There's something about Sundays that makes me want to roast a large animal and serve it Norman Rockwell-style to a table filled with friends. And I guess if I were more confident in my culinary skills, this fantasy would become reality, maybe even routine. But, alas, I've always been a more comfortable just cooking for myself.
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A group effort, however, can make all the difference, especially when it comes to preparing large hunks of meat. After another couple recounted a sad tale of a dry, flavorless pot roast, my husband and I suggested the four of us attempt a do-over using some quality chuck from B&W Meat Company, a newly purchased Dutch Oven, and this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. (I didn't reproduce the recipe here because then you'd miss the pictures, which are half the fun.)
Preparing a roast becomes infinitely less intimidating when four people are chopping, slicing, and seasoning (and simultaneously drinking pomegranate martinis). Of course, Julia Child could have done this by herself blindfolded in a fraction of the time, but I doubt she would have been as happy-go-lucky (okay, sloshed) as us by the end of the process.
There was no Roast Fail this time. We sat down to a wonderfully moist roast stewing in its own juices, roasted Brussels sprouts, and some mashed cauliflower with butter. It only took four cooks (well, five, counting The Pioneer Woman), five hours, and some collective culinary hubris to get it done.