Happy New Year! Fuck the new year…I just turned another year old! (this is an Asian thing, particularly Korea and Vietnam. Doesn’t matter when your birthday is, when the new year comes, you’re a year older.) My facebook feed increasingly shows pregnancy and baby pictures, and I can’t even muster up the enthusiasm to say congratulations. I just cop out and click “like”. If there was a button for “I’m happy for you but it’s complicated” button, I’d click it. But that’s another story, for another day. Today, we talk about food.
We haven’t cooked any less that we did before, but time constraint usually means I have to come up with quick, simple, and not quite blog-worthy recipes on most days . Once in a while though, by happenstance, some thrown-together recipes come out so good that I actually make the effort to take pictures, meaning to document the recipe (mostly for myself), but by the time I got around to it, I already forget what I did, and all that’s left is the pictures.
That ends today! New Year resolution: blog about good, accidental recipes that no one will read, not even me, just so I can delude myself that I will remember to make it again/become famous!
Isn’t this thing beautiful?? It’s not a usual sight for me to cut into a piece of beef, be it steak or roast, to find this beautiful pink color. If you know an Asian person who did not grow up in the US, *most likely* they will not know how to cook beef medium rare. This is not a stereotype; it’s more of a cultural byproduct: in a lot of Asian countries, it’s not common to eat any kind of meat raw, or rare (except for Japan, where beef sashimi is totally a thing and totally delicious; ironically their steak is usually well-done.) I’m not sure about other countries, but in Vietnam, it’s mostly because of the hot weather (not safe to leave meat half-cooked) and low standards of meat production sanitation. I’ve had Asian friends cook meat for me who thought dry, chewy, and gray steak was good. I’ve committed the same error many times, even when I used the “poking your own palm” method. I even used the meat thermometer. I know – pathetic.
That is not to say I haven’t succeeded by accident sometimes, and this time is one of those times. This is a 3 pound piece of sirloin roast, so your mileage might vary if your roast is different, but 1 hour in 325 degrees was perfect for me. Exactly at the 1 hour mark, the meat thermometer hit 140! I did sear all sides of the roast in advance, so that helps. The seasoning, of course, is a random hodgepodge of things I have around the house that by magic/luck/watching a lot of cooking shows, works out beautifully. Trust me on this one.
Roasted garlic aioli, ancho and herbs sirloin roast
3 lb of sirloin roast, preferably on sale cos why not
1 medium onion, cut into 3 or 4 parts along the shorter diameter – we will use these as a “rack” for our roast
A handful (1-2 tbs) of dried thyme & rosemary & ground ancho (or smoked paprika if you don’t have ancho) & salt (I used hickory smoked salt)
3 tbs or more of roasted garlic aioli – I had this lying around but you can just use/make your own aioli/mayonaise and add roasted/raw garlic/garlic powder
- Sear the roast on all sides with olive oil in the cast iron/baking pan that you will use to roast it in; each side will take about 2-3 minutes on very high heat.
- Take the roast out so you can do some fancy tying if your piece is super uneven (basically tying it makes the edge straighter and it will cook more evenly, no random pieces hanging out and getting burned). I used this method.
- Mix all the seasonings together (including the aioli) and use your hands to slather it all over the roast.
- Put the onion pieces in the pan and the roast on top. Roast at 325 for 1 hour or till the meat reaches 140 in the thickest part.
- Let rest for 15 minutes (or not – I couldn’t wait and cut into the outer edges and it was still very juicy! The juice that runs out can be left as is or made into a gravy) and nom nom!