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Dec 1, 2013 04:33 AM

December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Beef & Lamb; Pork

Please use this thread to report on the following chapters from ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens

Beef & Lamb, pages 51-161
Pork, pages 153-249

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  1. One Hour Rosemary Rib Roast, pg. 93

    This is an interesting technique for this sort of medium sized roast beef. The rib-eye is cut from the bone, and then having seasoned the meat and the bones with a garlic mash, S&P, and rosemary sprigs, the meat is reattached to the bone with twine, rested (mine only for the minimum 4 hours), and then roasted, all at high, 450, heat.

    The resulting roast is flavorful, tender and rare, and very easy to carve. Most of the diners liked this very well, but I have to say that personally I'm not sure rosemary and garlic are the best partners for beef (now if it were lamb....). And I'm also not sold on the all high heat roasting for this cut, it seems to me a lower and slower roast lets the ribs render out a bit more fat, and leads to a tastier roast. But for a mid-week birthday dinner, you couldn't beat this one for easy and quick. We had a fair amount left-over, and I will say, that this roast made for some of the best re-heated roast beef, ever. Perhaps because it was still quite rare and could stand up to some additional cooking.

    11 Replies
    1. re: qianning

      That roast looks fabulous, Qianning. When we were eating beef that rare was how we liked it. My son's favorite meal was standing rib with Yorkshire pudding cooked in the pan under the meat. Mine too, truth be told.

      1. re: Gio

        Gio- If you happen to see this, birthday time is rolling around again, and I've had a request for a repeat performance, plus Yorkshire pudding! Alas, I've never made a successful Yorkshire pudding. Any advice? Recipe? Book I should look at?

        1. re: qianning

          Good Morning, Qianning! It is over 40 years ago that I started cooking roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, so not much in the way of memory now because we no longer eat red meat, and our son has been "gone" for 27 years. But, I do remember pouring the pudding batter under the roast about 30 minutes before the roast was due to be finished. I was all about authenticity in those days and used an old traditional recipe I no longer recall.

          As I read through contemporary recipes I see that the pudding is now baked in separate muffin tins or some such. The two important things to ensure a well baked pudding I do remember are a very hot pan, and very hot pan drippings.

          The following recipe from Serious Eats is better than most in its simplicity. (Cook the roast according to your own recipe.)

          Happy Birthday to your birthday person!

            1. re: Gio

              Ah! The good old days. The first time I made Yorkshire pudding I followed the instruction to set the roast directly on the oven rack and let the drippings drip into the batter in the pan set on a rack below. I can't find now where this must have come from, but I know it was an adaptation of a recipe from Larousse Gastronomique that called for using that method if you were spit-roasting the beef--which I, of course, was not.

        2. re: qianning

          As one who does not often consume large amounts of meat at one sitting, I must admit that I am now considering a trip to the butcher shop to pick up a nice chunk of rib roast. Looks positively mouth-watering!

          1. re: qianning

            Wow. That is just lovely, and like many of you, I am not a hunk of meat person much these days.

            1. re: qianning

              Looks amazing. I'm dying for a piece of rare fatty meat hopefully the end of this month after my gallbladder is removed.

              This may be my meat! Lol

              1. re: qianning

                Thanks all, it was a pretty incredibly easy meal to prepare, perfect for a special occasion that falls on a weeknight.

                1. re: qianning

                  That technique is almost exactly the same as for the Standing Rib Roast of Pork in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook in which the seasonings for the pork are garlic, fennel, and coriander. Gnawing on the bones was heaven.

                  Your roast looks just spectacular, and perfectly done. Now I, too, want a rib roast ASAP.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Thanks Joan--I don't own the Zuni book, but in truth I'd rather have roast pork than roast beef any day, so I'll have to look into it.

