Pot Roast - A Cautionary Tale

What makes a pot roast taste like liver?

What is more comforting than pot roast? Easy to make, it's virtually a hassle free meal that reaps huge flavour dividends in the category of dinner no-brainers.

Speaking of brains, I wrote a while ago about how I don't like organ meat. I figure if you have to follow strict procedures to bring your cut of 'meat' up to a standard where a human can consume it, then maybe it's not the thing you should be serving. Specifically I wrote about kidneys.

Beef liver is another organ that people voluntarily choose to eat. I don't mind pate and I hope to try foie gras one day. I don't anticipate liking it but I will try it. I've been forced to eat beef liver as a child and I can tell you, there is not enough sauteed onions or bacon in this world that will disguise the disgusting, metallic  earthy, flavour and rubbery texture of liver. That's all well and good, so I choose not to eat liver and that should be the end of the story. But it isn't.

Liver & Onions...
...is the most common way of ruining caramelized onions

The last two attempts to make pot roast have resulted in dismal failures because the beef tasted like liver and so the carrots and potatoes tasted like liver. So I googled "why does my beef taste like liver".

This is the PDF file I found linked in a forum where this issue was discussed. A multitude of well-meaning chefs imagined that it was the high heat, low heat, age of the cut, length of cooking time etc that ended up in the beef having a liver off-flavour. In fact it is primarily that the cow was not bled properly. Residual myoglobin (contained in large amounts in beef liver) is left in the beef muscle tissue resulting in your roast beef - or steak! - tasting like liver. As one person colourfully put it, it's like the roast is marinating in blood.

*crosses off two sources of beef in my town and barfs*

If you love liver and hate the texture, and you live in this area, Walmart and SafeWay are your best sources for liver flavoured beef or, as I like to pragmatically call it, inadequately bled cow carcass. Meanwhile I hope to put two pot liver dinners far, far behind me.


Angie said...

This is just sad. I love everything about a pot roast, the biggest reason being the ease in which it's prepared. Throw it in the crock pot and forget it. I've had a few of these liver tasting roasts you speak of and it's a huge disappointment. I thought it was just my taste buds playing tricks on me. Red meat rarely tastes delicious to me, but the carrots and potatoes are to die for, so that's why I make it.

dirtydisher said...

I made pork tenderloin roast last night. It was great. I HATE roast beast, it always tastes weird to me. I will not eat it. I don't understand how anyone ever thought roasting beef was a good idea. I love liver and onions though.


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