My friend Tina (John's girlfriend) was very hospitable when I was home in Western Mass. during Christmas. She let me eat her food, drink her alcohol, and even sleep on the couch one night that John and I were too drunk to drive home. In exchange for all this niceness, I felt that cooking her a meal was in order. When I started asking her what she wanted, I found out that her Dad is a farmer and has a bunch of cows and chickens out in Maynard, MA. (Is this the right town? I forget.) She told me he had fresh meat and she could pick some up that morning! This was VERY exciting to me! I got a pot roast from him and with John's help, planned a menu for the night. Unfortunately, when we were almost done cooking, Tina got a call from work. She had to run out and investigate a crime scene! (Just like on TV!) John and I finished the meal and ate it with Steph and Tina's roommate, Crissy. Tina got some leftovers, but I still feel bad that she had to leave. Anyway, the meat was delicious and everything was fun to make. Thanks again, Tina!
Seared pot roast.
After this, I added garlic, then wine.
You guys like my new pot? I LOVE it. Anyways, cover this and throw it in the oven for 2 or 3 hours.
We also made a plain box of mac and cheese. Why? You will see soon enough.
After 3 hours the thing was falling apart.
It was slightly dry because apparently it was a younger cow that hadn't developed a lot of fat. We just put a bunch of the cooking liquid over the meat and it absorbed right back in.
See? Juicy again.
I forgot the pasta roller at my parents' house, so I had to roll it by hand! I don't suggest this to anyone, it was a pain!
Here I am teaching John and Steph how to make ravioli so they could get started while I kept rolling out more sheets.
The beef, mozz, parm, and roasted red peppers.
I whipped up a quick marinara, somewhat similar to this one. This is for dipping our appetizers, and the base of the vodka sauce.
Breading station. Flour, egg, breadcrumbs.
When the mac and cheese gets cold and sticky, take a little flour in your hand and press a little of the mac into a ball. It might seem hard like they don't want to go into ball shape. Just keep pressing and squeezing and adding a wee bit more flour and it will eventually be a perfect round ball. After you do 2 or 3 you will be an expert. Then dip it into flour, followed by egg, then breadcrumbs and into the hot oil.
I like these dipped into tomato sauce.
John had one with a salad. The dressing here is just olive oil, garlic, fresh oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, and balsamic.
For the vodka sauce, I first added some of my pre-made tomato sauce to a frying pan. Get this going real high and bubbling. Add about ¾ cup (what's this? An actual unit of measure on TFIMB?) of vodka and let it simmer for about 7 minutes. Then add cream until it is the shade of pink you want it to be.
John stuffing his face.
Lots of Parm for Crissy.
Why does Steph want to stab me?
- but with no meat.
Sear pot roast on all sides and remove from pot. Add olive oil and some onions and celery, cook on high for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add roast on bed of veggies. Pour wine in to half way up meat. Cover and put in the oven at 275 or 300 for 3 hours. Shred beef in large bowl. Add some of it's cooking liquid, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and parm. Salt and pepper if needed.
Start with base sauce and get it bubbling really good. Add some vodka, ¾ of a cup is usually good for me. Then add cream until it is the color you want it to be!