Going to pot
Recently I was digging through the depths of
our deep freeze when I came across a forgotten
"arm roast." Having rarely if never cooked such
a cut, I consulted with Julia Child and assorted
experts for advice. The culmination of which
was the admonition "slow it down." Giving me
free reign to do what I do best which is braising.
Nothing draws out flavor like drawing out the
cooking process. Hence tonight after five hours
at three hundred we'll dine upon a tender yet
economical feast. Which is more than proof that
the best comes to those who wait. Or even better
yet - that in fact PATIENCE MAKES PERFECT.
You're getting warmer...
We're all so busy these days that often we don't
take the time to smell the roses. Or invest the
proper amount of time and planning necessary
to prepare delicious meals. It's tough enough to
remember to defrost something let alone plop it
in the crock pot at dawn. However inevitably if
one takes the time and invests just a tad of initial
effort - the rewards far outweigh any forethought
involved. I'm at the point in life where I'm willing
to defer gratification ONLY if it's worth the wait.
And at least in the case of many culinary pursuits -
instant gratification rarely matches the pleasure
of a a proper and lengthy investment of time.
Sometimes one should put off the inevitable.
Take homemade soup for example. One could
argue that it's far better the day after. Mostly
because a lengthy span of commingling brings
out the best in everything. In my opinion the
same applies to pasta sauce. And while I'm as
guilty as the next speed demon in doctoring up
the jarred variety - it's much better after twenty
four hour hours in the fridge. The same theory
applies to the French classic Coq au Vin. Only
a fool serves said delight on the same day as
preparation. That's because magic happens
when you push your pause button and WAIT!
Given I'm a control freak - I avoid compromise.
Especially when it comes to flavor. My natural
inclination is to go for the long haul. Whenever
I make a pot roast - I bathe it in a bottle or two of
red wine for days before finally slow cooking it.
The result is a decadently rich slab of protein that
has a depth of flavor only time can provide. The
tough job is planning ahead in order to yield the
best results. In the case of chicken, I find that it's
best to let your bird hang out before you pop it in
the oven. So early the morning of, I strip it down
and let it chill naked for a few hours in the fridge.
In the end I assure you... a dry bird roasts better!
Easy does it
Sadly, the majority of last minute efforts rarely
compare to long term investments. However
even when caught in a bind - having a loooong
term strategy can enhance any outcome. That's
why I've got a large supply of homemade beef
and chicken stock on hand in the freezer. While
said brew takes many hours to create, it's frozen
incarnation instantly adds depth to any meal.
And while such things may take a little extra
time to prepare - that doesn't mean they have
to take up too much of your precious time. So
why not think ahead and invest enough time
and effort to insure success in the long haul?!