feel that for the purpose of thrift, as with grilling, if you’re going to oven
roast, roast your whole meal. Meats love to be roasted. Here’s the trick: crank
your oven to full--absolutely full heat. With your empty roasting pan inside, let
your oven get up to temperature and then place your meat in the roasting pan and
let it sizzle. When the outside of your meat starts to look finished--a lovely,
golden brown color for chicken or turkey, and a dark brownexterior for red meat--lower your oven's temperature to 250 and cook until your desired doneness. Perfect roasting is
you’re roasting steaks in the oven, have your oven at full and heat your cast
iron pan on the stove top to medium high temperature, or about 80 per cent
full. Add your duck fat or cooking oil and then, after 5 to 10 seconds of
smoking, place your perfectly seasoned and completely towel dried steaks in the
pan – they will sizzle. Let them cook (caramelize) for 20 to 40 seconds and
then raise the temperature to maximum and listen for the sizzling to pick up
tempo. Flip the steaks and allow them to sizzle on the second side for 2 to 5
seconds. Then, as fast as you can, put the pan straight in the oven and close the
door. Try not to lose any heat! Let the steak cook on the second side a little
longer than the first side and then flip back to the first side for 30 seconds
to 1.5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the meat to rest for 2 to 3
minutes before you cut into it. It will be perfect! The cooking time is subject
to the size of the steak and how you would like it cooked; blue, rare, medium
rare, medium, medium well, well done or black as hell.
absolute best results I have had with turkeys have been when I roast them at
full heat for about 15 minutes – they look completely cooked, the skin is
golden. Then, lower the temperature to 200F and cook for 4-6 hours if it is 15
pounds, or 8-10 hours for 30 pounds – slow and low. I apply this principle to
many larger pieces of meat; crazy high heat for 15 minutes, or until the
outside looks cooked, and then slow and low.
a great way to save yourself some time and money during the work week. Roast
meat on a Sunday and have it ready to be made into quick, inexpensive, and
wonderful meals all week long.
that you know how to roast meat perfectly, add your vegetables—potatoes, corn
on the cob (cut into 2 to 3 inch pieces), carrots, chunks of onion, squash, etc.—to
the roasting pan. Remember, the vegetables won’t take as long as a roast, so
add them to the pan part way through the roasting time. The results will be
amazing! This is a thrifty way to cook a beautiful meal for your family. It’s
easy to clean up and you’re cooking everything in the oven, in one pan.
Example from Food that Really Schmecks,
by Edna Staebler
Green Tomato Relish
wouldn’t want to be without this relish; I like it very much. It is rather dark
greenish brown, not too sour, delicious with cold meat or fried potatoes.”
6quarts of green tomatoes (cut out the
stem but leave the skin)
1 quart of white or cider vinegar
21/2 pounds brown sugar
3 teaspoons of ground clove
4-5 onions sliced
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon salt
Into a large preserving kettle (pot)
put the tomatoes, cut into quarters or eights. Pour in vinegar and add all the
rest. Boil till the relish is thick enough to plop off the spoon. Don’t boil
too quickly--pull up a chair and sit there, stirring very often--almost
continuously until it becomes really thick and a bit spitty. Remember while
you’re doing it that you’ll enjoy it all winter. Ladle into sterilized jars; it
keeps for years.
is a Mennonite cook book from Kitchener Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The book is
a wealth of classical information on food preparation and preservation.
Mennonites, like Amish, are a thrifty and highly self-reliant bunch. They live
simply off of their land, selling some products to earn cash, and they don’t
pay taxes. They have the practical skills to weather any financial storm.
Though they live simply by most western standards, their culture is ripe with
tradition and of course excellent food:
“Like most Waterloo County mothers,
mine made sure her three daughters would not be helpless in the kitchen. She
told us what to do and we did it. Mother cooked as her grandmother did and when
we three were married we cooked the same way. Our husbands seemed to think it
was fine – thrifty, appetizing and plentiful…Towards the end of summer,
wherever you go in Waterloo County there is a pungent aroma of vinegar and
spices as thousands of housewives stir long-boiling relishes and prepare crocks
of pickles and jars of fruit to last through the seasons till canning time
comes again. No Mennonite meal is served without some kind of sour and sweet on
the table – and when company comes there are traditionally seven of each.”
