Sunday, January 27, 2008

disaster...averted!

but it was a close call. i defrosted the frozen roast overnight and into yesterday afternoon, hoping that that would be sufficient time to let it get to room temperature (i always try to roast from room temperature, or at least warmer than fridge temperature), in time for an expected 2 hour cook (8 lb roast @ 15min/lb for medium rare). at 4:30pm, as i finished rubbing the outside of the roast with salt and pepper (and my new innovation - rosemary that i blitzed in the coffee grinder to a fine dust), i slid in my digital thermometre and hit a chunk of resistance (read: icy centre) in the very middle of the roast. aiiiieeee.

as the read on the thermometre plummeted to -2 (with an expected final temperature of 120[medium rare]), i queasily threw the roast in the oven, hoping for the best. one hour later, and the temperature had climbed to +2. things were NOT looking good (considering that i usually throw a roast in with an internal temp of 20 degrees or so). bwong came over, and we both fretted over the temperature for a while, as i unburdened myself to him and stewed in my eternal shame. we both thought that the roast would start off slow, and then gain momentum - that it wasn't a steady incremental rise in relation to time (this is actually the case, generally). after an hour and a half with bwong there (total time now, 2.5 hours in the oven) - the temperature read 25 degrees. at this rate, we were going to be eating at midnight. our machinations became increasingly frantic. we thought about turning all the clocks in the house back half and hour to an hour to mislead our soon-to-arrive guests; we turned the inexorably, pitilessly stagnant read on the digital thermometre away, to spare it the piercing scrutiny of our pathetic attempts to will it into action; we considered butterflying the roast, deep frying it...anything! our oft-repeated denial-based statements that the roast would be done in time, to leave things to the fates, were a cruel mockery of the reality of the situation. finally, as things were reaching a frantic, fevered pitch of desperation, i screamed, "bwong, what are we going to DO!?!????" and he, equally fevered, pushed to the breaking point by a recalcitrant icicle of a hunk of beef, pointed at the thermometre and blurted out, "i don't know! switch the temperature away from celsius!??!?!!", and as those words fell from his lips, our eyes both moved, aghast, to the smug, indifferent themometre. we were indeed, waiting for the meat to come to 120 CELSIUS, and it was sitting at about 27 celsius, which, when you click the switch on the back to make it read in farenheit, is actually a perfectly respectable 88 degrees farenheit. phew. can you IMAGINE if we had waited for the roast to get to 120 centigrade? it would have been charcoal!

the dinner went off swimmingly. we had a small problem with my oven smoking up (my fan isn't very effective, and my oven has all kinds of gaps and holes in it for some reason, and they release a lot of the smoke from whatever is cooking in there). which meant that we had to open doors and windows and consequently, some of the veggies were cold. boo. and the yorkshire were slightly leaden. but the roast and the sauce were delicious (bwong made the sauce and it napped the meat and potatoes beautifully). my pumpkin cheesecake tasted divine, even if the sour cream topping pooled a little bit in the centre of the cheesecake (i'll have to give the cheesecake a bit longer in the oven next time - before adding the topping).

today is a homework day, and i think i'm going to drag my ass out to the law library (ugh). then dodgeball, then home. for dinnie tonight i think we're going to have roast beef, avocado and swiss melts with salad. and leftover pumpkin cheesecake!

fin.

2 comments:

kitsch:in:sync said...

"300 MINUTES TO GO!?!?!"

also, i've changed my tack and now suspect the olive oil on the brussel sprouts smoked off in the oven.

karl lagerfeld, esquire said...

i disagree.

i think it was the fond on the bottom of the pan, in concert with the beef drippings.