Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pop Culture Cooking: The Red Devil Roast

My coworker Matt L. is the store's resident music guru. He's a master guitarist who's greatly in tune with the music world, and considers classic rock gods like Led Zeppelin and the Stones as musical deities. I've been reading some rock bios over the past few months and am starting to find that musical genius seems to extend toward some kitchen creativity as well. Matt is no exception as he is also our resident grill-master as well. His self-imposed nickname is The Red Devil in honor of his long, crimson mane and deeply demonic ways. Recently, Matt was the guiding force behind my first pot roast and wouldn't you just know, it was a such a success that it now has its own nickname: The Red Devil Roast.

First, a bit about those rock star bios I've read recently. As a bookseller, let me reiterate what many a media outlet has said...rock musician bios are huge. Anthony Kiedis, Scott Weiland, Nikki Sixx's The Heroin Diaries...you name them; all big releases that continue to sell well. Reading these are a kick for me as well as a tip of the bandanna to my brief but memorable stint as a heavy metal fan in college. I'm currently finishing up Steven Tyler's somewhat whackadoo memoir aptly named Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? A few months back, I also read Keith Richard's Life. There have been many remarkable takeaways from reading these tomes and here's a couple...

1) The amount of detail shared is astounding when you consider the monumental amount of drugs these guys admittedly hoovered.

2) Tyler's and Richard's bios are most assuredly written in their own unmistakable voices. Keith's book is a no-holds barred, unapologetic look back that's filled with his instantly quotable sayings. Steven Tyler's book is also filled with his bonkers-but-brilliant look at his life. Anyone who has seen Tyler's current gig as American Idol judge can attest to his unique speak and this book is ripe with it.

I heartily recommend them both....say what you will; but these two have lived jaw-dropping lives while always pursuing their passions.

Keith's book includes a look at another of his passions, which is cooking. While Tyler speaks of some exotic food he's experienced on the road, Keith is a creative cook as he describes the perfect shepherd's pie and how he makes his own bangers and mash. I won't reveal his whole bangers recipe except for one line. Unsurprisingly as a musician, he cooks not from exact measurements, but from a soulful, sensory place. Here's the classic Keef line from the recipe:

Now, you have a choice of grilling or broiling your bangers or frying. Throw them on the low heat with the simmering bacon and onions (or in the cold pan, as the TV lady says, and add the bacon and onions in a bit) and let the f!*kers rock gently, turning every few minutes.

And this is how I know Matt the Red Devil belongs in the rock pantheon....his description of how to make the pot roast..

Take a good piece of beef, throw it in the slow cooker and turn it on low. Pour in one Coca-Cola. Add one beer and make it a good wheat beer; none of that generic piss they call beer. Add some garlic; the real stuff, a hit of Worcestershire, and some salt and pepper and an au jus packet. Fill up with water until it covers the meat. Throw in some potatoes. Oh, and some carrots. Low and slow all night long.

Me: Won't the Coke make it sweet? It cooks all night long...it won't overcook?
Matt: Tell you what, Haught....if that roast is so !*@#ing awful, bring the rest in here for me and I'll eat the damn thing.

Needless to say, I didn't bring the "damn thing" to work as that roast
was freakin' awesome. I actually forgot the au jus and it was not missed. The roast beef fell off the bone and was oh, so tender and no, it wasn't sweet. So easy, so good and Holy Crikey, the house smelled amazing after that beef had cooked over 12 hours.

Next time I make it, I'm gonna crank up some Gimme Shelter and rock out with my crock out.


Charlotte's Web of Books said...

Awww -- I miss Matt. Tell him I said hello!

Lisa Mandina said...

Sounds good, and very easy! I may have to try that as I love anything I can leave in the crockpot!

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