“Every fall for years and years I have
made this local specialty for visiting friends and relations who can’t seem to
get through a meal without it.
Peel the tomatoes, pears, peaches,
onions. Cut the tomatoes in pieces, slice the fruit about ¼ inch thick, the
onions more finely. Put everything into a large kettle, boil and stir the
mixture till it’s thick enough not to have any watery liquid – about 2 hours.
Ladle the relish into sterilized jars and it will keep for years if you don’t
put it on your table every day as most Kitchener Waterloo natives do.”
Personally, I’m inspired when reading
the book Food that Really Schmecks.
After air and water, food is your number one necessity, so in my opinion
ignorance of food and food preparation is really very stupid. Learning to
perform these techniques and becoming more self-reliant is very, very smart.
It’s also thrifty!
food, like curing, is a HUGE topic. This technique was used widely not long ago;
your grandparents, or maybe even your parents, probably preserved vegetables,
fruits, and even meat. Why? Well, preserving was a necessity in the winter
months, back when there weren’t refrigerators or tractor trailers delivering
foods from the South on a daily basis. I see knowledge and experience in food
preservation becoming important as thrift
culture reemerges in the western world. I mean, if you can preserve, you’re
freeing your fridge from storing all of your food. If you can preserve, you can
CAPATALIZE on top quality, maybe organic (that’s what I’m buying, and I ain’t
paying retail for it!), produce when it’s in season. You can stop time, so to
speak, you can eliminate or postpone rotting indefinitely; at least for a
couple of years, but maybe even ten in the case of some pickles.
technology is very rudimentary and the tools are WIDELY available. You likely
have most of what you need already in your home. One of the most widely used
techniques is jarring or canning. The jars, often called Mason jars, are widely
available and they come with instructions on how to can foods. YOU MUST FOLLOW
THESE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER!!! Don’t ‘wing it’ when jarring foods or you
will waste your time and money as the food goes bad. All of the information is
on the package, just read it over and learn it. The jars are reusable and once
you start to take action and preserve your own food, you will love it! You will
be addicted. It’s fun and thrifty and truly healthy – imagine all of those
fresh fruits and vegetables from the summer and fall, preserved for your
enjoyment and nourishment throughout the winter: asparagus, carrots, beets,
zucchini, tomatoes, beans, cherries, pears, apples…
Using whatever ‘recipe’ you wish,
cook the food that you wish to preserve--relish, pickles, jam, chutney, confiture,
rillet, vegetables, fruits, cured meats, cured fish, whole cured duck, whole
cured chickens, boiled eggs (these are just a few of the potential foods
for canning)—in a pot of the preserving liquids, on the stove. Until you
become a master, you will have to follow a proven recipe; salt and sugar
levels must be accurate, for example, since they’re what prevent food born
illnesses from growing. These illnesses cannot grow in high acid
(vinegar), high salt or high sugar environments. Low acid and low sugar create
a perfectly good environment for a deadly food born disease to grow.
While you’re cooking your
preserve in a pot on the stove, you must sterilize your jars by boiling
them (and their lids) in water for 15 minutes (read the instructions on
the label). Then, remove the jars and lids to a clean surface (i.e. a
clean counter that’s covered with clean tea towels to absorb the water). Do
NOT touch the lids or jars with your bare hands, but use tongs and wear
rubber gloves (available at drug stores).
Pour your hot preserve into the
hot jars using a ladle, and be sure to leave an air space of about 1 inch
at the top.
Place the lids on top of the jars
and gently turn the sealer (the ring) so that it’s tightened about ¾ of
Put the jars into a hot water
bath (big pot of boiling water) and boil them for 15 minutes.
