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Food Porn and Pot Roast

I’m off today, as we had Monday and Tuesday off rather than the normal Friday and Monday. I’ve been doing a lot of housecleaning (ick) and also reading and cooking. Later I’ll take Kip on a (hopefully) leisurely walk through some of the close pastures.

I’m making a pot roast. I’ve never actually made one, strange as that sounds. I had to look up cooking times and temperatures online…you would think that anyone would know how to cook the homely American pot roast. But no.

So, I’ve seared the beef in olive oil, garlic and herbs, and thrown it into a casserole dish with red wine, onions and beef stock. I found some very strange variations on the dish involving mushroom soup and Coke (!!!), which I ignored. I’d been thinking about comfort food, I suppose, and falling-apart tender roast definitely qualifies.

I can cook, sort of. I like what I call creative cooking, so my end results tend to vary between excellent (if occasionally strange) and terrible. Phil normally does most of the cooking because he just doesn’t like my cooking – I love spicy food, which he hates. So he tends to cook and I wash up. But I do miss trying fun and exotic dishes. It’s difficult to get ingredients here, for one thing, and it’s silly to cook something elaborate for one.

Besides, I do like great food cooked by other people. Once, when I was young and very well off, I ate out every single meal for over a year. I couldn’t do that now, couldn’t afford it, but it was nice, I admit. As stated, is an excellent cook, and is a gorgeous, almost sensual cook. I’ve always been a fan of magical realism novels featuring cooking, such as Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate. There is something akin to ritual or magic in very good cooking, done by a cook who really loves her work. Owlslight is a cook like that.

Although is one of my favourite authors, and Drawing Blood is one of my old favourite books, I think I like her blog as much for the food porn as much as anything else. I look forward to reading her new book Liquor, which is set in the world of New Orleans restaurants. (Her partner is a chef.) Although I’m not a fan of prissy meals that are more interior decorating than food, little bits of things against swirled patterns of sauces, I do love reading accounts of meals by someone who really, really loves food. It’s an art form; I may not be an artist myself, but I can appreciate talent in others. :)

Anyway, back to cooking. Here, by the way, are some pics of the caverns that we went to yesterday. Blue John is a semi-precious stone that is only found at one location in Derbyshire. It was a good afternoon.

19 Comments

  • esbat

    Coke (!!!), which I ignored

    cooked a pot roast once using cola. I was very dubious about how it would taste but I remember it being rather nice. Almost like using a honey glaze but with a caramel-like side to it.

  • uathsaille

    I have cooked with coke before, and it can caramelize very nicely. I think it was the combination of mushroom soup and coke that amazed me! It could be nice…but I would guess NOT. :)

  • bellanna

    Now I am really hungry, I had not thought about eating until I read your post. Its green chicken with rice noodles for us tonight. I think I might even go and do some baking now. I need to do something to drag me away from the computer.

  • wandringsoul

    Yeah, yeah – no spicy food for me…but I swear the American palette is desensitized by all the pepper and spices in your food!

    Sorry mine’s less spiced…but the orange chicken was good last night…

    : )

  • purrthecat

    Bah! You finicky Brit! :P

    I’ll have some spicy food with ya , and even bring some bland food (possibly in a baby food jar) for .

  • purrthecat

    I know what you mean about the ‘survival/everyday’ cooking and the ‘creative/enjoyment’ cooking. I’ve kindof melded the two with doing Atkins. I enjoy cooking especially for an appreciative audience, which always is more than happy to be. :)

    I like spicy food too (food that HAS a taste – in case your beloved reads this ;) heehee). I find there’s a load of spices to be had now, especially the indian ones. :) I had stuck to pretty much the ‘bog standard’ sets before moving here. Now, I like to experiment more. (Helps with lots of books to follow as well.)

    I think I prefer to eat good food rather than read about it. There is something fabulous about being ‘served’ though. No prepping, cooking, or washing up and you can concentrate on the food and company. :)

    Wow! Eating out every night for a year!! Just wow! Although, I think on a few occassions I’d just wanna stay in with soup and telly.

  • jfs

    Ignorant Brit here – what’s a Pot Roast?* And how is it different to a normal roast, where the meat gets shoved in the oven to cook?

    *I _could_ actually go and look it up in the very American “Joy of Cooking” that I own, or indeed, on teh Intarweb, but I am being lazy :-)

  • owlslight

    Um… never made a pot roast either. So much for my cooking expertise ;). Though I really do love being described as a sensual cook *blush*. And as I’ve said for the five thousandth time – you are an excellent cook.

    I do think that in order to cook well, you really have to have a sensual relationship with food. And by god, do I have that :P. Good food is seductive, but to be that it has to be treated that way. When you cook just beause it’s something that needs doing, the passion is missing, and you can certainly taste the difference. When I come home late from work, tired and burnt out, I won’t even bother. I’ll eat toast. Or slice some cheese. I hate cooking merely to avoid starvation and I avoid it like the plague.

    Lovely cavern pics, btw.

  • la_lune

    I made my first pot roast last year! I asked my mom for advice and her secret ingredient is apple juice. It might sound wierd but I never make pot roast without it. :) Good luck!
    Cool pictures by the way. I’d love to visit there someday. Is that in Wales? And aren’t those lambs adorable! We saw hundreds of them on our trip to Llangollen last week.

  • vampwillow

    “Pot” Roast does seem to be a particularly american thing (sfaict anyway) although I have done roasts in a ‘Dutch Oven’ which probably comes to the same thing.

    BTW – what has happened to as his account seems to have been deleted ?? Hope all is ok …

  • uathsaille

    lol….I only realised that years later, when I thought back and remembered that I didn’t have a microwave and the stove/cooker had never been hooked up because I didn’t know how to do it. Sad, I suppose – but not a bad experience.

    It’s Mexican food that I’ve had a problem finding ingredients for. Indian is obviously very popular here, but Mexican chilis and spices are in short supply.

  • uathsaille

    I’m not sure – inexpensive cut of beef, thinner cut than a normal roast, and you cook it in liquid which turns into a gravy. You cook it for hours and hours, until it’s falling-apart tender. It’s “Mom” food. :)

  • uathsaille

    Actually, apple juice sounds really good – I cook a lot of things (chicken, expecially) in orange juice. I want to take a short vacation in Wales…there are a lot of places that I want to see. This was Derbyshire. :)

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