Pot Roast

I love to cook. There are a couple of things I do that really give me a sense of peace, and although golf is one of those things, I’m not gonna talk about that. Probably not every again, if I can be disciplined. But cooking, I really love.

There is something about having in front of you a stack of stuff, especially when that stuff is in your fridge or pantry or drawer and you can just roll up your sleeves and use your intuition. Almost any pasta dish, I can do something awesome for you. Anything in the sandwich category, and I include all of the wrapped stuff like burritos and calzones in this, I can take care of. And, I’m really pretty good with sauces, I can make gravy and bechamel and marinara without much worry.

Baking I can handle. I don’t have quite the same gift for it that I do for stove-top, but I can handle it. Every once in a while, a loaf of bread or a plate of cookies comes out *really* good. Growing up, I always thought of baking like a science experiment, like if you’re off by an inch the whole thing is gonna suck. But I’ve actually made quiche and even souffle without any problems, and I’ve varied bread recipes to the point where I’m better off now if I don’t measure and I let fate determine whether there’s too much flour or not.

This cooking thing extends to building stuff as well. I love building things, and again, I’m not talking about Ikea furniture. I’m talking about doing all the measuring and cutting from raw lumber, and using screws and glue to make somehting work. A couple of days ago I built a massage table for Jordana, with a hole cut out for her belly and even though it’s ugly as hell, it was a joy to make.

The thing is… after all this, I just have never been able to make a good pot roast. I make a *great* turkey, I’m not kidding. If you had my turkey… well, let’s just say that last time I made a turkey, I didn’t get to the table fast enough to eat *any* of it. That skill extends to chicken as well, although since that is basically the staple ingredient in anything I make I can’t really take too much credit. Stove-top or oven, I got chickens pretty well covered.

I just really wish I could make a pot roast. Just the beef, the tiny strings of melt-in-your-mouth beef. No bullshit, no raisins or bits of celery, just the pot roast and the accompanying gravy, that’s what I want to be able to make. Either my mom or my dad made it when I was a kid, and it was, hands down – lights out, my favorite meal ever. And both parents were great cooks with their own things they did well, but that pot roast was the best thing ever.

The thing is, my mom says it was my dad, and my dad’s had all these cooking lessons and I don’t trust his memory. The recipe has been lost.

Last weekend, I went to an Amish Buffet in Lancaster PA, and they had pot roast. You could grab a slice of it if you were really careful, but mostly it just melted on the serving spoon. On the plate, it didn’t pool, there was no grease, and when you put it in your mouth it turned into beef flavored butter.

If any of you out there that read this (I’m looking at you, Mac) know how to make the perfect roast, tell me about it. If I try it and it works, I’ll have you over for dinner. I’ll make a salad so you won’t feel unhealthy. Salad, root vegetables, maybe some biscuits.

But trust me, I’ll only be eating the roast