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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Braised Outside Round Roast

Early this week I posted about cherry picking the sales and there have been some great local sales recently. The sales included fresh pork shoulder picnic roasts and outside round (bottom round) roasts for $1 per pound. In addition to the meat values various sizes of beets, carrots and onions were on sale for $1. I decided to take advantage of the sales picking up one of each roast for the freezer and one each for immediate use. This is a nice way to do a bit of stocking up without spending a lot of money at one time. The great sales continue this week with fresh pork shoulder picnic roasts, pork loin and sirloin halves on for $1 a pound so you know what I'm stocking up on this week.

preparing the outside round roastPreparing & Cooking

The weather turned cooler yesterday so a comforting winter meal was in order. I decided to cook one of the outside round roasts. Outside round roast is a Canadian term for the cut called bottom round outside of Canada. The outside round roast is the outer part of the round where muscles are well exercised. It consists of tough muscles and some connective tissue making it the least flavourful of all the beef cuts.

Braising is a great way to tenderize this cut of meat. Braising is simply a moist type of cooking is which the meat being tenderized is covered with liquid. The cooking time is usually long and slow. I decided to use braising combined with a pressure cooker which also helps to tenderize tougher cuts of meat without the longer cook times of braising. I heated a little olive oil on medium high then seared all sides of the meat (1). Searing locks in the juices while adding colour and flavour. I used a stainless steel fry pan with copper encapsulated bottom for the searing as that gives better results than non-stick pans. Once the meat was seared I deglazed the pan with a little beef stock to pour over the roast waiting on a layer of carrots and onions in the pressure cooker. Deglazing gets all those tasty bits and pieces that really boost the flavour. Carrots and onions add both moisture and flavour. I would have added celery but found myself in the rare position of being out of celery. I seasoned the roast with Montreal Steak Seasoning and Worcestershire sauce poured in 500 ml of beef stock then I put the lid on the pressure cooker, locked it and brought it to pressure (2) then cooked for 20 minutes. The roast looked gorgeous (3) with a nice amount of juices to lightly thicken for gravy. The roast was cooked to medium rare (4) with the smaller end medium.

outside round roast dinnerDinner

I really wanted a nice, tender, juicy yet flavourful roast using a cut of meat that is not really known for that. At each step of the way adding both flavour and moisture became the primary goal. The results were well worth it! In hindsight a bayleaf and the celery would have added a bit more flavour. I also think a parsnip would have added a nice flavour so will keep that in mind for the next time. I served the roast with Himalayan Basmati rice, tender beets with butter then garnished the plates with carrots removed from the roast juices. I removed the carrots from the roast juices but did not strain the juices for the thinly thickened gravy. It was a frugal, comfort meal perfect for a cool autumn dinner.

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