People keep asking me to blog this, so I shall. It’s really exactly what Alton Brown would tell you.


  • Meat, such as rib roast or lamb leg
  • Roasting pan
  • Probe thermometer with temperature-based alarm
  • Kosher salt, black pepper (you can add more spices, obv.)
  • Just a soupçon of oil

Steps to reproduce:

  • Bring roast to room temperature (optional, but helpful!)
  • Set oven to 250F.
  • Lightly (lightly) oil the meat — it should glisten, but there should be no dripping.
  • Rub with salt and pepper and whatever other spices you can’t resist.
  • Put probe in the centre of the meat, set the alarm for 118F
  • When the oven hits 250F, turn it to 200F, and put the meat in
  • When the probe alerts you to the 118F-ness of the meat, take the pan out and tent
  • Turn oven to 500F
  • Take the probe out: you’re not gonna need it any more, and some of them don’t really enjoy 500F
  • When the oven gets to 500F, wait 15 mins to let the walls of the oven get good and hot. (You can actually wait a long time at this stage, right up to your level of comfort with food sitting out of the oven.)
  • Put the roast back in and let it go for about 15 mins, such that a pleasant crust develops .
  • Take the roast out of the pan, tent to let it rest ~15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, you have pan juices and 15 mins to kill. Let your conscience guide you.

The reduction of heat from 250F to 200F when the roast goes in is key. It’s the difference between “perfect medium-rare with a 1/2″ of medium around the edges” and “medium-rare at the centre, medium for the outer third”.

Je me surfeit

As any of our posse can tell you, a trip to Montreal means running a significant risk of developing gout. The food is amazing, as always, and other than a brief sputtering on Friday afternoon the weather has been perfect. None of this hotter-than-the-loins-of-hell crap that we left behind in Toronto, for example.

Lunches have been pretty low-key affairs, since breakfast was often taken around 11, though the paninis (one ch�vre, one “� la Cubain”) and salad at “olive + gourmand” were definitely a score. We of course did lots of wandering touristy stuff, including an excellent little exhibit on prehistoric Japan at the archaeological museum, and the impressive set of gardens-cum-exhibits at the International Flora event, and I managed to buy some new and much-needed clothes as well. But enough about non-eating pursuits.

On Friday evening, Steph scored us a table at her friend Chuck’s new restaurant, “Garde Manger”. It’s new enough that it really doesn’t have a sign outside, but it’s well worth risking mild confusion. When my Caesar arrived in a stein with two meaty crab legs sticking out, I knew we were going to have a good time. The three of us picked out a half-dozen items from the tapas-y daily menu, ranging from a fresh tomato salad to a ridiculous bavette with frites. Then, of course, the waitress upsold us — I mean called our attention to the availability of their assorted fresh seafood plates. We took the “small”, which only featured a dozen oysters in addition to crab and shrimp, which was undoubtedly the wisest course. A nearby table — which I suppose all of them were, really, given the scale of the joint — had a large “plate” hoisted onto their table with what looked like considerable effort; I believe there have been credible productions of The Little Mermaid with less underwater fauna. For dessert, we shared a generous slice of pecan pie which I would be reluctant to carry across the border without a doctor’s note. (We later learned, through Steph’s network of restaurant-industry informants, that the pie was made by Chuck’s mother.)

The next night (after the museum and garden stuff above, but I’m too lazy to edit for mere chronology) Austin arranged a table for Steph, Tyla and me at “Joe Beef”, the latest of David Macmillan’s endeavours. I’ve been a fan of David’s since first enjoying his work at Globe, and though David wasn’t on site last evening we had a pretty good time nonetheless. His partners Allison and Fred took care of us, and we gorged ourselves appropriately.

Before leaving today Tyla and I wandered over to Atwater market, a staple of our Montreal days. It’s been nicely restored since the fire a few years ago, and a little complex has sprung up across the street, boasting a large SAQ, some condos, and assorted grocery/drug/houseware stores. We’ll have to take a closer look when next we’re in town together. I hope I won’t be another 4 years! [tags]personal, mozilla, montreal, food, travel[/tags]