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April 2017

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BARBECUING ON A BUDGET

Amico del Signore recently went to Safeway (the one at Pine and Cypress) looking for T-bone steaks to grill. The young man behind the counter apologized but they'd had a run on them - folks stocking up for Labor Day - and they were fresh out. He recommended 7-bone roast as a substitute. A. del Signore was skeptical.

"But isn't that what you use for pot roast? Will it be tender?"

"Trust me," said the butcher, "you barbecue that and see if it isn't tender." He did. It was.

The how-tos:
Sprinkle 7-bone roast on one side with Montreal Seasoning (McCormick makes this, or better yet, buy it in bulk from Winco) and plop it on a medium-hot grill. 7-bone roast is heavily marbled with fat so it will flare up like crazy; have a squirt bottle at hand. Do not close the lid.

Keep an eye on it, putting out flames as necessary. Maybe add a few ears of corn in the husk to the grill, or some planks of zucchini. After about ten minutes, flip the roast. Spread with about three tablespoons of Trader Joe's Kansas City Barbecue Sauce. Keep the squirt bottle handy.

Either use an instant-read thermometer to see when it's done to your liking, or use the touch test: squeeze the thin pad of flesh between your thumb and index finger. That is how meat will feel when it's rare - soft and springy. Now press your thumb and middle finger together. Press on the fleshy part below your thumb - there's some give and it's slightly springy. This is the same feel as a medium steak. Femme de Joie regards people who want meat cremated as philistines.

Move the 7-bone roast to a platter and cover tightly with foil (shiny side down to keep heat in) and let sit ten minutes or so, then slice and serve. Cooked with care on a grill, 7-bone roast is very tender, extremely flavorful, and bargain priced: at $2.99/pound it cost just over $9.00. (Watch the ads - it can often be had for less.) Two people sat down to two dinners and one breakfast out of that one cut.

Try it. Impress your friends with your grilling technique without having to take out a loan.

- Femme de Joie

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