Monday, November 16, 2009


Beef tenderloinImage via Wikipedia

I made the beef tenderloin is a salt crust twice now. Both times it turned out great. The crust need about a half cup more water and it never quite turned out like Alton Brown’s did, but it is a great way to cook a tenderloin.

Make sure that you have a meat probe. You do not want to over cook it. 125F with a thirty minute resting time works perfect.

Tenderloing is surprisingly inexpensive. We always go to our local butcher shop (Bunzel’s on Burleigh) and it regularly $6.99/lb. This week it’s on sale for $4.99! I will get one for steaks and one for Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beef Tenderloin in Salt Crust

Pepper plant with immature peppercornsImage via Wikipedia

This recipe is from Alton Brown on Good Eats. I haven't made it yet, but I will over the next couple of weeks because I think we're going to do it as the "second meat" for Thanksgiving.


* 5 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 cups kosher salt
* 3 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
* 5 egg whites
* 1 1/2 cups water
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, and/or sage)
* 1 (6 to 7-pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
* 1 tablespoon olive oil


Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and water and add to the dry ingredients along with 2 tablespoons of the herbs. Combine with a potato masher until the mixture begins to come together. Then knead with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large zip-top bag, seal, and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to 3/16-inch thickness, approximately a 24 by 18-inch rectangle. Trim away extra dough, if necessary. Sprinkle the remaining herbs on the center section of the dough and gently press down.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In order to achieve uniform cooking, fold over slender tail end of tenderloin and tie with kitchen twine. Set a large electric griddle at its highest setting; brush the tenderloin with the olive oil and sear on all sides until well browned, approximately 10 minutes. Rest the meat for at least 5 minutes or until it is cool to the touch so as not to melt the dough.

Place the tenderloin in the center of the dough. Fold top part of dough over, flipping back about 1-inch of dough onto itself. Repeat with the bottom half of the dough. Press together the 2 flaps of dough and seal. Make sure the dough is not too tight around the tenderloin. At the ends of the tenderloin, press together dough to form a seal and cut away any excess. Transfer to a sheet pan, place in the oven and roast to an internal temperature of 125 degrees F, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. The tenderloin will continue to cook 10 to 15 degrees more. Cut salt crust at 1 end and extract meat by pulling out of dough tube. Slice and serve immediately.

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Friday, June 12, 2009


I will be posting the newsletter that we get from our farm on my CSA blog. At least I will for a while, mostly as an archive for recipes, etc. Find it here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Testing a Link

Eat Your View
Matthew J. Piette, P.E. - Thursday, 11 June 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

Cooking is difficult with this den remodeling project going on. Everything is dusty and there's no table to use. As a result we've been cooking pretty simply and, believe it or not, even went out to dinner last night!

On Monday I made Sloppy Joes. The SI (secret ingredient) really is secret and makes it great!

3lb ground chuck
2 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 gloves garlic

14oz tomato sauce or more if it looks like it should have more
14oz diced tomatoes
3T tomato paste
Worcestershire sauce about 1T
Hot sauce about 1T
1/2 cup Sriracha sauce
2T red pepper flakes

Brown beef and remove from pan to drain. Saute onions, celery, and peppers (a mirepoix) with salt. Add garlic and saute for another minute.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thick. Add S&P to taste. Taste frequently to adjust seasonings.

Serve on good buns.

If you know that the Sriracha is in there, it will be obvious. If you don't, it will be tricky to identify.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Flatiron Steak with rice pilaf

I made a flatiron steak yesterday. It was the first time I did so and it turned out great.

The flatiron comes from the top blade roast and is very tender. It is not a flank steak, which comes from the belly, is used in fajitas, and is much more toothsome.

I prepared it quite simply: Salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder,sear in in a very hot skillet for about five minutes per side and let rest. Deglaze the pan for some au jus.

Cut the steak into thin strips and serve.

At about $6/lb this is a great beef deal.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Roast Lamb with Burnt Onions

Gus made this recipe for us in November when we were up there for a Packer game. It's from the cookbook 5 Spices, 50 Dishes by Ruta Kahate.

I'll provide more details if anyone is interested, but it's basically a cubed leg of lamb roast, marinated in yogurt with spices and peppers. We used habeneros.

Caramelized onions are mixed into it, along with milk and the dish is baked covered for 90 minutes, then uncovered for another 30.

We made chapittas with it (see a few entries back). We made these inside in a cast iron skillet. Once cooked about a minute per side, I put them directly over a flame and the puffed up nicely.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Prime Rib

I like prime rib, or, as it's called when the bones are still in (as they should be), standing rib roast. We don't cook it often as it's more of a holiday meal. It's expensive only because a small one, three ribs, is a lot of meat. This one is 6.5lb and was $12/lb.

It's simple to cook:
Age it for 5 days in the refrigerator
Brown it on all sides (rule #2!)
Cook at 200F until it reaches an internal temp of 130F
Let it rest about 20 minutes before carving

A funny thing happened with this. As usual, I was following the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipes recipe for this. It said that it will take about 30 minutes per pound to reach 130F when started from room temp.

This roast should have taken 3.5 hours, but in fact only took 2. Had I not had a probe in it while cooking, I'd have ruined an $80 piece of meat.

All came out well, however. We were scrambling to get the sides ready.

Another interesting thing - while I was looking up prime rib cooking techniques, I came across this site. I did not use this recipe, but it included this statement:
Convection Oven: If you use a convection oven, the temperature of your roast can rise as much as 30 degrees - so remove roast from oven at 110°F on your meat thermometer for rare, 115 degrees F to 120 degrees F degrees for medium rare, and 125 degrees F for medium doneness.

The only reason I can come up with for this is that in a standard oven, there is a significant temperature gradient from bottom to top so that when the meat is removed, the cooler top doesn't contribute as much energy to the rest of the roast during the resting period. I don't know if I believe that, though.

I will do some experiments with chicken. I'll cook one using the convection setting, another with the standard.

Perhaps that's why my cooking time was off.