Posted by johngl
I’ll admit it: when I began this adventure, I didn’t know a whole lot about sirloin. I never paid much attention to it since my favorite cuts of beef were ribeye and porterhouse steaks, in that order. These “favorite” steaks come from primal cuts located mid-cow. Sirloins hail from an area behind the short loin (where porterhouses call home) and in front of the “round” portion at the back end of the cow.
Notice that tenderloin strip (white) whose big end (sometimes called the “head”) rests between two hunks of sirloin. The Top Sirloin (light green) rests directly beneath the “head” end of the tenderloin primal.
Below is seven and a half pounds of prime grade top sirloin. It cost me less than $5/lb, so I had no problem doing some experiments with it. It’s not easy to find a prime grade of anything at that price. My first run at it was a nine hour sous vide at 132°F.
I just love that edge to edge color that sous vide cooking brings.
Posted by johngl
It’s always difficult when great friends move away and this one is no exception. And, since I haven’t done a beef tenderloin for a long while, it seemed a proper way to contribute to their send-off.
Before I get all sniffly regarding their departure, let’s get to it.
Naturally, this looks like your basic grilled psoas major, that main muscle of the whole tenderloin that begets fillet mignon. Sadly, it doesn’t start out looking this pretty and one misses out on all that fun associated with raising, transporting, killing, butchering, packaging, more transporting, and selling to the public. We’ll pick it after the latter. Continue reading
This latest adventure in live fire cooking came about rather innocently. I needed a way to get a bigger fire out of this (double-sided) fireplace.
The grate was too low to keep larger stacks of logs from rolling out so I set upon building a cage to hold the logs in (see above). It’s made from steel and bolts I picked up at a local hardware store and measures 36″ wide x 18″ deep x 18″ tall. Continue reading
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I can be inspired by something I’ve seen on the Internet. At this point, I don’t even remember what that inspiration was, but it was there once, I swear it.
I’m a huge fan of the ultra-beefy taste of chuck. It’s what meat is meant to be. However, it can be a little chewy unless it’s cooked for long periods of time…like days.
Funny how this works, but sous-vide is just the ticket! A full 48 hours at 130°F did the trick. Continue reading
When I was hunting the fridge looking to bag something for lunch, this just jumped out in front of me:
Well, it wasn’t that exactly, it was a 3oz piece of sous vide NY Strip that most glorious spousal unit set aside for me. She’s thoughtful that way.
What to do, what to do?
I’d initially thought about a grilled cheese sandwich. Why not add some NY Strip strips?
And so it came to pass that most glorious spousal unit actually asked for a sous vide steak. We’re making some progress!
She’s a meat and potatoes sort, so I asked her how she wanted the taters.
“Mashed. With cheese.” says she.
“Hmmm. Well, that’s different. What kind of cheese?” I asked stupidly.
“Cream cheese and Cheez Whiz®.”
Whatever. If that’s the price I pay to get her to buy into sous vide rather than just indulging my experiments, so be it.
The steaks are on the left. Italian sausage in two-packs, then an 8 lb pork shoulder. In all, fourteen pounds of flesh.
She just rolls her eyes realizing this monster sous vide rig will now be on the counter (again) for days.
Most glorious mum-in-law flies in — not on her broom — about once a year. Her favorite food on the planet is pork ribs. In fact, her favorite meat is pork. Ya just gotta love an Iowa farm girl.
Clockwise, from the top, St Louis cut spare ribs, shoulder (butt), and rack.
The ribs (20 hours @ 134°F), shoulder (48 hours @ 140°F), and rack (10 hours @ 134°F) were all sous vide well in advance, ice bathed, then stored in the fridge awaiting their smoke-filled finish. This is one of the greatest things about sous vide: once fully pasteurized, and as long as the bag isn’t opened, you can safely keep it in your fridge for several weeks.
Each piece of meat was liberally salted in advance of the water bath. That’s it. Nothing fancy here. I simply wanted to see what salt alone would do.
Always being interested in the science of cooking, I did some research on the smoking bit too. The result of that was a few simple things 1) charcoal for heat, 2) wood for smoke (I used dry oak chunks), 3) wait for blue smoke (the nearly invisible kind), 4) meat goes in cold and wet. Pretty simple stuff. For those interested in a shitload of details, go here.
Science works. Check out that smoke ring! Believe it or not, the ribs were in the smoker for only 40 minutes. I pulled them out of the fridge, out of the bag, left a bunch of gelatinous goo on the surface, and put them in the smoker. No added rubs, spices, or fussery. Continue reading
Decades ago, in a land far, far away, a housemate introduced me to several Asian-inspired dishes. I wasn’t as fluent in cooking back then, but this recipe has stuck with me throughout the years without much modification. Marcotte called them Pork & Crab Meatballs.
BigDMcC, another old friend, calls them John’s Crabby Balls. The name seems to fit.
Posted by johngl
We were tripping the rift inside of Costco yesterday and developed a hankerin’ for some red meat somewhere along the way. But this post isn’t really about steak — though you will see steak posted — it’s about the potatoes.
These may well be the best roasted potatoes I’ve come up with in a while and I’d thought I’d share the secret formula. Well, that’s a bit of stretch. I do this blogging thing to keep track of my own cooking adventures, but if you feel like coming along for the ride, I don’t mind.
Posted by johngl
Along with the run of Copper River salmon that made its way to my fridge, a couple of Choice-Grade steer parts moseyed on by as well. I don’t know how my refrigerator does it; one day it’s catching fish in Alaska, the next day, it’s in rounding up cows in Iowa.
Magic I tell you. Pure magic.