Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

Picadillo tonight

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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.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 April 2015 at 6:41 pm

Posted in Beef, Daily life, Food, Recipes

Culinary notes

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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.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 February 2015 at 6:44 pm

Impromptu cooking: Chili sin frijoles

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I used the 6-qt 10″ pot.

I poured in about 1/4 c olive oil, then added:

3 medium yellow onions, chopped
good shaking of salt
several grindings black pepper

I let those sauté a while, then added:

10-12 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 ancho chilies, seeded, cut into strips, then across into small squares

After that had cooked a while, I then added:

2.5 boneless chuck roast, cut into small pieces

I browned that. Then I added:

5 tomatillos, diced
1 can Rotel Original diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 7-oz can diced green chilies
12-16 small tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp Illy Espresso grind Dark Roast coffee (the ground coffee itself)
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 Tbsp liquid smoke
2 Tbsp Dutch Process high-fat cocoa
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar

Simmered it an hour, and it became chili sin frijoles.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 February 2015 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Beef, Food, Low carb, Recipes

A couple of things about sous vide I’ve learned

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I’ve been using this Anova sous-vide appliance and it has worked extremely well. (It’s also available in black rather than blue.)

First, it’s (obviously) not for vegans. We’re talking meat, poultry, and fish—and maybe egg. And I learned that it is pronounced like the name “Sue Veed.”

Second, it really does the job. So far disposable plastic storage bags have worked fine. Note that the cooking time required increases as the square of the thickness: a steak twice as thick takes four times as long. This is highly non-intuitive.

Third, the one essential additional purchase is not the vacuum sealer thing—and those, from the Amazon reviews, seem enormously unreliable, thus my sticking with plastic bags—is the blowtorch.

You really do have to sear the meat, and you want to do it quickly. A cast iron skillet is a great flaming pain when it’s searing-hot, but the same pan just to hold the meat while you give it a quick sear: very pleasant. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t like to play with a blow-torch.

Take a look:

That’s from this useful post.

The blowtorch in the video is the Benz-O-Matic TS7000, $60.60. I bought the TS 8000, $61.91. I thought, “What?! Only $1.31 for 1000 more?!” It was literally a no-brainer. [Edit: And a good job I got it: I bought a Searzall to avoid an off taste from the searing, and it mounts on either the TS8000 or the TS4000. Note set-up at the link. The 2-minute burn-off to season the unit—which takes place outside—does throw out a LOT of flame as the oils and whatever burn off. That’s pretty much gone around 1 minute 30-40 seconds, but I went the full two minutes. But do watch that set-up video at the link.]

It works like a charm. Buy MAPP gas—a cylinder in the store was $12 and will last a long time the way I use it. MAPP is hotter than propane (and the butane kitchen torch I tried simply didn’t have the heat). [Edit: The Searzall has you get 16.4-oz propane cylinders from the hardware store—Coleman makes them: $4. Larger size is to avoid accidents from tipping over.]

We’re still tinkering with the steaks. We know that The Wife finds 140º is not done enough and 145º is too done, so we’re trying 143º—and that’s the idea: extremely fine control of the doneness of the meat. And for chuck roasts, 145º-150º for 30 hours has worked well. Did that for a tri-tip, too.

One thing I probably wouldn’t notice if I were not eating LCHF: they trim way too much fat off the steaks—in some cases, all the fat! What on earth are they thinking? The fat is where the flavor is, for God’s sake. I’m writing to the home office about this. (Nob Hill)

UPDATE: Sous vide is more expensive than you think, because you have to assemble the full kit piecemeal. I thought I was getting into it for $200: the Anova sous vide appliance. But that was just the beginning:

$200 – Anova sous vide appliance
$127 – SousVide Supreme Vacuum Sealer
$  11 – SousVide Supreme Vacuum Seal Cooking Pouches, Small
$  65 – Bernzomatic TS8000 – High Intensity Trigger Start Torch
$  75 – Searzall Blowtorch Attachment
$  20 – Dial Turntable in Stainless Steel
$    4 – Update International STR1050 Chrome-Plated Steamer Rack
$    4 – Coleman 16.4-oz propane cylinder (bought at local hardware store)

$504 – Total

Is it worth it? No, it’s not. It’s interesting, and it clearly is a good idea for certain kinds of mass cooking, but at home it’s cumbersome and the results are not worth the cost and the trouble. And, really, it’s just for meat.

So it goes. We shall certainly continue to use sous vide as a cooking method, and I certainly like the results better than microwave oven cooking (which is sort of the opposite end of the quickness spectrum), but had I realized the total cost going in, I probably would not even have started.

Written by LeisureGuy

16 December 2014 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Beef, Daily life, Food, Recipes

My Anova sous vide appliance just arrived

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I can’t wait to use it. I bought some double-ziplock “storage” (i.e., freezer) bags: heavy duty, tight seal. I’m making this tri-tip (only cooking it sous vide, of course, and then searing it after it’s done) and using this beef rub. The coffee I’m using is Illy dark roast: a fine, powdery grind that will work well in the rub (and also makes a nice cup of coffee, which I’m having now).

Written by LeisureGuy

28 November 2014 at 11:41 am

Things that occupied my day

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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.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 December 2013 at 7:10 pm

Seasonal beef—literally

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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.

So we’ve ordered a prime rib roast, which I’ll cook like this for these reasons.

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 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.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 December 2013 at 12:31 pm

Posted in Beef, Food, Health, Recipes


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