A few days ago, Danny and I attended a roasting class at a little boutique store called, The Healthy Butcher. They focus on locally grown/raised organic products and strive to serve their patrons like a good ole fashioned butcher shop would. We had signed up months ago (and nearly forgot about it) but if was a great way to spend a few hours on an otherwise rainy weekday evening.
Our instructor started cooking professionally at around age 15 and had accumulated over 25 years of experience in the food industry (although he sure didn't look like he was over 40). We focussed on two main methods of cooking large cuts of meat - dry roasting and pot roasting (braising). With a variety of recipes on the agenda, we learned about which cuts of meat were most appropriate for each method and the techniques in which to prepare them.
Throughout the evening we prepared four distinct dishes:
(1) Herb Crusted Sirloin Tip Roast with Olive Oil Crushed Potatoes and Bordelaise Sauce
(2) Stuffed Pork Shoulder Roast with Dijon Braised Cabbage
(3) Crispy Herb-Roasted Chicken with Braising Greens
(4) Red Wine Braised Blade Roast with Celery Root Puree.
There was plenty to sample as the night went on and I was glad to add a few more meals to the repertoire. Hopefully I'll have a couple of them mastered by the time the holidays roll around.