Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category
First: bought The Wire (5 seasons) on DVD for The Wife who has not seen it. We are binge-watching and almost through Season 1. I had seen it before but in this viewing I am much more aware of highly tightly interlaced are the various plots. It’s an incredible series. She’s loving it. So blogging will be light for a while
Also, I made the standing rib roast: almost 7 lbs, took about 6 hours at a very low temperature (about 175ºF), then it rested for 30 minutes tightly tented in aluminum foil, then 10 minutes at 500ºF to crisp the exterior (without overcooking any of the interior). This time we took it out of the oven when it reached 150ºF in the interior, which turns out to be very good. I did the horseradish sauce I’ve blogged. While technically not a vegan meal, I did cook a lot of potatoes (fingerling potatoes that I boiled until tender), with the leftovers to be refrigerated with an eye to roast-beef hash, recipe blogged earlier.
The wine was a Ravenswood Zinfandel from from a few years back: wonderful.
Altogether a highly successful Xmas.
Now, back to The Wire.
By “literally,” I mean I’m speaking of actual beef, not a complaint about the season. We don’t eat beef much anymore, since it seems like that frequent ingestion of beef tilts the gut microbes to a population that produces a substance that causes heart damage—i.e., it was not the fat in beef that was the problem, it was what happens to your microbiome with a steady inflow of beef. As this article indicates, eating beef infrequently does not carry the same health risk.
I practiced last night with a small boneless chuck roast, and since most of that was left over, I thought for dinner I’d make roast-beef hash, the same fate (most likely) for the leftover prime rib.
UPDATE: We made it and we’ve eaten dinner from it. I cooked it in my cast-iron skillet, and at first the potatoes stuck a lot, though I kept scraping with my cherrywood spatula (from WoodSpoon.com: this one, only with a 12″ length—and he does make spoons to order). But quite suddenly, about 6 minutes into that first 10-minute cooking, the potatoes abruptly stopped sticking. It’s as though the cast-iron skillet regained its nonstick qualities. It never stuck again.
I pretty much followed the recipe, except I used an entire largish Spanish onion instead of half a medium onion. Plus, of course, 5 cloves of garlic, not two. But it came out extremely well. The Wife agrees. No eggs: gilding the lily. And lots left for this weekend.
Very interesting article in Wired Science by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel:
Our guts are awash in bacteria, and now a new study fingers them as culprits in heart disease. A complicated dance between the microbes and a component of red meat could help explain how the food might cause atherosclerosis. The work also has implications for certain energy drinks and energy supplements, which contain the same nutrient that these bacteria like chasing after.
Red meat is considered bad news when it comes to heart health, although studies aren’t consistent about how much can hurt and whether it always does. Furthermore, it’s not clear which components of meat are doing harm. Various studies have considered saturated fat or sodium but the results are inconsistent and sometimes depend on whether meat has been processed or not. Stanley Hazen, the section head of preventive cardiology and a biochemist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, wondered whether another ingredient might be harmful: L-carnitine, a nutrient that helps transport fatty acids into the cell’s energy powerhouses, the mitochondria. L-carnitine is a popular additive to energy drinks and supplements that claim to boost energy levels. In food, the highest levels of L-carnitine are in red meat.
Hazen’s focus on L-carnitine was something of a wild guess based on earlier work he’d done. Two years ago, he and his colleagues published a paper in Nature identifying a compound in the blood called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). It seemed to correlate with future heart disease risk and cause heart disease when fed to mice. TMAO is created when intestinal bacteria break down certain compounds in foods. Hazen wondered if the bugs might also convert L-carnitine to TMAO, which, in turn, could put the heart at risk.
To find out, Hazen, his Ph.D. student Robert Koeth, and their colleagues bought a George Foreman grill and started cooking steaks. “People lined up for the study,” Hazen says, and participants “tended to be young, hungry students.” Blood tests administered afterward revealed . . .
Continue reading. It seems that we are finding more and more instances in which the microbes that inhabit our bodies are vital for our health and proper functioning. No person can go it alone: a good lesson for libertarians to learn. Cooperation is vital.
Last night’s GOPM was sort of interesting. It does require some work and refinement, but it is promising. Wipe out the 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte with olive oil, leaving some on the bottom. Then the layers:
Russian Banana fingerling potatoes, cut in halves or thirds if bigger than very small
1/2 large Spanish onion, chopped
several cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, cut into large dice or small chunks
1 boneless rib-eye steak (8-10 oz), cut into bite-size pieces
sprinkling of Penzeys Old World Seasoning
6 or so Brussels sprouts, sliced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped small
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
The pour-over was:
4 Tbsp beef stock (from the corned beef)
2 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Then cover and cook in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes.
It was tasty, but there was a fair amount of liquid in the bottom: sort of a stew. Potatoes don’t absorb the liquid the way (say) rice or quinoa do. I could add some quinoa to the bottom layer and/or use less liquid. Perhaps:
2 Tbsp beef stock
1 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp horseradish
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
The above version also reflects The Wife’s request to drop the vinegar and to add horseradish.
I got the rib-eye steak thinking of prime rib (same meat, only thicker). However, it did seem somewhat dry, though tender. I think I might try a different cut—perhaps a tri-tip.
UPDATE: I found the measurements of some of the ingredients and have updated the recipe.
I made it and will be eating it soon. Recipe is just to give you the idea:
I got three good-sized pieces of beef shank (just under 2.5 lbs total), browned them in my large skillet, which they filled. Then I removed them from the skillet so I could sauté a little chopped onion, a few chopped mushrooms, some garlic, one Roma tomato I diced, added just a splash of red wine, a good teaspoon of horseradish. I returned the shanks to the skillet and pushed the veg around so the meat rested on the skillet bottom. I squeezed a lemon over all (a little more acid in addition to the tomato), covered it, and put it in a 200øF oven overnight. I think I probably cooked it a little too long: 6 to 8 hours would be better, but it was fine.
This morning I promptly ate the marrow (cook’s prerogative) and got out my 4-qt pot, looked at it and at the amount of beef, put it back, and got out the 7 qt pot.
I put 2 Tbsp of olive oil in that pot (organic EVOO from California, producer bottled), added 1.5 large Spanish onions, chopped, sprinkled them with a large pinch of salt and a pinch of thyme, and let them cook over medium-high heat while I chopped stuff. I would guess that they cooked for 15 minutes or so. I continued cooking until they were well on their way to caramelizing.
While they were cooking I prepared:
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb domestic white mushrooms, cut in largish pieces
2/3 lb Shiitake mushrooms, ditto
2/3 lb crimini mushrooms, ditto, with the small ones left whole
(I wanted oyster and Chanterelle mushrooms as well, but they were unavailable)
3/4 of one of those giant carrots, diced relatively small
2 stalks organic celery, chopped small
Once the onions were browned—and I did that prep while they cooked—I added the garlic and sautéed that for a moment, then added the mushrooms and continued cooking, stirring occasionally. The heat is still fairly high.
Once the mushrooms started giving up their liquid, I added the carrots and celery and the bowl of cooked beef and veg, after breaking the beef up with a spoon. I added water (I should have bought some beef stock) to almost fill the pot (about 2″ below the lip) and turned the heat up. I added:
1 cup pearled barley
zest and juice of 3 Meyer lemons
When the pot began to boil, I reduced it to a simmer, covered it, and simmered for 45 minutes. I will now add 1/2 cup Amontillado sherry and have a bowl of it.
UPDATE: I’ve corrected the seasoning: more salt and more pepper as well.