As expected, my first Christmas as a wife (`09), I received my very own meat slicer – a gift from my mother. As I unwrapped, my mom explained “Every woman deserves a meat slicer, Paula. And now that you’re married, you have to cook for your husband – the slicer will impress him.” Both of my sisters received their slicers the first Christmas after their weddings. It’s a family tradition!
For as long as I can remember, any time our family ate roast beef, whether it was at my grandparents’ house in Bellerose or in my mother’s kitchen 5 minutes away, the meat slicer came out of the box and onto the counter. I have many memories of my grandmother bringing the roast beef up from the basement to her dining room table – which was set perfectly and protected with plastic. Everyone oohed and aahed making a big fuss over the meat – it’s so thin, cooked perfectly, Madonna mia! Then silence of course, as we all “gavoned” our food.
As my grandmother impressed me then, so I now dazzle my guests with the unveiling of the thinly-sliced meat. Presentation matters, and it just tastes incredibly better.
So what you’ve all been waiting for… below are pictures of my precious meat slicer. Procedural tips following.
1. Don’t drink wine while operating your meat slicer. DRINKING WHILE SLICING IS A NO-NO – very dangerous! Save the wine for dinner, when you’re indulging in delicious eye-round. This prohibition is very difficult for me, but better safe than sorry!
2. Let the meat cool to touch – don’t wait to long before slicing. The meat gets cold fast!
3. When slicing, don’t “push the meat”, guide it firmly forward. If you push inwards towards the blade, the meat will cut unevenly (thick and thin). Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty – inevitably, they will.
4. Clean your machine well. It’s precious.
TIPS FOR COOKING EYE-ROUND:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Put the roast beef in the oven, then lower to 350. You lose a lot of heat when the oven door is opened. Cook 15-20 minutes per pound.
2. Buy your meat from the butcher. Season – I like fresh pepper and balsamic vinegar. Experiment, it’s fun.
The slicer will work just as well with turkey breast or ham. What I’ve been meaning to try for some time is slicing eggplant. We all know thinly sliced eggplant makes for killer rollatini. Stay tuned…