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Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

Who doesn’t love tender braised meat in a rich wine sauce? There is nothing better than this French classic and no part of the cow that I enjoy more than it’s short ribs. Beautifully marbled, fatty, tender, beefy goodness. The short ribs pack a massive amount of flavor and generally are an inexpensive.

I prefer cooking this dish with the wine reduction which means you will need to prepare this one day in advance to allow for the maximum cabernet wine infusion into the meat. That being said you want to use a good bottle of wine for this dish. Tonight I’m paring the short ribs with Robuchon style mash potato and haricot vert with shiitakes.

Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless short rib (equal size portions)
  • 2 1/2 cups leeks (1/2 inch dice)
  • 2 cups onion (1/2 inch dice)
  • 2 cups carrots (1/2 inch dice)
  • 1 cup shallot (1/2 inch dice)
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 4 bay leaf
  • 6 cloves garlic hand crushed
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon (don't be cheap)
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Mise en place

Mise en place

Wine Reduction

Wine Reduction

First we need to create the wine reduction that will serve as the basis of this dish.  Start by adding half of the leeks, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, all the shallot and the bottle of wine to a large ovenproof pot. Bring to boil over high heat then lower to simmer for 60 minutes until the wine reduces to a glaze. You want to reduce as much fat from the dish you can at every point, so take the time to remove the silver skin and excess fat from the short ribs. Portion them into equal sizes so that they cook properly.

Browning Short Ribs

Browning Short Ribs

Season the meat with salt and pepper on all sides. Preheat a large skillet over high heat, add enough canola oil when it’s ripping hot to cover the bottom of the pan. Brown the meat in small batches making sure there is plenty of space between the pieces of meat. Take your time with this step and make sure all sides are perfectly brown. Always remember that browning on meat is flavor. Transfer the meat to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Additional Vegetables

Additional Vegetables Added

Short Ribs Being Braised

Short Ribs Being Braised

Create a bed for the beef by adding the remaining vegetables, garlic, thyme, bay leaf to the wine reduction. Mix the vegetables into the reduction then add the beef in a single layer. Top with beef stock until it just covers the meat. Cover with a tight sealing lid and cook in a 325 oven for 2.5 hours or until the meat is tender.You could technically serve this after it’s been braised, but ultimately you want to transfer the meat to a container and let it marinate in the braising liquid overnight. Run the braising liquid through a chinois several times before pouring it over the meat. Refrigerate overnight.

Day 2: Skim the fat on top of the marinated short ribs. Remove the meat from the liquid, place the liquid into medium sauté pan and reduce by 1/3rd. Season with salt and pepper as needed.  Place the meat into the braising liquid and  spoon over the top. Reheat in a 400 degree oven. Spooning the sauce over the meat every couple of minutes until warm ~8 minutes.

Reheating Short Ribs

 


 

For more information on this dish or any French Classic I would recommend the

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To Sous-vide or Not to Sous-vide

To Sous-vide or Not to Sous-vide

In the field of cooking the process of Sous Vide has been a bit controversial in the United States. Sous Vide is a process in which food is vacuum sealed in plastic bags then controlled temperature cooked in a circulating bath. Although widely adopted as method cooking in Europe the FDA and USDA have made several strides in the last decade to kill this method of cooking in the restaurant scene. Chefs in NYC have literally been forced to throw away food in very high end restaurants. Their main issue of contention is that sous vide method in the air tight vacuum sealed bags can cause botulism to thrive due to the lack of oxygen, temperature and duration of cook time. However these are also the same people that want you to eat well done cheeseburgers and never touch sushi.

 

Sous-vide Beef Vacuum Sealed

Sous-vide Beef Vacuum Sealed

Why to Sous Vide?

The precision, repeatability of results and the overall final result of the product is the main reason to cook with this method. You have way more control with the outcome of final product. Overcooking a product is less likely with sous vide due to the fact that once you know how and for long to sous vide the entire process controlled temperature to proper doneness. A perfectly cooked piece of fish can be mind glowingly good as can a juicy pieces of medium-rare beef. Fat and collagen cells in meat break down much differently because of the gradual process and result in higher moisture retention and tenderness. Vegetables retain a crispy texture and much of the flavor lost during a traditional process like boiling are retained rather than lost. The biggest added bonus to sous vide is the benefit of imparting a ton of flavor into the product with seasoning without being lost in the cooking process.

