If you’ve been paying attention this summer, you know that I have serious smoking issues. I tried smoking a hunk of beef and a whole chicken on Memorial Day, with mixed results – mixed meaning the chicken turned out great because I kept a close eye on it, but I neglected the beef until the projected cooking time, with dire consequences. But, that didn’t discourage me because I was ready to smoke a couple of racks of pork ribs on the next holiday, July 4th. Results were even worse, with rib meat that could scrape the enamel off your teeth.
Did that stop me? No. Nothing can stop me when I’m on a mission, and this summer’s mission is to figure out that dumb smoker. And so I didn’t wait for the next holiday weekend, but attempted to smoke a chuck roast of beef this week. The good news is the tinkering that Joe did on our Traeger smoker appears to have fixed the problem we had with the thing overheating – see, it wasn’t entirely our fault that we failed! And this roast took the appropriate slow, long time to cook. Almost too long as we were salivating for dinner long after the summer sunset. But good things are worth the wait, right?
Too bad it wasn’t good. Although the meat was properly cooked, it was unanimous among the three of us that we don’t like this cut of beef. I had selected this cut on the butcher’s recommendation, figuring it would be really hard to screw it up with overcooking. Instead, it was just too fatty a cut for our tastes. And so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and try again, maybe next week, with a cut of beef that we like.
There was a bright spot on the menu… almost. These potatoes were cooked in stages because I was attempting to work around Louisa’s rehearsal schedule. I roasted them and then planned to simply reheat them when she came home. They were so delicious when they first came out of the oven- soft on the inside with a firm outside layer. I even dressed them up with a little fresh rosemary – I know, such craziness. Sadly, I mistimed Louisa’s schedule and killed them in the reheating. They turned into hard fries, losing all of that seductive, soft potato on the inside.
It’s a good thing we have to eat every day so there’s always another opportunity to get it right.