Friday, November 03, 2006

A near-disaster averted

Tonight's Menu
  • ropa vecchia
  • a crusty loaf of multigrain bread
  • big-ass salad
Yes, I know it's been forever since I posted. We've been eating crap.

However, tonight's dinner was WAY yummy, the only minus being that it was supposed to be YESTERDAY'S dinner. But yesterday, everything went horribly wrong.

Here's what happened: my pal Joke posted a recipe for his grandmother's Italian version of ropa vieja (christened ropa vecchia because of the Italian thing). Bec tried it and posted some photos that had me wiping drool off my keyboard, so I decided I had to try it, too.

Here's what I did wrong-ish:
  1. I used brisket, which isn't wrong per se, but I did not factor in the additional cooking time this cut would require (versus the recommended chuck shoulder).
  2. I put it on the stove way too late in the day, see above.
  3. I put it on way too low of a heat setting. It's supposed to be poached, but I was just kind of ... soaking it. In tepid water. My gas burners range from 6,000 to 12,500 BTUs. I started it on the 6,000 on the lowest possible flame, then moved it to the 9,000 on the lowest possible flame, when what I should have done was stick the damn thing on the 12,500 burner at the lowest possible flame and left it there. I never got any bubbles at all, and barely even any movement in the water.
So, by dinnertime last night I had a hunk of shrunken, greyish, not at all tender meat and that was not good, not good at all. We had leftover spaghetti instead.

I stuck the meat in the crockpot overnight and it shredded up a treat this morning. The sauce, which I made this evening, was absolutely delicious and the dish was FINALLY declared a success. Next time I'm doing the meat in the crockpot right from the beginning, yo. Because I am not so much with the poaching, apparently.

I don't usually post pictures on this blog, but I went to so damn much trouble for this meal that you bet your ASS I took a picture.


Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

So glad you got there. We'll need a report back on the leftover potential. I kept going to the fridge for days afterwards and lifting out fingerfuls of stringy chewy yum. It tasted better cold, I think.

BabelBabe said...

I used flank and it worked beautifully. no one else in my family liked it, so hey, more for me! Yum!