Filled with the holiday spirit, I have been making tea masala. Everyone has their traditions and I decided this would be mine. You’re never too old to start doing something all the time, that’s what I say. Tea masala, as I understand it, is “lazy man’s” servant’s short-cut to chai. Rather than steeping whole spices in a half milk/half water concoction and then adding tea leaves, you just make yourself a cup of tea, add milk and a sprinkle of tea masala.
Tea Masala (I totally guessed. Ask a more legit Indian person for the real recipe)
2 parts ground cinnamon
2 parts ground clove
1 part ground ginger
1 part ground cardamom
1/2 – 1 part fine ground black pepper
1 part all spice
a bit of ground star anise
mix it all together, store it in an airtight container. mmmmm.
Here’s the cray-cray thing: Add 1 part salt. OK, now add 1 part cumin….see where I’m going? Now rub this fun dust all over a raw, 4.5lb grass-fed roast. Let it sit for a while. (you know how you’re supposed to let it come to room temp before you sear it? ) Then proceed as usual: using your trusty iron skillet, sear the sucker in butter if you’re not messin’ around. Then place it in a Le Crouset pot or similar artifact on top of a pile of sliced onion. I added a bit of sherry and water. Cover and cook in the oven at 275 (I preheated to 300, then dropped it) for half an hour. Take it out, baste it, put it back in. Do that twice. It will be done in less that 2 hours I KID YOU NOT. Don’t over cook it, you’ll cry. If you’re not going to eat it right away, let it cool and remove the meat from the liquid and wrap it up in foil to store.
The remaining liquid can and should be used to make a sauce. I just left it in the pot in the fridge overnight. When I took it out, the fat could be removed easily as it was a solid disk on the surface. Feel free to eat it like a cookie, I won’t judge. After removing the fat, strain out the onions and save them. Reduce the remaining liquid by half adding a bit more sherry, rosemary, and some smoked salt if you have it! Thicken the sauce with a cornstarch or arrowroot slurrey…OR, put the onions in the blender and add them to the sauce. (or all three…it’s your life.)
Don’t forget to put some of that fat back in before you’re done.
I’ll add pics later. For now, just use your dirty, dirty imagination.
ps: Don’t clean that iron skillet! Cook some breakfast sausage and greens in it first. mmmspicygoodness.