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*May/June 2010 COTM - GOURMET: Meat

Welcome to our May and June 2010 COTM, Gourmet Today: More Than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen.

Please use this thread for review and discussion of recipes from the following chapter:

Beef, Veal, Pork, and Lamb

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops: page 468

    In the intro to this recipe, it is written: "Here is an astonishing little recipe that shows what a power ingredient like balsamic vinegar can do."

    This was quite simple and quick to make on a Monday night. One seasons center-cut pork loin chops with salt and pepper. 3/4 inch chops are called for, but mine were thicker, so I pounded them down some. They go into a hot pan, along with 8 smallish, peeled and quartered shallots. I didn't notice the quartering part....I chopped them up. And what's up with shallots, anyway? One can be tiny, another huge. Shallots are a vegetable, that when called for, I dearly wish the authors would specify something like "about one quarter cup."

    Anyway, the pork is browned for about 5 minutes and removed to a plate. The shallots remain in the pan. Balsamic vinegar (2/3 cup for 4 chops), a bit of sugar and salt and pepper are added to the pan and all is cooked down for a minute. Then the chops are added back, turned occassionally to coat and heated through until cooked.

    The Chowpup and I were trying to taste the sauce, but each time we did, we coughed, choked and sputtered from the (power ingredient) vinegar. "Ut oh" we said to each other. "Dad's not going to like this." So, I didn't exactly spoon any of the sauce over the chops when done. Not that there was a lot of anyway.

    But, in the end, they were very tasty. Mr. Clam even thought so. And the Chowpup declared them "juicy." And then she added, somewhat snarkily, (but I will forgive her) that it was the only time I had ever actually cooked a juicy pork-chop.

    4 Replies
    1. re: clamscasino

      Thanks! I've had my eye on this one for a quick weeknight meal! Sounds like a keeper!

      ~TDQ

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Thanks for providing the recipe link as I don't yet have the book on order from the library!

      2. re: clamscasino

        This was the very first thing I cooked from that book and we all loved it!

        1. re: clamscasino

          Oh good. Pork chops are on sale this week and I was eye-ing this recipe this morning. I have never cooked pork chops! I like the simplicity of the ingredients. Juicy sounds great and reminds me of a really great local pork sandwich that I sometimes used to get at a great local deli that, sadly, has closed now.

        2. Chicken-Fried Pork with Milk Gravy, page 466,

          The title says it all. How could this not be delicious? We inhaled it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca

            That's a recipe I would never choose, I don't know why, but now I've had a look at it and, mmmm, it does sound good. Comfort food, for sure. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... Yet another advantage of COTM: sometimes others nudge you into trying something you wouldn't have thought of trying.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: pikawicca

              Chicken-Fried Pork with Milk Gravy, page 466

              So glad you reported on this, I had totally missed it when going through the book. Agree, it was delicious, the pork was nice and tender (I used a boneless loin that I cut into chops). I used Penzey's shallot salt and added a little paprika to the flour mixture.

               
            2. Korean Marinated Beef (Bulgogi), p. 443
              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              Quick weeknight meal dinner with a lot of flavor. Thinly sliced flank steak goes into a quick 15-minute marinade of soy sauce (I used low sodium), sugar, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, ginger and sesame seeds. Then sauteed on high for 5 minutes. For the adults, I served it in Boston lettuce with kimchi (purchased) and a little sriracha. The kids had the beef alone and LOVED it -- the world's pickiest 5 year old (he doesn't even like french fries for god's sake) came back for seconds and then thirds. Served with Mint and Scallion Soba Noodles (will report on in pasta thread).

              I don't know how this really compares to the authentic Korean version -- I suspect not entirely well (the Korean parents always bring the best food to the potlucks at my daughter's school), but it was simple, fast and flavorful and finding something that everyone in my house can eat happily is a tall order. I'll definitely be making this a regular on the weeknight rotation.

               
              17 Replies
              1. re: mebby

                Yum. Adding that one to my list! Love that the kids liked it too - we have family who sleep over every Saturday with three kids and I'm always looking for something everyone will like.

                1. re: mebby

                  I'm not sure I've ever seen flank steak in the UK - can you use skirt, do you think?

                  1. re: greedygirl

                    Skirt steak is much richer than flank steak, which tends to be very lean and can be tough if not marinated, if that's any help. Flank steak is fairly low in fat and is always listed as a beef option for people on a diet.

                    1. re: greedygirl

                      Hannaone suggests any lean beef for bulgogi (Rib eye, Flank Steak, Tenderloin, or your favorite cut). We quite like it with rib eye because we can get it sliced perfectly thin.

