Later On

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Big batch of chili simmering

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I used the 6-qt pot, with the following recipe as template. Changes were to omit the canned green chilies and the green bell pepper, substituting about 6-7 Hatch chilies, which are now in season.:

Optional: smoked ham shank, cooked overnight
1/4 cup olive oil or bacon grease
3 large onions, chopped – ellow, white, and red
1 Tbsp kosher salt & 1 Tbsp black pepper
1 large green bell pepper, chopped (Hatch chilies instead)
1 large red/yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and chopped (Hatch chilies instead)
3 ancho chile peppers, cut into small pieces
[Optional: 3 chipotle chile peppers or 1 small can chipotles in adobo—if the latter add after meat]
1/4 cup minced garlic cloves
2-3 Tbsp Mexican oregano
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
3-4 lbs boneless chuck roast or pork shoulder
2 Tbsp espresso grind dark roast coffee (the actual grounds – I use Illy)
2-4 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or fish sauce)
2 oz 99% cacao chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger)
1-2 Tbsp liquid smoke
6 or so good-sized tomatillos, chopped
1 28-oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes
1 can original Rotel tomatoes and chilies
1 small jar or can of tomato paste
1 28-oz can whole green chilies (Hatch chilies instead)
juice of 2 lemons or 4 limes

Optionally, put a smoked ham shank in the cast-iron dutch oven, add 1/4 c water, cover, and leave in a 200º oven overnight. The next day, let it cool and pick all the meat off the bones. Could use fat for sautéing onions, but I just added the liquid to the chili.

Put olive oil or bacon grease in 6-qt pot or 4-qt sauté pan. Sauté until the onions are transparent and starting to caramelize, stirring often (about 20 minutes). It’s best to do this in a large-diameter pan.

Add the vegetables and spices, and sauté another 10 minutes or so. The 6-qt pot was full but I did not require moving to 7-qt pot.

Add the meat without browning it—my younger daughter says that the meat is more tender in stews and such if it is cooked without browning, and that sounds good to me. Moreover, this dish does not need the flavoring of the Maillard reaction: there’s plenty of flavor from other sources.

Beef chuck roast works better than pork shoulder: the beef gets very tender, the pork not so much.

Add the remaining ingredients. I use scissors to cut up the whole San Marzano tomatoes after adding them. I recommend getting a large (28-oz) can of whole green chilies or four 7-oz cans of whole green chilies. Canned diced chilies seem to have a short shelf life and turn to liquid when added. The whole chilies are easy to chop because their cutting resistance is low: you can just press the knife through them. In this case, though, I used Hatch chilies.

Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover (or not), and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve plain or topped with grated cheese or sour cream. Chopped avocado and/or cilantro would also be good, and a squeeze of lime juice would not be amiss.

In the knife skills video, it was recommended to use a serrated knife on foods with a slick tough skin. The tomatillos exactly fit that description, so I tried the serrated knife: perfect! Easy cutting, no slipping.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 September 2017 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Beef, Food, Low carb, Recipes

Don’t Worry About New Alabama Mad Cow, Says CDC, but Facts Suggest Otherwise

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The USDA is supposed to inspect meat, but in order to reduce taxes (and government) they are underfunded and understaffed (thanks to the GOP), so instead of inspecting meat they have meat producers go on the honor system. Of course, producers are rewarded for the amount they ship, and rejecting animals and the meat from them costs them money, which presents an obvious conflict of interest. So we all just agree not to look at that.

Martha Rosenberg reports in AlterNet:

Don’t worry, eat your hamburger. That’s what the CDC is saying as another “mad cow” was found in Alabama in July. The cow suffered from an “atypical” version of Mad Cow (BSE), says the CDC, which occurs spontaneously and cannot harm humans. Sounds good until you read that the atypical assertion is merely a CDC “theory” and the agency admits “transmission through feed or the environment cannot be ruled out.”

