I always love to cook something interesting on the weekend, so I was excited to see Serious Eats’ new Weekend Cook and Tell project. Each week they’ll select an article or recipe to use as inspiration for a weekend cooking project. I think having a selected theme will help me branch out and try some things I might not have otherwise, and I hope it will help get me in the habit of writing regularly.
This week’s theme is “Off cuts,” taken from the NY Times article “It May Be Cheap, but It’s Also Tasty.” I think “off cuts,” which suggests things that you might spot Bourdain (or for the truly “off,” Zimmern) advocating on the Travel channel, isn’t quite the right term—the article is really about inexpensive, overlooked cuts of meat. While these pieces are usually tougher than more expensive cuts, I think they’re often more flavorful (a skirt steak is never going to be as tender as a fillet, but the fillet doesn’t have the flavor to make a good fajita either). Learning about these cheap, overlooked cuts is a great way to help the growing number of people who are looking to cut their grocery budget — some of the best dishes in the world came from poor people trying to make the most of the only meat they could afford.
In the article, Carlo Mirarchi, chef/owner of Roberta’s pizza in Brooklyn, suggested
searing the $3.99-a-pound supermarket eye round and marinating it overnight in red wine, rosemary, sage and black pepper. Then it can be roasted rare and sliced, cold, as thin as possible for sandwiches.
It sounded great to me, and the thought of having lunch for most the week taken care of sealed the deal. It turns out eye of round is only $2.99 per pound here, making this even more economical.
Marinated eye of round roast with red wine reduction
- Eye of round roast (mine was 2 lbs – just $6!)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Handful fresh sage
- Red wine to cover (amount depends on size of roast – do what we do and just get a box of cheap red wine for cooking and don’t worry about the precise amount)
- Salt, pepper
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
Heat oil over medium-high heat, then season the roast with salt and pepper and sear on all sides. Allow the roast to cool slightly then place into a plastic bag with the herbs and enough red wine to cover the meat. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, preheat your oven to 350°. Put the roast and the marinade in a roasting pan or oven-proof skillet and roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast measures 140°. Burn your finger really bad on the thermometer. Remove the roast and allow it to rest before slicing. Heat the marinading liquid and roasting juices over high heat and reduce by half. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in a tablespoon of butter. Strain to remove any chunks.
Slice the roast thinly and drizzle with the reduction – makes great sandwiches, or serve over arugula and top with Parmesan for a nice salad.