Thursday, November 4, 2010

Garlic and Herb Sirloin Roast with Guinness Gravy

One thing about our house is that we are very carnivorous. Ben's not a fan of cooked vegetables, and sometimes I think raw veggies are pretty boring, so we end up making hamburgers more often than we should, and salad doesn't happen enough.

I was running out of dinner ideas when I noticed my local grocery store ad. Tri tip roasts were on sale, and all I could think of was a delicious slow cooked roast my mom had made, with carrots and potatoes...

I picked up a 2.5 lb roast, a roast pan, meat thermometer, and pulled out my copy of The Joy of Cooking. While this isn't the same roast that my memory salivated for, it is definitely a delicious meal.

Garlic-and-herb Studded Sirloin Roast
adapted from The Joy of Cooking

1 boneless tri tip roast (between 1 and 3lbs)
2 large garlic cloves, thinly slivered
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Toss slivered garlic with thyme, salt, pepper.
2. Make slits in the roast and insert seasoned garlic slivers.
3. Rub the reamaining seasonings over the meat, then marinate the meat, covered, between 30 min and 2 hrs at room temperature or up to 24 hrs in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven at 425 degrees (F)
4. Roast beef in oven until internal temperature is 120-125 degree (F) for medium-rare.
(between 10 and 20 minutes per pound)
5. Remove meat to a platter, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let stand for 15-20 minutes before carving.
6. Carve roast into 1/8-in to 1/2-in slices.

Guinness Pan Gravy
adapted from The Joy of Cooking's "Pan Gravy for Meat"

2 tablespoons reserved fat from roasting pan
1-2 tablespoon AP flour
1 cup Guinness
Dried thyme, rosemary
Ground pepper
1 tablespoon butter

1. After pouring and reserving far from the roasting pan, place roasting pan on a burner over medium heat.
2. Pour in reserved fat and stir in all-purpose flour.
3. Cook, whisking or stirring constantly and scraping up browned bits from bottom and sides of pan, for several minutes to remove raw taste of flour and smooth the mixture.
4. Add Guinness, herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Cook, whisking of stirring, until slightly thickened.
6. Swirl in butter and continue cooking to desired consistency.

We enjoyed our gravy-topped roast with a side salad and a piece of corn bread.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I love foods that are bad for me. I'm crazy for sweets (ice-cream, candy), and cheesy, carb-y foods (burgers, chinese); therefore, it was pretty bad when I found out how EASY it was to make my own pizza. If I make it myself then it has to be better for me than the other stuff, right?

So I was living the dream when I put together two of these pizzas. Dough and sauce both made from scratch. I don't have a recipe for the sauce yet, (they were meatballs gone awry, but since they didn't hold their shape, it was basically a meaty marinara sauce).

I thought I'd share my pizza dough recipe.

Olive Oil Dough
From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Great book that I bought from Amazon, which I highly recommend.
*Makes four 1-pound loaves. (For myself, 2 large pizzas) Recipe easily doubled or halved.

2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoo
ns granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (and for you more disciplined eaters, this could easily be substituted for all-purpose whole-wheat flours)

1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a 5-qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough hook), or using a heavy-duty stand mixer (again, with dough hook). If you're not using a machine, (like myself), I combined the flour by stirring with a spoon. You may also need to use very wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.

3. Cover (without an airtight seal), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

4. After this initial rise, the dough can be used right away. Some prefer to handle the dough when after refrigeration. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days.

Three Meat Pizza
My own creation, using baking directions from Artisan Bread in 5 as a guide.

About 2-lb of refrigerated pre-mixed dough
3/4 cup Marinara Sauce with ground beef
12 oz. Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (I used a pack from Trader Joe's that comes with 5)
1 small package of Pepperoni
1/4 lb sliced Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, (Parmesan, or any other italian cheese blend works well, too)

1. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat oven with a baking stone at 550 degrees (F). Or Your oven's maximum temp if it doesn't reach 550.

2. Prepare and measure all the toppings in advanced, (slicing sausage, cheese, grating parmesan, and if you're bold cooking vegetables).

3. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-lb piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

4. Flatten the dough with your hands and a rolling pin on a wooden board to produce a 1/4-in thick round, dust with flour to keep dough from sticking to the rolling pin or the board. Don't overuse flour, consider a dough scraper to "unstick" dough from the board. You may also need to let the partially-rolled dough sit for a few minutes to "relax" to allow further rolling. At this point, stretching by hand may help, followed by additional rolling. Place the rolled-out dough onto a liberally cornmeal covered-pizza peel.

5. Distribute the sauce over the surface of the dough. Do not cover the dough thickly; leave some of the dough surface exposed.

6. Scatter Mozzarella over the surface of the dough, then the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, sausage, and pepperoni. No further resting required before baking.

7. Slide the pizza directly onto the stone. Check for doneness in 8-10 minutes; at this time turn the pizza around in the oven if one side is browning faster than the other. It may need up to 5 more minutes in the oven.