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Beast Roasting for

All right so as a note to myself and for those of you who are in the cooking mood, here's my account of Beast Roasting a la Good Eats....

First of all, I'll mention that a digital thermometer, and the electric carving knife make this whole thing so much simpler. I was able to find a very nice thermometer at Bed Bath & Beyiond for $20, and I got a comparably nice electric carving knife from Sam's Club for $20. The reason I mention this is that I seriously considered not getting them for this project and it would have been much more tedious if I hadn't.

I pretty much followed the directions from the show, except that I got 2 bones worth of roast, and I only had time to age them for about 40 hours. I also went ahead and picked up a refridgerator thermometer That was a very good idea because it turned out that my fridge was a bit balmier than it should have been. I noticed it within a couple of hours of putting the thermometer in and I lowered the temp to the suggested 34-38F.

A note about Good Eats recipes in general. Be sure to read through the recipe that's listed on the website (I linked to it above). There were a few points I was going to make that the online recipe mentions as well as a few suggestions that weren't in the show that might be helpful (e.g. paper towels on the roast while it's drying).

Anyhow, here are some things that I came up with....

The perforated container - I didn't have one and I didn't really want to buy one big enough for the roast and perforate it. I was debating what to do (I considered using a cake/bread container with the top lifted up a little) and it occured to me that the fridge's crispers would be ideal. I will quickly add that this works for me because I never have lots of veggies at home (they go bad too quickly), so my crispers are fairly empty (and could be emptired easily enough for a few days). The nice thing about the crispers in my fridge is that they have a humidity control so I was able to set that to 50%. The meat was protected and at a good humidity. It's just a thought for anyone thinking about doing this (the web recipe doesn't even mention a container so I don't know how crucial this is....)

The crusty seasonings - The show didn't cover this and the online recipe suggests doing salt then ground pepper. My brother's significant other left a small jar of seasoned rock salt (i.e. not powdered/sprinkle-able) in my kitchen so I used that instead of plain kosher salt. As an experiment I tried putting unground pepper and the salt in a bowl and crushing them (I'll be getting an actual mortar and pestle for the X-mas feast preparation). I just wanted them in small-ish pieces, not powder. This worked out really well because the crust was a little more varied and the somewhat larger bits of salt and pepper survived the cooking process better than they would have if they were ground so the crust had a nicer seasoned taste. You could taste little bits of pepper here in the crust. So far everyone who's tried it liked it so I'll be trying this again.

The post-cooking-cooking - This is the part were I had more trouble. It seems obvious that if you cook a larger or smaller piece of meat, then the internal temp will rise more or less after you remove the roast from the oven. Unfortunately, this is a little hard to figure out exactly. I set my thermometer alarm to 119F and it only rose to 125F. It looks like you can (roughly) count on about 6 degrees of temperature increase for every 4-4.5 lbs of meat in the roast. I'm going to work with that scale when I do the X-mas roast(s) (yes, it looks like I'll need 2 for my family) and see what happens. The roast was still very good, but it was a little rarer than anticipated....

Hmmmm that's it for now. I may add more to this if I come up with any other notes....

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