Sunday, September 9, 2012

Braised Beef with Herb Risotto

So, I picture being able to break apart a braised piece of inside round with a fork like George Calombaris does in the video below. But I feel as though, no matter how long I braise inside round, it will never do that, and the reason being, is it's too solid a piece of meat with a total lack of marbling or connective tissue. The longer it braises, the dryer its mouthfeel is, no matter how much liquid its immersed in. It should be noted, the cut of meat in the video below is beef cheek which is supposedly tough and lean, but perhaps the increased presence of connective tissue is what makes the difference.

Oh well. In spite of the minor shortcomings in terms of texture, the taste and overall eating experience was still quite high for this dish. Also no one really hates risotto. So, after watching a few videos, perhaps I haven't braised the beef long enough, I just saw a video that recommended braising beef cheeks for 6 hours at 160 degrees Celsius. The stuff that I cooked, at most, got about 2 hours. So, perhaps there's still hope for inside round after all.

Recipe to follow

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Custard Style Scrambled Eggs and Double Cooked Potatoes with Prosciutto

So, this is more of a technique than an outright recipe and came about as a result of attempting to get breakfast ingredients on an early sunday morning from my italian/korean butcher-grocer. Failing to strip bacon from their clutches, and leaving only with a chunk of superior house-made prosciutto I was relegated to the breakfast depicted below.

Although those potatoes look as though they were deep-fried, I assure you, they were not at all. The technique for the potatoes is both simple and very rewarding. They were boiled till tender, drained, roughed up a bit, cooled in the fridge, then baked in the oven. The prosciutto was added during the last few minutes in the oven to render some of the fat out and improve the texture. The eggs were cooked slowly over a double boiler over low heat until gently curdled and then seasoned and finished with a few drips of brown butter and balsamic vinegar. This technique creates very creamy eggs without the use of butter or cream.

Unfortunately my girl did not enjoy the eggs as they were too creamy for her liking. She associates creamy eggs with rawness so I ended up eating her portion, and quite happily. The potatoes however, went over very well. Light and fluffy in the centre and glassy and crisp on the outside with a mild combination of garlic and marjoram.