There is a reason government officials are quick to defend the safety of the U.S. beef supply. Within hours of the first mad cow discovered in the U.S. in 2003, China, Mexico, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea and 90 other countries banned U.S. beef. Ninety-eight percent of the $3 billion overseas beef market vanished. It has taken 14 years for the U.S. to re-establish its beef exports and other beef-exporting countries have had similar woes. If an atypical version of BSE that threatened no one didn’t exist, governments might want to invent one. In fact, the research behind the atypical theory is primarily floated by government ag departments.

In addition to losing exports, before atypical BSE was described, beef producers were forced to quarantine their ranches, search for tainted food sources and detain herdmates and offspring in a BSE outbreak. They lost huge amounts of money. The debut of atypical BSE means they can just say “these things happen,” and keep doing business.

Mainstream media sources are cooperatively repeating the government statement that, “the Alabama cow was not slaughtered, never entered the food supply and presents no risk to human health in the United States or anywhere else.” But food reporters who have covered BSE since 2003 remember that the same thing was said about the first U.S. BSE cow until both the San Francisco Chronicle and the LA Times reported otherwise.

“In an interview, Alameda County health officer Dr. Anthony Iton recalled that in early January 2004 almost a month after the initial discovery [of a BSE cow], state health officials informed him that five restaurants in the Oakland area had received soup bones from the lot of tainted beef,” reported the Times. “It immediately dispatched inspectors to the restaurants. But it was too late; soup made from the bones had been eaten. He was particularly disturbed to learn that none of the restaurant owners had received written notice of the recall and that federal inspectors did not visit them until 10 days after the recall.”

And there was more government BSE bumbling. A cow, born and bred in Texas, found less than a year after the first one (born in Canada) was suspected of having BSE, but ruled “negative” by government testers for seven months. Phyllis Fong, the inspector general at the time, ordered the more precise “Western blot” over the head of then Ag Secretary Mike Johanns and the cow was diagnosed with BSE.

After the Texas BSE cow, a BSE cow born and bred in Alabama was found. Extensive government investigations were conducted on both to find the source of the deadly disease and there was no mention of the current atypical BSE. Disturbingly, the government protected the identifies of the ranches that produced the BSE cows from food consumers, placing the interests of meat producers above the endangered public.

Government Prion Research Not to Be Trusted

BSE is transmitted by prions, invisible infectious particles that are not viruses or bacteria, but proteins. Though prions are not technically “alive” because they lack a nucleus, they are almost impossible to “kill” because they are not inactivated by cooking, heat, ammonia, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, benzene, alcohol, phenol, lye, formaldehyde or radiation. Yet government research into prion diseases—which include chronic wasting disease found in deer and elk—is extremely inept.

In 2006, BSE research had to be delayed at the National Animal Disease Laboratory in Ames, Iowa because lab workers there accused the facility of failing to properly treat infectious wastes before they were sent to the city’s treatment plant which empties into the Skunk River. The lab, in charge of confirming BSE cases, was also charged with keeping rather than incinerating dead animals for months in containers.

Nor do government protocols for human victims inspire confidence.  . .

Continue reading.

Cutting taxes is all well and good provided everything always goes right, but in general we pay taxes so the government can do its job of protecting the public, among other things. Businesses do not like it when the public is protected (thus the strong drive to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Wall Street and banks do not want consumers to have financial protection because it would cut into profits).

Written by LeisureGuy

27 July 2017 at 1:11 pm

Sam Sifton’s Picadillo

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And right after that previous post. I made this recipe tonight. My notes:

I tried to substitute dried salami for dried chorizo to save a trip to Whole Foods. It did not work. Use dried chorizo, although I use 5 oz, not 2 oz.

I use 8 cloves garlic: you must let minced or crushed garlic sit 15 minutes before cooking (to preserve nutrients that would otherwise be destroyed by heat), so peeling garlic and mincing it is the first step in the recipe.

I use ground beef that was 80% lean. I think next time I will go with 85% lean if they have it, or 90% lean if they don’t.

I used canned whole San Marzano tomatoes, 28 oz can. Don’t forget to DRAIN the tomatoes. I did.

I used plain raisins, not Sultanas.

Olive should be salad olives, which are small.

