Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category
I didn’t get around to cooking corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, so we’re having it today. We’ll have lamb for the next holiday feast, and so on: one holiday behind.
I’m using this simple (but interesting) recipe. The folding round rack I use to cool the Breakfast Bites is exactly the right size to fit my All-Clad Stainless 6-qt pot, and when folded it holds the beef a comfortable inch or so above the water. The roll of aluminum foil is a good width to allow me to crimp it tightly all round the top, and then I covered it with the lid for good measure. I have never used Kitchen Bouquet® but I wanted to try the recipe as stated, so we now have one bottle (less one tablespoon).
To accompany the corned beef, I’m make Brussels sprouts—mini-cabbage—using this recipe: Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon.
One thing I greatly enjoyed in preparing the beef: I got to use my Leifheit garlic slicer, which is extremely well made and works like a charm. Recommended for any garlic lover.
Several days ago I inadvertently revealed my dinner plans by including the link for a Mississippi Roast recipe in a post about a razor I’m selling. I thought that, since I mentioned it, I should close the loop by reporting on how it turned out.
It’s an extremely good cold-weather dish—rich and savory—and it reheats very well indeed, one of those dishes that seem to get better with reheating.
I did a 4.6-lb roast, and the dozen pepperoncini really didn’t seem enough. I plan next time to use 1/4-1/2 c of sliced pepperoncini. I’ll decide based on how it looks.
The floured surface does indeed form a kind of crust in the browning, but the crust is subsumed into the liquid that develops in the cooking, so it’s not all that critical. The main thing is that the flour is cooked in the oil to make a roux, in effect, thus thickening the liquid.
For the neutral oil, I used avocado oil: very high (500ºF) smoke point, better than most other oils.
The recipe calls for 1 tsp of buttermilk. It is to laugh: buy a quart of buttermilk to use 1 tsp? I used a tsp of sour cream, not that it would make any noticeable difference. I also could not really taste the dill in the dressing.
I definitely plan to repeat it. Small servings are called for, but even small servings are quite satisfying: 6 Tbsp of butter help that along.
The veg is rutabaga: peeled, cubed, cooked in beef stock with ginger, garlic, and butter and simmered until the stock is reduced to a thick sauce and then mashed.
The centerpiece is the beef, of course: Roast NY Strip Loin with Garlic-Herb Crust. Regular readers will recognize that I had this cut earlier, using this recipe, more or less—less, to be honest: cooked at 200ºF until done, then temperature elevated to brown. But I definitely did use the horseradish sauce recipe, made with crème fraîche, and I’m using it again. This time I am following this recipe. I did, of course, allow the roast to come to room temperature before putting it into the oven (for a 5-lb roast this took about 3 hours), and I did cook it 15 minutes at 450ºF but then turned the oven down to 325ºF (not 350ºF) for a while, but it seemed to be cooking fast, so I reduced it to 225ºF. The key is to get the roast to the target temperature, but slowly. You don’t really have to use a particular roasting temperature (beef doesn’t have a thermometer), so long as you judge doneness by a meat thermometer instead of by time. I went for 135º and then tented to roast for 10-15 minutes.
I followed some of the advice in comments. For example, I doubled the ingredients in the garlic-herb paste and after applying it (and note the instruction to dry the roast well before applying the garlic-herb paste) wrapped the roast well in Saran-wrap and left it in the fridge for 36 hours. You could probably just go to 3 Tbsp if you want instead of 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp. (1 Tbsp = 3 tsp, and I have both 1.5 Tbsp and 2 Tbsp measuring spoons: it’s easy to measure out two 1.5 Tbsp. That’s 1 tsp extra, but probably insignificant.)
Thus for the paste I used:
- 8 garlic cloves [actually 10: recipes never call for enough garlic]
- 16 fresh sage leaves
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves [I’ll probably use dried thyme in the future, and somewhat less—fresh thyme leaves are a pain to pull from the stems.]
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp fresh rosemary [optional, but suggested in comments, and I used it]
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp salt
- 4 teaspoons ground black pepper
I forgot to process the garlic cloves separately as the first step, but it seemed to make no difference when I processed them with the other ingredients. I did use the rosemary leaves (thus my ability to detect the rosemary fragrance in Le Père Lucien shaving soap this morning). Re: recipes not calling for enough garlic: I’ll not forget the recipe for a pot of spaghetti sauce that called for 1/4 tsp of minced garlic. That is insane.
I have a 5-lb roast, which will give us leftovers for days. I really do like this cut, though it’s somewhat expensive: no bones, easy carving, regular grain. And this time I got the butcher to leave 1/4″ fat on the roast. Some roasts are trimmed severely, but the fat is essential for flavor and turns out not to be bad for you, contrary to what we were told. (We were told, you will recall, that oleomargarine was better for us than butter, and then it was found that the trans fats in oleomargarine are very bad for you.)
