I planned on making roast beef. However, I am still in Korea. I don’t make roast beef very often because the beef is so expensive here, but I found what looked like roast beef on sale for a decent price, so I bought it. You see, I have lived in lots of countries, and the surprise I got when I opened this package of beef is nothing compared to other things I have encountered.
In Nigeria, we used to shop at King’s Way, a department store/grocery store that runs though out the country. Once, we bought what we thought was hamburger, but it was the last time we bought meat at King’s Way. When I cooked it, it smelled really strange. When we ate it, it just didn’t taste like hamburger, and we couldn’t figure out what kind of meat it was at all, and I didn’t like it. We thought perhaps they had mixed liver with the beef. We weren’t sure, but we knew it wasn’t hamburger. After that, we figured out where the meat market was and bought our meat directly from the cow. We got up early in the morning and went to a place where there was an old wooden table under and awning where they had just slaughtered a cow and skinned it. We were supposed to point to the piece we wanted, and the man would cut it off for us. Then, we had to take it home and be our own butcher. Luckily, we had a meat grinder. We also began raising chickens.
In Romania, I was really surprised to go into a butcher’s shop and see a pig’s foot hanging there. I had never cooked a pig’s foot. I couldn’t imagine what these people were doing with a pigs foot. After I thought about it, I realized that Romanians really like soup, so they were probably boiling the pig’s foot for broth for their soup. Luckily, we could identify what we saw. We raised pigs, cows, and turkeys in Romania, but not because the butcher shop didn’t sell good meat, but because it was everyone’s custom to raise animals, and we had the barns in our back yard to raise animals, so we did. Most Romanians raise at least a pig in their back yards. Our kids really enjoyed the animals. If we hadn’t raised the turkeys, it would have been hard to have turkey on Thanksgiving because we looked long and hard to find our turkeys. Our kids actually put clothes on the turkeys on Easter saying they needed Easter dresses. Our kids really enjoyed the animals! We tried hatching chickens, but never had much luck. Our neighbor had chickens, and we bought eggs from her. She also had a milk cow, and we ended up buying milk from her too. Trying to get milk in Romania is a whole other story I won’t write here.
Here in Korea, we don’t have the option of raising our own meat. We live in an apartment. We have to buy whatever is available, and thankfully, what is available is good. Often, it is not what we are used to, but it is usually usable. What we thought was roast beef was not roast beef. It was beef, but shredded beef probably made for making Korean bulgogi. However, I have never made bulgogi, and we wanted roast beef, so I ignored the fact that it was shredded and made shredded roast beef. It was just as good.
I realized for sure when I put it in the pan that it wasn’t one piece of roast beef, but a bunch of shredded beef. I browned it all.
I put a little cooking oil in a big pan and browned the beef. After that, I covered it with water and a lid and boiled it for a couple of hours. It turned out great, and I had broth to make gravy for our mashed potatoes and Yorkshire pudding.
I put some cold milk in a cup and added about 4 tablespoons of cornstarch to the cold milk and mixed it up.
I made corn starch gravy. I put the beef broth in a sauce pan. I got a mug and poured some cold milk in it. I turned the broth on so it would come to a boil. I put about 4 tablespoons of corn starch in the cold milk and mixed it in.
I let it boil until it thickened, and it was gravy.
When the broth came to a boil, I slowly added the cold milk and corn starch mixture. I used by wire whip to mix it so there would be no lumps. I let it boil a couple of minutes, and it thickened into gravy. I salted it and turned it off.
Our meal turned out good. We ate roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, Yorkshire pudding, and broccoli with Ranch Style dressing on the side. We can’t always find Ranch style dressing here, but I had found some, so I bought some broccoli because I know that my family likes broccoli and Ranch Style dressing. You may not have heard of Yorkshire pudding, so I will write another blog and explain how to make it. There are so many layers to my cultural background. Yorkshire pudding and roast beef is the national dish of England where I lived as a child. Yes, I am an American, but for many years, I spoke with a British accent and in many ways, am British American at my core.