Wednesday, April 2, 2014

meat days

One day a week, more or less, the Lenten fast goes on hold. I'm not doing it for religious reasons, so for me that day's not always Sunday. Some meat highlights:

Rendang poboys:

I had ordered live crawfish to boil, and while I was at it, had them throw in some poboy bread since the shipping charge was the same either way. I haven't had real poboy bread in ten years, man. It makes a difference.

Rendang poboy

The idea here was to do something like New Orleans' roast beef poboys - wherein a chuck roast is braised until it's falling apart, and served on the sandwich complete with its thick flavorful gravy - but to nudge the flavors in a different direction.

I braised a 4 pound chuck roast (after browning in coconut oil) for about 3 hours in one can of coconut milk, a full tube of lemongrass paste (six stalks' worth of lemongrass, according to the label - lemongrass is such a pain in the ass that I have no qualms using the convenience version), a squirt of sriracha, and a paste made of two shallots, six cloves of garlic, about a cubic inch of fresh ginger. Seasoned everything with a little cumin, a little ground coriander, a little ground nutmeg, and fish sauce to taste (rather than salt). Once the beef was falling apart, I removed it, let the sauce continue to cook down until it started to sputter as the coconut oil started to break out, shredded the beef, and added it back in to coat it and slightly fry it.

Served it on the rolls with chopped cilantro, shallots, and mint. Fresh tomato wouldn't be out of the question.

Chaurice-celeriac tomato sauce.

I'm a sucker for pasta sauces that use both tomato and seafood stock, but the thing is, I'm not a big fan of the ones with a ton of seafood in them. I like the seafood stock to provide a backbone. You could certainly add clams, crawfish, or shrimp to this, but it's much more subtle and interesting without them. Chaurice is a Louisiana sausage that comes both fresh and smoked and gets its heat from jalapeno, with a little vinegar. Do not be fooled by the similarity in name to chorizo or chourico - they are not the same. Hot Italian sausage wouldn't be the same either, but it'd be good, and it's easier to find.

Brown about six ounces of fresh chaurice (bulk, or removed from link casings) with some sliced onion or shallot. Add half a cup of peeled diced celery root (celeriac) and a couple cloves of smashed garlic, and a can of tomatoes, pureed (the smaller ones, not the 28 oz). Add a couple cups of crawfish stock (crawfish shells covered in water and simmered for an hour, then strained) - the sauce should be way too thin at this point. Cook it down until it isn't - 3, 4 hours. Add a spoonful or two of vermouth and check for salt, though there's a good chance you won't need it, between the sausage and the crawfish stock.

The flavor profile here is kinda like a Bloody Mary, kinda like Old Bay. I served it on strozzapreti.

Chaurice/celeriac tomato sauce

1 comment:

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