Sunday, February 19, 2012

Beef, Pork, Beef?

When looking through my freezer a week or two ago, I came upon a gallon Ziploc bag with a roast in it.  It was once labeled with masking tape, but the tape had fallen off (masking tape isn’t good on plastic bags in the freezer).  The roast looked like it was getting a little icy inside the bag, as if it wasn’t sealed well or the air wasn’t removed before freezing, so I wanted to use it up in the next few weeks.  I have a vague memory of when we froze a couple of batches of meat, and we had clearly rubbed it with some sort of meat rub before we froze it.

The one little problem was that I had no idea whether it was a pork roast or a beef roast- as we’d frozen batches of both at different times.  Initially I thought it was beef, recalling the memory of packaging/rubbing it with seasoning (more accurately, making Lo do that).  I also had some packages of gravy that I wanted to use (a GF one and non-GF one), so I thought I’d make a roast this week.  I had him throw it in the crockpot when he got home from work to get it started.   When I got home and looked in the crock, I had doubts that it was beef, but it was really hard to tell because it was still mostly frozen and was covered in a rub.  Lo thought it looked more like pork too. I was a little disappointed, because I was hoping for beef.  Since we’ve recently had (and still have frozen) pulled pork, I decided we’d still make a roast of it.  I asked Lo if he thought it was weird if we used beef gravy on pork roast (if that’s what it turned out to be) and he said no – which is good, because I really wanted to use up the gravy!  I cut up some potatoes, carrots, and celery and threw them in the crock.  I also drizzled some hot sauce and Spicy A1 on top (because I’m trying to use up some condiments).  I sliced a container of white mushrooms to caramelize in the skillet before adding to the crock by adding some concentrated beef stock crystals to the water in the skillet so they’d get a really beefy flavor.  Once all of the liquid from the pan had been cooked off, I deglazed the pan with a little more water and poured the mushrooms and juice into the crockpot. 

Lo went to crossfit, so I left a note telling him to check the temp on the pork when he got home and if it was done, he could eat it with some of the gluten-containing gravy.  I had a 9:10 volleyball game, so I wouldn’t be home until after 10.  When I got home I asked him if it was pork and whether he liked it.  He said it was, and he did, but it wasn’t as tender as he expected.  At first I thought it was just because I cooked it on high instead of low – but once I thought about it, I realized that the only pork we had in the freezer was tenderloin, so it should have cooked tender no matter what.  As we were transferring the rest of the roast and veggies into a glass container, I decided it looked more like beef and asked him if he was sure that it was pork.  He didn’t really know because he ate it with beef gravy, but now that he was looking at it, it looked like beef.  Finally I just tasted some and it was, in fact, beef.  I had it for lunch the next day and it was quite good!  It had a spicy taste to it, which could be from the condiments I added to the crock – or from the initial rub.  Since I don’t know what it was rubbed with, I guess we’ll never know. 

Moral of the story – mark your meat.  More specifically, write in marker on the bag instead of tape - unless you have freezer tape. 

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