Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How to Rescue a Dry, Overdone Pot Roast

Sermon run later than expected? Forget what time you put the roast on? Tried to do it overnight and ended up with a hard piece of meat and a pan coated with condensed juices?

As long as nothing burned, this can still be salvaged into a tasty meal. Take the meat out of the pan and set aside. Put at least 1 cup of hot water into the pan and set onto cold burners and heat VERY slowly at a low temp; my stove goes up to (10) and I never got above a (3). If you managed to burn the roast in a pan that's unsafe to try the burner tops, try the deglazing with just hot water, and then pour it into a suitable saucepan to continue.

While the water is heating, use a whisk, fork, or even a spatula to start encouraging those condensed yummy bits to dissolve into the water. This process speeds up significantly once the condensation has softened a bit under the water. (This is called deglazing the pan, since your pan juices have formed a hard coating not unlike a glaze on a ceramic pot). Many people deglaze with wine, but I find it too sharp to use straight up in the gravy.

Once the water looks more like beef broth and less like weak tea (ew), tear apart the roast into tiny pieces and put them into the pan. Stir frequently to coat and soften the meat. Pour into it a mixture of cornstarch and water to thicken the gravy, and stir stir stir to prevent clumps.

This is fantastic served over rice. In fact, my mother used to serve rice about as often as she served potatoes with a roast, so this dish brought back fond memories.

Particulars: I used about 4 cups of water to deglaze a 9x13 baking pan, and I put into it a mixture of about 2 heaping tablespoons of cornstarch to 1/4c. cold water, mixed perfectly smooth before integrating in to the beef and broth. You may use more or less water, depending on the amount of "glaze" left on your pans; start with 1 cup and add until the mixture tastes pleasantly of beef, not like you're chewing on undiluted bouillon granules 0.o

There it is, proof that even a ruined roast isn't ruined.

Unless you burn it. Then you might as well go for sandwiches or takeout. Burned beef glaze does NOT make yummy gravy.

1 comment:

TammiG said...

Thanks for the inspiration on reviving an overdone roast! We ended up making a mexican version of roast beef hash with it but I appreciate your insight. Will follow your posts and take a look around. :) Thanks, Tammi G.