I date a boy named Jesse, who thoroughly enjoys meat. He thinks chicken is terribly boring and really likes beef and pork, but mostly beef. It's a mixed relationship, but we've made it work just fine. Something changed when we moved though, that had Jesse eating as much poultry (and almost as little beef) as I had. I think it's partly because I buy the majority of the groceries and do not know the first thing about cuts of meat or how to buy them. It's also because we've been splitting entrees lately, so we can at least maintain weight without gaining. Also, Jesse's been getting his burger fix at lunch every now and then. Thank you McDonald's. So for Christmas Eve dinner this year, I decided to make him something beefy. All I needed to do was find a recipe, figure out how to buy beef, and learn how to cook it. I gave myself 24 hours to do just that.
Kate helped me find an Oven Baked Rump Roast recipe. If you look at it, you'll see it seems simple enough. If you look again, there are some issues. First of all, how is the bell pepper used? Second, there are no measurements. I like a recipe I can follow to the letter. I am really good at following directions, as long as they are specific. A "pinch" could mean a lot, depending on how deep my fingers go and how tightly they are pressed together. And how can I "season to taste" if I've never made the recipe or eaten the foods involved? Obviously you don't have to be thorough or practical to cook. But I didn't think of any of those things until I committed to the recipe and went to the store.
Selecting A Roast
When it comes to beef, I know it's red. But Jesse once told me it's also dyed to be that way, and that there are signs of aging if you look for them. Unfortunately, when I went to buy the rump, I could not remember what those signs were. Usually we split up in the meat section. I see what Jennie-O has to offer and he watches meat prices. We meet again near chicken, and go from there. So I was in a foreign land Tuesday afternoon. I watched other people buy beef. I listened to conversations with the butchers. And I had no idea what was happening around me. I then saw a guy pushing a cart with freshly packaged red meats. I noticed the cart pusher had the bloodiest clothed out of any of the other butchers and I stopped him. I said "you look like a guy who knows." And he did.
I decided I did not want Jesse to know what I was planning. I didn't want him watching, or worrying, or expecting anything delicious. Plus everything seems more fun when plotting a secret surprise. And I still had to make something for me to eat, so it was an easy enough omission. I decided to make Pan Fried Chicken Breasts with Oregano Garlic Butter. If you look at that recipe, you'll see the kind of specificity a girl like me needs.