Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dr Pepper-Miso Marinated Short Ribs

I wish I had got a better photo of these ribs, they were sweet, salty, savoury awesomeness, and devoured too quickly for the pause of a good photo, but hey what are looks, it’s all about the taste right?

Dr Pepper is a guilty pleasure, it’s a excellent cure for a night of overindulgence, which I probably do more than is better for me, but I hadn’t thought to use it as an ingredient in my cooking until the seemingly odd combination of miso and the soda popped into my head. Salty umami laden miso combined with fruity sweet soda paired with some slow cooked rich red meat, it seemed kind of wrong but I couldn’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t work.

1 Rack of short ribs
1 Can of Dr Pepper (reduced to 125 ml)
2 tsp Miso paste (shiro)
½ tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp Cider vinegar
Splash, dash or glug of oil

Slice the rack part way down the meat between the ribs (or whatever serving size you choose) to allow the marinade to work in a bit deeper.

Combine all the ingredients and check the seasoning, adjusting either with more miso or a dash of salt. Marinade the beef for up to 24 hours.

Slice a red onion, and dice a couple of carrots and place in an oven-proof dish, lay the marinaded beef on top and pour over the remaining marinade. Cover with tinfoil and cook at 140–150°C for 3 hours.

When cooked carefully remove the ribs and set aside, get a heavy baking sheet in the oven and crank up the heat to 220°C, when up to temp place the ribs on the heated pan and cook for 10–15 minutes to give a nice crust, but be careful not to dry out the meat.

While the beef cooks pass the cooked vegetables and any juices through mouli adjust the seasoning and use it as a sauce for the ribs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Beetroot Tartare

I can’t believe I haven’t posted about these great beets before, I came across the method on Ideas in Food back in January, they took beetroot cooked it until tender and then dehydrated it, not so dehydrated it’s a crisp dry husk but soft, chewy, and sweet. Recently I had been thinking about these beets and what to do with them, I wanted to make a simple dish that really let the flavour of the beetroot shine, but add a couple of complementing flavours, what I ended up with is a ‘tartare’ of beetroot with ewe’s milk feta and rather food geekily olive oil powder*.

Firstly the beetroot needs to be cooked until tender, you can either steam them or as I usually do put them in a casserole dish with a few aromatics and a splash of wine, cover and put in a medium oven until fork tender, 40–60 minutes.

Remove the beetroot from the dish and allow to cool until you can handle them, then peel.

Set the oven to 65°C, or use a dehydrator if you have one. Place beets on a tray in the oven for about 12 hours. Then allow to cool and place in a bag in the fridge to allow the juices to equalise throughout the vegetable and the outer layer to rehydrate.

Finely dice the beetroot and serve a round with some olive oil powder* and ewe’s feta ‘grated’ through a sieve, and maybe a little thyme.

* Olive oil powder is made by blending together Tapioca Maltodextrin (N-Zorbit) with olive oil, then passing through a sieve. Use 1 part N-Zorbit to 3 parts Fat by weight. N-Zorbit is crazy light, 1 litre = 100 grams.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oeuf en gelée

I had been meaning to try my hand at Oeuf en gelée for a while, usually a poached egg set in a consommé gelée, maybe with a few other ingredients set in there too. A terribly old fashioned idea, foodstuffs set in aspic, a foreign texture, a little odd to begin with, wobbly cold savoury aspic and egg, maybe not to everyone's taste, but worth a try. I do have to admit this initial try was not a total success, I didn’t make my own stock, I clarified it though (egg white raft, but gelatin filtration is good too), and the ratio of gelée to soft boiled egg was a little on the high side, but it’s a good starting point.

Future plans are to find a better container to set the aspic in, make my own stock and rely on it’s own gelatin to set the the dish, although I’m not sure how much would survive the clarification process, I’d imagine none if I chose to do gelatin filtration, and I’m thinking a good ham or bacon hock with a few trotters in there should do the trick, maybe a riff on bacon and eggs? So I’m sure there will be a more indepth post sometime in the future on this dish, hopefully more successful entry.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Distracted Chicken Stew

I’ve been a little slack getting a new post up on here, perhaps it’s because I’m a little preoccupied with all things brewing at the moment. I’ve got a third brew on, and bought a second fermenter, and have finally got to taste the fruits of my labour, brew one got a little taste, not too bad for a first go and kit beer, brew 2 got a taste when I measured its gravity, coming along very nicely and am looking forward to adding even more hops to it in a secondary fermenter. The third brew is a kit cider for the other half, and I’m doing far too much reading on kit I can buy/make and what brew four and five should be, as I’ll end up with two empty fermenters very soon, contemplating the scary thought of an all mash brew.

So with distractions in mind here is one of my main go to meals, something easy to throw together, usually have most of the ingredients in the larder, and is adaptable enough to not suffer if I’m missing a few.

6 Chicken drumsticks, or a whole chicken broken down to 6 or 8 pieces.
Water, stock if you have it.
Tomatoes, a good quality can, or 4 or 5 diced fresh.
Onion, finely diced.
3 Garlic cloves, minced.
1 Lemon, juice and zest.
1 tbsp Cumin, toasted and ground.
1 Red chilli, diced, dried is good in a pinch.
Black Olives, remove stone (I always have a can Pelion Greek black olives on hand).
Capers, in salt please, rinsed.
Salt and pepper.
Pine nuts, if you have them, toasted

Generously brown the chicken over a high heat with a dash of olive oil in a pan big enough to hold all the chicken, I mean seriously get the bird crispy brown. Set the chicken aside and turn the heat down, sautée the onions until translucent, add the garlic, chili and cumin, cook until fragrant. Arrange the chicken in the pan, tuck in thyme sprigs, scatter over the tomatoes, olives, capers and lemon zest, drizzle over the lemon juice, add about a cup of water (or stock), season with pepper (hold off the salt till the end as olive and capers are salty). Cover and cook over a medium low heat until the chicken is almost done, uncover the pot and cook over a medium high heat until the chicken is cooked and the cooking liquid have reduced to a nice thick sauce, adjust the seasoning and serve.