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Roast beef, rice and gravy

One of Mom's famous meals is roast beef and gravy. This is a very close approximation made with an entirely different method of preparation. The process starts with an eye of round roast beef. Remove all of the fat and any silverskin. Season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.

Vacuum seal and cook in the sous vide for 90 minutes at 122°F. (This was originally 2 hours at 132°F which is too hot and unnecessarily long.) Okay, my roast beef isn't actually roasted at all. I have tried various combinations of browning the outside before or after the sous vide, and, as it turns out, it's not necessary at all. It's so thinly sliced you can't even tell it was never browned.

Cool the beef, still in its vacuum bag, in cold water or ice water for 30 minutes.

Remove from the bag, and thinly slice. I make 5.0 oz. servings for roast beef and gravy, 3.0 oz. servings for roast beef sandwiches , and 3.2 oz. packages of large strips for stir-fry. The stir-fry beef is also a good solution for what to do with the end piece because it's very difficult to thinly slice the whole thing. Once divided, the packages are individually vacuum sealed and frozen for future meals. One problem with not actually roasting is the inability to make gravy. I solve this with a bit of cheating, but the end result is delicious.

Heat 8 oz. of water in a sauté pan until boiling. Add 0.4 oz. (a couple tablespoons) of More than Gourmet demi glace concentrate and dissolve. This is concentrated stock made from real bones and such with no fillers. And unlike packaged broth, it keeps basically forever in the refrigerator. I highly recommend it.

Take 8 oz. of cold water and add 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour, stirring throughly so there are no lumps. Add the flour and water slurry to the stock base. Bring to just under boiling, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes.

Add salt, pepper and soy sauce to the gravy. There should be enough gravy for 2 - 3 servings. I vacuum seal the leftovers and refrigerate. It is possible to freeze gravy. It must always be reheated on the stove - never in the microwave - but it's never as good as non-frozen gravy.

I use the same process to make chicken gravy for roasted chicken. And also for roasted turkey - even though the gravy is made from chicken no one will ever notice the difference.

Serve with rice. I usually have cooked Japanese sushi rice in my refrigerator. Plate one serving, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 0:40 on high.

Broccoli is a good side vegetable. Cut into small pieces, put in a bowl, wash, drain, then add a little water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 1:20.

It's good with peas. This is a 6.0 oz. serving of roast beef. That's 2.5 oz. of frozen peas, about 2/3 cup. Add the peas, 4 oz. of water and salt to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Drain. This is handy because I always have frozen peas in the freezer. I've never had much luck microwaving frozen peas.

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