An Arkan-French Roast

*Just a little diddy for Ann Kroeker’s Food on Friday series.  I love to see what the people are cooking over there.  You should take a look.

Roast, flash fried turnips with greens, and mash potatoes

Amber bought a chuck roast on Saturday.  It was on sale and had a nice bit of fat on it, so she knew I could work with it.  I’m at my best with a cheap piece of meat and a lazy Lord’s Day; there are not two things more peaceful in tandem.

After salting and searing the slab, I chopped garlic, carrots, and onions and threw it all in a nice sized dutch oven.  And perhaps that’s when the blasphemy started.

We were out of hearty burgundy, and the wine shops around here are closed on Sunday, so I reached for what we had left—a half cup of flat root beer and some boxed beef broth.  Of course, as any good Arkan-French chef would, I chose my root beer carefully.  It was a 2011 vintage.  Very complex stuff.  Very rooty, not too beery.   At room temperature, one could detect slight notes of nuttiness and… who am I kidding?  The stuff tasted like dime-store sugar water.  But on southern Sundays you do what you can and offer the rest to your Maker.  Root beer and herbes de provence; it would have to do.

I placed the crock in a 300 degree oven and sat at the couch, trying to get ahead of the coming Monday avalanche.  The simmering smells of root-beer-braised beef wafted through our living room, and I was reminded of the words of the Psalmist:

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! … Oh fear the Lord, you His saints; For to those who fear him there is no want.  The young lions do not lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.”

Good things, like cheap meat and strong onions.  Good things, like flat root beer, French herbs, and turnip greens.  Good things, like steady work, a steady family, and a steady church.

We live a good life here in the Ozark Mountain Range.  Even if it’s not too terribly complex.

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13 Responses to An Arkan-French Roast

  1. Prudence says:

    Taking all that you had left, you offered it as a fragrant aroma.

    Oh taste & see that God is good, and so is meat. 😉

  2. David Hendren says:

    I’m surprised scrambled eggs and beer didn’t make the food post… haha.

  3. I love how you can wax eloquently about root beer. That’s when you know you’re a good writer.


    • sethhaines says:

      I am equal parts wax and wane. I’m kind of like the moon that way.

      It’s a good thing to see you stopping in here.

      • Dear Abby Leigh and I decided last weekend that maybe we should “up” our commitment here or you might take us off the special “collective list”. You wouldn’t do that, would you Seth? We’re two really special ladies and if’n we disappeared from your site I’m sure half your readership would as well. Yeah, you heard me.

      • sethhaines says:

        I would love for you and dear Abbyeigh to up your commitment. In fact, I’d love for you ladies to drop some words into a regular old post.

        See? What sayeth you ladies?

  4. Now that’s what I call creative cooking. Root beer?? Really?? And the end product was….??

  5. Ann Kroeker says:

    Five loaves, two fish; bargain roast, flat root beer. Sometimes you just use what you have on hand and the result? Feasting.

    Thanks for this word-feast, as well. You feed us well.

  6. i’m in!
    you lay the ground rules and lady e and abbyleigh will come out to play!

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