Lunch At Mi Casa


Lunch! The most important meal of the weekend day because no one really gets up before then. A few colleagues and friends wanted to take a look at my new flat which I spent most of last year trying to move in. And Joel wanted to see how I did my roast beef.

This also gave me the opportunity to fine-tune the planning and process of having guests in the house. And to try out a new cooking method for roast beef.

This blog spent a long visit at the Swiss Butchery on Saturday morning going through the various cuts of meat. There was an intriguing Berkshire Pork Shoulder that caught my eye but that’s a story for another time. I settled on an Angus Prime Rib aged for 200 days after a long debate with the butcher on the merits of different cuts.

In the end, the marbling won me over.

Check Out The Marbling

I also got some Chorizo as some of the guests don’t take beef. The Chorizo at the Swiss Butchery has the snap, bite and fat that I look for. This means that I do not need to use any oil or fat to cook them; I simply place them on a hot pan, wait for them to burst the skin and spill some of the fat which results in a flavorful aroma. The fat can then be used for other purposes like omelets or potatoes.

Some of the Chorizo you find in the supermarkets mistakenly remove the fat which means you need to add oil to the frying pan to prevent burning. This results, I find, in the overuse of oil as whatever fat is in the Chorizo adds to the oil after awhile.

In any case, I woke up with a serious hangover from a fun dinner last night (that’s yet another story coming soon) and proceeded to the kitchen to bake a brownie for dessert.


Some baking recipes call for alcohol which is a fine thing, however, baking with a hangover is not a good thing. Firstly, I could not focus enough to control the fire sufficiently to melt th do my secret technique for getting great brownies, so it turned out not as good as can be. However everyone was nice enough to eat it all up.

Another reason was that I was rushed for time as the beef takes at least 3 hours to cook (I do a slow roast at 85°C), so with a 1-hour cook time (30mins for prep, 30mins baking) for the brownie, I needed at least 4 hours of cooking before the 12.30pm lunch.

The roast beef turned out somewhat better. Then again, good meat is very forgiving and I had fun carving.

I Don't Think The Patient Is Gonna Make It

One thing I could have done better was to turn up the grill for a while longer to get a crisp up the fat. I’ve only managed to do this successfully once but that was only when I was alone and could focus on monitoring the crisping in the oven. This time I set the oven on auto-grill at high heat so that I could conduct a guided tour of my flat.

The beef didn’t get a crispy skin but I must say I was rather pleased with the result, so were my friends if you believe their generous comments.


Agnes (the Lim) traveled all the way from Malaysia and brought with her a cheesecake to share with everyone. It was so full of cream that scooping it out would have been more appropriate than cutting it. I was really grateful when I was relieved of the task. I am one of those people who agonize over where to cut first when faced with a circular cake.

Deary Deary Me

The meal came at an end rather quickly after 3 hours as I had to meet for high tea (yes! I know, after a big meal too). Everyone helped out in cleaning up. Again, it’s interesting to observe who really knows how to do housework and who doesn’t. 🙂

I must say someone set a high benchmark of cleaning my dining table. You could see yourself smiling back.

Benchmark For Cleaniness

Thanks guys for coming, helping out and for the wonderful Japanese Claypot. 😛

Posted on 11th Mar 2008 in Dinner Book, Meat


There Are 2 Comments


Agnes Lim commented on April 5, 2008 at 9:39 am

Ivan really did a wonderful job with the Beef. Well worth the jam to reach his house. Good job!


[…] I do love to cook for friends […]

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