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beef Bistek Tagalog Filipino recipes

Bistek Tagalog 3.0 (Grilled Version)

Thanksgiving was at my cousin’s this year, and we both agreed we didn’t want to do turkey. I decided that I would make a big batch of Bistek Tagalog, only this time (and inspired by Marvin at Burnt Lumpia) I was going to grill it. Bistek is great as a traditional single-pan dish, but I was confident that grilling the steak would make it even better.

Grilled Bistek

Unlike previous versions of bistek I’ve made that used thinly sliced New York or sirloin steaks, I picked up some flap steak at Costco. Flap steak is very similar to skirt steak, cooks quickly, and is extremely tender. Again, you can use almost any cut of steak to make bistek, but I think that skirt, flank, or flap steaks might be the best cuts of meat for this dish.

I used the same methods as in Bistek Tagalog II (Kalamansi version). I got some more kalamansi from our family friend and ended up needing 60 of them to get almost 1.5 cups of juice. I mixed this with a cup of soy sauce (to ensure there was proportionally more juice than soy sauce) and four chopped garlic cloves to finish the marinade. The meat should be marinated for no more than an hour before putting them on the grill. (Make sure you save the marinade to make the sauce later).

Grilled BistekOn the Grill

I grilled them for about 5 minutes a side on a very hot grill and then rested the meat for 10 minutes before slicing it against the grain. The meat ended up being between medium rare and medium, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Grilled BistekSlice against the grain.

I had a bit of trouble getting the onions onto skewers, so I just put them directly on the grill. I lost a bit of onion this way, but for the most part it worked well. I’m sure you could fry up the onions in a hot, dry frying pan or grill pan if you want to maximize your onion yield. :) When you’re done cooking the onions, mix it up with the meat.

While the meat rests, take the remaining marinade and cook it down to your desired consistency to make the sauce. You might find that you don’t even need the sauce after you try the meat, but it’s always good to mix it in with your rice, too. We ended up pouring the sauce into a gravy boat so that people could just pour it on the meat if they wanted.

Of the three different bistek’s that I’ve made, this one is by far my favorite. Grilled meat always trumps pan-fried in my book, and the flap steak was also the ideal cut of meat to use for bistek. A pan-fried flap steak would also be excellent, but if you have access to a grill, by all means use it.

How did it go over at Thanksgiving? The bistek was the first platter to be finished off, and I also got several compliments on it, so it went very well. :)

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend…now it’s time to focus on Christmas dinner!

Categories
Ad Hoc beef Northern California reviews Thomas Keller

Ad Hoc Sunday Brunch 11.09.08

We went to Ad Hoc for brunch today with some friends (and Ad Hoc virgins). I think brunch is a great way to introduce Ad Hoc to the unitiated. The menu follows the pictures.


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SUNDAY BRUNCH

Deviled Eggs
bibb lettuce salad, fra’mani salami, sweet carrots
shaved fennel, marinated cucumbers, palladin toast

~

Rustichella Rigatoncini
with Prime Ribeye Beef

garbanzo beans, baby arugula, shaved parmesean
chanterelle mushrooms

~

Blood Orange Granité
sugar cookie
toasted almonds

I’m not really sure if I can pinpoint the real highlight of this meal, but the Blood Orange Granité is a strong contender. Those are strong sentiments when you consider the main course included prime ribeye with chanterelles and pasta and was one of the best entrees I’ve eaten at Ad Hoc.

Categories
beef Bistek Tagalog Filipino recipes

Bistek Tagalog 2.0 (Kalamansi version)

We’ve been cooking a lot for my parents this week, and when my mom showed me the bags of kalamansi (Philippine musk lime) she got from her friends, the first thing I thought of making was Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beefsteak).


Bistek Tagalog

The first time I wrote about this, I only had lemons on hand, but kalamansi is the traditional ingredient.

Kalamansi

Kalamansi are really small, and I think I used at least 30 kalamansi (I lost count) to get 1 cup of juice. The kalamansi juice is mixed with soy sauce and minced garlic and used to marinate the steak for about 30 minutes.

My mom said that the bistek she grew up with a had a strong citrus flavor, so instead of the 1:1 citrus/soy sauce mixture that I used before, I reduced the amount of soy sauce to let the kalamansi juice come to the forefront.

When my mom tried my bistek, she said it reminded her of home, which was the ultimate compliment.

Categories
barbecue beef recipes ribs

Lazy Barbecue — Oven Beef Ribs

This installment of Lazy Barbecue is all about beef ribs. Now, I love a good rack of baby back ribs, and it’s no secret that I love me some beef short ribs (see here, here, here, here, and here). I’ve even written about making Cook’s Illustrated’s Texas-Style BBQ Beef Ribs, but this version is a little easier.