Remove, and allow them to cool. This
step will create a powerful suction and the lids will become tightly
sealed to the jars. At this point you must tighten the sealer (the ring) the
rest of the way.
isn’t a word that people often think of. I must say, however, that western
nations, especially the English speaking nations like Canada, the U.S., and UK,
are at risk of having food sources disrupted. I have lived all over Canada and
one thing that’s very common is the dependence upon foods that are imported
from hundreds, even thousands of miles away. We shouldn’t be stupid and
unrealistic about the risks. If ‘shit hits the fan,’ and oil goes to $400 a
barrel or politicians get wild (wilder) and make more stupid decisions (it all
they do), food sources could be disrupted. I once read that 1800 tractor
trailer loads of food travel from California to Canada each day--mostly in the
winter. The northern U.S. relies on similar arrangements and the U.K. is also a
net food importer.
nothing wrong with trade, it opens us up to better products at better prices,
but don’t be naïve about food. If there’s the right sort of event and
long-range food trade is disrupted, your grocery store shelves may be empty!
Those of us who use the preservation or curing techniques will have it made in
the shade. We will be able to enjoy tasty foods year round, even as some of our
brethren struggle to find food. Don’t lose sight of this. Learn to preserve.
Even if none of this happens you have still learned a thrifty and fun cooking
is another preservation technique. Your tasty dills are just one form of pickle,
but the liquid that the dill pickle is soaking in is what we want to teach you
how to make. Pickling requires you to make a solution of acid, salt, and or
sugar. This combination, in the right concentration, will preserve foods:
vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, and meats. Corn beef, for example, is
essentially pickled. Pickled eggs are also made in an easy pickling solution.
Once you make the solution, the food needs to be soaked in it for a length of
time, depending on the size and density of the food.
kg of cooked, skinned, and sliced (1 cm thick) beets
together all ingredients, less the beets, in a small pot. Bring to a boil. This
will produce a syrup. Place the beets in the syrup and allow them to warm
through, but not boil. Drop the beets into your sterilized jars and pour the syrup
over them, cover tightly, store them away until the end of time….okay that’s an
exaggeration, but you can keep them for a long time.
Place the meat into the hot pan
and listen to it sizzle. Very hot, but not burning or blackening the food
Lower the temperature of the
burner to 75 per cent and continue cooking
Allow the flesh to cook on the
first side for 15 to 30 seconds
Then, turn the heat back up to
100 per cent and flip the meat over to the second side
Sear the flesh on the second side
by allowing it to sit at full heat for 10 to 20 seconds and then reduce
the heat to 75 per cent of full
Continue to sear at 75 per cent
for 30 seconds
Remove the meat from the pan and
allow it to rest. Remember, this meat is still raw or blue-rare on the
inside. You could eat it if you like very rare meat (not poultry) but cooking it longer in the oven is probably required
the meat is seared, you apply your oven roasting technique. This is top-quality
cooking. Be happy to be learning it because it’ll help you to cut costs and
improve your diet dramatically. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, if
you shop in the center aisle of your grocery store for much of your food--the
processed food aisles--for your health, and your household finances, you will
regret it. The chemical preservatives used in typical processed foods are
toxic. If you want to debate me on the topic then bring it on! READ LABELS, EAT
WHOLESOME FOODS PREPARED AT HOME AND SAVE YOUR MONEY.
This applies to liquids like soup, stock, and
sauce. The term ‘reduce’ refers to reducing the water volume of whatever it is
that you’re cooking. All that you’re doing when you reduce a liquid is boiling off
the water content; vaporizing the water from the soup, stock, or sauce. As the
water is vaporized, the concentration of the nutrients and flavor increases.
The technique is especially useful in sauce making.
In the video tutorial below, we show you an example of classic sauce making. Flavor building requires you to add components and reduce, or concentrate them, before you add more components. For a given sauce, one might start by sweating some shallots in olive oil, adding a teaspoon of maple syrup (real maple syrup), deglazing the pan with 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar, reducing the vinegar to a glaze and then adding 1 cup of Spanish rose and reducing it by half (slowly turning it into half a cup by simmering) and then adding 2 cups of fish stock and reducing the entire mixture by half, straining it into a smaller pot and adding 3 tablespoons of cream, reducing it further by 25%, stirring in 1 tablespoon of butter and a chiffonade of thai basil and tomatoes cancasse and serving it over seared perch!