WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU EYE-OF-THE-ROUND

Make it play the tenderloin role! I am over the moon with this preparation, sous-vide turns a very cheap and often neglected cut of meat into Dinner Royalty. There are other methods to achieve the same outcome. America’s Test Kitchen uses a very low oven and careful monitoring of the temperature in the center of the meat using a probe thermometer that stays inside throughout the cooking time. I made their version before attempting this one. What I dislike about their recipe (sorry, ATK), is that you just don’t know how long it is going to take, so dinner plans get a bit iffy. With this method, no worries. Set the temperature, place the meat in the water-bath, and you can finish it in mere minutes on the stove top. Brilliant, just brilliant.

EYE OF THE ROUND SOUS-VIDE
(adapted from Anova Culinary)

3lbs eye of round beef roast
1/3 cup mustard
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 Tbsp black pepper
1.5 Tbsp kosher salt

Set a water bath to 131F.

Season beef liberally with salt and pepper. Cover beef with yellow mustard massaging it well all over the surface.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat with 1Tbsp vegetable oil.
Once pan is hot, sear beef on all sides until golden brown. Remove from pan, place in a bag suitable for sous-vide cooking. You can seal using vacuum or use water displacement. Place in water bath, cook for 24 hours.

Remove meat from bag, and heat a cast iron pan on medium-high with 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, quickly sear beef on each side until golden brown (about 1 minute per side). Once done, place on a plate to rest for a few minutes.

Slice the beef into 1/2 inch slices.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: In the original recipe at Anova, they include additional steps for making a sauce. I was not interested in making it that particular evening, so I kept it super simple. But please check their site, it is a wonderful way to serve it.


We enjoyed it with air-fried small potatoes, and broccoli puree. Leftovers were my lunch for three days in a row, just briefly warmed over a non-stick pan with a touch of olive oil. If you enjoy roast beef served cold in sandwiches, just make sure to slice whatever is left very thinly, if you have an electric knife (I don’t) put it to use.

ONE YEAR AGO: Carrot Cake Macarons

TWO YEARS AGO: Soup Saturday: Say Goodbye to Winter

THREE YEARS AGO: Manchego and Poblano Soup

FOUR YEARS AGO: A Smashing Pair

FIVE YEARS AGO: Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

SIX YEARS AGO: Crispy Chickpea and Caper Spaghetti

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Spring has Sprung!

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Chickpea and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

NINE YEARS AGO: Double Asparagus Delight

TEN YEARS AGO:  Sun-dried Tomato and Feta Cheese Torte

 

MEMORIES of PASTEIS

Dad left us 15 years ago today. But he did not really leave. This is a post from 9 years ago, which I re-blog today.
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Bewitching Kitchen

When traveling to a country for the first time, it’s a good idea to pay special attention to their “street food.”   In Paris, for example, the tiny shops selling crepes (sometimes slathered with Nutella!) are a delight as one strolls along the avenues.   Many big cities are filled with  such delicacies, and in fact, one of my favorite cookbooks revolves around this topic.

On the streets of Brazil, you might stop to buy a “pastel,” and after sampling it, immediately return to the vendor for a couple more (plural = pasteis).    These fried savory pastries are sold at the entrance of street markets: every week on the same day a few blocks of a neighborhood street close to traffic, while farmers sell their produce from early morning until slightly past noon, with prices dropping as the hours pass.  You’ll smell the pasteis from a distance…

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HICKORY-SMOKED BEEF TENDERLOIN

This could very well go into the Incredibly Simple files, but since it requires an electric smoker, I guess it would not be quite appropriate. When we think about smoking stuff (not talking cigarettes of any kind here), the mind gravitates towards pork ribs, briskets, perhaps salmon. But Phil wondered if cuts such as a T-bone steak or a tenderloin could also work. There are some recipes out there, for the most part they call for rubs or marinades that in my opinion don’t do anything for the meat. So we browsed around discussion forums and found what we were looking for: meat lovers raving about their smoked ribeyes, tenderloins, T-bones. And what’s even better, they were prepared like a Brazilian would: salt, pepper, and love.

HICKORY-SMOKED BEEF TENDERLOIN
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

2 beef tenderloin filets, 8 ounces each
(you can do the same for a 12 ounce T-bone steak)
salt
pepper
a few chunks of hickory smoking chips

Set your smoker to 175 F.

Season the meat with salt and pepper.  When the smoker reaches the proper temperature, place the steaks inside and smoke for 50 minutes.

Heat your grill or a cast iron pan to the holy-smokes-this-is-blazing-hot stage.

