Great music and delicious meat–what could be better?
Those of us who enjoy meat in our diet certainly have a favorite cut or restaurant where we enjoy this delicious fare. Over this past weekend I was able to enjoy two of my favorite past times–great music at a hot jazz festival and a mouthwatering grilled steaks at a great steakhouse.
Choosing a cut of beef depends more on the technique being used for the recipe than the recipe itself, because all cuts of beef are not created equal. For example, a shank and tenderloin can be compared to a school bus and a Porsche.
Beef carcasses are split along the axis of symmetry into halves, then across into front and back quarters(forequarters and hindquarters). Allow me to share with you the variety of cuts of beef available for consumption. The forequarter cuts are the chuck, rib, brisket, shank and plate.
The chuck is the source of bone-in chuck steaks and roasts, and boneless clod steaks and roasts, most commonly. The trimmings and some whole boneless chucks are ground for hamburgers. The rib contains part of the short ribs, rib eye steaks, prime rib, and standing rib roasts.
The brisket is used for barbecue, corned beef and pastrami. The fore shank or shank is used primarily for stews and soups; it is not usually served any other way due to it being the toughest of the cuts. The plate is the other source of short ribs, used for pot roasting, and the outside skirt steak, which is used for fajitas. The remainder is usually ground, as it is typically a cheap, tough, and fatty meat.
The hindquarter cuts are the loin, round and flank. The loin has two subprimals, or three if boneless: the short loin, from which club, T-bone, and porterhouse steaks are cut if bone-in, or strip loin(New York strip)and filet mignon if boneless, the sirloin, which is less tender than short loin, but more flavorful, and can be further divided into top sirloin and bottom sirloin(including tri-tip), and the tenderloin, which is the most tender. It can be removed and cut into fillets, tournedos or tenderloin steaks or roasts(such as for beef Wellington), or can be left on wedge or flat-bone sirloin and T-bone and porterhouse loin steaks.
The round contains lean, moderately tough, lower fat(less marbling)cuts, which require moist cooking or lesser degrees of doneness. Some cuts are round steak, eye of round, top round and bottom round steaks and roasts. The flank is used mostly for grinding, except for the long and flat flank steak, best known for use in London broil, and the inside skirt steak, also used for fajitas. Flank steaks were once one of the most affordable steaks, because they are substantially tougher than the more desirable loin and rib steaks. Many recipes for flank steak use marinades or moist cooking methods, such as braising, to improve the tenderness and flavor. This, in turn, increased the steaks popularity; when combined with natural leanness, increased prices have resulted.
Here are a few beef recipes for your weekend of culinary exploration.
Cooking is about sharing and having fun in the process so allow me to share the great recipes from Roscoe’s Kitchen. Make sure to e-mail us at email@example.com with your comments and recipes so that we can share your experiences and creations with our audience.
1 pound lean sirloin, cut in cubes
2 tablespoons flour
1 and 1/2 cups beef broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red onion, cut into eighths lengthwise
1 cup baby carrot
1/2 pound small mushrooms
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 potatoes, cubed
Heat oven to 500 degrees.
Place flour in a zip lock baggie and put beef cubes in bag. Close and shake to cover all beef cubes with flour. Place floured cubes in an oven-proof pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cook in 500 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven and let cool on stovetop for 5 minutes.
Gradually add broth to pan and stir to loosen browned bits.
Add garlic, 2 tablespoons parsley and thyme.
Cook covered on medium low heat for about 1 hour until beef is tender. Add carrots, cleaned mushrooms and cubed potatoes. Cook 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Sprinkle with parsley before serving. Add more broth if mixture becomes too dry.
Black Angus&Black Beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound sirloin , cut in strips
2 cups chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 14 oz. can plum tomato
1 and 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 pound black beans, cooked
3 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped scallions, green and white parts
In a large stockpot or very large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the sirloin just until no longer pink; do not overcook. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot and saute over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the jalapeno pepper, tomato, broth, beans, spices, and salt and pepper.
Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Add the sirloin and simmer for 15 minutes; taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve at room temperature, garnished with chopped scallion.
2 filets mignon, 1-inch thick
2 sheets puff pastry
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 tbsps mushroom duxelles
Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
Filets are often irregular in shape, if yours are use a piece of kitchen twine to tie them into a round.
Season filets generously with salt and pepper.
Pre-heat a medium(10-inch)non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and swirl in pan to melt.
Cook filets on both sides for about 3 minutes until well-browned, then brown the edges.
Allow filets to cool, then wrap in plastic and chill for at least a couple of hours.
Heat oven to 400F. Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water(egg wash).
Wrap the filets in puff pastry. Brush with egg wash, and bake in center of oven until golden brown; about 30 minutes.
Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy
1-1/2 pounds ground round
1-3/4 cups soft freshly bread crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
14.25 ounce can beef broth
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Combine all patty ingredients, except oil, in a large bowl. Shape into 6 equal patties.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add patties and cook, turning once, until patties are cooked through, 5-6 minutes per side.
While patties are cooking, prepare gravy. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat, then add mushrooms and shallot. Cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are golden, stirring constantly. Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add wine, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, for 6-7 minutes, or until mixture is reduced by 1/4, stirring occasionally. Spoon gravy over each patty and serve.
Rib Eye Steaks with Cream Cheese Sauce
Two nicely marbled 1-inch thick(Angus)beef rib eye steaks
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
2 tbsps salted or unsalted butter
1 medium clove of garlic, minced
1 carton of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp white cooking wine
3 or 4 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup of half&half
Let steaks come to room temperature for 1/2 hour. Rub with salt and pepper.
Heat an iron skillet on medium-high heat. Place 1 Tbsp. of the butter in skillet to melt. Add steaks and cook to desired doneness.
Remove steaks to a warmed plate. Place remaining 1 tbsp. butter in same skillet. Add minced garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes, then add wine and stir to loosen the goodies on the bottom of the skillet. Add the cream cheese to the mixture in the skillet.
Heat and stir over medium-low heat to melt.
Stir in half-and-half. Heat through and to serve spoon equal amounts over the steaks.
SPICE OF THE WEEK: WHITE PEPPER
White pepper consists of the seed of the pepper plant alone, with the darker colored skin of the pepper fruit removed. This is usually accomplished by a process known as retting, where fully ripe peppers are soaked in water for about a week, during which the flesh of the pepper softens and decomposes. Rubbing then removes what remains of the fruit, and the naked seed is dried. Alternative processes are used for removing the outer pepper from the seed, including decortications, the removal of the outer layer through mechanical, chemical or biological methods.
White pepper is sometimes used in dishes like light-colored sauces or mashed potatoes, where ground black pepper would visibly stand out. They have differing flavor due to the presence of certain compounds in the outer fruit layer of the drupe that are not found in the seed.