Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Does this Meat Dress Make Me Look Fat? Roast Beast with Horsey Sauce from Cleo Coyle

Lady Gaga's meat dress sent the world into a tizzy last year. Maybe you noticed. Maybe you didn't. As a professional observer of human action and reaction, I noticed, and found the varied responses fascinating. (I also loved the meat shoes and matching meat hat and handbag.)

Starlets and singers are supposed to show up at awards ceremonies with designer frocks and big rocks. "What is Gaga doing?" people wondered. "What is she trying to say?!" The stunt unnerved many (as things off the norm scale sometimes do). 

Was Gaga making a pro-vegetarian statement? Or an anti-vegetarian statement? 

Ellen DeGeneres, a fan of Gaga's (and a vegan like Gaga herself), officially presented the singer with a vegetarian version of the outfit: a bikini made of kale and skirt made of bok choy. (Could be some celery in there, too. You be the judge.)

In the end, Gaga said the dress meant many things, among them, an ironic statement about not being seen as just another piece of meat. (Pretty clever, actually.)

So why am I sharing this with you today? Because blogging about a big hunk o' beef, let alone cooking it publicly, will make some people a little bit nervous and others a little bit crazy. (I'm sure Gaga herself would not be happy with me.) My advice: ChillAx.

While Marc and I thoroughly enjoy vegetables, fruits, and legumes, all of which are superbly healthy; and while we have friends and family members who are vegetarian (and we absolutely respect that choice and are grateful for the many culinary ideas that we hear from them), we also enjoy meat. 
Eating, of course, is not always about health or politics. From the bison ribs at 
Tocabe, a Denver eatery run by Native Americans, to the roasted lamb at one of Astoria's many family-owned Greek restaurants, meat is often a part of a culture's culinary heritage; and the cooking and consuming of meat dishes can be a wonderful celebration of tradition. If you are an omnivore, then this post might be of interest. And for our vegetarian friends, our Homemade Horsey Sauce is a delicious dip for raw veggies, too. :)

To read my Poor Girl's
Hot Butt
post, click here.

For a downloadable
PDF recipe on how to prepare
a mini ham click 

A brief note
on today's recipe... 

A fresh roast beef sandwich is a thing of beauty to us, but with deli prices so high, we've taken to roasting our own beefs--and mini hams. 

Last fall, I blogged about making these little hams (see the caption at right for links to the recipe). 

I love how the slow roasting process warms our cozy Queens' row house on chilly fall days, and I often serve these beef and ham roasts with a creamy, tangy horsey sauce, which also livens up our sandwiches.

A Note on Meat Cuts
I'm not sure what cut Gaga used for her little red (meat) dress, but beef rump roasts are our preferred choice for roasting. (For more info on beef cuts and how to cook them click here.) Beef rump roasts have less fat and are less pricey than tenderloins and prime ribs so (unless your name is Trump), they're a great choice for families on a budget (like ours :)). Rump roasts contain three major round muscles: top round, eye of round, and bottom round. Eye rounds are our favorite and today I'm sharing with you the way we prepare ours... 

A roasted beef eye round encrusted with
sea salt and two peppers. See recipe below...

Cleo Coyle, who does not
own a single little red (meat)
dress, is author of the
Coffeehouse Mysteries

Cleo Coyle’s Pepper-Crusted Roast Beef with Homemade
Horsey Sauce 

Tip: Cook two roasts at a time. Serve one for dinner and use the second for a week of sandwiches and snacks. 

This recipe is now available in my culinary mystery novel, Holiday Buzz. To see what other delicious recipes are featured in my 12th Coffeehouse Mystery, click here to view the recipe guide.



One of my favorite blogs,
Dying for Chocolate, is hosting me
as a guest today. Drop by to get my recipe
for Chocolate Fudge Pumpkin Cookies,
and hear the story of how a reader's e-mail
inspired the recipe... 

