Cooking involves the ability to pay attention to details. And what you pay attention to is as important as how and why. The mentality of "set it and forget it" cooking using circulators, crockpots, pressure cookers, CVaps, and smokers has to improve. The use of technology: old, new, and hacked gives us a certain freedom in and out of the kitchen. The freedom allows us to pay attention to other steps and processes. The freedom provides time to step away and think. The freedom lets us herd cats. The control we get from these important kitchen tools allows us to achieve consistent and delicious results. The flaw in the system is the forgetting. We get on the fast track from A to Z. All too often the rest of the alphabet is forgotten.
On Christmas Day we were away from our kitchen and its many resources. We did have a solid roasting pan, a working probe thermometer and an oven. We salted and then seared the roast beef in the pan. Once done we added thickly sliced onions and laid the meat on top. We inserted the probe into the center of the roast. We set the oven at 250°F. We set the thermometer's alarm setting at 122°F. We started cooking the meat. The temperature on the probe did not move for a very long time. Finally it slowly began to rise. We looked at the clock and pondered the amount of time until dinner and increased the oven temperature to 300°F. After a half an hour we noticed the temperature increasing more rapidly. We turned the oven back down to 250°F. Two hours into the roast we added a bottle of red wine to the roasting pan. The meat was starting to smell good, the onions were breaking down, and the temperature was gently climbing. As the time to to dinner lengthened due to circumstances beyond our control, we turned the oven temperature down to 200°F. With about an hour before dinner the meat heat 120°F. We pulled the roast from the oven, slathered it with butter and herbs. Then we covered it with foil and let it rest. The carryover cooking effect slowly increased the internal temperature of the roast to 127°F.
We put the roast, still tented in foil on the cutting board and poured the onions, wine, meat juices and butter into a smaller pan to make the sauce. We cooked everything together and added two large spoonfuls of prepared horseradish. We put the sauce into the blender and pureed it smooth. As we finished the sauce the plan was to broil the roast for 5 minutes right before serving. But by the time the sauce was blending the roast was already halfway sliced. Not a problem at all. It was nice and warm all the way through, juicy, and medium rare.