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.

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.