Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category
I like to make chili, a primitive sort of dish for which the butchering/carving instructions are “cut the meat into small pieces.” I use my own mix of spices, with emphasis on ground ancho peppers, ground cumin, smoked paprika, Mexican oregano (lots), and thyme. Unsweetened 100% cacao chocolate and finely-ground coffee are among the ingreidents.
At any rate, I made one recently using both pork and beef, and it revealed that, really, beef is the only good choice. I buy boneless chuck roasts, ideally with a good strip of fat, and cut it by hand into little chunks. Besides the tomatoes I also add 2 Tbsp vinegar (red-wine vinegar or sherry vinegar, usually) to up the acidity.
It makes quite a tasty chili. I also use tomatillos and green peppers. And onion, lots of onion: most recently a mix of scallions, shallots, and red onion, along with garlic. And I add 1.5 Tbsp liquid smoke, and about the same for soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
I got an excellent boneless chuck roast of the type that’s tied in a tight cylinder (4.5 lbs) and salted, peppered, and browned both ends in my Staub 3.25 qt cast-iron round cocotte, then chopped small 1/2 white onion, 3 large white domestic mushrooms, 1 carrot, and some celery and mixed that and put it as a bed in the bottom of the cocotte and placed the (browned) roast on top. I added a good pinch of dried thyme to veg and roast, then put the lid on it and have let it sit in a 200ºF for eight hours.
To serve with, I took about 1/2 c sour cream (crème fraîche might be even better, but I failed to buy it) and mixed in 3/4 tsp kosher salt, 3/4 tsp ground white pepper, a good Tbsp of locally made horseradish that, though it has full horseradish flavor, is unusually mild, and about 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce and 3/4 tsp sugar. It’s a particularly tasty batch of sauce, and I have to say I’m looking forward to dinner. The Worcestershire sauce I’m using is the real deal: malt vinegar and no high-fructose corn syrup.
And I have a nice Petite Syrah to go with. Life can be good, intermittently.
I just made a big pot of chili, cooling now for dinner. I more or less followed the recipe in this earlier post, the way I more or less follow all recipes. (Differences: I skipped the Ro-Tel tomatoes, but used a 28-oz can of San Marzano tomatoes, along with 8-10 mild green Hatch chilis chopped.; 2 green bell peppers, 2 onions; red-wine vinegar; chocolate instead of cocoa powder.) But I did include (for example) the liquid smoke, blackstrap molasses, Illy coffee (2 Tbsp of the grounds), and a square of 100% cacao baking chocolate, along with a good glug of authentic Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce (none of that US crap—important differences: malt vinegar and no high-fructose corn syrup). I buy the meat from Safeway’s “Manager’s bin”, where items land on the very last day they can be sold: great bargains (50% off the Safeway Club price).
I’m continuing to read The Martian, and I may reread Robinson Crusoe when I’m done. RC is such a satisfactory novel, and is based upon an actual person: Alexander Selkirk. And who knows? That may get back once more to start again on the seafaring friendship of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin with Master and Commander, a charming novel.
I am bemused at Hollywood’s weird decisions, the current example being the choice of Tom Cruise (5’8″) to play Jack Reacher (6’5″). Why not choose Vince Vaughn (6’5″), given that Tim Robbins (6’5″) is now somewhat long in the tooth? The illusion can be stretched only so far, after all. (Granted: they did not choose Peter Dinklage (4’5″)—a shame: he seems to me to be a better actor than Tom Cruise and has the added benefit of not being a Scientologist. (I can remember when L. Ron Hubbard started that dodge, telling someone—Damon Knight?—that the Big Bucks were in religion, not science fiction.))
This makes eight small (8-oz) meat loaves, each of which serves two people or is enough for two meals. I’ve blogged the recipe before, but my recipes tend to change over time. This is the latest iteration.
4 jumbo or extra-large eggs
1 small can/jar tomato paste
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 Tbsp fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp ground ancho chiles
1 Tbsp dry mustard or 2-3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp horseradish (get the kind that’s refrigerated)
2 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
6-8 ounces grated Swiss or cheddar cheese or crumbled blue cheese
Whisk the eggs well in a large bowl (somewhat larger than you think you’ll need: I use my very largest Rösle bowl), then add the rest of the ingredients listed above and whisk well to mix.
Add the following, mixing as you go. I do this in stages, using a wire whisk to mix the meat with the liquid ingredients as I go. Because ground meat tends to stick together, I tear apart the packaged lump of meat to add it in walnut-sized clumps.
1 pound ground beef
1 pound pork sausage
1 pound ground veal (hard to find & expensive; substitute ground pork and/or beef)
1 pound ground lamb
The idea is to have a total of 4 lbs of ground meat, including veal if you can get it. You can use ground bison/buffalo meat for some; you might even try ground turkey.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with Reynolds nonstick foil.
Recipe makes 8 mini-loaves, which I mold using a 1-cup ramekin: I oil the ramekin, pack it full to the rim, invert it to place molded mini-loaf on the foil. The ramekin I use holds just a little over one cup if filled to the very brim, so each mini-loaf is just a little over 8 oz, Thus 1/2 a mini-loaf is a meal.
If you have some of the meat mix left over (not enough to fill the ramekin), just add small amounts to the loaves already made to use up the excess.
Bake at 375ºF for about 33 minutes for the mini-loaves or 45 to 60 minutes for a single large loaf, to an internal temperature of 145ºF or more (because of the pork).
Makes 16 servings of roughly 4 oz each: 1/2 of a mini-loaf. Can be frozen
The Lea & Perrins sold in the US suffers from the US capitalist disease of on-going cutting of costs (and quality): if you can increase profit, by however little, to hell with the consumer, provided you can keep the consumer from noticing.
So Lea & Perrins in the US is made with distilled white vinegar (very cheap) instead of malt vinegar, and uses high-fructose corn syrup rather than sugar. But in the UK, Lea & Perrins follows the original formula more closely.
You can order authentic (i.e., UK-made) Lea & Perrins here. To save (relatively speaking) on shipping costs, I ordered two bottles, which totals more than a quart, so they should last me for quite a while. I most recently used it for a steak topping, which I believe I found originally in Morrison Wood’s With a Jug of Wine. After you remove the steaks from the grill, melt some softened butter on top (about a pat), then sprinkle with smoked salt (examples), ground mustard powder, garlic powder, and about 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. The idea is that you make a sauce on the steak instead of in a pan.
Do that on both sides, though normally I do only one side. It is a very tasty addition.
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.