BY TARA BURKE
After studying abroad in the UK, Sunday roasts have a special place in my heart. Settling into a new culture and being so far away from home can be hard, but the Sunday roast was the first real meal I had with my new friends abroad. Sitting in that pub with a bunch of other study abroad students made me feel at ease. Not to mention as far as trying new food goes, Yorkshire pudding was a non-intimidating and delicious start. As a result, a Sunday roast will always symbolize comfort food for me. So, I decided to make my own version of a Sunday roast for my family while I was visiting. It’s different than the typical British or Irish meal, but it still has the main elements of beef, potatoes and vegetables.
At least one pound of sirloin (get pre-cut to make it easier)
Three large potatoes
Four large carrots
One package of mushrooms
Salt and Pepper
Four tablespoons of butter
Goya Adobo Seasoning
The first thing I did was give all of the vegetables a good washing. Then I peeled the potatoes and carrots. I learned from my Mom that the skin of carrots have a bitter taste, so if you want that sweet carrot taste the skins gotta go. I then cubbed the potatoes and put them in a bowl of water as I prepared the rest of the vegetables. This is another trick I learned from my Mom. If you leave peeled potatoes out too long, similar to apples, they will brown fairly quickly. Keeping them soaked in water will prevent this from happening while you’re getting the rest of your ingredients prepared. I then cut the carrots into one inch slices and sliced up all of the mushrooms. My Mom, who had been helping me out with all the preparations, diced up the onion as I shielded my eyes! Now it is time to get cooking!
The first thing I did was cover the entire bottom of a deep pan with oil. Then I placed the diced onions in and let them cook down a bit before I added the potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. I seasoned the vegetables with salt, pepper and Goya’s Adobo seasoning. This is when I ran into a dilemma. After a few shakes of the Adobo seasoning we realized that we had run out! We would have to improvise some seasoning to get the proper amount of flavor into the vegetables. My Mom ended up throwing in some steak seasoning and to my surprise and skepticism some Ramen noodle chicken flavoring powder. Despite my reservations about using the Ramen flavouring I decided to trust her instincts since she has a knack of throwing random ingredients together and still making them taste good.
The beef was only going to take a minute to cook so I waited until the vegetables were nearly done before I heated up the skillet. But before I get going on how to cook the beef I’ll let you in on a little secret. This was the first time I cooked steak! I was always a little afraid to cook beef, since cooking it perfectly seems like somewhat of an art form. After all, I’ve ordered several medium steaks at restaurants before that ended up being more well done than medium. In turn, I thought you would have to be a super chef in order to cook beef perfectly. That was until I caught an episode of The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network. She was cooking steak bites and it was literally the simplest thing I ever saw and I said to myself… I can totally do that! All you have to do is season the cut up steak tips with a good amount of salt, heat the pan at medium-high to high heat, melt the butter in the pan until it is starting to brown, throw the steak in so that the pieces lay flat, keep them there for thirty seconds, flip them, wait another thirty seconds and then you’re good to go! You end up with great buttery seared steak bites.
The vegetables turned out great (Ramen powder and everything) and the steak was cooked with just the right amount of pink inside. It is safe to say I will definitely be cooking more “Sunday roasts” in the U.S. now that I’ve gotten over my steak cooking phobia.