I had planned on doing a Philly cheesesteak dinner tonight with a pair of smaller "football" shoulder roasts. The meat came out so good, I didn't want to drown it in peppers & onions, so we opted for French dip sandwiches instead.

The goal was to produce deli-style, thin-sliced roast beef type of meat. This entire thing was an experiment, and since I had never tried this before (with any meat), some of these steps may seem pointless, but the goal was to get a nicely roasted meat, without drying it into jerky, as the shoulder had about 0% fat content. But, since it was such a success, I'll continue doing everything below:

1) Generously salt the meat and liberally coat in granulated garlic & ground black pepper.....let it sit at least an hour at room temperature, at least until most of the liquid on the plate is reabsorbed into the meat

2) Pat the roasts dry and rub olive oil all over the meat. Place the meat on a rack, which is set over a shallow pan full of water. The water's purpose is two-fold: catch the drippings to prevent smoke buildup (and to use for an au jus, as well), but also to keep moisture in the oven to keep the meat from drying out. As an added precaution, I covered it in a Pyrex casserole dish. I have no idea if this helped, or even did anything at all, but the meat didn't turn to jerky.

3) I roasted the meat for 2 hours in a 225 oven. I think next time, I'll keep it at 2 hours, but reduce the oven to 200 degrees. The meat was still pink, but I would've preferred it to be a little pinker. Notice the netting....since this is a de-boned shoulder, I opted to keep the netting on there to maintain the roast shape. After numerous back-and-forth texts with Poser, I opted to leave the major silverskin layer on (it ended up drawing up into an easily removable wad after all the cooking was over).

At this point, the meat is actually "done", but is a pale looking wad of unappetizing muscle mass.

4) Time for the browning phase.....remove the Pyrex (and the netting, since it's now cooked and will hold its shape), and pop it back in the oven, now set at 450 degrees, for right at 10 minutes. This gives a nice brown exterior, while helping maintain a large portion of the nice pink interior.

5) I let it rest for about an hour, then I covered it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge overnight. I sliced some off this morning to check the doneness (and have a flavor test ;\) ) It's a nice, uniform light pink.....Initially, i was going to use a thermometer, but decided against it. One less way to lose moisture. Also, I poured off the flavorful drip pan water into a jar and stuck it in the fridge as well.

This tasted absolutely awesome. It was at this point I called the audible and decided for a more simple French dip.

6) Dinner prep tonight was to slice it as thinly as possible. While slicing, I let the drip water reduce on the stove, skimming the foam off the to. In case it wasn't going to be enough, I bought a can of Campbell's Beef Consommé. Mrs. TAFKAP sauteed a minced shallot in the pan, then mixed the consommé in along with the drip pan reduction. Low simmer on that until dinner. Sorry, no liquid pics. The evening sun in the kitchen revealed the meat to be actually quite pink....I still think I'd drop to 200 for (2) hours.

7) Slightly chop the thin slices into bite-sized pieces

Then load into a sandwich.....multi-grain hoagie rolls from Fresh Market and some provolone slices. We also decided to brown some mushrooms with red onions, just to add a little bulk to the meat.....good call, since it might not've been enough food, otherwise. Pop it in the oven under a broiler to melt the cheese (I added some onions on top of mine, since there were some left over)


Everything important in life was learned from Mary Jo Kopechne.