Sumo prepped the rolled & tied roasts and slow cooked them at night. Reb (per Sumo’s instructions) stored the cooked beef in the walk-in to cool. The roasting pans were deglazed, and the au jus was strained and saved for gravy. Marine Corps Cook School didn’t teach creativity (it was frowned upon), but in Vietnam the rules called for improvisation.
We had a large roll of heavy-gauge aluminum foil and trimmed it into 12-inch lengths. The cooked beef was cut into chunks and centered on a foil sheet. Potatoes, carrots, celery and onions were added. The final addition was a ladle of light gravy, and the foil was sealed shut to form a pouch.
These individual portions were slow cooked for another two hours and served steaming hot on the chow line with a fresh biscuit. One of the buzz words in Cook School was “eye appeal.” If a meal looked good, it would be perceived positively. The foil pouch and biscuit served on an aluminum tray was poor presentation so there were low expectations. However, when the pouch was opened, the steaming pot roast pulled apart easily. It was a simple meal, and we received good reviews.