By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Once it was traditional for even a middle class family to have a large roast on Sunday. This was the main meal of the week, and was eagerly anticipated. This tradition was very popular in England, Ireland, and the United States. The attraction of a large roast of tender, juicy, delicious meat is obvious. But what is not so obvious is that the leftover meat could provide several additional great meals.
One Roast, Four Meals
Using the leftovers from the Sunday roast for other meals became so much of a tradition in England that there was even some verse on the subject – “Roast on Sunday, Cold on Monday, Chopped on Tuesday, Pie (Shepherd’s) on Wednesday.” The tradition of having several meals from one roast has been reinstituted in my family, but we have found tastier choices than cold, chopped, or pie. It really is a money saver to have one roast provide four meals, and we do it whenever we have a large roast. The additional meals we cook surely do not taste like “leftovers”—they are just delicious.
The European Tradition—Twice Cooking Meat
Meat was far too expensive to waste in old Europe, so the Europeans developed a number of ways of reheating cooked meat into a delicious new meal. In fact, many old cookbooks suggest that a pot roast is at its best reheated, not fresh. These books actually advocate cooking a pot roast on one day, letting it sit overnight, then slicing it and reheating the slices in the gravy. Cooked meat can develop even more depth of flavor and become more tender when it rests in the refrigerator. One of the most famous examples of this tradition is Bigos, which is considered by many to be the Polish national dish. Bigos is a combination of pork, sausage, mushrooms, sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, and many other ingredients. It was reheated each day, and was said to reach its peak flavor on the seventh day. The point is that leftovers can be turned into delicious meals.
What Roast to Use?
The favorite cut for the Sunday roast was, without question, prime rib of beef. This is a truly magnificent roast. Crowned with a superb cap of flavorful fat, resting on a natural rack of beef ribs, tender and juicy, possessing a unique flavor of its own, this is truly a special roast. Alas, nowadays, it is truly an expensive roast, one for special occasions. The Sunday roast we usually have is a nice piece of center cut shoulder (also known as cross rib, or shoulder clod). This cut is far less expensive. In fact, center cut shoulder is usually relegated to the crock pot by most grassfed websites and producers.
I have learned how to make tender, terrific roasts out of this very economical cut. My cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat, has no less than eleven delicious recipes for roasting center cut shoulder in the oven. Grassfed center cut shoulder usually has most or all of the fat trimmed off, but I have found ways to compensate for this, which are covered in the recipes. Properly roasted, this cut makes a wonderful roast, often so tender that you can literally cut it with a fork.
“Tastes Too Good to Be Leftovers” Meals
After we have eaten our fill of the Sunday roast, there is a lot of leftover meat because grassfed meat is so satisfying. I will divide the leftover meat into two unequal portions. The largest portion, in one piece, is destined to become pot roast. The smaller portion, the rarest quarter of the leftover meat, will be turned into a stir-fry or hash. Tender Grassfed Meat has five recipes for pot roast, and I have made all of them successfully with leftover roast. That is one additional meal. We always have leftover pot roast, and that is refrigerated overnight, sliced, and reheated slowly in the flavorful leftover gravy, in the old tradition. That is another additional meal. Finally, we will usually stir-fry the reserved meat with various vegetables, using one of the three stir-fry recipes in Tender Grassfed Meat, which gives us our third additional meal.
Following the old tradition of getting several meals from the Sunday roast has really helped us get more delicious meals from one piece of meat.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
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