One last steamship round

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Say hello to what may have been the last steamship round served at Sacandaga Bible Conference.

And no, it’s not a sad day.

We served this 67.8-pound steamship round at A Sacandaga Christmas, our annual banquet and cantata. It was carved at the start of a buffet line that included a glazed natural ham, chile-crusted potato wedges, Indian-spiced carrots and parsnips and green beans with Parmesan and bacon.

Steamship rounds are impressive to look at, but they are not practical. Some pros/cons:

They love being cooked low and slow, but this one spent 11 hours in a 250-degree oven and, arguably, could have spent more time there.

When gently cooked, the meat is tender, and the surface responds well to a good dry rub. But it’s round. Unbutchered round, complete with connective tissue and a bone that makes carving a challenge after the first 100 or so servings.

It can feed a crowd. But it cannot feed our crowds. This 67-pounder would have comfortably fed about 140 people, which is on the low end of our banquet attendance. It worked out well for this banquet, but you didn’t see the backup roasts I ordered.

At $3 a pound, it’s doable on a camp foodservice budget. But it’s not a value. Eye round, top round or bottom round can be purchased at about 30 percent less, and they don’t include bone or nearly as much hard-to-reach meat.

It dominates my convection oven. There is nothing good about this. Only one oven is large enough to cook it, and I need it for other things.

So I hope you enjoyed it. I enjoyed cooking it, and I know our master carver enjoyed taking a shot at it. But I hope we’ll be too busy to serve it again.

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