Thursday, December 10, 2009


One of the challenges of switching to kosher meat is that fewer cuts are available. The hindquarters are forbidden because they contain the sciatic nerve (in commemoration of Jacob's injury when he wrestled with the mysterious man at Jabbok). You can actually remove this, but it is expensive and time consuming. My grandfather said that in Pruzhane, the shtetl where they came from in Belarus, his father would stay up all night performing the process. In the US, as opposed to Pruzhane, where non-Jews are happy to buy meat from kosher slaughterers (and much prime meat is), hindquarters are not certified as kosher and the observant are restricted to the forequarter, which generally contains tougher cuts.

In transitioning to using only kosher meat, I have found myself experimenting with a lot of cuts that I didn't deal with before. Hence clod. Fairway market sells a kosher cut called clod, which is also known as minute roast, but clod has a certain poetry about it. I don't know the etymology, but it must mean something in Yiddish. I don't particularly care for it when cut into steaks,which I don't find particularly tender, and they have a thick vein of gristle running down the center which isn't very appealing. However, I have found that it makes a great pot roast, and if you pressure cook it, the whole deal takes about an hour, and the vein becomes soft and gelatinous, a pleasure for some of us (like me), and easy enough to cut out for the rest. Here is my recipe:

Clod with mushrooms and wine
  1. Sear a 2 pound clod roast on all sides in vegetable oil in a large skillet on high heat. (I use canola oil which contains Omega-3s to compensate for all the Omega-6s in everything else we eat, especially the grain- and soy-fed meat.)
  2. Meanwhile, saute one very large onion, halved, sliced, and lightly salted, in a little vegetable oil in the pressure cooker. Add about 4 cloves sliced garlic and saute come more.
  3. When the meat is seared, put it on top of the onions in the cooker. Add a 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (I like Muir's Glen roasted tomatoes), a half cup of red wine, some pepper, 2 bay leaves, a pinch of rosemary, and 2 cloves (these add a wonderful aroma.
  4. Close and seal the pressure cooker and bring the pressure up to high over high heat. (On my Kuhn-Ricoh, that means the second red ring is showing.)
  5. Turn heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes. Watch from time to time to make sure the pressure is constant.
  6. Meanwhile, pour the oil out of the skillet (it will have burned if you seared the roast properly) add a little more oil, and another large onion, quartered and sliced. Salt lightly and saute until golden.
  7. Add one pound washed sliced mushrooms. I like cremini. Forget about what people say about wiping them individually with a damp paper towel. Life is too short. Dump them in a large bowl of water and swish them around a bit. What dirt doesn't some off you can then remove with a paper towel.
  8. Salt lightly and saute on medium high until the mushrooms give off all their liquid, and then boil it all away. The mushrooms and onions will be nice and brown at this point. Shut the heat until the roast is done.
  9. After the 45 minutes, let the pressure come down naturally (i.e. don't run under cold water or press the button, it could toughen the meat). Remove the cover and the roast from the cooker. Boil down the juices until they are as thick as you want -- I like the texutre of a chunky tomato sauce. Stir occasionally so it doesn't scorch. Remove the bay leaves, and the cloves if you can find them.
  10. Slice the roast about 1/4 inch thick and put in in the skillet with the onions and mushrooms. Pour the sauce on top. Simmer a few minutes and serve. Goes very nicely with egg noodles or other pasta.
  11. Serves 4 .
You can probably make this stove top in a regular pot, but I would give it about 3 hours, and I don't know how tender the gristle would be.

No comments:

Post a Comment