Monday, January 19, 2009


Roasts are a simple way to do meat and heat up your kitchen at the same time. I love roasting meats in the winter! But too many times, roasts are dull. Sure they have the great Maillard browning on the surface, but there is too little complexity to the flavor. But how can you get great flavor with little work?

The solution is marinade. Marinades can be made from nearly any potable fluid in the kitchen: vinegar, milk, wine, soda, etc. Some work better than others; not all work well for a roast. I like to marinade my chicken in milk (or buttermilk) when making fried chicken, but don't think it will work too well on a roast. On the other hand, wine works amazingly for nearly all applications (I plan to try it with fried chicken soon).

Yesterday I had friends over for singing and gossiping. All of them had religious issues with alcohol, so I needed a non-wine marinade.

Roast Marinaded in Mustard Horseradish
Most of these measurements are approximates - I added ingredients until the marinade smelled/looked right
A three-pound roast -- I used a round sirloin roast
3/4 cup of worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons of minced garlic -- I used preminced garlic in a jar
2 -3 tablespoons of honey
2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of horseradish (not cream of horseradish)
1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger

Gently score the top and bottom of the roast. The scores only need to be 1/8" deep.

Blend all ingredients (except meat) with hand blender until the marinade is a consistent texture. Pour about half the marinade in a bowl that is a little wider and deeper than the roast.
Pour the remaining marinade over the meat. If the meat is not fully covered by the marinade, you will need to turn the roast over every 15 minutes to ensure even coating. Marinade between 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Put meat on roasting rack in the roaster.

Move the lowest rack to its lowest setting. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Roast meat until it reaches the desired level of done. I roasted until the meat reached 145°F (62°C); I used an oven thermometer with temperature alarm, so I didn't time it. Let meat rest before carving.

2009 01 18 roast

(It's about time I started including pics of what I make.)

I opted to serve the meat chilled as I had a casserole to make and didn't want to have meat cooking in the oven at the same time as the vegetarian casserole. The meat turned out very flavorful and very, very tender. The garlic, mustard, and horseradish gave the meat a little bite without overwhelming the intrinsic flavor of the meat. The marinade created a light crust that kept the juices in the meat; I had very few drippings into the pan.

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