                2. Basic Sear-Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Pg. 169; Option 2, Orange and Thyme Rubbed, Pg. 172

                  The deal with this particular pork tenderloin is a mixture consisting of: fresh thyme, orange zest, cumin seed, Aleppo pepper, S & P is rubbed all over the meat which is then placed in the fridge to marinate from 4 to 24 hours. Ours was in the fridge for 7 hours. There are several options for this recipe, as well as the leeway to use any other seasonings of one's choice.

                  When ready to cook heat oven to 350F, if tenderloin has a thinner end tuck it underneath and tie w twine. Ours was tailess. The meat is seared in a hot skillet then placed on a rimmed baking sheet to roast till about 140F interior temp. Ms. Stevens defends using two pans by saying if the pork is kept in the hot skillet to roast it will cook too quickly. Additionally, this gives the cook time to make a vermouth pan sauce w the drippings remaining in the skillet. It made sense and I wouldn't change this method.

                  The outcome was a tender, slightly pink, juicy, well seasoned pork tenderloin. The timing was perfect. Very quick and easy too. Side dishes were a braised red cabbage and baked potatoes. Lovely start to the month!

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Gio

                    Sounds great Gio. I usually avoid pork tenderloin and I've never had much luck with it but your review is encouraging. I usually don't associate the word juicy with pork tenderloin so the technique is obviously a good one.

                    1. re: delys77

                      We're just the opposite, Delys, preferring the tenderloin to other cuts lately. The trick is to not cook it very long. The sear then roast technique is perfect for this cut of pork. That and a good organic piece of meat.

                      1. re: Gio

                        That may be part of my problem. I have found that the pork I was getting at the farmers market was far better than what I usually get at the supermarket. Sadly we have moved into winter and the only farmers market still open is a bit out of the way for me.

                        I should give wholefoods a shot though, they likely have some good pork.

                        1. re: delys77

                          Delys, we buy at either WF during Winter or the farm during the other seasons.

                          1. re: Gio

                            Sounds like a good plan thanks Gio.

                        2. re: Gio

                          Not for this recipe, but we grill pork tenderloins about four minutes a "side" and they're wonderfully tender.

                      2. re: Gio

                        We love this recipe and it has made its way into our favorites file.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Sear-roasted pork tenderloin

                          I made this last night, just the basic salt and pepper version with the pan sauce (I subbed white wine for vermouth). I haven't ever made a pork tenderloin, I don't think. My mom used to make them and I found them a little tasteless. But I saw some nice pork tenderloin at whole foods and decided to give this recipe a try.

                          I'm glad I did! The pork was flavorful and juicy and nicely complemented by the pan sauce. I pre salted for 4 hours (the minimum) but it really made a difference in the flavor of the meat. I used thyme in the pan sauce, since I had some leftover from thanksgiving.

                          I served this with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts and this made an easy and relatively elegant meal. My kids complained at first (something unfamiliar is usually met with suspicion by them) but then ate it all up. My husband loved it and had 2 servings.

                          A great intro to this book! Instructions and timing were spot on.

                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                            I'm so happy you and your husband liked this recipe Greeneggsnham! Now you have to try the options. LOL

                            During the Summer we bought a few pork tenderloins from our CSA farm but since that ceased we've been buying all meat and seafood from Whole Foods and think theirs is better tasting. Plus it's all organic with no additional anything.

                          2. re: Gio

                            Option 3, Rosemary, Coriander and Mustard Pg. 172

                            I chose this option because these are flavors we like, and we both enjoyed the delicious and tender dish. I won't be making this again in winter -- need to be able to have windows open during the searing step; our kitchen venting system just isn't up to this task.

                            After searing and before roasting, the quickly-assembled paste is spread on the tenderloin. The paste has dijon mustard, fresh rosemary (I used dried) and crushed toasted coriander seeds (I used ground) mixed with a little olive oil, and also calls for salt & pepper which I omitted.

                            Following the basic method, I salted/peppered the tenderloin 4 hours ahead of time. I failed to dry it again before searing and the skillet oil spattered quite a bit. I spread the paste all over the seared pork and roasted on a rimmed sheet pan, per instructions. The paste remained quite soft - it did not form a hard crust during baking.