When the meat is done smoking, sear it on the grill or cast iron pan (if using cast iron coat it very slightly with olive oil). Just a couple of minutes per side will do.

Rest the meat for 10 minutes. Slice and enjoy it. You definitely will.

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: We smoked one tenderloin filet and two T-bone steaks using exactly the same timing and temperature. The texture of the meat was quite similar to sous-vide, which pleasantly surprised us. Definitely the lower temperature does wonders for texture, and the smoked flavor turns it into something special. It is much more subtle than adding a sauce to your steak (which Brazilians find borderline heretic). Next time we will use either orange or apple wood to see how the flavor compares. Hickory is pretty assertive.

If you are a bit insecure about cooking the meat without checking the temperature, you can always insert a probe thermometer and take it to 135 F for medium-rare. The Man was in charge of the smoker, and he is pretty good at judging doneness by pressing the surface of the meat with his finger. It always turns out perfect for us.

After inhaling the whole T-bone steak (ok, he did leave the bone behind after chewing on it like Bogey QT would), Phil said it was one of the best he’s ever had. That man knows about steak, trust me, so that is a huge endorsement.  I could not finish my tenderloin, but in part it was because I always have that possibility of a perfect leftover lunch waving at me. But if it wasn’t for that, I would have matched my beloved’s performance. Except for the chewing of the bone. Or the corn on the cob. Because… braces (sigh).

We’ve had the smoker since December last year, and I can tell you we are very happy with the acquisition. I cannot imagine salmon prepared any other way, and it’s quite likely that T-bone steaks and maybe even beef tenderloin will be following the same route…

ONE YEAR AGO: Spaghetti Squash, Revisited

TWO YEARS AGO: Stir-fried Chicken and Cabbage in Spicy Almond Sauce

THREE YEARS AGO: Fifteen Years!

FOUR YEARS AGO: Light Brioche Burger Buns

FIVE YEARS AGO: Sourdough Blues

SIX  YEARS AGO: Headed to Hawaii

SEVEN YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

EIGHT YEARS AGO:  Hidden Treasure

NINE YEARS AGO: Avocado Three Ways

SMOKIN’ HOT MEATLOAF AND HOMEMADE KETCHUP

Time flies like a Boeing-777. Cliche, I admit, but truth is we got our electric smoker in December, but only now, almost 6 months later I get to share a recipe with you. It’s not for lack of playing with it, we’ve made salmon countless times, we’ve made ribs, we’ve smoked chicken wings, chicken thighs, even a big piece of brisket. But the recipe I decided to share with you first is a bit unusual – meatloaf. Yes, smoked meatloaf. It was superb. If you have a smoker, do try it. If you don’t you can do the exact same recipe in a 250 F oven, and add a touch of liquid smoke to the mix and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika.

SMOKED MEATLOAF
(inspired by Alton Brown and other sources)

½ cup ketchup (store-bought or home-made, recipe follows)
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped fine
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 pounds ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup almond flour
1 medium shallot, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2.5 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
black pepper to taste
2 large eggs, beaten

Combine the ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, chipotle, adobo sauce and cocoa powder in a small bowl.

Place the shallot, carrot and celery into the bowl of a food processor and process
until finely chopped.  Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan and add the processed veggies, season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and the veggies start to soften. Reserve, cool to almost room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the two types of meat with the ketchup mixture, reserving about 2 tablespoons to brush on the meat later.  Add the almond flour, eggs, all seasonings. Mix it all gently without overworking the meat. Shape as a loaf on top of a heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Close the foil around the meatloaf.

Heat the smoker (or use your oven) to 250F. Load it with the wood chips of your choice. We used applewood. Flip the package and poke holes at the bottom of the foil to allow fat to drip down.  Invert it again and place in the smoker, foil tightly closed for about 50 minutes.

Open the package and fold the foil back. Brush with the remaining ketchup mixture and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 130 ° F, about 40 minutes longer.

Remove the meat loaf from the smoker and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

LOW-SUGAR KETCHUP
(adapted from Bacon & Butter)

1 ½ cups tomato paste
¼ cup water
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, combine the tomato paste, water, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, and cloves. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Transfer to an airtight container. Chill for 1 hour to allow the flavors to incorporate.

ENJOY!

to print the recipes, click here

Comments:  I had never made ketchup from scratch, and this is obviously not the authentic way to do it, but I wanted something slightly less indulgent and simple to put together. It is not as sweet and thick as a normal ketchup but it delivers similar flavor. For a more authentic recipe, definitely try this one from my friend Karen.

