Monday, February 21, 2011

Vaca Pernil al Horno vs Pot Roast, An Elaborate Affair with Beef

Times generally being what they are I have been buying cheap meat and utilizing long, low cooking methods. One exception is Tyler Florence's Puerco Pernil al Horno. This method is pretty much moderate, dry heat and develops a crust and is slice-able.

On Saturday I picked up this 8 pound chuck roast

and said to myself (and 8 or so people via Twitter) why not try Vaca Pernil al Horno. Here is why; tough, off flavors in certain parts of the roast, scary, unpleasant, disturbing. This are the things I thought as I slice piece after piece form various parts of the roast and tasted them.

As luck would have it I was slow cooking some chicken thighs with aromatic vegetables in water for a soon to be blogged about chicken pot pie extravaganza. Chicken having been removed, I sawed up the beef (literally) and immersed it in the crock pot for 10 hours on low.

The result was much better than either of the preparations alone would be. I would not recommend this method, especially the part about tasting it after it comes out of the oven, unless you already have a bunch of stuff going on in the kitchen and the oven is already on.

Vaca Pernil al Horno vs Pot Roast

For the adobo rub;

2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon oregano
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 tablespoons vinegar

For the roast;

1 8 pound bone-in chuck roast
about 2 quarts broth
2 carrots, cut into big chunks
2 onions, peeled quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed
10 peppercorns
2 bay leaves

Stir adobo ingredients together in a bowl. Rub all over beef and let sit at room temperature for an hour on the rack of a roasting pan (or a makeshift rack of carrots). Roast at 350 degrees F until the center of the roast reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from oven.

Cut roast into chunks and put in slow cooker set to low. Add broth, carrots, onions, garlic, pepper and bay leaves. Cook until meat is falling off the bone and delicious. I literally went 10 hours. This thing cooked for 14 hours.

We live, we learn.


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