Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Week of the Rib Roast

Due to some confusion on my part on just how large a rib roast is, when we bought the side of beef we didn't have the rib roast cut down. This meant we ended up with a huge 8-rib roast.

When Peter called to ask about making the rib roast for a large family dinner, I said sure. It turned out that he only made his half for the dinner, but since he had to defrost the whole roast to cut it in half that left my half remaining. I didn't think I'd have time to make it, so we roasted it that night during the dinner.

Since there had been no real plan to make it, we kept it simple. Rubbed the roast with salt and inserted some rosemary into it. Roasted it at 450F until it reached around 145F.

We've been eating roast all week. There's only two of us, so it's a lot of meat to eat through. Started off with basic things: plain roast, roast beef sandwiches, grilled cheese with beef slices.

Next I used some to make hash, basically I fried some sliced, cold, boiled potatoes, diced onions, and beef pieces in butter until brown. Seasoned with salt, pepper and bit of aleppo pepper for kicks. Topped it off with a runny, fried egg. Fairly tasty all told.

Then there was fajitas. Sliced up the beef and an onion. Briefly marinaded them in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chipotle, ancho pepper, and cumin. Cooked until the meat was hot and the onions tasty. Also sauted some frozen colored peppers in the remaining sauce. Served in tortillas with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole. Although not as good as the other fajitas I made, I greatly enjoyed them.

With the remaining beef, I turned it into "char sui". While cooking some rice, I marinated the beef in a char sui sauce: light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, shoaxing wine, honey, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and 5 spice powder. Fried it up until the beef was hot and the sauce was sticky. Served over rice with a side of garlic-sesame spinach and an clementine. The result was so-so. The parts of the meat heavily infused with rosemary did not go well with the sauce, but the rest of it was good.

I still have the ribs with a fair amount of meat on them. I've tossed them in the freezer for now, but I intend to turn them into soup.

Honestly, I'm not thrilled with this use of the roast. If I buy a side of beef again, I definitely do different cuts and limit rib roasts to two ribs.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Greek Meatballs

I used a pound of ground beef to make mini greek meatballs. I left out the greek seasoning and made the meatballs smaller than in the recipe. They turned out well, but I think I over baked them a bit.

I served the meatballs sandwich style with whole wheat pitas, tzatziki, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, feta, and greek olives. Unfortunately the pitas sort of fell apart while eating this. It would be better served as meatballs with a side salad. I accompanied it with lemon potatoes and nectarine slices. I omitted the parsley from the potato recipe. I used water instead of stock, but not quite enough at the beginning so the potatoes stuck to my pan initially. This meant that I didn't get a nice crust on all of them and some of them crumbled on me. Oh well, still tasted okay.

Steak Tips

Last time I used steak tips to make fajitas, which were quite tasty. This time I decided to cook them like I did the steak. While I still used cold butter this time, I did have the pan hotter. The meat, though not cold, was not sill somewhat cool.

I was quite concerned about over cooking the steak tips since they seemed so much smaller than regular steak pieces. As a result I only cooked them for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Unfortunately, this left some of the pieces being very, very rare inside. A quick 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave fixed that.

The steak tips had very good flavor, but the pieces were fairly tough no matter how you sliced it. In the future I think I'd prefer the tips for fajitas.

Once again I cooked green beans in the leftover garlic butter. They were good, but not as tasty as I remembered them being. I think there were less yummy meat juices to coat them with this time since I undercooked the steak tips. I also made roast cauliflower to go with the meal. I used asagio cheese instead of Parmesan because that's what I had on hand. It was okay. I tried a bit of truffle oil on a few pieces to see how that would work, but decided it the cheese overshadowed the flavor of the oil.

I also made cranberry kumquat muffins as an appetizer/desert. Good, but a bit sweeter than I liked.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


So last night I made cheeseburgers using two pounds of ground beef. I kept it very simple -- sprinkled some Worcestershire sauce over the meat and then made patties. I used a quarter pound of meat per burger and fried them in a cast iron pan on med-high for a few minutes on each side. Then I melted some cheddar cheese on them. Served in whole wheat buns. Toppings included: sliced tomatoes, lettuce, sliced red onion, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. The burgers were very popular.

With this I also made spiced sweet potato fries. These are baked not fried. While they were very tasty, they did not have the crispness of fries and the pieces without skin on them were not very sturdy. I enjoyed them never the less.

The long delay between posts was due to me running out of beef! I store most of my half of the side at my brother-in-law's place since he has a large freezer. I usually stop by and restock my freezer, but recently I ran out and didn't have a chance to restock. All set to go now.