Salvaging a Dry Roast

Salvaging a Dry Roast
It seems that cooking a tasty eye of round roast is still a total mystery for me. Well, I can cook it, but it isn't what anybody would call appetizing, unless you want a very dry piece of beef. Both of the eye of round roasts that I've cooked have been as dry as the Sahara, and just about as edible as sand.

Last week I was so excited. I would be able to cook Sunday dinner. My husband picked up a roast from the store. I was expecting a chuck or rump roast. What I got was a five pound eye of round. You know the roast without any fat? That's the one! After cooking it with liquid in the oven, I had a totally tough and dry cut of meat. I put it into the fridge. Sunday morning, I took the chilled, cooked meat, sliced it up, and put it into the slow cooker. Mushroom soup, onions, and water added moisture. At dinner, the meat was tender and had a good flavor. The only problem came when we chewed it. The meat seemed to get drier the longer we chewed! We ate it some of it, but I was still left with over three pounds of tender, yet seriously dry roast beef. What would you do?

If you know anything about me, it is probably that I am extremely frugal. My soul could not stand to throw the meat out. However, I could visualize it staying in the fridge until it rotted, since nobody really liked it. So, I decided to salvage that roast by repurposing the meat. What could I do? Two things came to mind. I would make beef stew to eat with wraps. Also, I would turn part of it into barbecue sandwiches to pair with coleslaw or roasted veggies.

Step one involved using my kitchen shears to cut that dried out roast into tiny pieces. I could have also used a food processor. We had about three pounds of meat, so I just used shears and watched an old episode of The Closer while I hacked it to tiny bits. Meanwhile, I cooked stew vegetables until they were tender. These included onions, potatoes, celery, and carrots, as well as parsley and fresh rosemary.. Then, I drained and reserved the cooking liquid. After that, I skimmed the tiny bit of fat off of the beef's original cooking broth. I added some canola oil to the fat, then put the same amount of flour into an iron skillet. Salt and pepper seasoned the roux, and I cooked the fat and flour until it was dark brown. I used the broth and reserved water to make gravy with the roux.

In a Dutch oven, I combined the veggies, gravy, and half the chopped, dry roast. I let it stand in the refrigerator until I was ready to heat it for dinner. To be honest, it wasn't the best stew that I've ever made, but it was pretty good, and the meat was fine. It went well with veggie wraps.

The remainder of the chopped meat was combined with a tomato-based Kansas City style barbecue sauce. I used Joe's Kansas City sauce. By combining 2/3 of a cup of Joe's with ½ of a cup of pineapple habanero sauce, I got a spicy little kick and a bit of sweetness. I heated the meat in the microwave on power 3 for five minutes. Then, I took the power down to a 2 and heated the meat for ten more minutes. What a treat on a cocktail bun or Kaiser roll!

There's an old saying, "When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade." Well, when you get a dry roast, it doesn't need to stay that way! Use your creativity and the ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator to turn that sad little roast into a totally new, delicious sandwich meal.

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