Flipping through the grocery circular, Mr. ETB remarked that chuck roast sounded good. He's a pretty good sport about living with two vegetarians, so on the way home from the city, I stopped and bought the largest one they had (I'm going to freeze half).
"Well, you'll need wine and chili sauce" Mr. ETB reminded me.
"That's how I cook brisket, but I could cook a chuck roast the same way, I guess."
Here's the embarrassing part-that was how my mother cooked brisket, and how I prepared it not knowing any different. It has been at least ten (probably closer to fifteen) years since I made anything like this, and I'm not really sure how to do it anymore. I tried steering (unintentional pun there, but I'm leaving it) him toward a more traditional pot roast recipe with peas, carrots, and some sort of floury gravy, but he insists the chili sauce/wine combo is better. Fine. I at least remembered enough to purchase a bottle of kosher wine (Concord grape, of course) though the brand of chili sauce my mother favoured is nowhere to be found in Nebraska. I'm sure the store brand will do. I think there are several onions involved. And carrots. I have a jar of rendered beef suet, maybe I ought to brown the roast in it first?
The "Teachable" Moment:
Danny, I want to tell you about this three dollar bottle of wine I'm buying. Someday, you'll be a teenager and as most teens do, you'll be tempted to hit mum and dad's booze. Because we're not the types to keep a stocked bar, you'll find yourself looking at a bottle of Pimms, and half a bottle of Mogen David that was left from the last time I cooked a brisket/chuck roast which will probably be this weekend. You'll think, "Hey this stuff isn't too bad, kinda sweet, goes down easy." You may find yourself with a bowl of popcorn on your lap, a movie on the telly ( or perhaps some sort of progressive jazz concert at an outdoor venue...but this isn't about me at Ravinia in 1981)...son, if you learn nothing else from me remember that the sickest you will ever be-the worst headache you will ever encounter-the first time you will pray for the ability to vomit on demand...it will all come courtesy of that innocent looking bottle of Concord grape wine. Oh, and maybe bourbon and ginger ale-don't drink bourbon and ginger ale. Scratch that, just don't drink bourbon. Or Mogen David. There, I've shared a life lesson so someday when you run off and join the merchant marine as you threaten routinely to do, you'll know to politely refuse the offer of a nice glass of wine and insist on grog like a proper sailor. And don't spend all your money on floozies when you get in port.
There, I'm done parenting for today. Hey, who wants Chuck Roast?