I did these ribs two different ways. One batch was kept in slab form and cooked for around six hours. The end result was fall-off-the-bone ribs, which tasted great, but I wanted ribs with a firmer texture. The ribs were so tender that it was actually a challenge to keep the slab intact for this picture.


Beef Ribs on the plate

The second batch of ribs I tried were cut into individual pieces and cooked for only three hours. These ribs were great because they were the exact texture that I wanted, and it allowed me to pick up the rib and eat it right off the bone.

Final Product

The constants with both batches of ribs were applying Texas Best Barbecue Spice Rub to the ribs before curing them overnight in the refrigerator, the cooking temperature (225F), and basting them with Texas Best Barbecue Sauce about 30 min before taking them out of the oven. You can use any rub and sauce you want, but if you can get your hands on the Texas Best rub or sauce, it’ll feel a little more “real” won’t it?

Categories
barbecue beef recipes

Lazy Barbecue — Oven Tri Tip

No marinades. No drowning meat in sauces. Just meat, a good spice rub, and the oven. This is about as easy as good food gets.


Beef Tri Tip

We’re not allowed to grill or barbecue where I live, so this technique is perfect for us. It’s also great for lazy cooks since you can use a digital probe thermometer to tell you when the meat reaches the right temperature.

INGREDIENTS
Your favorite spice rub
1 beef tri tip (any size)

  1. Sprinkle rub on all sides of the tri tip and let stand at room temperature for at least an hour. I suppose you could do this overnight, as well, but make sure tri tip is at room temperature before you start cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F
  3. Sear both sides of the tri tip, fat side first, approximately 5 minutes per side
  4. After searing, place meat fat side up on a rack set on a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  5. Place in oven and cook until the internal temperature is 125 degrees. (I had my digital probe thermometer in the tri tip, so I didn’t really keep track of time, but it was somewhere between 20-30 minutes.)
  6. When meat reaches temperature, remove from oven and wrap in foil, resting for 10 minutes before slicing. The meat will continue to cook and you should end up with a medium rare/medium tri tip.
  7. To serve, slice tri tip against the grain into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices. Serve with your favorite BBQ sauce.

NOTES
I used a BBQ Spice Rub and BBQ Sauce from Texas Best. Texas Best BBQ Sauce was top rated by Cook’s Illustrated magazine a few years ago, but it was impossible to find because they had ceased operations. A couple months ago, Texas Best resurrected itself is now back in business. Check them out at www.texasbestbarbequesauce.com.

Categories
beef Bistek Tagalog Filipino recipes

Bistek Tagalog

UPDATE 11/29/08:
I made a grilled version for Thanksgiving. Check it out!

UPDATE 11/2/08:
While this recipe is still good, I have a different version that I like a lot better. I’ll leave this recipe up for archival purposes, but for better results (IMO), see the newer post.

Bistek Tagalog (Filipino Beefsteak) is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s so easy to make that I’m actually disappointed in myself for not making it before. Traditionally, it’s a simple marinade of soy sauce, kalamansi juice and garlic, and you can use almost any cut of steak. Kalamansi is a musk lime that’s native to the Philippines, but I only had lemons on hand, so I used those. Next time I make this, I’ll see if I can get my hands on some kalamansi. Otherwise I’ll use the regular supermarket limes or maybe mix lime and lemon juice.


Bistek Tagalog

Many recipes I saw called for chuck, flank, skirt or sirloin steaks, but I used some thinly sliced New York steaks that I found at Safeway. I also saw some recipes that used red onions, but I’m used to either yellow or white onions in this dish. Use whatever you prefer. You can also plate this however you like. I like to mix the onions and sauce up with the rice, so that’s why they’re separate on the plate.

Categories
beef Best of Inuyaki chocolate dessert Northern California reviews

Alexander’s Steakhouse

Special occasions call for special restaurants, and when a friend and former coworker decided he was going to pack it up and move back home to the ATL, it was the perfect time for some old friends to get together, reminisce about the good old days and send him off in style. We quickly came to a consensus on Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino, a modern American steakhouse with Japanese influences that does some pretty amazing things with meat.

The first thing you notice when you walk into the restaurant is the meat locker on the left that contains huge slabs of dry-aged beef. It’s always nice to know when a restaurant is aging its own beef, and as a meat lover, it’s really a sight to behold.


Beautiful Aged Meat

We were presented with a really nice ahi tartare amuse bouche to kick off the meal. A few of us decided to try the Hamachi Shot off the small plates menu, one of Alexander’s most popular appetizers (it’s also the cheapest at $4). It’s a shot glass filled with hamachi, red chili, frizzled ginger, avocado, and truffled ponzu, and you simply stir it up a bit and then shoot it. It’s quite a rush, and I loved the slight kick you get from the chili.