A good example of too enthusiastic fat-trimming can be seen in this video, more or less using the same recipe:
The Whole Roasted NY Strip Loin is superb: very tasty, very easy to carve, and altogether wonderful, albeit I did not cook it as described at the link but rather used this method. After the roast rested out of the oven for 10 minutes, tented with foil, I returned it to the oven for 6 minutes of high-temperature (500ºF) browning, and next time think I will go with 8 minutes or even 10.
One important note: the (bad science) anti-fat crusade has made butchers gun-shy of allowing fat on meat. I suggest you specify at least 1/4″ of fat over the top of the roast, and put that in writing. I specified it, did not put it in writing, and got a roast with minimal fat—and the fat is important for tenderness and flavor.
The horseradish sauce in the first link is excellent. Due to corporate desires for greater profit, the 8-oz containers of creme fraîche are now 7 ounces, but I added 1 oz (=2 Tbsp) of sour cream to get the full amount. I used fresh horseradish, peeled and grated, which is much more delicate that horseradish in a jar. I did use the full 3 Tbsp of freshly grated horseradish and could even have done 4. I used English mustard rather than Dijon mustard, but either would work: the mustard is but an accent. The recipe calls for “pepper,” and I used white pepper (1/4-1/2 tsp) rather than grinding black pepper, since I didn’t want black specks in the sauce. I used an equal amount of kosher salt.
The greens—actually, the “reds”: red kale and red chard—were excellent, prepared according to this recipe except that I cooked the greens covered for 15 minutes after adding the wine before boiling off the wine.
A nice Pinot Noir, and later this evening we’ll have authentic plum pudding (no plums, and “pudding” in this case is the British word for “dessert”) with brandy butter.
Altogether a very nice Xmas feast with a fair amount of roast left over for sandwiches and the like, along with about half the horseradish sauce.
I hope your own holidays have been merry and joyous, and I give you my best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.
Although I’m using this recipe, I’m cooking the roast with this method (though still on a bed of parsley). And I already have the creme fraîche and a short length of horseradish root: freshly grated is best, just as you would think.
As always, I hasten to add that I am referring to the beef that is part of this festive (and feastive) season, not to any complaints about the season itself.
You know how when you get from a friend a recipe for something delicious, it’s not quite so good when you make it? The reason is that friends don’t tell friends about alterations to recipes. I’m not your friend, so I’ll tell you.
I made this recipe by Sam Sifton for Picadillo tonight. But not quite that recipe:
Instead of 2 medium onions, 1 enormous Spanish onion and 1 medium—and don’t get sweet onions
More like 8-12 cloves garlic.
6-8 oz dried chorizo sausage, not 2 oz—who uses 2 oz? It’s not cheap, but good chorizo makes a difference.
2-2.5 lbs ground beef, not 1.5 lbs. And don’t get the “lean” stuff: fat is good.
I used one 28-oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes. Cut them up in the pan with kitchen scissors.
I skipped the bay leaf but did add about 2 tbsp dried Mexican oregano leaves.
For the ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. For the nutmeg, quite a bit of freshly grated.
Golden raisins, and a heaping 3/4 cup—and the same measure for the salad olives (the small pimento-stuff olives, not the big ones).
1/4 c pine nuts went into it as well.
Normally I would use some crushed red pepper early on, but The Wife can no longer eat that. But I can add cayenne or ground chipotle to my serving.
Chili was so good I remade it. I used both a boneless chuck roast (1.75 lbs) and some “Pork loin top sirloin chops boneless” (1.5 lbs). I also got some Scharffen Berger 99% cacao baking chocolate and added a chunk (I estimate 2 oz.; the bar was scored, so I used one rectangle) of that in lieu of the cocoa powder.
Here’s the recipe, using a 10″ diameter 6-qt pot:
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large Spanish onions, chopped
1 Tbsp kosher salt
multiple grindings black pepper
Sauté until onions are transparent, then add:
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large red (or yellow) bell pepper, chopped
3 ancho chile peppers, cored, seeded, and cut with scissors into small pieces
3 chipotle chile peppers, cored, seeded, and cut with scissors into small pieces
1 handful garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2-3 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1-1.5 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp Southwest Seasoning from Penzeys (still don’t have chili powder)
Sauté a while, then add:
1.75 lb boneless chuck roast, cut into small pieces
1.5 lb pork loin top sirloin chops boneless, cut into small pieces
Sauté for a while, browning meat as best you can, then add:
2 Tbsp Illy espresso grind dark roast coffee (the actual grounds)
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 oz 99% cacao chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger)
3-4 Tbsp liquid smoke
6 or so good-sized tomatillos, chopped (but remove the outer husk)
16-20 largish cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 can original Rotel tomatoes and chiles
7 oz canned diced green chiles
juice of 2 lemons or 4 limes
Simmer 1 hour. It turns out to have plenty of liquid.
It was a really good chili. Extremely tasty.
And I want to add that this wine-aerating device really does seem to work extremely well. The red wine was particularly smooth, had a wonderful bouquet, and was very tasty. This was a modestly priced Pinot Noir. The device is $20, but it noticeably improves the wine and is a cinch to use. Recommended.