Monday, October 23, 2006

Culinary Masterpiece...Eventually

This weekend I attempted to make a roast for the first time, specifically a ribeye roast. It was basically the last non-round roast left at Meijer, and it was two pounds. So I did my little calculations for time to roast and how to get the Yorkshire pudding together (oh yes, it was all out cookery), made a cake, and planned the exact moment to get the roast in the oven. I was about five minutes past that, but still figured I'd be in good form.
By the time my guest had arrived and I was ready to get the thing cut up (having measured the temp with an instant read thermometer and planning for five extra degrees of post-oven, foil-covered cooking), it was still pink in the middle. Doh! Back in the oven for another ten minutes cut up in slices. I was a little bit appalled. Here I'd planned to have everything all set up and ready to eat at 6:10, and it took at least another twenty minutes on top of that. I was sad. I was frazzled. It was noticeable.
Just once I'd like to get a perfect meal ready on time. Is that too much to ask? Just once I'd like to be an attentive and smooth hostess ready to just hold a conversation and see to my guest's needs.
The roast tasted fine, so that was good. And the pudding, while a bit dark on the bottom and crispier around the edges than I'd like, also tasted fine, particularly with gravy on top. The roast, as small as it was, didn't have a lot of drippings, but I managed with what I got and a boullion cube. Truth be told, the gravy was made in haste and wasn't my best work, but it was all right.
The fresh green beans turned out perfectly, despite their rather hasty and distracted preparation and cooking.
And the cake? Oh, we ate far too much of the rest to eat cake. I had a piece later. It was good.
So, what I've learned is that the roast should be started at least twenty minutes in advance of the time I think it should, and then I can keep it warm until it's actually required. Possibly this plan will lead to tough meat, but as long as I check it frequently it should be fine.
I'm thanking goodness I decided not to roast a small chicken, was was my original plan.

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