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February 22, 2012

Roast Beef with Balsamic and Coffee

Roast Beef with Balsamic and Coffee

So... I was talking to my Mom on the phone yesterday morning and like it always does, the conversation turned to food. She described a roast they'd had the night before that she'd made with balsamic and espresso powder and I was intrigued...

At 6 this morning I was awake before the kids and facing 48 hours with no sight of my husband so figured it was as good a time as any to get my roast in the crock!

I cut a yellow onion in half and sliced it thin and sliced 3 big cloves of garlic and tossed them with a tsp of olive oil and threw them in the bottom of the crock pot. I laid the roast (not sure what kind - it was about 3 lbs and wrapped in twine, which I cut off before I stuck it in the pot) on top of that and sprinkled/rubbed the top of the roast with a tsp of dried thyme and a TON of black cracked pepper, poured about 1/3 cup of balsamic in and then couldn't remember what else I was supposed to do so tossed in a bay leaf for good measure.

Except now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I didn't throw that bay leaf in after all...

It was 6 am. I have a newborn in the house. I don't sleep much. My brain is mush.

I turned the crock pot on low, left a message for my Mom and then completely forgot about it until about 8:30 when I was pouring my second large cup of coffee and realized I'd forgotten the espresso! So, since I didn't actually HAVE any espresso powder, I just poured some of my hot coffee (about half cup) into the crock pot and stuck the lid back on.

Fast forward to 5 pm tonight (that'd be about 10.5 hours of cooking if you're keeping track...), I pulled the roast out and made a slurry of flour and cold water (about 2 Tbsp flour and just enough water to make it slurry!) and started up my immersion blender and blended it into the liquids and the onions and the garlic.

I turned the crock pot onto high and stuck the meat back in and started some mashed potatoes and thought about making a veggie...but then forgot.

My "gravy" was pretty thick by the time the potatoes had finished boiling so I threw about a cup of that hot starchy water into my crock pot to get to the right consistency, thought about throwing a little bouillon in there (forgot) and mashed my taters. I realized I hadn't made a vegetable so we had mixed greens with just dressing on them straight out of the container and that was that.

Meals are a lot like this at our house, although the forgetful part is a pretty new concept since little A was born. My mind is never where I need it to be trying to keep track of all these kids with all their lives and my husband in school and working and...well, a newborn = no sleep so I'm FAR from coherent these days. This usually doesn't bode well for my cooking (we've actually had a few too many "just ok" meals lately), but it is what it is and I'm trying not to worry about anything other than what I absolutely have to!

So...for those of you that requested the recipe, there it is. Not really a recipe but it turned out REALLY well. Everyone even had seconds, something that rarely happens in this house with M hating dinner altogether and L being the pickiest eater this side of the mason dixon line...

Bon Apetit!