Monday, July 27, 2009

Hot weather cooking - Dutch oven style

House painting... will it ever end? Actually we are approaching a milestone as J is almost done with the second full coat and we can then concentrate exclusively on the trim. And call for a few gutter estimates... yay!
We wanted to cook a roast this weekend, but Sunday was the start of a week of record high temperatures here. We decided outdoor cooking was the only way to go, but since we hadn't used the dutch oven in forever, we first had to sweeten it.

After a good scrubbing, I filled it with water and a healthy handful of sweet, second cutting hay. From what I'd read, this is a good way to take away any bad tastes from a long idle oven. Boiled with the lid just ajar about 30 minutes, then I put it over medium hot coals open side down to burn out any old residue and finish the job. Another good scrubbing with just water, back to the coals for a heat up, and a good coat of cooking oil. Now that it is cleaned up, next time it'll be a lot easier!
Since it is so hot, having a big fire to cook in was not very appealing, so we opted for the charcoal/grill method this time around.

Some of the recipe idea came from scanning Dutch Oven Cooking and this Dutch Oven Pot Roast.

Our version went something like this... sprinkled the meat with about 1/2 package onion soup mix and black pepper, then set it aside. In a bowl mixed tomato paste with water [beef broth would have been better - lazy].

Placed about 12 coals on bottom of the grill, oiled the oven, and placed it right on the coals. Sauteed home grown onion then garlic in the kettle until starting to brown and added the tomato mix. After that was well stirred, added the meat with more small quartered onions. Placed on the lid with about 11 - 12 coals on top, 9 on bottom and let that simmer 3o minutes. By then it looked like this...

On top of this seasoned meat and sauce, I added a slew of potatoes and carrots right from our garden with a few sprigs of fresh thyme then replace the lid with coals.

About an hour and a half with the lid on the weber and vents full open, and this is what you get.

Roasted fire beef calls for BBQ Bread, so we grabbed the cast iron skillet, and last of the bread dough I'd made that was waiting in the fridge.

I turned this once every 15 minutes and it took about 30 -40 total. A fresh garden salad, glass of wine and bon appetit!

Whenever grilling there are always some eager bystanders.

One never knows if the cook might drop a meat morsel or provide other handouts!

And last, but not least... his nickname isn't "Possum Road-kill" for nothing! No matter how often we catch him laying like this, it still shocks and amuses.

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