Brown food is no eye-candy to a camera, but it tastes sooo good!

The texture and flavor of this smoked meatloaf were pretty spectacular. You’ll need to cut thick slices because it is so fragile it tends to crumble a little, but it’s not a serious drawback at all. Leftovers were good for three days in a row, twice for my lunch and one final appearance for our dinner. Yes, I did not get tired of it. At all.

The ketchup had a second chance to shine also. It was outstanding to make a bit of cocktail sauce for oysters on the half-shell.  I realize oyster season is over, but as I mentioned, this adventure happened a few months ago, when we were having oysters pretty much once-a-week.  One of the few things I love about cooler months.

ONE YEAR AGO: Banana Bread with Espresso Glaze

TWO YEARS AGO: Slow-Cooker Carnitas & Paleo Planet Cookbook Review

THREE YEARS AGO: The Making of a Nobel Reception

FOUR YEARS AGO: Fennel Soup with Almonds and Mint 

FIVE YEARS AGO: Green Curry Pork Tenderloin

SIX YEARS AGO: Farfalle with Zucchini and Ricotta

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Slow-baked Salmon with Lemon and Thyme

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Hoisin Explosion Chicken

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FLANK STEAK CARNITAS

FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO!

Carnitas are a favorite in our home…  All you need is to place some over a tortilla, add a few toppings and call it a day. Those who prefer a low-carb path can grab a hearty leaf of Romaine lettuce instead of tortilla, and enjoy it while apologizing to the Taco Gods that will certainly frown upon such heresy. In this preparation, we put the pressure cooker to play, giving the flank steak a very pleasant texture. I’ve made it three times already, after seeing the original post from Kalyn. My recipe is a slight modification of hers, with a little additional step at the end.

PRESSURE COOKER FLANK STEAK CARNITAS
(slightly modified from Kalyn’s recipe)

1 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 flank steak, about 1.5 pounds
1  cup salsa verde (like Herdez)
1/2 cup tomato salsa (like La Victoria)

Heat the oil in the pressure cooker, add the minced shallot and cook 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add  the ground cumin and chili powder and cook about a minute more.

Cut the steak lengthwise and then again crosswise.  Add the steak pieces to the pressure cooker with the red and green salsa, lock the lid in place,  and cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Shut down the burner and let the pan cool for 15 minutes, then do a quick release of steam under the kitchen faucet, and open the pan.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the meat, leaving the sauce in the pressure cooker.  Let the meat cool for a few minutes on the cutting board, then use two forks to shred the meat apart. Right before serving,  place it on a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add small amounts of the sauce left behind in the pressure cooker. You can add as much liquid as you feel like it, but allow the pieces of meat to get a bit browned in the pan first.

Use it to top tortillas with all your favorite additions, guacamole, shredded cheese, shredded avocado. Or enjoy it with white rice and beans.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: We are not big on cooking with ready-made sauces but make an exception to bottled salsas, because there are so many great brands out there. We love La Victoria, although it is not the easiest one to find. Leftovers go in mini-muffin pans straight to the freezer, and then inside a plastic bag. They do get a bit watery in the freezing-thawing process, but we mainly use them as addition to guacamole or stir-fries, so that’s not too serious a problem.  Sometimes I defrost them over a small sieve, so that the excess water drips away. 

This is one example of a recipe I would never try if it did not come from Kalyn’s site. I can see myself twisting the  nose at something made opening two different bottled products… but she raved about it, and I totally trust her. Indeed, it is a big winner. I don’t know what happens in the mixture of the green and red salsa, but you definitely end up with something that is more than the sum of its parts. In a very good way…

You can make the flank steak in the pressure cooker, in the instant-pot, or in a slow-cooker. Stop by Kalyn’s site to get specific instructions for each method. It is a great way to tame the fibrous texture of this meat, and give it a lot of spice without making it overly hot. I suppose you could go for a very hot salsa if you so desire… I’ve been in a more mellow phase lately. Such is life.

ONE YEAR AGO: Sesame and Poppy Seed Sourdough

TWO YEARS AGO: Pecan-Crusted Chicken from Southern at Heart

THREE YEARS AGO: Lamb Shanks en Papillote with Cauliflower-Celeriac Purée

FOUR YEARS AGO: Chestnut Brownies and a Blog Award!

FIVE YEARS AGO: Quinoa with Cider-Glazed Carrots

SIX YEARS AGO: Celebrate Wednesday: Heirloom Tomatoes Steal the Show

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pain de Provence

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Golspie Loaf, from the Scottish Highlands

 

 

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