Very tasty dish. No rice: low-carb.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 March 2017 at 7:05 pm

Winter recipe recommendation

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This pot roast recipe by Brett Anderson. Changes I made/will make:

Rutabaga: I omitted it this time, but think I’ll try it the next.

Carrots/parsnips: I followed the recipe ratio: 4/2 (carrots/parsnips). Next time I will go with 3/3.

I used avocado oil rather than canola oil, and the boneless pot roast was 4 lbs, not 3 lbs.

Otherwise I followed recipe faithfully, including the cooking times for the various steps—they were a bit longer than I would have naturally done, but a bit better as well, so I highly recommend you use your kitchen timer and give full measure to the various steps. If the recipe said “4 to 7 minutes,” for example, I went with 7 minutes.

I did use 7 oz tomato paste instead of 6 oz because the paste I buy comes in a 7 oz jar.

Really quite exceptional. Think of it as a stew in which you cut up the beef afterwards rather than before. After I removed the meat, I cut it into small bite-size pieces and returned it to the liquid, which becomes a (rich) stew.

 

Written by LeisureGuy

15 December 2016 at 6:46 pm

Very tasty—and very easy—wintertime dinner recipe

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This one, with these changes:

Two ounces of butter, total, split 1 ounce (2 Tbsp) for cabbage, 1 ounce for ground meat.

With shredded cabbage include 1 large chopped onion (and forget the onion powder) or 4 shallots, along with 2 chopped green bell peppers. You’ll thank me.

I use 1 teaspoon (or a little more) freshly ground black pepper.

I have no idea what “Tex-Mex” seasoning is, so I just taco seasoning, and it was fine.

I baked at 400ºF for 15 minutes, and I roasted it in the same sauté pan in which I had cookd the cabbage, onions, and peppers, and then the ground meat. No reason to dirty another dish. (My sauté pan has metal handles, so no worries about oven temperature.)

It was really delicious, but we agree that the blue-cheese version is better, so I’ll be making that again soon. With mushrooms.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 December 2016 at 7:29 pm

A series of cabbage and meat low-carb recipes from DietDoctor.com

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Blue Cheese Cabbage Stir-Fry. A few observations: Just use 1 head of cabbage. It will be 1.5-2 lbs, and it doesn’t make much difference how much there is. I used shallots.

The ground beef was available onl in 1-lb packages (and 1.3 lbs is odd measure), so I bought a packaage of sweet Italian sausage links: 1 lb, 5 links. I used one of those links in addition. I think 1.5 lbs is a more logical target.

The blue cheese melted slowly, and I poured in the cup of heavy cream before it was done, but no problem: cooked well. I tried this time a good blue cheese (Pt. Reyes), but I think the house crumbled blue cheese would work as well, and it’s what I’ll use next time—and there definitely will be a next ti: extremely tasty.

I used 1-1.5 tsp ground black pepper. Tastes better than 1/4 tsp.

Two ounces of butter was more than I wanted to use, so I went with about 1.5 oz. Again, the amount is not critical, and you could just use the amount that seems right to you, on the generous side.

I think next time I’ll use chopped or quartered domestic white mushrooms. They seemed as if they would fit. I would also stir in 2 Tbsp amontillado or cream sherry right at the end.

In all the recipes in this series, I skip onion powser and instead use chopped shallots or scallions or leeks or onions. Others in this series:

Asian Cabbage Stir Fy.

Indian Cabbage Stir Fry.

Italian Cabbage Stir Fry.

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole.

All these recipes are low-carb, so don’t eat with rice, potatoes, bread, breadsticks, or any other carb. This is the meal. You’ll get your energy calories—the calories you burn doing the day’s activities—primarily from fat rather than from carbohydrate. Protein remains unchanged. You simply replace the calories you formerly got from carbs (which you now don’t eat) with calories from fat, which makes your meals a bit richer in fat than when you were also eating caarbs. Total calories remain about the same or even drop somewhat: high-fat meals tend to digest slowly and thus increase satiation over time, so you tend not to feel so hungry.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 December 2016 at 5:55 pm

Chili discovery: Beef, not pork

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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.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 September 2016 at 8:57 pm

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