Lessons learned from Prom Dress shopping:

1)  Mid-April is a bad time to dress shop. 
2)  Saturdays are a bad day to dress shop.
3)  Apparently, store owners expect their customers to pay full price for damaged, off the rack gowns, when three weeks ago the customer could have had a fresh dress ordered for the same price. 
4)  Shop owners are not interested in repeat business - or customer service (ah, hello, those prom dress shoppers are probably going to be brides somewhere down the road). 
5)  I have identified at least one store that will never get another dime of my money. 

Now that I have gotten that "beef" out of my system, time to move on to the beef of the bovine variety...

1) We had been on a poultry tangent and we were all sick of chicken, turkey, whatever in its various shapes and forms
2) It was a "clean out the freezer" weekend - and a roast was thawing in the fridge
3) Momma was whooped and not in the mood for a high maintenance dinner

Soooo... in Dabbler style, to the Batmobile!!!! (ok, it was really "to the cookbooks", but "to the batmobile" sounds much more adventurous, don't you think).  A strong contender finally popped up in The Gourmet Cookbook.   Roast - check.  Minimal assembly - check.  Unattendend cooking time - check.  Ingredients on hand - check. 
Ok - now everyone prepare yourself for the complexity of it all.  Take below ingredients... (Plus a head of garlic not shown...)

Take out a pot (I love my enameled cast iron and rarely miss the arm and the leg that I had to give up to obtain it). 

Place all ingredients in the pot... (Do not even need to peel the garlic).   Now wait for it...  Wait for it...  Wait for it...

Bake in a 300F for 3-4 hours, until meat is tender.  Remove & serve.  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. 

Braised Beef in Tomatoes & Garlic
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook.

1 3 lb. Chuck Roast
1 28 oz cans whole, peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano - the real ones, not SM "style")
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 head garlic - separated, but skins left on
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300F with rack in center of oven.  Place all ingredients in an oven safe pot; braise for 3-4 hours, until meat is tender and shreds with a fork. 

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