For a taste of 1890s New York without a time machine, purchase a ticket for tomorrow night’s 7:00 p.m. Dinner & a Movie at O, Cinema featuring the Carnegie Hall apartments documentary, Lost Bohemia, and feast on Harry’s Pizzeria chef de cuisine Manny Sulbaran’s dishes inspired by the cuisine of the era. Served buffet style, the menu includes Smoked Fish Dip & Chips and Iceberg Lettuce with pickled red onion, watermelon & blue ranch dressing; Pot Roast & Gravy with Goat Cheese & Scallion Mashed Potatoes; and Hedy Goldsmith’s Angel Food Cake with mango jam and a snack of spiced popcorn.
According to John Mariani in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, pot roast is meat that is browned and cooked with vegetables and gravy in a deep pot or saucepan, usually covered. The term dates in print to 1881. Pot roast was once an appetizing way to cook beef from beasts that have been working animals rather than food animals or other inferior cuts of meat. Today, the availability of good beef makes pot roast a delicious hearty dish, though lesser cuts of meat are still used for the cooking. Beef brisket, bottom and top round, and chuck are the usual choices.
With Manny’s recipe below there is no reason not to give your dormant turn-of-the-century cooking skills a whirl and invite some people over to enjoy the result. That’s what we’re doing tomorrow night at O, Cinema, so try it out without lifting a finger in the kitchen first!