The Modern Home Economist - Cooking Lessons - Stretching a Roast

I've seen this type of thing often in older cookbooks and budget-wise books and so when I stumbled upon it in one of the September issues of my vintage magazines, I thought it worth copying and sharing. It's uncommon to buy as large a roast as they might have done back in the day (4-5 pounds).  In fact, good luck finding one this large unless you're shopping at one of the wholesale clubs or having it specially cut for you.

If you happen to be a small family of say just 2-4 this is still viable with the typical roast we might buy today of about 2 pounds in size.  In fact, John and I used this idea not too long ago.  I'd kept a roast whole, planning it as a 'The family is coming to visit, let's have roast' dinner but no one visited during that time frame.  We were hungry for steak but the budget just plain didn't allow any room for steak.  I used a sirloin roast we'd bought and it worked beautifully for shish kebab, a small roast and two steaks.  So be assured you can use another cut of meat.

Look over these illustrations.  Once you study them I think you'll find yourself quite capable of cutting your own without any concern.  Perfect for when Chuck, Boneless Chuck or Sirloin Tip Roast is on sale and you're just longing for a steak dinner.  It will work best with those two cuts.  I wouldn't suggest trying this with a Rump, Shoulder, or Bottom Round.  Those cuts are better suited to the traditional oven roasting and then slicing thin to use. 

By the way, you can do a variety of things with this meat.  You can cut chunks for stew, cut into cubes for shish kebab, slice into pieces for stir-fry.  You can cut the steaks super thin for minute steaks (good for Philly cheese steak sandwiches or frying for breakfast), leave the piece intended for steak thick and slice across grain to serve more than two...The possibilities are endless.  And don't forget if roasts are better priced than ground beef, you can grind it with a bit of fat and make your own if you've got a food grinder.  Or ask the butcher to do it.  In 34 years of shopping I've only had one meat market manager refuse to grind roasts for me. I don't shop there any more.

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