Roasts Part III

The rules of the game for roast pork or lamb are similar to those with roast beef, though each have their idiosyncracies.

Pork Sirloin Roast: We recommend eating your pork at about 140 degrees, which means removing it from the oven when it’s temping at 130. For the best results on a pork sirloin roast, you should sear it off on a pan first and then transfer it to a 280 degree oven, then cook for about half an hour. Want to take your pork to unimaginable heights? Glaze it with something a little bit sweet: American Spoon makes an incredible grilling sauce—our favorite flavors are Apple Cider, Pumpkin Chipotle, and Maple BBQ, all perfect for fall.

Lamb Sirloin Roast: We also like our lamb around 140 or perhaps a little less. The most effortless and classic way to prepare roast lamb is with a persillade: minced garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and little bit of salt, black pepper, and olive oil. It’s fresh, hearty, and perfect with rice pilaf and roasted vegetables.

A host of other roasting options are always on hand at our shop, including spectacular whole chickens (think of those as your practice turkey), and we are always excited to talk process and preparation to help you get the most out of your roast.

Roasts Part 2

Pot Roast definitionally involves liquid, so it is necessarily a braise. This might seem like a semantic distinction, but since the word roast is already taken, it really makes sense to use the word “braise” to describe the method of cooking with liquid, especially if we’re talking about something that’s going to be cooked to fork-tender instead of medium-medium rare.

This pot roast recipe made the rounds lately and is justly celebrated; this digest of braised beef recipes from Mark Bittman is also delightful. The most crucial thing to remember about any of them is that an instant read thermometer is your friend, and a fork a decent substitute. Braised beef isn’t done until it’s done: if it’s not tender when you cut into it, then it needs more time, and that’s all there is to it. An internal temperature of 210 degrees is the magic number.

The second and third most crucial things have to do with how you treat the meat before and after you cook it. Salting it well ahead of time—from an hour or so, up to a couple days—can reveal dimensions in the meat you never knew existed (cue spooky sci-fi soundtrack). And letting your dish rest before serving—from a half an hour, to even overnight—can also yield unexpected complexity and nuance in your work.

All of these recipes would work remarkably well with our American Roast, a marvelously well-marbled piece of meat from the chuck section that has become one of our all-time favorite braising cuts. If you haven’t tried it yet, this is a great weekend to venture into the unknown: all American Roasts are $3 off per pound.

Roasts Part 1

The fact of the matter is, when you are cooking a Roast Beef Dinner (capital letters fully intended), you are either going to cook your beef to medium-rare (about 130, 140 max) or to fork tender (about 210). Anything in between is dried-out no man’s land.

Next week we’ll talk about pot roasts and braises. This week we’re going to focus on two of our favorite cuts for straight-up roasting, because—listen up—roasting a piece of meat to medium-rare is hands-down one of the most delicious ways to feed a crowd without breaking the bank.

--Sirloin Filet: Our Sirloin Filet is often referred to as “top sirloin.” It’s surprisingly tender and relatively lean, without sacrificing anything in the flavor department. You can prepare it like this and expect it to come out gangbusters.

--Minnesota Tri Tip: Tri Tip, North-style. This cut sits directly next to the traditional Tri Tip that you may be familiar with from California barbecue. The MN Tri Tip is leaner, but for our money, more tender and more flavorful. It’s the closest thing we sell to an Eye Round roast, and you can prepare it the same way—but we like it way better.

Olympic Worthy Steak: The Picanha

When we first opened the shop we had this steak called the coulotte. A delicious steak, to be sure, but it required some explaining because this is not a cut you'll see at a grocery store. We sold a few and we ate a lot. It wasn't catching on a quite as we had hoped. And then a funny thing happened: lots of customers started asking if we carried this one kind of Brazilian steak called the picanha. In fact we did, we just called it the coulotte. 

Typically when customers begin asking for something en mass my assumption is that Oprah must have mentioned it on her show. "Everyone's going home with their own steak!!!" But in this case it seemed that there's a secret society of Brazil-o-philes that we had no idea about.

The picanha comes from the section where the sirloin meets the round. It has a healthy fat cap on it (especially on our grain finished Peterson cows) which adds to the deliciousness. This is a tender steak packed with a ton of flavor. We love it sprinkled with salt and with a crunchy sear on it.

Cook the fat side down first to render some fat and get the fat cap nice and crispy. 3 minutes direct on each side over a very hot fire should get the color you're looking for. Move to the indirect heat and cook to medium rare. Let your steak rest for 10 minutes and slice against the grain.

Gold medal stuff, people.

The French Onion Brat

Scott, our head butcher, had one request (okay he had way more than 1) when he agreed to mastermind this whole meat shop project. He wanted us to make a french onion brat. I'll be honest: I had no idea what that meant. For the first couple of batches we bought organic french onion seasoning from the coop across the street and added that, along with cheese curd, to our heritage breed pork. The results were delicious but that seemed a little bit like cheating.

So we decided to reverse engineer our very own french onion seasoning (notice I am not capitalizing French on purpose) and combine it with some caramelized onions. Genius! And so you end up with a completely miraculous bratwurst. Ridiculously savory, a tiny bit sweet, and then BOOM you're hit with some gooey mozzarella cheese curd.

This is the brat you serve at your backyard gathering and everyone needs to know where you bought it. Even cranky Uncle Edgar is totally going to be into this brat.

Available exclusively at the St Paul Meat Shop and France 44 Cheese Shop. Registered trademark and patents coming soon.