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Monday, May 9, 2011

Balance in Life...and a recipe

I made a recipe the other day that just seemed to be missing something.  It was very good, but I felt the balance of flavors just wasn’t there.  It’s a recipe called Grand Pot Roast.  The beef roast is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, brown sugar, tomato juice, and garlic, then baked in this marinade.
I realized the sweet needed a little sour to tone it down.  Apple cider vinegar was just the ticket. I removed the meat from the sauce, then skimmed off the fat. I heated the mixture in a saucepan. Then I added a few tablespoons of vinegar, to taste, to the sauce.  Now it needed to be a little thicker.  A mixture of flour and water took care of that problem and tightened up that sauce just right.
The end result was tender roast beef in an Asian flavored BBQ sauce.  So yummy!!  The balance of flavors took some work, but I was pleased with the result.
I strive for balance in my own life.  Too much work, and I am so tired that I tend to lose hope and see things from a sour perspective.  My leisure time is sweet, but too much leads me to boredom and procrastination of things that I should be doing.  Life just seems a little flat.  Missing my devotional and prayer time-well that’s just asking for trouble!!
I strive for that perfect balance of quiet time, work, and enjoyable activities.  I bet you do, too.

1 3-lb. chuck roast, boneless 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

3 T. vegetable oil 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

3 large cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. butter

1/2 c. tomato juice 1/2 tsp. all purpose flour

1/2 c. dark brown sugar 2 T. sour cream

1/2 c. soy sauce chopped fresh parsley

Apple cider vinegar, 2-3 T.

Place roast in a large glass dish. Combine 2 T. of the oil with the garlic, tomato juice,

sugar, soy sauce, pepper and crushed red pepper in a bowl. Pour over the meat.

Refrigerate covered, turning once, overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour

before cooking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the meat from the marinade. Pat dry.

Heat 1 T. of oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Brown the meat on all sides.

Transfer the meat to a plate. Add the marinade to the pot, scraping the bottom and

sides of the pot. Return the meat. Heat to boiling and bake covered in the oven,

turning once, about 2 hours. Add a little water when you turn the meat if needed.

Transfer the meat to a heatproof platter. Cover and keep warm in a low oven.

Degrease the pan juices. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over med-low heat. Add

the flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. whisk in the degreased pan juices. Add the apple cider vinegar.

Heat  to boiling; reduce the heat. simmer 2 minutes. Whisk the sour cream into 2 T. sauce in

a small bowl, then return mixture back to the sauce. Cook over low heat 2 minutes.

Taste and add a little water if too concentrated. Do not allow to boil. Carve meat into

slices. Arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle with parsley. Pass the sauce on the side.

Note: Molasses stays shelf stable for a long time. If you are out of brown sugar, add 1

T. molasses to 1 c. sugar to make brown sugar. If dark brown is needed, just add 1 T.

more molasses. Thinned tomato sauce may be substituted for the tomato juice. This

recipe can be made ahead and reminds me of an Asian BBQ.

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