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About Tatoosh

  • Birthday 11/10/1950
  1. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    Helenjp and FeChef, sorry, I did not see the second page when I made my recent post, so I missed your comments. I am very familiar with FeChef's A1 sauce approach as that was pretty much steak in the Midwest as I grew up. Helenjp's mention of the cultural aspect is very spot on too. My wife's family will do small amounts of their "viand" with rice simply to flavor the bit, instead of eating a large bite on its own. I had not really thought of that, but very good eye there, Helenjp!
  2. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    Thank you for a fantastic series of answers and responses! There are techniques and cuts that my wife and I need to explore so we can better handle her well done beef preference and she can still share it with me and others. Now some of it is beyond our current budget, Wagyu being the most obvious example, but even better cuts sometimes simply can't be funded. We do roast beef occasionally. That is not a problem, braised beef is fine. I have mine with potatoes cooked along with the meat while she uses some of the remaining broth to flavor her rice. And there is no provision against cutting a steak into two pieces, then cooking it to each person's preference. In fact, she did exactly that last time she prepared steak. So there is movement on her side too. I think a choice of steak will help when we can. More fat is a great thing. Also how it is cut can make a big difference and cutting in small slices against the grain will help. I love btbyrd's spirited defense of the common view (aka accepted wisdom) while I must admit being at least slightly tilted to Scot123's side of things, not necessarily on taste or texture, but on the fact that I hate being dictated to and many steak lovers do so quickly claim one's something of a social pariah when well done or even medium well steak is mentioned. I've always felt that he who pays for the meat and he who eats it should determine such things. I am intrigued by Thanks for the Crepes mention of the skirt steaks done by a local Mexican restaurant. That is very intriguing. I love their menu and the photo of the meat is perfect, my wife would be in heaven! I will go over all the great responses, write down the better choices in cuts, and consider our techniques that we may improve the experience. I am in awe of the time and experience you all have shared.
  3. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    No, no, no ... the shared thing is my fault, kinda sorta. I used to do a lot of the cooking. But these days not so much due to medical issues. So she often is the one in the kitchen. And the sharing thing is really cultural too. She is from SE Asia and sharing food is a way of life there. You throw a party and it is required you make way too much and then portion that out to the guests to take home. Sharing with your family or even friends is ingrained. They learn it in school and it stays with them all their lives. I really don't mind medium well done and if I can find an approach to a juicy, not leathery then well done will work too. I'll be happy to share. So yes, we could cut the steak in two. She does not eat large portions in general, even if she likes the food a lot. It makes a lot of sense. But not always easy to do depending on the cut you have. We run to a strict budget these days. chileheadmike, you are killing me here. We are living in a "charcoal free" apartment complex. Argh! I love the Weber! I wish I could do a chimney load of lump charcoal, get a nice ash coating and get things going. Oh, those were the days.
  4. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    While I realize that for most folks here, a well done steak is simply blasphemy, it is a necessity for me. My wife loves beef but will not touch anything that contains pink. I might be able to slip a medium well done in if I turn the lights down. She is not from the USA and it is a cultural thing for the most part. One that is not going to change any time soon. So given that I love my wife (which I do) more than I love steak, I now need to find a way to make it as palatable as possible. Why, you may ask. She's eating it, I can have mine however I want. No such luck. She insists on sharing. So I'm after the best technique to do a well done, no pink, steak and keep it as moist as I can. I have read this page, Juicy Well-Done Steak (by MerelyMarie) and it looks promising. But before I start sacrificing cattle on the altar, I figured I would ask here. I'm sure that some chef's or food buffs have crossed this path before and if there are tips or techniques for getting palatable results, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!
  5. Thick Cut Pork Chops - Sous Vide

    Wow! What a great conversation. To start with, I've been totally oblivious of B Cereus. And living in the Philippines, I darn well should be conversant. Rice is cooked and left unrefrigerated here all the time. And I mean *all the time* by the vast majority of the population. I don't know what their defense mechanism is, if there is one, but given the frequency of it, something must be a play that inhibits B. Cereus from whacking folks here. As a member of the "at risk" group, both by age and health condition, I'm very mindful of the food safety aspect. But I've been less than aware of protecting my spices. Which are usually packaged or bagged and stored in tubs away from the sunlight, while some that are in bulk are kept in my 2nd refrigerator that is used for curing bacon and pastrami. Now, I will have to think about how to protect spices. pbear, thank you for the link on the refrigerator thermometer. I have a couple I've bought that died. Very frustrating that. I expect to get another one, but am thinking I would get a data logging version. While walking past and catching it being out of temp is good, I'd like to be able to check the history when I wasn't around. Unfortunately, those seem to be a fair amount more expensive. But I will likely pop for it when I have the spare change.
  6. The Perfect Burger

