I cooked pot roast today because my wife is out of town and she (rightly) thinks it's something from the Stone Age. On damp September Sundays I feel pot roast weather in my bones, and today was another day drizzling down grey.
Chocolate chip pancakes before Mass, and the sky quiet so we rode our bikes. Then more rain, rain and a big piece of beef chuck in the icebox. A giant cube, about 3.5 lbs. A few scoops of duck fat into my dutch oven -- and there's nothing like that smell! I sprinkled whole wheat flour over the meat, rubbed in salt and pepper, and when the fat popped and crackled, I put the enamel coated cast iron pot to work, taking time to brown the chuck on all sides. Then a few onions, sliced thin, and I let them cook a little; a few 1x6 tomatoes, so good for cooking because of the small number of seeds/juice; a little water, and I scraped up all the good little browned bits; a bay leaf and into a 300°F oven, covered, for most of the afternoon. I opened the oven a few times and turned the meat over, letting all of it cook in the heat and bubbly juices.
Egg noodles, fork-tender meat and brown juices spooned with love over it all. A Rhone red, and candles to bring light and ward off the chill, the fall, the coming darkness.
birch and grasses alone on the snow, grey sky indistinguishable. the flat world falls into the edge of time, lifeless, dull wedge of horizon and soundless ...