Sunday, September 04, 2011

Beef is made from cows: Part I

I spent the better part of yesterday cooking and I have to say that I might have learned something very obvious that I hadn't considered before.  Beef is not pork.  Beef is made from cows.  Beef also cooks very differently than piggy.  I also had forgotten that beef will retain it's beefy flavour unless nuked from high orbit with a spicy ion cannon.

I purchased about three pounds of stew meat, marinaded it all in cider vinegar and pineapple juice.  I rendered down about a half pound of salt pork then sauteed onions, garlic, and four congo black chiles (aka chocolate habaneros) in the drippings and crumblies.  The majority of the cooked salt pork is now in a container in the fridge waiting for various nommings.  I then added the beef, put the heat on low, and commenced drinking.  About the time I was drunk and realized that I was hungry I had some leftover pizza and passed out (fortunately I had remembered to turn off the stove and put the pot o'moo in the fridge before going to bed).

I woke up hungry so I made some rice and heated up some of the beef.  The beef has become pretty much the consistency of barbacoa  and tastes like barbacoa.  A bonus is that I cooked it so long that all of the fat melted so there's none of that Barbacoa Russian Roulette - will this bite be delicious meat or wad of fat with the texture of dairy phlegm?  The flavour is intensely beefy, even though I didn't use any stock, and that's awesome.  So why am I kind of disappointed?  Well for one I don't have tortillas, fresh cilanto, or lime to make tacos.  For two I don't taste anything but beef.  Thirdly something happened to the heat - it's impulse power warm.  Maybe I just scooped out a dud spoonful.  When I get home from work today I will put the pot back on the stove and add more chiles and stuff.

Am I missing something specific to preparing spicy beef?  Do I need to ramp up the amount of spices I need to counteract the natural flavour?  The salt level is decent thanks to the salt pork.  Is beef kind of a building block for other ingredients?  Am I just out of practice with beef that isn't a steak?  Ideas, questions, comments, suggestions welcome.  I'll post part two when I get some time this evening.

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