So we bought this great big chuck roast from Livengood Produce's farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market. Livengood is one of the sustainably farmed, nature-based "grass farms" Michael Pollan discusses in his wonderful book The Omnivore's Dilemma. Their cows are raised eating actual grass and clover in a real pasture. They are treated humanely and killed humanely (to the extent that such a thing is possible), and the family who runs the farmstand sells only what is in season on their farm right now. They usually have a small cooler with whatever meat they have right now, and it is uniformly excellent. You know how sometimes, with commercial meats, the fat on the side tastes kind of gristly and awful? The fat on this meat tastes like... beef. And grass. And the meat is incredibly flavorful-- after you have a few of these, it's hard to go back to the nasty factory stuff. If you're in Philly, you need to check them out. The cute guy at the farmstand says they're having a customer appreciation day the last weekend in July-- who knows, if all works out, maybe we'll get CarShare for the day and head out there to check it out!
And now, the food. I had a really long day on Monday, so my wonderful husband did the cooking. He actually used to do almost all of the cooking before I started getting serious about learning, and he said he particularly enjoyed doing this roast.
Since we've stocked our spice cabinet with all manner of delicious seeds and powders, Joe decided to do a rub with some Indian spices, get the outside nice and seared, and keep it rare inside. It was delicious; we served it with fried potatoes, but I think it'll make excellent sandwiches. Here's his recipe:
2 Cloves of Garlic
Black Caraway Seeds (1Tbsp)
Cumin Seeds (3Tbsp)
Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
Fennel Seeds (2 Tbsp)
I didn't measure the seeds. I just put what I though would be enough to cover the roast. I put approximates in parentheses.
Put in cuisinart for five minutes or until well ground.
Generously salt the roast. Wait 5 minutes. Pour rub out on foil or in a bowl and cover roast with an even layer of the rub. Cover as much surface area as possible.
(Credit to Alton) Put roast in a 250 degree oven until the internal temp reaches 125-128 degrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Crank up the oven to 500 degrees. After the oven comes to temperature, put the roast back in and bring the internal temperature to 135-140 degrees. Remove from oven. Let rest for at least 20 minutes. Roast should have a nice crust and be medium rare inside. The time period will vary depending on the size of the roast. Ours took a total of and hour and twenty minutes.