                      1. re: BigSal

                        Yes, getting the steak sliced thinly enough was the hardest part of the whole thing -- and made it clear that some knife sharpening is in order in my home!

                    2. re: mebby

                      The marinade ingredients you listed are pretty standard for a bulgogi marinade, and while grilled bulgogi is probably the best known way to prepare it, the saute or stir fry is one of the variations on this dish.
                      Try adding some Korean perilla (shiso, wild sesame) leaves to your lettuce wrap, it provides a great flavor addition.

                      1. re: hannaone

                        Thanks, Hannaone -- I appreciate the authentic perspective. I would prefer it grilled I think, but I think the kids would continue to enjoy sauteed. And thanks for the tip on perilla -- I think there was a recent discussion on sourcing/growing perilla here that sounded like it might make a big difference in flavor. And being in LA I should be able to find it in stores (I've heard that LA is the largest Korean community outside of the Koreas).

                        I should really explore Korean cuisine more -- have just been intimidated and a bit more SE Asian focused in tastes/knowledge. I also think that I could get a better quality kimchi -- what I got from my local market was so-so, but found a great-looking Korean market on the LA Chow board today. Was also in a supermarket in Japantown over the weekend with some great Korean produce as well -- I wish more date nights with my husband included excursions to exotic grocery stores! Although we were already late and it took 20+ minutes before I could tear myself out of there. Picked up a couple snack foods that I thought the kids would like (and which also had great packaging) and when we pulled them out my daughter said "Oh, squid chips -- I love those!" (half her school is Korean).

                        Thanks again for the tip!

                        1. re: mebby

                          A good Korean market will have their own store made kimchi, usually in an un-branded jar or plastic container. Try one of those instead of the foil pack or commercially jarred varieties.

                      2. re: mebby

                        I copied Mebby and made the Bulgogi along with the mint and scallion noodles tonight. We loved the beef. We didn't have any kimchee, but I had yellow beets in the refrigerator and I got creative....I julienned a big one and made a thai-style quick pickle with the ingredients you'd usually use for cucumber salad (rice vinegar, water, sugar, shallot, hot pepper). For once an experiment of mine has worked! Clearly not very authentic, but it was very tasty along with the beef (and even the noodles) wrapped in lettuce. It added a nice spicy crunch.

                        1. re: megmosa

                          Your beet idea was a good one.
                          Here are two recipes for Korean (daikon) radish, which could easily be used with or instead of kimchi with a bulgogi meal.

                          Daikon Radish Salad

                          Ingredients

                          1 each white Daikon radish, finely shredded (Approximately 2 lbs)
                          2 tablespoons salt
                          1 small small carrot, finely shredded
                          2 each green onions, cut in 1/4 inch pieces
                          1/4 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
                          2 tablespoons sugar
                          1/2 teaspoon finely ground red chili pepper

                          Procedure

                          Prepare the radish:
                          Place the shredded radish in a bowl.
                          Add the salt, mix well and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
                          Rinse with cold water then drain thoroughly, pressing out as much liquid as possible.

                          Prepare the Salad
                          Add carrot, green onion, vinegar, sugar, and red pepper. Mix well.
                          Serve chilled or at room temperature.

                          For a variation add 1 finely shredded English Cucumber to the salad.
                          ------------------------------------------------------------
                          Pickled Daikon Slices

                          무장아찌 mujangajji ??
                          This recipe is NOT for 단무지 danmuji (the yellow colored pickled radish).
                          Pickled Daikon slices are great as a snack, as a ban chan dish, or added to kimbop and leaf wraps.

                          Note that these are not the yellow colored pickled Daikon available in Asian markets.

                          Ingredients

                          2 pounds fresh Daikon Radish
                          2 teaspoons salt

                          Marinade
                          2 1/2 cups rice vinegar
                          1 cup sugar
                          1/2 cup broth

                          Broth
                          1/2 cup water
                          1/2 ounces dried kombu (kelp)

                          Procedure

                          Preparation:
                          Wash fresh Daikon in cold water.
                          If needed, remove the skin with a vegetable peeler.
                          Shave or slice the Daikon cross wise into "poster paper" thin slices.
                          Place the sliced Daikon into a bowl, add salt, and mix well.
                          Let stand about one hour.

                          Broth
                          Bring water to a boil and add the kombu.
                          Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for fifteen minutes.

                          Sterilize a jar or other lidded container (large enough for about 3 cups) in a boiling water bath for about three minutes.

                          Marinade
                          Remove Kombu from broth and discard.
                          Add vinegar and sugar to the kombu broth.
                          Increase heat to medium and sitr until sugar is completely dissolved.
                          Continue heating until marinade just begins to lightly boil.
                          Remove from heat.

