Brisket burgers

Apologies, but it’s modest brag time.

Thanks to my epic Barbacoa Beef Brisket earlier in the week, I had a tub of über tender beef sitting in the fridge, awaiting its calling. I have bestowed said calling 🙂  A slightly messy, burger-like arrangement packed with shredded beef, pickles and sauce. 

The “buns” are shredded sweet potato, in case you were interested 😉

Chinese lemon chicken

One of my favourite take-away meals, pre my attempted clean-living phase, was the lemon chicken you get from every “Chinese” takeaway. (quotation marks used there as I’m quite sure anyone from China would be baffled by the cuisines they serve up). Thinly battered pieces of chicken, coating slightly soggy from sitting in a tinfoil tray covered in sweet and zesty lemon sauce. The sauce always reminded me of lemon curd – and it probably was 🙂  All this was smooshed together with egg fried rice to form an easily shovelable sweet, MSG’y glob of deliciousness. Sigh…….

So many reasons why that’s a No now, but I do still get a fancy for it. Last time I tried it, about a year ago, I was really disappointed. Not sure if my nostaligia/ memory was failing me or if eating real food, and hugely reducing my salt intake, had massively affected my taste buds. Bit like how people who quit smoking have an epiphany when they “taste” a carrot for the first time in years.

The solution came when I spotted a honey and lemon sauce (paleo version) in my new cookbook. No weird ingredients; just honey, lemon and seasonings (I won’t give the whole recipe – buy the book!) with arrowroot to thicken. A-MAZE-ING!

Would have tasted great with a suitably-paleo coated, crispy chicken fillet but I had just poached a chicken that morning (jumped over a fence and everything…) . I pan fried the chicken breasts to heat and give a bit of colour, as poaching does leave everything a tad anaemic, and served it all with a pile of egg-fried cauliflower “rice”. The end result was spot on for flavour but did look a bit beige – I like to think “Authentic” 🙂

Barbacoa Beef Brisket

I found this recipe on Paleo Pot a few weeks ago and became a little obsessed with it. Problem was I didn’t have a slow cooker or canned chipotles, and I object to paying for fresh beef stock unless it’s actually going to be part a noticeable element of the final dish e.g. French onion soup.

So I had a trawl around the great online library and cross referenced a few different recipes and techniques to come up with my own. Result, AWESOME! if I do say so myself 🙂

Step 1: went to farm shop and asked if they had any unrolled brisket. Nice chap went out the back and returned with what looked like a whole side of cow. Ooops. I came out with just under 2kg of beef, which is about equivalent to the 4lb maximum mentioned in the Paleo Pot recipe, @ £8.50/kg – not bad.

Step 2: When I got this huge slab of meat home I realised that I didn’t have a big enough roasting tin. No problem. I thought it might be a bit too much for just the 2 of us to eat in a week, even with leftovers, and I wasn’t 100% sure how it would come out [ this being my first attempt at cooking brisket ] so I halved it and put a piece in the freezer for another day.

Step 3: Mixed up a blend of Texas-style BBQ seasoning [sorry, secret recipe] and gave the beef a good rub down before wrapping tightly in cling-film and stashing in the fridge over night.

Step 4: Heat oven to 180c and give the beef a good blast for 1hr. After that, reduce heat to 150c and carefully pour in a mixture of home-made chipotle abobo sauce and fresh apple juice. This is just to give enough liquid to help braise the meat, so only needs to be about 2cm depth. Apply a lid, or cover in foil, and ignore for 2 hours.

At this point it was very late in the evening so I just turned off the oven and left it there over night.

Next day it was chilled in the fridge, so I could scoop off some of the excess fat and it makes it easier to cut thin slices. To serve, I cut 1cm thick slices across the grain and reheated it in the braising sauce.

My original inspiration had been the Chipotle salad bowls we enjoyed in San Francisco, with crunchy salad, sautéed peppers and onions, avocado and a little cheese  – so that’s what I did 🙂

Note: only half of the batch was used for dinner so there are leftovers for later in the week, plus there was enough to sneak a slice onto breakie with eggs and hash. Bonus! 

Next week I’ll get to play around with the other kilo currently hiding in the freezer 🙂

Braai sacrament of penance

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been 1 month since my last braai. These are my sins:

  • passing off shop bought “BBQ” as braai leftovers
  • refusing to buy charcoal as I’m wearing light coloured trousers
  • considering making a braai on my own, while hubby was away (different area codes…)
  • saying that Chipotle carnitas taste as good a braai
  • leaving the braai in its covers while the sunshines

I am sorry for these sins and all the sins I can’t remember – there may have been a few times where I was tired or too much wine was consumed. You know how it goes. I will remedy this today.

Go in Peace.

Thanks be to Weber.

This week’s menu – 16 May 2014

This week’s menu is inspired by all the yummy food my Hubby got to eat in San Francisco when he abandoned me!

    • West African Chicken
    • Braai (wors and farm shop goodies), slaw and minty peas & beans salad
    • Leftover braai and salad
    • Slow cooked chipotle brisket on shredded romaine lettuce with stir-fried peppers and onions, grated cheese, fresh tomato salsa and avocado
    • Lemon chicken with egg-fried cauli-rice
    • Leftover brisket with sweet potato hash and slaw
    • Cobb salad

Grumpy Chicken dinner

Was in a foul mood last night, and really couldn’t be bothered to cook for anyone. You know, those nights when you think “Go on, I DARE you to ask me when dinner will be ready” !

I already had something planned, with all the components ready in the fridge, but still couldn’t be arsed. So I ate a whole packet of cold, ready cooked chicken wings. Oops.

Dinner was eventually made: Hawaiian Pork meatballs. Tasty. Involved having to blitz and squeeze a load of canned pineapple. Should have done that ahead – slap on the wrist for being disorganised. Did get to use my newest gadget; a mini icecream scoop. Did make me a little happier 🙂