I think I’ve found my ‘low’ as far as roast quality goes as well, if I want to be able to prepare a meal that Kim will enjoy. Ladies and germs, last night I prepared a roast, rare to medium rare, and she loved it. Organic sirloin tip roast. Pricier than the inside round, but *so* worth it.
Which brings us to lesson the second.
When the recipe calls for coarse salt, they probably mean it. In this case, using an alder wood smoked Fleur de Sel for a 24 hour dry brine results in a saltier than intended taste. It still kicked multiple kinds of ass, but I need to read more about dry brining so I actually understand the technique, what the dry brine process actually does, and where I can make changes. Right now I suspect I can still use that salt (the flavour is effing amazing) but for a shorter period. I’m thinking 12 hours, but we’ll see.
So yeah, the dry brined sirloin tip roast brushed with olive oil and about a tablespoon of fresh rough cracked Tellicherry peppercorns, and a pinch of herbs de Provence. Roasted at 425 til I hit my rare to medium-rare on the meat thermometer.
Being new to roasting, I also have no idea if I’m supposed to be using the rack that came with my All-Clad or not, but I do. About half way through roasting as it approaches rare I actually add about a cup and a half of water to the bottom of the pan. Careful if you do this, it’s (obviously) effing hot and there’s fat down there. Fat and water at high temps is dangerous yo. The bright side is that it makes the glace de viande when it’s done quite easy to remove.
The sides were my tried and true fresh carrots in butter with Calvados, and beets.
Slight twist on the carrots, I added some fresh dill to the water while they boiled.
The beets were boiled until they were merely firm and provided moderate resistance to a fork. Definitely firmer than a potato, for some context. Strained, let them rest a bit, then sliced and tossed into a pan and sauteed with some butter and a splash of port.
I was very happy with the results!
I’m also getting a lot better at ‘re-use’ when cooking. I’d started the stock on Friday night, so when I was finished with the demi-glace stage of it I tossed the bones into a fresh pot of cold water and started the next step. When it reduced enough, I just kept topping it up with the water from the carrots. I pondered using the water from the beets as well, but felt it might have an overwhelming flavour and potentially ruin my efforts. So it has been set aside to possibly make a carrot and ginger soup.
So now I have a few containers of stock, a few containers of demi-glace, and a small amount of glace de viande. It may have eaten my entire weekend, but it should last me for quite some time and I’ll never have to use an Oxo cube again
Going to hit the Farmer’s Market shortly, and pick up a schwack of onions, celery and carrots. While I’m making progress in knife technique I need practice and these vegetables are relatively inexpensive and something I cook with any ways.
On todays task list:
Big Box Store for one or two pairs of work slack thingers
Put together Ikea thinger for the bathroom.
Clear out bottom of front closet to put in the wire cage thingie for
Put up two new glass shelves in kitchen
Start to organize books and cd’s better
Put new brackets in the pc and mount the 500G and 1T drives.
Install SATA card, and eSATA adapter. Cross link external SATA/eSATA drive to Airport Extreme and linux box
In any situation, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing. – Theodore Roosevelt