by Christa Upton
Ms. Solar Hot Pot
Beef Roast Contest, Part 2
Today we witnessed an epic battle between Ms. Solar Hot Pot and Mr. Electric Crock Pot. It was an amazing scene—vegetable peelings flying everywhere, roast being prepped, garlic being smashed. I had a chance to catch up with Ms. Solar Hot Pot outside (on this gorgeous, sunny day) and ask her a question or two.
Q. Ms. Solar Hot Pot, I see you started your onions and garlic without the other ingredients. Then you added the meat but still not the other ingredients Why did you do this?
A. I like to bring out the natural sweetness of the garlic and onion by cooking them first in some lovely, hot olive oil. I also like to give the meat a little browned flavor.
Q. And you cut up the roast into tiny pieces. Is it technically still a roast?
A. Good question! Technically cutting up my meat makes the meal into a stew, but the rules did not say that the meal had to be a roast or that the meat had to remain whole! This technique will help me cook the meat quicker and be sure to get my food done on time.
Okay, then! We will see how the judges respond to having their roast cut up. Meanwhile, I also got to chat with Mr. Crock Pot.
Q. Mr. Crock Pot, why are you just sitting there?
A. I’m done; all I have left to do is heat!
Q. Are you sure this is the best technique for flavor?
A. I am very confident in my technique, and I’m sure the judges will love my food.
We are coming to the close of the competition….. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, hands up! Oh, sorry, neither of our competitors have hands. Okay, well…. Cooking time is up. Let’s see what the judges have to say.
Each judge can award up to 5 points each for taste, texture, and appearance.
First they will try Dish “A,” (the food cooked by Ms. Solar Hot).
Judge Nathan (age 16) comments that, “The texture of the meat was just perfect. The veggies might have been slightly mushy, but I liked them. It looked like a classic stew; it was delicious.”
Judge Alyssa (age 12) says, “I agree that the meat texture was perfect, but the potatoes and carrots were a little bit too soft for me.”
Judge Sarah (age 9) says, “The meat was too slippery (to get on my spoon) and too hot and too tough. However, the flavor was delicious. The potatoes and carrots were too soft. But the stew had the right amount of salt.”
Now the judges will try Dish “B,” (the food cooked by Mr. Crock Pot).
Judge Nathan says, “The meat was a little more fatty and didn’t taste quite as good as Dish A, but it was nice and tender. The vegetables were pretty good, but again not as well flavored as Dish A. The softness was about the same. It didn’t look quite as appetizing as Dish A either.
Judge Alyssa reports, “The flavor of Dish B wasn’t as good as Dish A. But the potatoes were a little firmer, and I liked that.”
Judge Sarah says, “The meat was too hard, and the vegetables were too soft. But it was good anyway.”
We have tallied the points, and the winner is…..
Ms. Solar Hot Pot!!!!!!!
Here’s how the points break down. Ms. Solar Hot Pot received 15 points for taste, 9 points for texture, and 13 points for appearance, for a total of 37 (out 45 possible points). Mr. Crock Pot received 11 points for taste, 9 points for texture, and 8 points for appearance, for a total of 28 points.
It was a great Battle Beef Roast! Since neither competitor has hands to shake, they have exchanged nice words on each other’s food. All the food was good, and our judges are nice and full.
Until next time, Happy Cooking!
(PS We parents definitely agreed with the judges that Ms. Solar Hot Pot was the winner!)
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