Eat with joy! 
~ Cleo Coyle author of 

To get more of my recipes, sign up to win
free coffee, 
or learn more about the two
bestselling mystery 
series that I write with my
husband, visit my online coffeehouse at...

Shameless Plug...

"A Favorite Book of the Year"
Reviewer's pick 2010 ~  Bookreporter.com 

For a peek at some of the firehouse-inspired recipes featured in Roast Mortem, click here.

Now a national bestseller
in paperback

To purchase the book, 
click here or here or here.


"...a tasty tale of crime and punishment,
lightened by the Blend's frothy cast of
lovable eccentrics." ~ Publishers Weekly

For a peek at some of the chocolate 
recipes featured in Murder by Mocha,
click here

Now a national bestseller
in hardcover 

To purchase the book, 
click here or here or here

Audiobook produced by AudioGo (BBC Audiobooks America) Available at iTunes and Audible.com



  1. I've got to try this recipe as I love horseradish and pretty love that you call it roast beast. Perfect for xmas and Grinch connotations.


  2. Now you've got me wondering: "Take two yards of bias-cut rump roast and..." What kind of thread do you think she uses? Or would it be staples?

    I'll confess I'm scared of cooking big lumps of meat, mainly because I like my beef bloody rare, and it would break my heart (and my wallet) if I overcooked it.

  3. The roast beast! Love it. :) I also love your step-by-step guide here...I'll admit to being like Sheila and being a little intimidated by large lumps of meat.

    Yeah, not sure what goes through Gaga's mind--but she's a marketing genius, for sure.

  4. Reply to...

    @Sonia - Yes! Dr. Seuss's Grinch That Stole Christmas is exactly the source of my "Roast Beast" reference. (Ted Geisel was a genius, and I had the great pleasure of helping his publisher bring one of his books back into print, once upon a time.) Cheers for getting that! :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. Replies to...

    @Sheila - Ha! Yes, I have speculated on how the dress was made. Given the politics of meat these days, everyone was nervous about commenting at the time--although many pronounced it a piece of modern art. I do know it was made of real meat, so I doubt the Smithsonian will be able to keep it in the same vault as Dorothy's ruby slippers.

    @Elizabeth/Riley (and @Sheila) – On cooking big lumps o' meat: An instant read meat thermometer makes the process pretty foolproof. Digital thermometers are nice. Alton Brown uses a cool-looking one in every other Good Eats episode on the Food Network. But these can be rather pricey. We simply use a $5.00 stick thermometer. Does the job just fine.

    (E & S) - Thanks to you both for your honesty about cooking roasts at home. That’s exactly why I thought a post like this might be of help. Home cooks of yesteryear used to make things like this every Sunday. Take-out and delis have made the very idea of roasting your own beef a rarity (get it “rare-ity”-–hey, no groaning, puns are my business). Anyway, I do find roasting “big lumps o’ meat” easy and economical, and I’m happy to bring a step-by-step method to anyone who wants to give it a try, too. :)

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. I am a beast for roast beast ( cold beast sammies), although I draw the line at wearing it. Can't wait to try this! Thanks.

  7. Reply to...

    MJ - LOL. Eating roast beast is a much better idea than wearing it, especially if you have hungry dogs in the house!

    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  8. Cleo, I never saw the Lady Gaga thing but not being considered another piece of meat is funny and poignant.

    One of my all-time favorite meals is roast beef. Love this and the way you take it through step by step. Nice!


  9. I love roasts. I'd rather roast meat than cook it any other way. It's always so lovely and juicy. And there's something so Father Knows Best about carving it at the table.

    However, given the way I clean after raw meat touches anything in my kitchen, I can't imagine the impracticality of wearing raw meat. I'd rather wear veggies!

    ~ Krista

  10. I am a huge fan of big hunks of meat! Beautifully roasted, and the horsey sauce would also go well with some lovely ham slices. mmmm