    MSRadell, I consider ground beef and steak tartar as two different things. Ground beef is exposed to many surfaces, often is ground and stored for some time before cooking and consumption. Steak tartar is normally chopped just prior to consumption, on a sterile work surface using a very sharp knife that is sterile too (or darn well should be). That said, if you want to eat a ground beef burger that's pink inside, more power to you. Just don't serve it to me or any of my family unless we are grinding beef together and making burgers on the spot. Now, there are different rules for different people. Folks in the "at risk" category are often much more aware of the dangers of food poisoning than someone in their youth and the blush of good health. If you have spent time in an ICU or even just spent a couple of days in the hospital for some food related illness, the "won't happen" attitude dissipates quickly. Of course, there are many happy-go-lucky souls that have spent decades doing whatever they want and never had a problem. But their apparent immunity or good fortune is no great assurance to me of mine. I do a number of things to assure food safety when I grind meat. The standard disinfection procedures for the equipment, the sourcing of good meat, as well as I can in a third world country, proper refrigeration, and I even give the whole meat a hot vinegar spray prior to grinding, let it sit for 1 minute, then rinse it with clean/sterile water. The latter step greatly reduces surface bacteria prior to grinding and limits the possibility of problems with my ground meat. I'd be doing that to any steak tartar too if I made it.
  7. The Perfect Burger

    The Perfect Burger is kind of in the eye of the beholder, or maybe the mouth, right? For me there are two kinds of burgers - Diner and Steak House (which can be a brew pub/steak house/upscale sort of affair. The diner version is blue collar to fast food burger. Diner usually runs 4 ounces or under and the Steak House is 6 ounces and up. Each needs a different cooking style. Diner burgers are cooked faster since they are thinner. In fact, the smash burger is the fastest and flattest of the diner style - just hammered even thinner to create a larger area of the fantastic crusty exterior aka the Maillard Reaction. Q&D burgers for me are smash burgers. Just remember to do that smashing within 30 seconds of it hitting the griddle. The joy of the Smash Burger is that it is not quite so meat dependent for flavor, though as all burgers, it is fat dependent. The more common diner burger, the 4 ounce version, not smashed, still cooks fairly quick and should not be smashed, Meat content is important as is fat content. Since meat is more important, finding that mix that works for you is worthwhile. I recently read a master butcher's take on mixed cut burgers which he felt was simply over the top and kind of posing. I disagree completely. I use a mix of brisket, short rib, and sirloin usually. I'll swap out short rib for oxtail when I can. I won't spend money on Kobi or similar cuts for a burger, not that it is available where I hang my hat currently. The Steak House burger starts at 6 ounces and goes up from there. It takes a longer cook or even bake to get right. Note, I don't simply want my burgers cooked through, I demand they are. Serving me a medium rare burger is a fine way to ruin a meal. Medium rare is for steaks, not ground meats. That said, the cuts I use for the bigger burger match what I described above for the diner burgerr. And for fun, I'll SV the burger to exactly where I want it, pull it out of the vac pack, dry it off, and drop it in deep fryer. Yes, maximum crust for 360 degrees (of exterior, not temperature). It only needs a couple of minutes to crust up, since the interior is already cooked. I do use a bit of salt, but a minimum amount. I will add small amounts of flavorings, but lightly, very lightly - maybe onion powder, pepper, and that smidge of salt. Maybe Tatonka Dust if I have any. But doing none is perfectly acceptable too. Depends on who I am cooking them for. My perfect burger? It's actually a combo of my beef cuts, ground twice (which I am considering reducing to one grind) and ground bacon. I chased this one here at eGullet in a separate thread last year. My own bacon, ground - roughly 33% to 40%, the ground beef, and then your choice of cooking style. My wife votes for charcoal most of the time. I'm the SV & Deep Fry guy. But for gotta eat soon or die Q&D burgers - its the smaller patty hammered flat on a cast iron griddle.
  8. Thick Cut Pork Chops - Sous Vide

    Okay, thanks for the insight! It comes at a very good time too. I'm trying a new form of making bacon. I am doing an EQ rub cure - dry cure but Equilibrium Cure (EQ) - salt and Instacure #1 is a percentage of the weight of item being cured. One of the three test bacons is a Sweet & Peppery Bacon. It finished 10 days of EQ dry curing in a refrigerator - but not the kitchen refrigerator - so not opened often. I removed the two pieces, rinsed them, reapplied the spice mix (Honey Powder, sugar, some spices) and then coated with cracked pepper. I had seen that a few days of vacuum packing really helped form a spice bark on my pastrami and am doing the same thing with black pepper for my pepper bacon. I plan to leave the vacuum packed bacon in the refrigerator until Sunday - it is Wednesday here in the Philippines. I will then smoke it for 12 hours in Maple/Hickory/Cherry wood mix. Since the bacon has finsihed curing and has a salt and sodium nitrite barrier, I'm not worried about botulism, but I'm always open to comments and insight from others. Do you see any problem with this? Once it is finished, I usually don't vacuum pack it but do freeze it for storage. My regular bacon never lasts long enough for freezer life to be a concern.
  9. Thick Cut Pork Chops - Sous Vide