It however is not all good with sous vide. The downside is you miss a lot of the flavors gained when pan roasting, searing or braising that you can’t get with strictly sous vide. The wonderful crust you achieve in conventional methods is my biggest detraction. Although once cooked you can add sear, crust or crispy skin, this often its by extremely hot and quick methods as to not ruin the doneness of the product I find that its just not the same. Texturally I think it alters some proteins that most people wouldn’t be use to eating if they haven’t tried it before. The cost of a proper setup can be rather high which is why up until recently it hasn’t found its way into the homes of people.

Sous-vide Beef Torching to Add Flavor

Sous-vide Beef Torching to Add Flavor

In the end I like the method a lot, but use it for minimal applications. Eggs cooking sous vide at a controlled temperature can be ridiculously delicious.  It’s probably not for everyone or every home cook for that matter, but in the end I think its a worthy cooking method.

Check out https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/sous-vide-time-and-temperature-guide for some pretty good cook time and temperature references.

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Argentine Style Asado

Argentine Style Asado

Argentine Style Asado

In Argentina, beef is king. Argentina has such a rich history of cattle ranching and producing extremely high quality beef. The parrilla style grill or open fire cooking is the perfect way to cook meat slowly. The seasoning is minimal, just salt in most cases with the coals or wood providing much of the added flavor. Traditionally the focal ingredient is always beef with various other goodies such as; chorizo, blood sausage, assorted other offal and sweetbreads on the side. I tend to go in favor of different cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken to pair with the steak. The interaction of fire, smoke and salty crust on the grilled meat is something that no other cooking technique even comes close to doing. It is simplicity at its best so buy quality and take your time cooking the meat.

For starters a high quality dry aged steak is a must. Skip the NY Strip and tasteless filet and go straight for the thick cut bone-in ribeye. The mix of marbled fat to tasty rich meat makes this my favorite beef cut and the perfect steak for the grill. Another must is chorizo for two reasons; it’s delicious when grilled and the flavor added to the cutting board juices brings it to a whole new level. Add a couple of pork chops, random cuts of meats like lamb chops or ribs and you got yourself a party. Everything works as long as a vegetable is not in sight other than the finishing chimichurri sauce.

Asado Plated

Asado Plated Slowly Grilled, Rested, Sliced and Sauced with Chimichurri

Chimichurri

This simple to make sauce is intense in flavor and the perfect foil for fatty grilled meat. The balance of acid, salt, herb, spice and olive oil enhance everything. Here is my variation of the sauce.

Chimichurri

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 scallion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
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Click for my Guide to Grilling on Charcoal

The Asado

Allow all the meat to become room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. Rub lightly with canola oil then season liberally with salt and pepper. You want the seasoning to set up roughly 10 minutes prior to cooking the meat start salting. Everything will cook at different rates so place the meat on the grill according to everything finishing at the same time.

Asado on Grill

Asado Ribeye, Chorizo and Pork Chop placed on Grill

Resting the meat is a must. Place everything on a cutting board and cover with foil. The juices need to redistribute to the meat and you want the juices from the meat and the chimichurri as a finishing sauce. Slice the meat and plate.

Asado Turned

Asado Almost Done Slow and steady cooking yields best results

Mix the juices on the cutting board together with your knife then spoon over the top of the plated meat. Sauce Chimichurri over the top.

Asado Resting

Asado Resting allow the meat to properly rest

Chorizo is Key

I think the key to the entire dish comes from the intense flavor chorizo adds. The pimenton just works beautifully with the rest of the meats and the chimichurri. Buy a good quality Spanish chorizo, D’Artagnan and Despana make two extremely delicious ones.

Argentine Asado


THE ARGENTINE WAY WITH BEEF by Saveur is an amazing article on this style of cooking and the love Argentines share of beef.

Check out THE CAPITAL OF BEEF for another article on affection Argentines have on beef and their culture of asado. 

RIB-EYE STEAKS WITH CHIMICHURRI by Saveur is a great variation of this dish that I have made and enjoyed in the past. 

Beef Teppanyaki with Vegetable

Beef Teppanyaki with Vegetable

I became addicted to Beef Teppanyaki early on in my life and have a fondness towards the preparation. Our family would make it a weekly ritual to go see a movie at local AMC movie theater then go down the street to Banzai. This local teppanyaki restaurant although not the best by any means was my entry into Japanese cuisine.  This is my take on that style of teppanyaki that they served with minimal seasoning and lots of garlic.

Beef Teppanyaki with Vegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 8oz portions of beef (I prefer, ribeye, filet, short rib and hanger for this)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 3 scallions (diced)
  • 2 bok choy
  • 1/2 cup of snap peas
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 2 tbs canola oil
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Take the beef out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.  Dice into 1/2 inch cubes.Beef Short Rib Beef CubedClean the bok choy and separate the leaves, then clean the snap peas. Blanch the peas in salted boiling water for ~1 minute then the bok choy for ~15 seconds. Shock in an ice bath then dry.