                            I served with cubed microwaved sweet potato. Freshly baked gingerbread cookies for dessert.

                            1. re: MidwesternerTT

                              Good to read your report Midwesterner. I don't recall whether or not the loin we cooked spattered at the searing, but it may have. The seasoning took so little time I guess it didn't matter, I am glad the finished loin was tasty though. We thought ours was delicious. I had hoped to do all the options by month's end. There's still time if I plan well.

                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                Basic Sear-Roasted Pork Tenderloin; Rosemary, Coriander and Mustard, Option 3, Pg. 172

                                Without realizing it I duplicated MW's menu almost to the letter serving the tenderloin and baked sweet potato, albeit the white variety. Along with a tossed salad with Russian dressing it was a luscious meal. I don't have anything more to add to MW's report since we followed the recipe carefully as written as she stated.

                                I will say the meat itself was perfectly cooked, pink but not rare, however I didn't care for the mustard slather. It didn't crust over as MW reported but the meat was fine. I scraped it off and carried on. My husband, on the other hand, Loved the entire meal. Needless to say there's nothing left.

                            2. Basic Roasted Sausages, Pg. 248

                              As usual with Ms. Stevens' basic recipes in her introduction to this recipe she suggests additional inclusions like sliced bell pepper, or indeed any other ingredient one might wish to use. There's also an option to use both sweet and hot sausages. We stayed with the basic which has sliced onions. I did make one substitution, namely spicy chicken with broccoli rabe sausages instead of plain pork.

                              Her method for roasting the sausages is similar to Rick Moonen's for broiled fish: the technique of heating a cast iron skillet under the broiler before placing the seasoned fish on. For the sausages a cast iron skillet is heated in a pre-heated 400F oven 5 minutes, take out, pour in some oil, return skillet to oven and heat a further 2 minutes.
                              This allows the sausages to brown well. Sliced onions are then placed into the hot skillet with the sausages on top. Roast for 10 minutes, flip everything, roast till all is cooked through... all told perhaps about 25 minutes +/-.

                              The sausages were well cooked yet still juicy and quite tasty. We both liked them. The slightly caramelized onions were lovely with the meat. I thought the sausage skin was a little tough but G didn't. Frankly, I think he liked this dish more than I did, but it was an easy recipe to follow and that pleases him no end.

                              I also served a steamed cauliflower salad w greens and tomatoes using MS's vinaigrette, from her Roast Chicken recipe, on page 268. A pleasurable meal.

                              1. Roasted Whole Fresh Ham (Pork Leg Roast), with Spice Rub
                                page 238-40

                                I will start with, I did not roast a whole fresh ham. I roasted a 2 1/2 lb bottom round/eye boneless roast, which was taken from the ham. This Fall I bought a half pig, and have a number of these odd cuts. The butcher made smaller cuts from really big ones to fit our family size. Figuring out where on the animal these unknown cuts come from, and deciding the best method to cook them, has been a bit of a challenge. Tonight, I took a risk and just did it.

                                The roast is scored and then seasoned. The primary recipe calls for salt and pepper. I opted to use her spice rub of cumin, coriander, allspice berries, bay leaves, paprika, chili powder, cloves and cayenne. I made a half recipe of the spice rub, and didn't use it all. Scaling back from the 18-20 lbs she describes to my 2 1/2 pounds took some imagination. Though she says the ham should sit seasoned for 1-2 days uncovered in the fridge, my pork roast was allowed only 3 hours. The roast begins the cooking in a very hot oven (450º) for 25 minutes, and then the temperature is reduced to 325º. I only did the high heat for 20 minutes before bringing down the temp. After reducing the oven temperature, pour beer into the bottom of the roasting pan and let the pork cook until it reaches 145º. No beer in my house, so I used apple cider.

                                The ham rests for 45 minutes after coming out of the oven. Reserve the pan juices in a separater, reheating after skimming the fat, to serve over the roast. Again, my pork rested for less time, and though I did reheat the pan juices, even after adding some white wine, it was far too sweet for us to use.

