Last night was the much anticipated MJM birthday (you-get-to-pick-anything-you-want-for-dinner), dinner with Banjo Plus One. The birthday boy chose Pot Roast. It was billed as a simple pot roast. However, much in the same way it takes skill for a dancer to perform a simple arebesque beautifully, it takes skill to make a simple pot roast sublimely.
The pot roast was made with a combination of her father's "not for sale" shoulder blade bone-in roast and a boneless chuck roast. The blade roast provided a huge beefy flavor and tenderness, while the chuck roast provided the requisite fat for flavor. It was a fantastic combination, dancing together in the beef jus, literally shredding and melting into the sweet baby carrots, onions, and celery. The addition of whole fingerling potatoes was genius! A pot of vegetable beef essence.
To the side, a perfectly turned out Potatoes Anna: Paper thin (Wheat Thin box read-through-skin-thin) potatoes, caramelized golden brown and crisp tender on the outside and gooey soft on the inside. They were layered with butter, cream, and the floral perfume of fresh thyme. Rich. Delicious. Divine. This Potato Anna was better than any I have made, seconded by the birthday boy. He would know.
All of this wonderful saturation of richness, buttery fat, and flavor was cut through and accentuated by a lovely salad: Crisp lettuces, mushrooms, her mother's "last" thinnly sliced radishes, and for sweet acidity, baby heirloom quartered yellow tomatoes. The dressing, both light and cleansing, coated and swathed the ingredients just enough for everything to stand on it own. The perfect accompaniment and foil to everything else.
Rachael's Coconut Cream Pie rounded out the meal. This was a pie on which dreams should be had. A thick sweet custard with an evocative and provocative mouthfeel, luscious soft meringue clouds floating atop, browned to a red-blushed yellow gold, and topped with crispy toasted sweet coconut. Say no more.
This requested, inspired, and gifted meal was lovey The company was lovely.
I had three servings. I never have three servings of anything...ever. I have no idea when, where, and how my commen sense and manners abandoned me, plunging me into a boorish gastronome. Food adrenaline, maybe.
Did I want leftovers? By the time this question came up, the beef jus had reduced into an insane concentrated pot liquor. I couldn't resist. I packed some up, thank you very much.
The last thing I did last night was eat the leftovers and drink the jus.
I went to bed wearing a soothing balm of Pot Roast lipstck.