Growing up in the sixties, food was not analyzed in the same way as it is today. As long as the meals were fresh and varied, it was considered healthy. My mother didn’t serve soup or vegetables from a can, and the only food that ever came from a freezer was the result of my mother’s indulgence in response to accusations that she was unfairly depriving me of T.V. dinners. Supper always included cooked vegetables, potatoes or rice, some kind of protein, and a salad. My mother insisted that we needed two things in our diet, milk and meat, not together of course.
I am on information overload and I am not sure how to reverse the trend. I remember my friend Susan, a native Californian, turning up her nose when being served “fleish” and other heavy European dishes. She referred to kugels as “brown food”, introduced our family to sprouts, and was my first friend who analyzed what she served in terms of nutritional value. At the time we just chalked it up to the fact that she was born in L.A.
Today, every meal is fraught with questions and weighty considerations. Are the carbohydrates whole grain, the vegetables organic, how many carbon footprints are used to raise cattle, is the chicken free-range, etc. . How can one possibly enjoy a meal that has been dissected to death. One friend is always assuring us that the recipe is low-calorie, another no longer serves beef, and this morning I was instructed to “go light” on the cheese as I was preparing a cheese omelette. What is the point of eating a cheese omelette with barely any cheese?
What I miss is the sense of freedom that went hand in hand with being less informed. I remember the days when we sat down to dinner, digging into a delicious, perfectly done rib steak, served with mashed potatoes and a salad (made with iceberg lettuce), all enjoyed with abandon and guilt-free. I am not suggesting that we were healthier, or better off as a society, it’s just that sometimes all I want is my meat and potatoes, without a side of commentary.
I made this French Roast last week and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
3-4 lb. French Roast
3 Tbs of a Brisket rub of your choice ( I used one I bought in Texas)
5 Tbs Olive Oil
1 large Onion
1 Sprig Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
3/4 cup Dry Red Wine
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
Rub French Roast with spice rub, cover with saran, and refrigerate over night. The next day coat the roast with a small amount of flour. Pour olive oil into cast iron pan and heat till VERY HOT. Sear roast on every side till brown.
Place red wine, bay leaf, thickly sliced onion, parsnip cut into chunks, Thyme and tomato paste in roasting pan and mix well. Add French Roast and place, uncovered, in 325 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove and thinly slice meat. Return to roasting pan, cover and cook an additional 2 hours or until meat is very tender. Add more wine, or water if necessary.
February 11, 2011 at 10:28 PM
February 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM
Hi Wanda! Thanks!
February 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM
Irene, the French Roast sounds delicious, but what cut of meat is it exactly. I must sound like someone who doesn’t know her way around a kitchen, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. Is it a kosher cut of meat? I’ve never seen any roast by that name at Gelsons. I’d like to try the recipe but need to wait a month and make sure we eat no red meat during that time. I am and have always been a meat and potatoes person and I find it hard not to have it for dinner regularly. If it were up to me, meat would be served several times a week, as it used to be when we were first married, and before we had all these health concerns. By the way has Shira shown you any of the pictures the girls took while they were in South America? We’ve asked to see them but Daniela always has some excuse.
February 12, 2011 at 6:28 PM
So nice to hear from you. I must admit that I am not sure exactly what cut it is but I prefer it over a brisket. If you call Doheny Kosher on Pico, I am sure they will be happy to tell you. If that doesn’t work, let me know and I will try and find the exact cut.
I did see photos but not by any means all of them. Daughters!!!
All the best,
February 11, 2011 at 5:32 PM
I couldn’t have said it better…. sometimes it’s nice just to ENJOY the food, without all the analysis.
The roast was delicious last week and I’m very excited that now I have the recipe!
February 12, 2011 at 6:24 PM
Thanks Elin!!! So easy and it was great the next day in a warm tortilla with sliced avocado on top.