                                To carve, you remove the skin/fat layer, and then slice the meat. She suggests cutting the skin into small chunks to serve with the meat.

                                I was completely prepared for this evening's meal to be a total disaster. Maybe this mystery cut should be braised, or ground for sausage. Instead, it was delicious! The spice rub could actually be tasted even though neither one of us gnawed on the skin. The meat was moist without the au jus. We don't often do a "hunk of meat" anymore, but this one was a most successful way to celebrate Mr. Smt's birthday.

                                Served with roasted potatoes, shallots, and garlic and steamed green beans.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: smtucker

                                  That looks wonderful. You know, I've seen that cut of meat somewhere or another, and thought "what does one do with it?", now I know.

                                  1. re: qianning

                                    The leftovers have been wonderful. The kid enjoyed some slices with pasta. Last night we have some slices with a spinach salad and crispy shallots. Lunch today will be a traditional Georgia pork sandwich with pickle on a white roll.

                                    When the leftovers are good, the hunk of meat doesn't feel so intimidating. We will manage to finish it up today.

                                    1. re: smtucker

                                      I don't cook ham very often, but when I do... it's usually for Easter or Christmas. The last Christmas ham we made was several years ago. This year it may just be our Christmas Day Lunch. Your reviews have been enticing, SMT. I'll ask at Whole Foods about the possibility of getting a fresh ham piece from the leg at about 3.6 lbs. Thanks for the inspiration.

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        M.F. Dulock was my butcher for this pig if you fancy a trip to Somerville. They are happy to take "special" orders so your cut is waiting for you.


                                        1. re: smtucker

                                          Thanks SMT! Dulock has an FB page so I was able to see the various cuts of meat that they sell. Phenomenal is the word I'd use. I'll have G check it out if he agrees to ham.

                                  2. re: smtucker

                                    Ham is a mysterious subject. I do wish there was a 'tutorial' on ham somewhere. It always mystifies me when I attempt to understand the differences between cured, uncured, smoked etc. Kudos to you for plunging ahead so bravely!
                                    It looks very tasty.

                                    1. re: smtucker

                                      Roasted Whole Fresh Ham, Pg. 238

                                      In all the years I've been cooking I don't think I've ever cooked a fresh ham, and in all that time maybe I've cooked a cured one two or three times. When SMT posted her result using this recipe I was intrigued. We made Ms. Stevens' basic recipe without the spice rub so we could taste the difference between a fresh ham and a pork roast. It's like night and day I would say. We used a fresh organic half leg, bone in ham that weighed 7 pounds. The recipe calls for an 18 - 20 pounder and even at 7lbs. I think we'll be eating ham for the rest of our lives.

                                      We took the rind off leaving a thin layer of fat which was scored then the entire ham was rubbed with lots salt and black pepper. It was set on a rack in a roasting sheet and refrigerated uncovered for 3 days. To roast, the ham is brought to room temperature for at least an hour. We roasted the ham in a pre-heated 475F oven for 25 minutes then lowered the temp to 325F, poured in 24 ounces Sam Adams Double Agent India Pale Lager (great beer, BTW!), and let 'er rip for about 3 1/2 hours when inner temp read 155F.

                                      If we ever decide we'd like to roast another fresh ham this is the method I'd use again. The meat was beautiful to look at, tender succulent with a distinct flavor unlike a regular pork tenderloin or shoulder. Not salty at all which was surprising. I also served a revisit of the roasted Brussels sprouts, baked yams, and kimchi (of all things!).

                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Your roast looks delicious! Your post reminded me of a quote - that the definition of eternity is two people and a ham :-) - I forget who said that.

                                        1. re: Blythe spirit

                                          Thanks Blythe spirit. Dorothy Parker.

