Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Clod - it's what's for dinner!

Hmmm - I guess I can see why the Cattleman's Beef Board didn't try that out as an advertising campaign. Just doesn't have quite the right ring to it, wouldn't you agree?

Our dinner saga last night all started with a little roast I picked up at Wheatsville.

A Niman clod (boneless shoulder) roast. "Not a very appetizing name" I thought to myself. But I am pretty sure if the Niman folks offered to sell me my own car floor mats I'd at least give it a try.

Online recipe investigating led me to all sorts of ideas, but they all called for cooking times taking longer than I wanted to wait for dinner. Most techniques suggested some sort of browning the outside followed by a couple of hours of heating the inside. One recipe, offered in the store by assistant Wheatie Meatie Mark M., was to throw some dressing on the roast, wrap it in foil and bake it at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes per pound. That sounded a bit different, so I decided to give it a whirl.

This roastina was about 1 1/2 pounds so 45 minutes ought to do the trick. I pulled out a current favorite of ours, the locally produced Mother's Cashew-Tamari dressing, glopped some on, wrapped the roast in foil, and threw it into the oven along with a halved, olive oil drizzled Delicata squash, cut side down, for a one sheet pan yields two dishes for dinner type deal. Not quite a one-dish wonder, but close enough.

Sidebar: It might seem counter-intuitive if not sacrilegious to use this most popular dressing sold by Mother's Cafe and Garden,one of Austin's favorite venerable Veggie restaurants, as a marinade for meat, but I promise you it is a match made in heaven. The Mother's folk even suggest that use on the label, and selling that dressing was one of the ways Mother's made it through the dark days of rebuilding after their Duval location burned in March of '07.If you are a carnivore at all, I suggest you give it a whirl yourself. Mother's Cashew-Tamari plus cruelty-free protein equals happy eaters. Guaranteed. Back to our Clod Saga.

Dressed, foiled, baked in the oven for 45 minutes. Check, check, and double-check! However, when I pulled the roastetta out, it was not quiiiiiiiite done enough. I thought back to all the recipes I did not try, and decided to pull an opposite - throw the roastina into a hot cast iron skillet with some sliced onions, and simultaneously put a nice seared coat on the meat while I pulled the interior temperature and doneness up a bit.

After about 3-4 minutes on either side the roast had developed a great sear, the onions were nicely caramelized, the kitchen had filled with a wonderful aroma and I was seriously hungry.

I cut the roastetta in half and served it with the delicata, now cradling its own little pool of butter with a sprinkling of freshly ground nutmeg, freshly ground black pepper, and a leetle bit of brown sugar. I sliced up some local 'maters, sliced up some grainy great bread (YES I buttered it - what's your point?) and that was dinner last night.I won't lie. This photo doesn't do it justice. My hands may have been trembling slightly in anticipation and it is possible I got drool on the lens.

It was good. Very good. You might wonder how it could miss seeing as the plate was sorta swimming in meaty juices and butter. Could that be healthy? I maintain that when we are eating beef that has been sustainably raised and healthily fed, including all organic veggies and using amazing local butter like that from Remember When Dairy, that we are OK with the fat we are getting.You know that all fat is not created equal. When we have butter and meat fat in our diets (balanced by fiber like in the grainy bread and delicata squash last night) we actually eat less overall than if I was trying to foist off some flavorless corn fed steroid/antibiotic riddled pseudo-meat in a fat free facsimile of a meal. So I am careful sourcing our fats and veggies (thank you Wheatsville!) and optimistic it does make all the difference.How about you? You get what I am saying, yeah? Did you ever try to eliminate fat(s) from your diet only to find yourself eating more and enjoying it less? Fess up! You know who you are.


PassivePastry said...

eliminate fats? what?? people do such a thing?!
THAT is the magical butter I discovered at Wheatsville....if only I could find a way to inject myself with it.

TexasDeb said...

PPastry, if you like the RememberWhen, be sure to check out the "Iberico semi-hard three milks used" cheese at the Wheat.

Sheesh - now I sound like Amazon.com. "People who like this fat also bought..." Worth it though. That Iberico is seriously decadent stuff and way cheaper than hitting a tapas bar or heading for Spain either one.

Iris said...

I must be seriously decadent because I buy that Iberico cheese several times a month--love it! I agree that the Remember When Dairy butter is great, too. (Lately I've been obsessed with ghee because it seems to really cut down on stuff sticking to the pan. My imagination? Maybe.)

TexasDeb said...

Iris - I have it sitting in my pantry but haven't crossed the Ghee barrier yet. Not sure what I am waiting for - perhaps a sign or portent...

I got the cheese to share initially but ended up eating all by myself while watching an episode of On the Road Again - Spain on PBS. That and a glass of Tempranillo and I was transported.

Hey - we all gonna get invited over to warm the house once your re-do is completed? I'll bring the Ghee and some Iberico!?!

Flapjacks said...

oh, how our little blogosphere is expanding.

i have an i.v. drip of remember when butter going on my off hours. i'll be dead soon, but i'll be well basted for your enjoyment.

iberico is great. if you like that, you should try the manchego, another great hard cheese, and the pyrenese (sp?), which is soft but on par.

on ghee - we sell two types at WV, one that is organic and found in aisle two, or one that is made by tom across the street that is in the dairy cooler. ghee is a staple in my household, often used in conjunction with butter -- see above -- to do things that should not be done. the french use the hell out of it, but call it clarified butter, and yes iris, it has no milk proteins left, just fat, so no sticking occurs. it also handles high heat like a champ.

try cooking your next steak in it, and watch the magic happen.

oh. man. nom, nom, nom.