Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stir Fry

I had been meaning to make stir fry again, but most of the cuts of beef I had on hand didn't strike me as "stir fry" meat. However, given how the last pot roast turned out, I though I might try using one of the roasts for other things. I put a top round roast in the fridge on Thursday to defrost.

Come Saturday night, it was still partially frozen. However, I was only planning on using a bit of it, so I cut off some of the edge portions that were defrosted to make stir fry.

Here's the gist of what I did. Cut the meat into long thin strips. Marinaded them while I cut the other ingredients. The marinade (all measurements are guestiments): 4 tsp ground bean sauce, 2 TB dark soy sauce, 3TB shaoxing wine, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1TB cornstarch. Other ingredients: 4 cloves of garlic, sliced, 1.5 onions sliced, 1/2 large head nappa cabbage in strips, 4 large carrots peel and sliced on the diagonal. I also used a hot pepper that I froze last fall from the farmer's market. It looked like a red jalapeño, but I don't know the type. I seeded it and sliced it. Condiments used included fermented black beans, black beans with chili sauce, toasted seasme oil, peanut oil, and chicken broth.

Put the wok on high and added the peanut oil. When hot, I added the black beans and sauce, stirred. Then I spread the meat over the bottom. Let it cook a bit, then put the garlic and pepper over it and cook some more. Once it browned a bit, I stirred it and added the carrots. I'm not good with the whole stir-fry thing-- I tend to stir a bit, wait, stir a bit, etc. Cooked the carrots a bit, then added the onions, cooked, the cabbage stems, excess marinaded, cooked, added the rest of the cabbage. Added some chicken broth, which was unnecessary, since the cabbage had a lot of water on it from cleaning it. This made the sauce to runny, so I added a cornstarch slurry and cooked a bit. When things were done, I drizzled some toasted sesame oil on it and served it over rice.

The verdict: good flavor. However, the meat should have been cut into smaller pieces. It wasn't tough, but it smaller pieces would have been better.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Filet Mignon

In addition to my default ground beef recipe, a.k.a. chili (with 2lbs this time) I made fillet mignon.

The fillet mignon was labeled as beef tenderloin, since it is basically steaks cut from the tenderloin. The package had 2 in it. I took it out before we went jogging. About an hour latter I started cooking. Seasoned the steaks with kosher salt and black pepper. Put the cast iron pan on med high and let it get hot. Added a dash of olive oil. Seared the steaks for about 3 min per side. Took them off around 140F and let stand.

While the meat was standing, I deglazed the pan with some white wine. Then I added chopped onions. (I should have sauteed the onions before deglazing, but oh well.) Added some mustard, salt pepper, cream, meat juices and let it reduce.

Served the meat with the mustard cream sauce, asparagus, potato gnocci, and asian pears. The meat was actually around the recommended serving size (a deck of cards) and quite tasty. A success.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pot Roast and Hamburgers

I had a rump roast on hand and wanted an easy meal so I went with a pot roast. I basically used this recipe. Preped the veggies in the crock pot the night before when I marinaded the roast. Cooked it on low for about 9 hours. While the flavor was okay, the roast was dry (but tender). For the leftovers I made some gravy with butter, flour, drippings, broth, milk, sour cream and salt. The gravy helped a bunch.

We also used a pound of ground beef this week making burgers. Ted was craving bacon-guacamole burgers so that's what we made (with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, of course).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ropa Vieja and some old standbys

Some of the stuff I've been cooking hasn't been worth blogging about. I've used 4 pounds of ground beef making chili and spaghetti.

The interesting dish I made lately was a take on Ropa Vieja. I found this recipe when searching for a recipe using annatto seeds, since I wanted to try this spice. While I used the same ingredients, my technique deviated from this recipe. I browned 1 lb stew meat (not the 3 the recipe calls for) and then added the sliced onion and cooked for a bit. Deglazed the pan with chicken stock instead of the water, then added the rice wine vinegar, cinnamon, bay, a dash of ground cloves, and annatto. I let this simmer on very low, covered, for a few hours. Then I added about 14 oz of canned tomatoes, 1/2 c sliced carrots, and 1/2 c frozen pepper slices. Also tossed in a minced clove of garlic, the cayenne, and a bit more broth.Simmered for about 30 minutes and then served on rice.

The verdict; Okay, but not exciting.