Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Coffee and Balsamic Rubbed Roast Beef by Angie Alt

Can you believe that its already nearly October?  I can't.  Time flies when you have way too much to do.  I'm sure many of you thought I'd never be back, but here I am.  I'm hoping the next few months will be more conducive to blogging.  

Today is the first review that I'm doing from Angie Alt's Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook. Recently (using the term very loosely at this point), she teamed up with Mickey Trescott at Autoimmune Paleo and she graciously gave me an e-book review copy of her book.  I felt so bad that it was taking me so long to get around to these reviews that I went a head and bought a hard copy of the book.  I've now cooked 4 recipes and while I don't want to spoil the summary cookbook review (though the fact I bought the book should be spoiler enough), I've not been disappointed so far.

The first individual recipe review from the book is the Coffee and Balsamic Rubbed Roast Beef.  I've actually cooked this twice.  The first time, I didn't follow the letter of the recipe so I cooked it a second time following the rules.  The first time I made it, I had two chuck roasts that needed to be cooked and I was short on time to monitor the oven, so I used my slow cooker.  

The preparation of the rub was the same for both times I made it.  First, I chopped up some onion  and melted some tallow and added it to my mini-chopper.  

Along with some other spices and herbs, I added the most important ingredient, the coffee.  I splurged at Trader Joe's and got lovely Kona coffee.  Splurged in that I had no idea how expensive it was until after the checker scanned it.  

Once all the ingredients were in the chopper, I pulsed the mini-chopper until the rub was a paste.  I did take the lid off a few times to use a spatula to push the ingredients down from the sides to make sure everything was incorporated well.

I prepared the roasts by washing them and drying them per the recipes instructions and then I coated them with with the rub.  This is where my two preparations diverged. 

When I made the recipe in the crock pot, I added just under 2 pounds of carrots to the bottom of my crock and placed the roasts on top.  

I set the cooker for 8 hours on low.  When I returned from work that day, here is what I had in my cooker.  There was about 2 cups of yummy juice in the crock.

Here's my crock pot version plated.  

The second time I made this, I used a 1.74 pound grass-fed bottom round roast and cooked it in my Le Creuset Braiser in the oven per the recipe instructions. 

I used my fancy probe thermometer that let me set a goal temp and also had a timer.

The thermometer let me know that the roast had reached the suggested temperature far sooner than the approximate time for the recipe was up.  I confirmed the temp with my thermapen.

Here is what the beef looked like at the finished temp.  I'm a fan of rare beef, but this was a bit tough to me so I put the roast back in the oven.

Here is where I decided the roast was done.  There really wasn't any juice in the pan when the roast was done.  

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  The recipe calls for a beef rump roast.  I couldn't find a grass-fed one of these at the grocery store.  The rump roast was the closest I could get.  It was fairly pricey per pound, but my notes are failing me as to the exact cost.  Get the best quality beef you can afford.  

Preparation & Cooking Time:  Here, I will need a little more patience as my notes are again failing me.  I do know that for both preparations, it took me about 14 minutes to prepare the rub and clean up.  For the crock pot version, I had it in the crock pot for 8 hours on low.  Mine was on standby for an hour before I got home to eat.  On the second try, the roast reached the suggested temperature long before the approximate cooking time.  I think once I decided it was done, it was right around 2 hours.  
Clean Up:  Clean up did on take long on either preparation.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs up!  I was pleased with my first recipe from this new AIP resource.  The roast had a nice well rounded beef flavor.  No one ingredient was prominent to me other than the beef.  If I had to choose between the two preparations, I'll go with my slow cooker.  Why?  I produced scrumptious carrots and lots of juice for gravy.  

Whew.  That wasn't so hard.  Please bear with me while I get back up to blogging speed.  Thank you to those of you who have checked up on me.  I really appreciate it.  How has everyone been?  Has anyone else tried Angie's cookbook?

Sources/Affiliate Disclosure-  I received a digital copy of this cookbook for review from the author.  I since purchased a hard copy of the cookbook with my own money.   The links in this post are affiliate links.  All of my opinions expressed here are my own.