Sometimes even when you’ve got the week’s meal plan written down, you change your mind. Since there was still some grocery shopping to do, we were going to eat something that didn’t require fresh ingredients: frozen stuffed chicken breasts with Rice-a-Roni. It would have meant waiting at least 20 minutes after returning home from work, but it also wouldn’t have required much preparation.
However, when I saw the pile of packages of raw meat and chicken in the refrigerator, I decided it would be better not to let them age more. The frozen chicken and the boxed cheesy rice could wait.
London broil is supposed to be scored, then seasoned with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and perhaps garlic, before being put under the flame of that special droor of your oven. Our kitchen doesn’t have an exhaust fan, though, so we try to avoid potential smoking of meats. Today, my piece of vacuum-packed beef was going to sit under a pile of golden potatoes in a puddle of tomato soup and Worchestershire sauce.
My mom prepared a Sunday roast almost every weekend. The pot was filled with carrots, potatoes, onions, and of course the piece of beef. She put it in the oven before we left for Sunday school, and by the time we were back from church it was ready for our family (and whatever guests had been invited over) to eat.
Roasts work best in the oven, but a crockpot will do, if you’re going to be away from your kitchen at work for 8 hours. Usually, I put the carrots and potatoes on the bottom, then the meat (seasoned with salt & pepper), Worchestershire sauce, condensed tomato soup, sliced onion, and bay leaf.
This time I was out of carrots and low on onion, so it was just meat & potatoes. I added some minced garlic in an attempt to make up for the flavor that the missing onion would have contributed.
This evening, when I opened the door to the apartment, I was greeted by the delicious aroma of beef and tomato. My husband brewed a fresh pot of coffee, and I set the table. After I transferred the potatoes to a serving bowl, I used a large fork to move the meat to a wooden cutting board.
But wait! Something wasn’t quite right. What was that shiny black skin sticking to the tender strands of beef? Had I really neglected to remove the butcher’s packing material when I put my piece of meat into the crockpot that morning? The bigger question was, “Is it worth risking food poisoning or should I just chuck it all?”.
Thankfully, there is the internet, and thankfully I’m not the only one who has made this mistake. So, we ate our “roast” / London [not] Broil[ed] beef, and are still feeling fine. If we’re still alive in the morning we might even take leftovers for lunch.