                                    2. Sear Roasted Double Cut Pork Chop for Two, pg. 188

                                      One lonely thick cut, but not double, pork chop in the freezer, weighing a scant pound. Hmmm, what the heck, give it a go. Reduced more or less everything by a third, including the brining & cooking times. It all worked out just fine.

                                      For me there was a real "light bulb turns on moment" in this technique--standing the rib chop on the bone after searing and before putting it in the oven. Similar to the cold pan technique that Gio mentions above in the tenderloin recipe, this really helped control the cooking temp and with one basting, produced a lovely moist chop. We didn't even bother to serve it with the pan juices, the meat didn't need them.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: qianning

                                        Nice! Our pig gave us some VERY thick chops. I have been using them as grill material, but will defiantly try this one next.

                                        1. re: qianning

                                          Sear Roasted Double Cut Pork Chop for Two (page 188)

                                          Read your report, qianning, and took one quick glance at that photo and knew I had to try this ASAP. So the next time I was at my good butcher buying something else, I bought a double-cut center-cut pork loin chop (as specified in the ingredients list). I had only scanned the ingredients quickly to make sure I had everything since I wasn't going to be making this for another evening or two. It wasn’t until the day I was going to prepare it that I sat down and read the recipe carefully, including the “Shopping for a Double-Cut Pork Chop” on the following page. I think it’s clear that there’s an error in the ingredients list and she’s talking about a double-cut center-cut RIB chop. How else could you “cut down between the rib bones”? Anyway, I now had a loin chop so I went with it. And except that I was out of the juniper berries I was sure I had, I followed the recipe as written, marinating for nearly eight hours and using white vermouth.

                                          My chop took closer to 50 minutes to reach temp, and was still acceptably pinkish inside. Although I agree the chop didn’t “need” the pan juices, there was a lot of flavor in there with the drippings, butter, and wine and I was glad I used them. Would have been even happier to use them if I’d served the chop with something sauce appropriate like noodles or mashed potatoes, but I was just using up some Brussels sprouts and chestnuts that had been leftover from Thanksgiving.

                                          I don’t think this will replace braising for me as my go-to pork chop cooking method, but it was a very tasty change of pace.

                                          1. re: qianning

                                            Sear Roasted Double Cut Pork Chop for Two, pg. 188

                                            I finally remembered to pull the chops from the freezer the night we wanted to eat them, so I could squeeze in the 6 hours needed for a brine. My chops were 1 1/2" thick and probably 1 1/2 cut pork chops.

                                            Like quianning above, cooking the chop upright was revelatory. Mr. SMT, it turns out, has been grilling our lamb chops on the grill like this for the past two years! He told me all the reasons for this while devouring his chop. I served it with some spaetzle and sautéed cabbage. Half my chop is left, so I will slice this for lunch tomorrow.

                                            I am not convinced by leaving the 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan before adding the butter and vermouth. I might try pouring at least some of it out in the future since I found the pan sauces to be a little too oily.

                                            Another winner from this book.

                                            1. re: qianning

                                              Sear Roasted Single Cut Rib Pork Chop for Two, pg. 188

                                              There are only so many center cut pork chops on a half-pig, so yesterday I tried this method with slightly thinner rib chops. Since the rib is a convex curve, I was unable to stand the chop up on the bone. Instead, I stood it up on the ample fat cap on the other side.

                                              This time, I did pour out most of the oil before adding the butter and vermouth. While the meat rested I made a pan sauce in the pan by sautéeing some shallots, adding some Fallot old fashioned grain mustard, and then off the heat, finishing with just a bit of butter.

                                              The chop(s) were perfectly cooked once again. The sauce was delicious. We only ate one chop so we get to enjoy the second one tonight.

                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                Made this again last night and took a page from SMT's great idea above--added Dijon to the pan sauce, no shallots, but one minced anchovy fillet, and also a bit of reserved brine, reduced, added a bit of butter 1+tsp, then used the sauce to wilt arugula, which worked really well.

                                              2. re: qianning

                                                if anyone happens to see this today....what temp is the oven supposed to be set at?