You know that person who with but a smile could turn your day around. The one with a laugh so contagious the entire room could do nothing but laugh in unison. That was him. Though a cantankerous old man at times, he was as genuine as they come. He touched everyone he came in contact with and I am grateful to have been called a friend.
I can vividly remember the first moment we met. It was the season Brent had gone tree planting without me. I had come to visit for the last few days of the contract and, though I had long since given up planting for cooking (best decision ever), I put on the bags one more time. And there he was. Frantically planting in no discernible pattern or rhythm, sweating so profusely I thought for a moment I had missed the rain. Barely looking up to say hi, he meant business. Nothing was going to stop him from planting those trees.
Now a million trees later, he outlasted many of us. A lifer to the very end. No doubt he would have continued, travelling in the off season, only to return ‘home’ to the woods each Spring. I think it was there he found himself like so many of us did.
But his last tree is planted, his life stolen decades too soon.
A true lover of Mexican, he’d never be without a jar of his trusty Herdez salsa verde, sometimes eating it with nothing but a spoon. Here I am years later, more obsessed than perhaps even he would believe. Though not traditional, this is all the flavour of marinated carne asada meets the tenderness of braised carnitas. I like to think he’d be proud of this one. With a sadness too deep for words, it’s the only way I can think to say good bye.
Faraz, this one’s for you.
- 3 lbs beef roast (I believe ours was sirloin tri-tip)
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice, about 3 limes
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon corriander seeds
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 jalapeños
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Toast the seeds in a frying pan over medium high heat until fragrant, about 5 min.
- Process the jalapeño and garlic in a small food pro or simply chop. Add toasted seeds. Pulse once or twice to lightly break up the seeds.
- Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Rub on the spice mix. Place in a Dutch oven or medium oven safe dish. Add remaining ingredients. Cover the pot and bake at 375 about one hour. Reduce the temperature to 300 and continue to bake until the beef is tender and pulls apart easily, about 2-3 hours.
- Pull the beef apart, mixing together with remaining juices in the pot.
- Fold into tacos or burritos with all your favourite toppings. We used corn tortillas, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream mixed with a touch of maple and chipotle.