Dear Heloise: I remember the wonderful recipe your mother had for her Peking Roast. Please reprint it. I lost my old cookbook that had it clipped out from the newspaper. Thank you. -- A Reader in Massachusetts
Dear Reader: Oh, to lose a cookbook! That's just plain awful! So many family recipes, some clipped from papers and magazines, many handwritten. This is my mother's (the original Heloise, 1919-1977) recipe from long ago. It's nice to know it's still a favorite! Here you go:
HELOISE PEKING ROAST
Use a 3-5 pound beef roast. Any cut, even the cheapest!
For the marinade: Use cut-up garlic (slivers) and cut-up onions. Some people who may not like garlic or onions can skip this step. Also use 1 cup of apple-cider, white or even red-wine vinegar.
When time to cook, you will need 2 cups brewed strong black coffee.
Use a sharp knife to cut slits into the roast, then insert slivers of garlic and onions, depending on your taste buds! Put the meat in a large zip-top bag or into a bowl, and slowly pour the vinegar over it. Add enough water to cover the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 to 48 hours. Turn the bag often, or baste the meat occasionally with the vinegar mixture.
Before cooking, drain the meat! Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy pot over medium-high heat (a cast-iron Dutch oven is good). Add the meat and brown until very dark on all sides. Pour the coffee over the meat and add enough water to cover the meat. Cover. Reduce heat and cook slowly for approximately 6 hours.
Check often, as you may need to add water to keep the meat covered. When the meat is tender, then and only then add salt and pepper to taste. The best part of this roast? Some say it's the next day, when you fix a roast beef sandwich! Try it yourself and see. -- Heloise
Dear Readers: Would you like to make a quick-and-easy cheesecake? Mix one average-size package of vanilla pudding according to the directions on the package. Add 1 (8-ounce) package of softened cream cheese and mix until well blended. Pour the mixture into a store-bought graham-cracker pie crust and refrigerate until set. You can use canned fruit pie filling to top. If watching calories, use water-packed cherries, low-calorie apple topping or fresh fruit! I drain the cherries, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, mix and top the cheesecake. -- Heloise
Dear Heloise: When using a recipe card or clipping, I use a magnet to attach it to the hinge on a kitchen cabinet. It's easy to read. -- James the Cook, Colorado Springs, Colorado