Salads quickly followed, including my Baby Lettuce salad with yuzu vinaigrette, red radish, ten kasu, and the optional bacon lardons (of course!). The Iceberg Lettuce salad featured living watercress, point reyes blue cheese, and apples and was plated beautifully. Before our main courses arrived, we cleansed our palates with an intermezzo—a refreshing shot of mango juice and chopped strawberries.


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Between the eight of us, only three different entrees were ordered—five orders of the 10 oz. filet mignon, two orders of the Melange a Trois (including mine) and one Misoyaki Sea Bass. The filets were excellent and topped with shiitakes and candied bacon. The sea bass was served with sansho crispy squid, tempura green beans, curried trout roe, beurre noir, and their crunchiness was a nice contrast to the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth fish.

The guest of honor and I both ordered the Melange for its variety—Prime Rib in Natural Jus, Braised Shortrib with Brie en Cocette, and Bavette Steak with Green Olives and Bleu Cheese. I also added a piece of Seared Foie Gras to “round out” the meal. :-)

Categories
beef Best of Inuyaki David Chang Momofuku recipes Thomas Keller

Braised Beef Short Ribs

A couple weeks ago, I bought some short ribs but was at a loss at how I was going to prepare them. Normally I prepare them sous vide, but I wanted to do a traditional braise this time. I contemplated doing the Beef Bourgignon recipe in Thomas Keller’s Bouchon cookbook, but I didn’t really have the time to do such a meticulous recipe.

I was reminded of the soy/sake short ribs I had at Maru and set out to find something similar, eventually stumbling upon an easy recipe by Momofuku’s David Chang on the New York Times Web site. I’m a big fan of Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, where I had the perfect bowl of noodles on our New York trip last May, so I was pretty excited to give this recipe a try.


braised beef short ribs

Overall, the dish turned out great. The meat was fork tender and delicious, and we even had fun with the plating. It was a bit on the sweet side, so next time, I think I’m going to cut the sugar since there’s already a lot sweetness from the apple juice and mirin.

Categories
Ad Hoc beef chicken fried chicken soul food sous vide Thomas Keller

A Comfort Food Christmas

This year, instead of a traditional Christmas dinner, we decided to do meal composed of comfort food, i.e. fried chicken, beef short ribs, flap steak, mac and cheese, bacon smashed potatoes, and chocolate cake. The fried chicken and short ribs were inspired by the food we’ve had at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville, and in fact, the fried chicken recipe is based on the Ad Hoc version that was published in Food and Wine magazine in October 2007.

What this actually means, of course, is that we cooked all the entrees sous vide. I got a 60C/140F water bath going and started the beef short ribs on Dec. 22 so that it would cook for 48 hours. I added the flap steak, which I found really cheap at Costco, to the water bath about 12 hours before serving. The chicken was brined overnight as specified in the recipe and then placed in the water bath about two hours before we started frying. The 140F temperature is a little low for chicken, but we were still going to fry it so getting it up to the “safe” temperature of 160F wasn’t too much of a concern.


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Overall, these were the best sous vide dishes I’ve made to date. After getting some tips from Nick, Ad Hoc’s general manager, on a trip to Ad Hoc the day after Thanksgiving, the short ribs we produced were perfect. I might try them at a lower temperature next time so they’re a little more rare, but I stuck with 140 because we were working with chicken, as well.

The flap steak was initially a stop gap in case we didn’t have enough food, but they ended up being one of the stars of the dinner. After removing from the water bath, I seared them really quickly on one side for appearance’s sake and then cut them on the bias for presentation.

The chicken probably didn’t need to be cooked sous vide, but I’ve been doing it this way to ensure that the chicken is really moist and tender when it’s finally served.

I’ll post the recipes for the mac and cheese and smashed potatoes later, but in the mean time, you can see what they looked in the slideshow. My cousin brought corn and salad (not pictured) and the delicious chocolate tunnel cake that finished the meal.

It’s been a couple years since my wife and I took over the cooking duties at major holidays, so the main goal is to make sure that my mom likes the food. So far she’s been impressed, but I’m trying to figure out if we should do something more traditional next year, or should we start a sous vide short ribs and fried chicken tradition for the holidays?

What do you think?

Categories
beef musings Northern California

Chef Cosentino Chronicles Humane Cow Slaughter

photo originally uploaded by offalchris.

As an avid meat eater, I think it’s imperative that I understand how meat is processed since it doesn’t just magically appear wrapped in plastic at the store.

Chef Chris Cosentino of San Francisco’s Incanto and Food Network’s Next Iron Chef fame, recently chronicled his trip to a meat processing plant on Offal Good, his appropriately titled blog.

The pictures are extremely graphic, but they’re an effective and morbidly fascinating way to truly understand how beef is processed. Not every meat-processing facility operates in this manner, so you can only imagine what happens to the cattle that arrive at some of the shadier factories.

Click here to view the album.