Preheat a large heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of canola oil when the pan is ripping hot then drop in the onions. Sauté for ~2 minutes without letting them gain too much color. Add the snap peas, bok choy and 1/2 the scallions.Vegetables

Sauté for ~1 minute then add 1 tbs of butter and 1 clove of minced garlic to the center of the pan. Garlic Added

Once fragrant mix into the vegetables then add 1 tbs of mirin and soy.  Sauté ~ 1 minute then take off the heat. Season with pepper.vegetablesfinal

Now its time for the beef. This cooks extremely quickly so have everything at the ready. Preheat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of canola oil once ripping hot. Place the beef in and shake the pan so that its evenly spread out.Beef Added to Pan After ~20 seconds turn the beef, place a tbs of butter and the remaining garlic into the center of pan. Shake the pan to distribute the garlic once fragrant (~30 seconds), then add 1 tbs of soy sauce and mirin. Beef ButterCook until medium rare or your desired preference.Beef Teppanyaki FinishedTop with the rest of the scallion and serve immediately.

Check out some other great beef recipes at Savuer.

Kalbi with Wasbi Fried Rice

Kalbi with Wasbi Fried Rice

Walking through Whole Foods the other day they had these delicious looking thick cut boneless short ribs and I couldn’t pass up the chance to make Kalbi. Korean style marinated Kalbi is pretty amazing stuff  as it is, but I decided to pair it with some spicy wasabi fried rice.


The Kalbi Marinade

1/2 cup soy

1/8 cup mirin

1/4 white sugar

1 clove garlic (grated)

1 tps ginger (grated)

2 scallions (diced)

1 tps sesame oil

1/2 small onion (sliced)

Mix everything throughly and set aside. Slice the short rib against the grain thinly and set in the marinade. Allow the meat to marinate at least 30 minutes. Depending on the thickness you can go longer in the marinade. These will get salty the longer they sit.KBmarinade1KBbeefKBbeef2


Wasabi Fried Rice

1 cup cooked and cooled long grain rice

1/3 cup onion (fine dice)

1/2 cup bok choy (large dice and leafs separated from stem)

1/4 scallion (diced)

1 tps wasabi paste

1/2 tsp ginger (grated)

1 tps canola oil

Have everything ready to go before you begin cooking this dish. As with a lot of Chinese style food this is cooked on high heat with minimal cook time. Preheat a nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tps of canola oil. When its sizzling, but not smoking add the onion, bok choy stems and ginger. Sauté ~30 seconds.WFR1 Add the rice and wasabi. Mix vigorously then add the bok choy leaves and scallion. WFR3Season with salt and pepper. Sauté another minute and take off the heat.


Take the Kalbi out of the marinade and set a side. Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Kalbi MarinadeBrush with canola oil then grill the meat in small batches ~20 seconds a side for medium rare or longer if your beef was cut thicker.KalbiReduce the marinating liquid in a separate pan and sauce over the finished meat.


 

 

Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak

Hanger steak is a great piece of meat. It’s popped up on menus across the nation in the last 5 years and for good reason. It’s an extremely affordable cut of beef that is very lean, high in protein and very rich in beef flavor. Tonight I’m pairing them with brussels and potato.


1 pound hanger steak

1 portion gnocchi (recipe here)

1/2 pound of brussel sprouts

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

3 tbs olive oil

1 tbs canola oil

balsamic vinegar


Take the steak out at least 30 minutes before cooking. Clean, peal off the first layer of leaf off the brussel sprouts, trim the stem and then cut in half. Preheat oven to 400.  Toss the brussels in a bowl with 1 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbs of olive oil, the brussels (face down) and the garlic. Place in oven and toss the pan every 5 minutes until cooked (20 minutes).PBBbrussel2Preheat a cast-iron grill pan on medium-high heat. Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper.Hseason Brush the pan with canola oil when its ripping hot then add the steak. Cook for ~8 minutes or until its medium rare (125 degrees insta-read thermometer). Turn the steak once half way into the cook time. Take the steak out and let it rest at least 5 minutes. HrestingWhile the steak is resting for 5 minutes preheat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Boil the gnocchi, drain and add to a bowl with 1 tsp of olive oil. Add the gnocchi to the pan and brown each side. HgAdd the brussel sprouts when the gnocchi are crispy.HbgSlice the hanger steak against the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices and plate with the brussels. Finish with salt, a drizzle of olive oil and drizzle of good quality balsamic.Hanger Steak