    Okay, that makes sense. I do freeze food but I always shoot for a pasteurized product unless I'm simply rewarming a previously cooked product. My chops get frozen for longer storage. I wouldn't worry about throwing them back in a SV bath set to my "serving" temperature. But I'd never knowingly "cook" them for less than the pasteurization time. Which is a very good point. I need to go look at the Chef Steps guide to SV times and Baldwin's guide to pasteurization. It seems to me that Chef Steps times were definitely shorter and they do not discuss thickness of the item being cooked at all. Hmmm!
  10. Thick Cut Pork Chops - Sous Vide

    EnriqueB, tell me a bit more about this "no storing SV cooked food for a week in the fridge" rule, please. Is this primarily aimed at SV cooked food that remains in its vacuum packaging? Is the temperature for refrigerators insufficient for safe storage? Which bacteria is the primary concern? Botulism?
  11. Sliced Deli Chicken

    The video does make it look like the meat glue may be unnecessary, MelissaH. A good pounding, injection, and a tight wrap seems like all the industry seems to use. I was thinking of using plastic wrap to form the cylinder and chill so it gets some shape before cooking, but that may effect the transformation of the protein talked about in the video. Indy D - I had mentioned curing the chicken earlier, simply to stay on the safe side of C. botulinum and I may well do that. When I work meat - whether grinding or jaccarding - I give them a hot vinegar wash to kill surface bacteria. Then a rinse with clean, sanitized water to remove/dilute the vinegar. Interestingly enough, Serious Eats recently talked about sous vide chicken so while it does not directly address the deli aspect, it does definitely talk about temperature ranges and their effect on chicken breast. You can see their article here
  12. Sliced Deli Chicken

    gfweb - thanks! I noticed that too. When I did SV pastrami and could smell the cherry smoke when I took off the lid of my SV container. MelissaH & btbyrd - thanks for the video clip! I watched it a couple of times. Mass production is normally a messy affair and far from what we think of in our kitchens at home or even in most restaurants. That said, other than not knowing what chemicals are in play, none of it was all that off-putting to me. Not that I can replicate it. I can pound the chicken breasts to break them down, or jaccard them as well. Brining and injecting is not a problem, though I don't have stitch pump capability. I kind of see the transglutaminase as likely player here. Along with obtaining some, I will need to research how to use/apply it. I may not be able to create deli chicken exactly, but I think we can get pretty close. Thanks everyone!
  13. Sliced Deli Chicken

    Thanks, gfweb ... I have not cured poultry yet so will do only a small amount the first time as a taste and texture test. Was yours served sliced? I like the idea of curing since it allows for better storage properties. Black Outs (electrical) are common here and the scheduled ones last 12 hours. The unscheduled ones are a crap shoot in terms of length. And food safety is almost non-existent for many food service outlets including schools. There have been at least three reports of school kids off to the hospital in the Philippines due to bad food or poison used mistakenly in food - including one in the little burg I inhabit. So my stuff, I take a lot of extra care with, both in sourcing ingredients and in preparation. GlorifiedRice, when we arrive back in the States next year, I'll try and find some! Here in the Philippines you never quite know what will show up. It would be akin to hitting the lottery for that though.
  14. Sliced Deli Chicken

    P.S. - How much of the transglutaminase should I be looking for? I only need to do a few test rolls - does a few ounces of this go a long ways? I see 2 ounce and 4 ounce containers for sale on Amazon. Any recommendations to size and provider?
  15. Sliced Deli Chicken

    I am trying to source some transglutaminase here in the Philippines. Not much luck and I'm too far from Manila to haunt any of the restaurant suppliers there. Guess I will ship some over next month. So, should I just flatten the breasts, brine them in a bit of Amesphos for water retention, use the transglutaminase to cement the flattened breasts? Or reverse that and cement before brining? I may cure them (Instacure #1) as well as the Amesphos and spice in the brine. Then Baldwin or ChefSteps for the time and temperature. I like ChefSteps but worry a bit since they do not address protein thickness in their guide. For the SV cook, I thought I'd roll the breasts, tie or wrap them and perhaps chill a bit before vacuum packing so they hold their shape. Does that sound about right for creating my own "deli chicken roll"? Rotuts, I just got my internet back after days of very slow to non-existent service, will try to find the thread you mentioned. Thanks!