Monthly Archives: May 2013

Pulled Pork

During my braising phase (procrastinating for my exams) I explored a cooking method I had never really played with before. If I remember correctly I think it was two or three straight weeks of braising which was continuously encouraged by someone I was living with at the time. One of her favourite things to eat was pulled pork so I ended up making it a few times.

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is actually quite easily made. First you have to pick a tougher cut of pork like a shoulder. All you really have to do is braise the shoulder in your favourite BBQ sauce for 2 hours or so depending on how thick the cut is and you are good to go. I however like to make my own BBQ sauce out of garlic, onions, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar (I used balsamic and cider in the one shown above), tomatoes, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, maple syrup, and a full bodied beer.

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Flank Steak with Bibimbap

I first had Bibimbap for the first time two summers ago. A good friend of mine who is also a foodie introduced me to it out of his kitchen. I’ve been regularly seeking out places to get my Bibimbap fix ever since. Kochujang sauce is used in many korean dishes however it is most noticeably used in Bibimbap. Personally, it is the sauce that makes Bibimbap irresistible.

Flank Steak with Bibimbap

 

When my friend introduced me to Bibimbap he did not have the red chilli paste necessary so he used spicy banana ketchup as a substitute. I find that every korean restaurant has their own version of Kochujang sauce but none of them were as good as the make shift sauce my friend had made for me. The spicy banana ketchup has a unique sweetness that I like and more importantly is packed with umami which enhances the flavour of the steak.

Flank Steak with Bibimbap

 

I sit the flank steak in between blanched spinach and the rice portion of the Bibimbap which consists of rice, green onion, carrots, zucchini, onion, and enoki mushrooms. The sauce consists of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, banana chilli ketchup, salt, and garlic.

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Flank Steak on Tomato Salad

Towards the end of my undergrad I found that there was less and less time. It was now exam season which made it harder for me to put off studying for blogging. I had to then find ways to make delicious tasting (and looking) food for my blog without spending too much time. I think I have a pretty minimalistic style to cooking already but if I was really going to be serious about saving time I would have to take simple to the next level.

For this meal I simply pan seared a flank steak and sat it on a salad comprised of tomatoes, corn, and onion.

Flank Steak

One of the reasons why I love flank steak so much is because it is a relatively cheap cut compared to tenderloin or rib-eye. It is a rather lean meat however, it feels much tougher than the more expensive lean cut that is a beef tenderloin (sometimes referred to as a fillet mignon). However, Flank Steak has a secret. The reason why Flank Steak is the cut every good Chinese restaurant uses is because of the way that the fibres in the meat perfectly line up. This makes the meat fall apart easier which means even if you like your steak more well done it still seemingly stays tender. You can see the meat threatening to fall apart in the lines in the meat in the picture above even though it has only been done rare.

For the salad I just diced up a tomato and roasted some corn and tossed it in olive oil. I then added very thinly sliced red onion for a bit of a bite to balance out the acidity and the sweetness of the tomato and corn respectively. The only spice that can be found on this plate is salt. Simple. The dish is essentially shopping.

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Boeuf Bourguignon

I first had this dish almost a decade ago. I don’t exactly remember what it tasted like to be honest. I rediscovered interest in it again while watching Julia Child on YouTube.

Boeuf Bourguignon

Ever since exam period started I’ve seem to enter into a braising phase. What is great about braising is that I can cook a bunch of meat in my biggest pot and then have enough to feed myself for a while. This makes it easy to stay in the zone while studying and makes for less dishes to clean for future meals.

I start off by sweating off some onions in a pot and add minced garlic after. I do this because garlic burns easily and becomes very bitter. I then empty a bottle of full bodied red wine and slowly bring to the simmer. The blades of beef went in for about 2 hours for me although the time it takes to cook the beef will depend on the size of the pieces of meat. To check if the meat is cooked, poke it with a fork. The meat should be threatening the come off of itself.

Boeuf Bourguignon

I served the braised beef with carrots, pearl onions, and mushrooms. I marinated the vegetables in some of the braising liquid towards the end of cooking the meat.

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Change in circumstances

I recently finished my undergrad and as of early this morning finally moved out of Kingston. The moving made it impossible for there to be an update today but there will be one on monday. Being a students was absolutely incredible. I got to learn as much of what I wanted whenever I wanted.

It would seem however, that nothing lasts forever. I now have more responsibilities now that school is over which means it’s going to be hard to post with the frequency that I’ve been posting at. This is why starting on Monday I will only be publishing something once a week on Mondays until perhaps the next time I’m a student (September).