October 19, 2009
Mailman Bob and the rosemary
I just put a roast on for dinner. And I used the postman Bob recipe for roast beef.
When we lived in New Jersey, I had small children and quite often we would be out in the yard playing when the postman came by. In our 10 years there, we never had any other postman except Bob. He was this older Tony Danza type of guy, talked like him too. He was very animated and just loved people. I would see him stop and talk to a lot of people over the mailboxes in those 10 years. My children loved him. One day he rang the doorbell.
"Hi, listen, I hate to bother ya, but I can't help but notice every day when I deliver your mail what a nice rosemary plant you got here. I promised the wife I would make a nice roast tonight and I was wondering. Would you mind if I just cut a little tiny bit of your rosemary to put on my roast?"
He was so apologetic that I was giggling by the time he was done. People in Philly and New Jersey can be very dramatic when they are talking. Drama and postmen just seem comical to me.
"Of course, take as much as you want and help yourself anytime, ok?"
"Wow! Gee, I was so nervous to ask, but I have that nice roast and the wife loves when I roast it with rosemary."
So I had to ask for his recipe, it was intriguing to me. This was about 1993 and I hadn't heard of using rosemary in cooking much. I don't think there was a Food network then, or at least I hadn't heard of it. We didn't have cable and I don't even think there was much satellite television yet. We had it because it was a gift and it smelled so good. So here is his method. I tried it soon after our little front porch talk and we loved it!
You can use any cut of roast, but he always used a top round roast and roasted it in the oven, uncovered and dry like a prime rib. I usually use a pot in the oven or in a crockpot and cover it. The main thing is peel and slice garlic cloves into slivers and pull little sprigs off your rosemary. Then in the top of the roast, cut deep slits, into which you insert the sprigs and slivers. Then generously salt and pepper it. Roast as you like. His method to roast was to put the meat into a baking dish and set the oven on hot, 450º. Put the roast in, uncovered for 1 hour, then turn the oven down to 350º until it is the way you like it rare, medium or well done. DELISH! Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy made from the pan drippings and you have a meal that tastes gourmet.
I always viewed Bob as a friend after that and we would stop and chat a little more often. And sometimes when I stepped out to get my mail, there would be a distinct fragrance of freshly snipped rosemary in the air. It made me smile.