Moving is, without question, the worst job on the planet. It’s worse than cleaning the litter box, picking up yard cigars and filling the car with gas, combined.
Part of moving obviously includes the purging of the pantry and the cleaning of the fridge and freezer.
I think I may have inherited a food hoarding gene from my mom’s side of the family; I have an innate fear of not having food on hand if someone shows up unexpectedly, so I always tend to have an over stocked pantry.
The fact that I also own a food store may contribute to the problem, but I have no scientific proof of that.
Now, I don’t buy a lot of fresh food in advance. I like my fresh food fresh, but I do freeze food seasonally, like fruit and veggies and occasionally there will be meat in my freezer.
But, as I rule, I like to buy that as I need it. So during the purge of the pantry, which incidentally went really well since I have technically been purging for months and had a lot of inventory to run down, I combined efforts with the purge of the freezer.
Somewhere near the bottom of the deep freeze, right underneath the black box from the Hindenburg, I found a roast and I was pretty sure it was beef.
Huh! Who knew?
Now, I love a culinary challenge as much as the next guy and the roast was cryovac’d for freshness. I was fairly certain it would be all right, so I thawed it in the fridge overnight and discovered in the morning, much to my delight, it was indeed beef and it was indeed salvageable.
It was an eye of round and I think when I bought it the plan was for shaved beef sandwiches, which clearly didn’t work out too well for me.
Did I mention I am moving? So most of my dishes and appliances were packed but I hadn’t found a home yet for the slow cooker and I still had some quality merchandise in the pantry and the fridge so I got a busy with my version of a recipe from Eric Akis’ Everyone Can Cook Slow Cooker Meals.
The whole book is fantastic but this recipe was particularly satisfying on a random Wednesday night even after realizing I had to eat my dinner from a cutting board with a spoon.
With a splash of olive oil in a frying pan on the stove top, I browned the roast on all sides and transferred it to the slow cooker. With two yellow onions thinly sliced, two cups of beef stock, one cup of bottled barbecue sauce, about two tablespoons each of brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard with three cloves of garlic roughly chopped and generous pinch of chilli flakes. I flipped the switch to low and let it work it’s magic on the counter for about seven hours. I took the lid off the cooker and the roast was starting to melt into the cooking juices.
Using the non-business end of two spoons (did I mention I also had serious MacGyver-like skills in the kitchen?) I shredded the meat and stirred it back into all of the roasting juices. In went what was left of a bag of frozen peas and some chopped fresh parsley that was languishing in the fridge.
Spoonfuls of the braised meat went onto fresh buns and I served them with plenty of napkins and a cold beer. It was a perfect mid-week moving meal. So good, in fact, I might do it again one day soon on purpose.
Angie Quaale is a local foodie and owner of Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store.