                          Final Mix
                          Transfer Daikon to a strainer and press out excess moisture.
                          Place into the sterile container and add hot marinade.
                          Stir gently and let cool.
                          Cover and refrigerate.

                          Daikon slices will be ready to eat in 48 hours.

                          1. re: hannaone

                            Thank you! I'll have to try these. They sound great.

                        2. re: mebby

                          Based on Mebby's review, I decided this one was going to be one of the few beef dishes I make each year. And wow, we loved it. I sort of cheated though. I marinated the flank steak for 8 hours and then grilled it for 8 minutes (4 each side) whole instead of cutting it up. So, not at all authentic, I guess, but my husband said it was the best beef (and he LOVES beef) he's had in ages. The marinade was lovely, even I was enjoying every bite and I'm not a huge meat lover. Lulu loved it too. Thank you Mebby - I never would have considered it without your review. Served with roasted green beans. Really - a great meal, and I'm not at all sad that I cheated. I'd do it again this way in a heartbeat.

                           
                          1. re: LulusMom

                            Yea! I was just thinking a few minutes ago that I need to make this again. And your "cheat" (which doesn't seem like much of one) sounds like a great summer adaptation -- I take it you grilled outside (not indoor grill pan)? Truth be told, the thin slicing was a pain in the you know where, so I'm all for your version. Thanks!

                            1. re: mebby

                              Yes, grilled outside on the grill. SO much easier than cutting it first, and less chance of overcooking that way. Thanks again for writing about it - I think I would have totally bypassed it otherwise. Definitely a really nice beef dish.

                            2. re: LulusMom

                              You're "cheat" is similar to an actual Korean Dish called Neobani, where steak like cuts of meat are tenderized with a knife tip, then marinated and grilled.
                              Neobani is thought to be a forerunner of Bulgogi, and was probably descended from Mongolian seasoned meat dishes.

                            3. re: mebby

                              your pic looks yummy! my BF and I are huge Korean BBQ fiends, so I'm going to try this.

                              1. re: mebby

                                Made this for dinner last night using paper-thin beef slices from the Chinese supermarket (from the freezer section). Served with steamed rice, horsetail radish kimchi and steamed sugar snaps dressed with soy, black vinegar and chili. With some kimchi dumplings to start it was a great meal which we both loved. Will definitely be making it again.

                              2. Pork Chops (Lamb) with Pomegranate and Fennel Salsa, p. 468

                                I had an extra fennel bulb left over from the ragout the other night and TJs still has pomegranate and I had bookmarked this one, so made it (but with lamb suggested alternative in headnote -- not a big fan of pork chops).

                                Chop fennel and saute for 6-8 minutes, remove from heat and mix with pomegranate seeds, chopped scallions and cilantro, seasoned rice vinegar, honey and salt. Cook pork/lamb and serve. Easy peasy.

                                I was worried that the tastes were going to too simple given the minimal ingredients (and not being a minimalist myself), but for my money tasted like more than the 10 minutes and 5 ingredients it took. It was very refreshing and perfect with the lamb. I actually ate the extra salsa right off the spoon. (Although I will say that I wouldn't have called this a "salsa" -- more of a relish in my book, but whatever.)

                                I will definitely make this again. Below is a picture of the salsa -- not very artistic, but you get the idea.

                                 
                                1 Reply
                                1. re: mebby

                                  you're killing me! looks yum, and i applaud the substitution of lamb for the pork. will try this one too.

                                2. Blade Steaks with Mushrooms, p442

                                  I'm not familiar with the cut of steak used in the recipe, but I had some nice sirloin from the farmer's market so decided to use that instead. So I cooked my steak in the usual way, on the griddle, while I made the sauce, which was delicious.

                                  Cook mushrooms (I used small portobellos, cut into wedges) and shallot in butter in a heavy frying pan until mushroom are browned and tender. Transfer to platter with the steaks, covered with fiil. Add a quarter of a cup of balsamic and 2 TBSP of soy sauce to the pan and deglaze for a couple of minutes. Add half a cup of beef stock (I used some rich chicken stock I happened to have in the fridge) and simmer for two mins. Stir 3/4 a tsp of corn starch into two TBSP of reserved stock, and add to the sauce. Simmer, stirring for a minute or so or until thickened. Return steaks and mushrooms to pan and warm through.

                                  We both thought this was terrific. As steak and mushrooms are Mr GG's absolute favourite foods, he loved it and practically licked the plate. There was a lot of sauce, as I made the full recipe but only two steaks, so we mopped it all up with lots of bread. Delicious.