With Great Rage: How to sorta cook a pot roast
WHY IS EVERYONE BEING SO AWFUL AND ANNOYING AND THERE TODAY???? I want to throw plates, and shove a few people, and I dunno… eat a pot roast. Why don’t I have pot roast more often? We are going to eat pot roast so I don’t punch some of you for having fool ass opinions and doing dumb things that I have to look at. Also I have the ingredients to make pot roast and maybe you do too. Let’s make pot roast.
The first step is to inhale a bag of maple bacon crisps because the bag is open and you should get rid of them before someone else eats them. Someone who doesn’t deserve them. Also after looking in the fridge, I realize we don’t have everything for the pot roast -namely the thing we are going to roast. So first let’s go to the grocery store and side eye everyone in the aisles. Do those two guys have to have their super important conversation right by the meat case about what Kev did at the pub the other night? Do they realize how much space they are taking? You take up too much space. Make yourselves smaller. Much smaller. Lower. Yes, like that. Now talk in a quiet voice. Shhhh much more quiet. Now leave. Never come back. Let’s look at the cuts of meat. There is the fancy meat that is so tender that it drinks earl grey tea and is still not over the death of a parakeet five years ago. Ignore that meat. That meat is for another day. You need a chuck roast, a brisket. Something that has been around awhile, hasn’t experienced a massage and knows what it is about. “Please cook me down in liquid at a low heat for many hours and I will make you feel okay about stuff.” Put that in your basket. Along with some onions because you know you probably don’t have any onions at home, because you used them up and forgot about that. Onions are ignored like the fifth child in a family of eight. “Where’s Steve? He was around a bit ago.” “He moved out of the house three years ago MOM.” You may also buy yourself some peanut butter cups and eat those in the car while sitting in the parking lot. Maybe listen to a program on the radio about the 1930s Federal Theatre project and think to yourself, “Where is everyone’s interest in the arts???” You angrily eat that second peanut butter cup and go home. You find one of the cats has thrown up on the floor because they ate their food too quickly. You swear for a couple of seconds, take a deep breath, clean it up and remind the cat, “You have lived with us for THREE YEARS. We will always feed you. You act like you lived in a refugee camp for several years fighting everyone for a cup of rice. COOL IT!!!”
Now let’s get to work. (also wash your hands after dealing with the cat.)
This pot roast is going to be done in the oven. My life is a bit of chaos and I still don’t own a crockpot. Yet I own escargot plates. Nothing about life makes sense does it?
Pat your hunk of meat dry with some paper towels. Then coat with flour and a bit of salt and pepper. Nothing else. Nooo you don’t need some mushroom paste, or whatever it is that sounds chic like a coconut-based moisturizer that will provide the meat with small pores and extra flavor.
Heat up your pot over high heat, add some fat, (it should sizzle) and then sear that meat on all sides so it is brown, forms a nice crust and smoke starts filling the room and you remember to turn on the fan and open the windows and damn maybe the heat is a bit too high so turn it down a bit. Remove the meat from the heat, plop it on a plate and then add some chopped up onions and cook them a bit. Add some smashed garlic. How many cloves? More than a WASP would put in. So at least two. More like four because you are there and you might as well add more garlic. Toss in some thyme, and a bit of marjoram because it is fun to say marjoram. And if someone asks, “is this oregano” you can say, “NOPE!” and then stuff another potato in your mouth before you get even more annoyed with them. (Listen Cindy, there isn’t some kind of prize for knowing the herbs in a dish. JUST EAT THE MEAL AND LEAVE ME IN PEACE.) Don’t forget to add some tomato paste. Toss things around like you know what you are doing -even though you really don’t. “I am making up everything as I go along. Christ… John Goodman’s character in ‘Matinee’ was totally right. I could be a circus star or an assassin and no one would really know.” You are distracted and things are smelling smoky again. DAMMIT. So you add some beef stock (use a cube and hot water for all I care. It works. Most people do and life goes on. IT GOES ON!) and some red wine. Why not use that goth-looking wine from Hungary you bought because the label looked cool. It just needs to be okay and not taste like really awful vinegar. I suppose this goth wine tastes sorta chocolatey. I have no idea about wine. WHO CARES! Pour it all in, deglaze the pan. (scrape up the bits because you left it too long while you considered who annoys you today.) Then add the meat to everything. It isn’t going to climb in there like Bugs Bunny taking a bath. You have to make the effort here. Let it simmer and then cover with a lid and pop it into the oven at 325/160 for a couple of hours. In the mean while you need to remind yourself to avoid certain elements of social media so you don’t accidentally get all real on people and maybe burn a couple of bridges or five because everyone is just so short-sighted and OMG… they just HAD to post that didn’t they??? WHY did we look? we should unfollow everyone so we will still like them. Or at least do a better job of pretending. Spend the next couple of hours doing some angry vacuuming, maybe a bit of spiteful scrubbing of the bathtub, (working on several imaginary arguments while you make things gleam) and maybe watching a netflix documentary about cats or wine country. Something that keeps you from seething about something. Maybe Hitler documentaries calm you down. Whatever works.
It is time to return to that pot roast. The meat should be fairly tender but not tender enough that it feels vulnerable and safe to give up its secrets about its life, and what truly makes them cry. The meat should merely admit, “It hasn’t been easy but this bath of wine and stock sure feels good.” Toss in some root vegetables. You know what you like and what you have in the kitchen. Just make sure things are cut fairly thick. You want the vegetables soft in the end but not like baby food. And no celery. Do you WANT TO RUIN DINNER???? I mean sure fine go ahead it is your dinner but don’t hate yourself and everyone around you! Give it another hour and a half. Keep that heat low, maybe drop it a bit further.
Once it appears done -the meat should practically fall apart and admit that it doesn’t really think it knows what love is and always walks away before things get too real and it just wants someone to feel that they are the best. It is tired of being all strong and acting like Kelly and choosing themselves. It wants someone to choose them. Yeah, you are having that kind of a meal. Move the vegetables and meat to a large dish and take the liquid and maybe thicken it a bit. I am a fan of mixing butter and flour together and then slowly dropping it into the liquid while whisking over medium heat. Give everything a bit of a taste. Maybe the gravy needs a touch of salt and pepper -likely not but you know what you like. Add everything back together and serve it up.
By this point in the day you are exhausted and kind of hungry. You had too many cups of tea or coffee and probably not enough protein, or a nap. You really should work on that a bit. Yes the world can be sort of horrible some days, and yeah people can act a little foolish but we are all just trying. Well okay… some are trying. Some are just lazy idiots or truly selfish creeps. But plenty of people are kind, compassionate, and want to do right. Remember that. Also eat the pot roast and feel a little better. Save room for dessert. (because you forgot you had bought a chocolate bar a while ago and hey surprise chocolate.)