Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Corned Beef Pot Roast in Red Wine with Potatoes, Carrots, and Cabbage

Corned Beef Pot Roast in Red Wine with Potatoes, Carrots, and Cabbage 1

I like corned beef well enough, but will choose pastrami over it any day. Smoked or roast meats trump boiled meat says I. Of course, I'm not Irish, so there's no nostalgia factor in a boiled corned beef and cabbage meal for me. And even better is after St. Patrick's Day, when corned beef gets marked down to 99 cents per pound.

So, I bought a few briskets and boiled one per the directions on the package. The other I roasted low and slow, until the meat was fall-apart tender, with a cup of red wine to maximize the flavor of the gravy. I tossed in some potatoes from the garden, some carrots and cabbage, and enjoyed a wonderful corned beef and cabbage pot roast meal.

It couldn't be easier, especially since most corned beef comes with its own seasonings. You just have to be patient. I roasted the beef for about 3 hours in a Dutch oven so the meat would be moist and tender, adding in the vegetables about 45 minutes before the meat roast was ready.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pumpkin Pasties with Ground Beef, Onions, and Sage

Pumpkin Pasties with Ground Beef, Onions, and Sage 1

In honor of National Pi Day and the imminent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, I couldn't pass up the chance to make proper Harry Potter-inspired Pumpkin Pasties with Ground Beef, Onions, and Sage. I made Pumpkin Fillo Pasties last fall for my Harry Potter-inspired Birthday Party using fresh diced pumpkin, but since pumpkin is no longer in season, had to resort to canned pumpkin for this recipe. The mashed filling ended up making the pie soggy after a while, so it's best to eat these right away if you want to be able to hold them in your hands. They still tasted good when I reheated them in the toaster oven hours later, but needed to be plated.

I made the pumpkin pasties about 6 inches long, a good meal-sized pasty, about the size of the Cornish pasties I used to eat when I lived in London. The mashed pumpkin filling made this version sweeter than when I used fresh diced pumpkin, but make no mistake, these pasties are meant to be savory. Pack them for a picnic or for a ride on the Hogwarts Express.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Pho-mplings (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup-Spiced Dumplings)

Pho-mplings (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup Dumplings) 1

You guys! Why did this not occur to me sooner? A couple of years ago, I had the bright idea of making Pho Burgers, by grinding the spices I used for making Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) and adding them to ground beef. You'd figure that after making Pho Burgers with Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup Spices and Banh Mi Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup-Spiced Sandwiches), it would have dawned on me that I could use the spiced meat to make dumplings too...

But it wasn't until last fall when I stumbled upon this Gothamist article about Phumplings in Brooklyn that the pho-spiced dumplings started to take shape. Phumplings are larger and filled with soup, closer to xiao long bao (Shanghai soup dumplings). A bit too much work for lazy old me. Not that I probably won't try that at some point.

Instead, I decided to make regular dumplings with pho spices. I had a rather lean cut of beef, but if you use fattier ground beef, you can get juicier dumplings. I used the same proportion of spices and aromatics as my Pho Burgers -- pureed onion, garlic, and ginger with ground cinnamon, cloves, and star anise spices. Then topped the dumplings with green onions (actually, chives from the garden) and basil, small squirts of Hoisin Sauce and Sriracha, and squeezed a bit of lime. With all the components in place, it was like eating pho in one bite.