Texas and Beef
How to cook a steakby David Bulla
Texas and Beef -- the words are almost synonymous. If I go a day without beef of some kind, I start feeling...wrong. I almost always have some kind of beef on hand that I can use to create a fantastic meal. And there is usually a roast of some kind that I bought on sale and put in the freezer for that I-want-beef-and-potatoes meal. If I am in a bind, I just have a burger.
I am not going to go on a rant about beef here; I will save the statistics and facts for another day. Beef is good food. It's THE agricultural business in Texas, and we sure do know how to cook with it around here.
Steak-Grilling TipsI do want to give a few tips for cooking steak on a grill that some people may not know and will see definite results from following.
For the Flank Steak, you can prepare this ahead of time:
Marinated Black Beans
To build your salad, first place a layer of your favorite tortilla chips on a plate, and top with your favorite salad greens. Top the salad greens with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Spoon the marinated black beans over the top. Slice the flank steak into thin strips and arrange on top like the spokes of a wagon wheel. Place a slice of avocado between each slice of beef. Place a generous amount of your favorite salsa on top and a dollop of sour cream, and you are in business.beef tenderloin or ribeye. The reason for this is that you are going to cook the kabobs quickly over high heat. The meat will be a nice medium, and your vegetables will be roasted tender-crisp. A cut of meat with more connecting tissue or a better exercised muscle will not be tender when cooked like this. Cuts such as chuck or brisket are best served after a long, slow cooking.
Roll the limes and orange on the counter with the palm of your hand, and apply pressure to start breaking down the fibers. Cut in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl with the veggies and beef. (Don't worry too much about the seeds.) Don't throw away the limes; they are used as "caps" on the ends of your skewer. Add the minced garlic, salt and pepper, Tabasco sauce and the olive oil. Toss lightly to evenly coat. Let marinate for 1 hour.
Skewer the beef and the veggies alternately with the soaked skewers, using the limes on each end of the skewer. You can cook on a grill, or you can broil in a preheated 450F degree oven until the veggies are slightly brown, but still crisp. Check the beef to make sure it's done to your taste; it should be medium by the time the vegetables are starting to cook. If you like your beef well done, the veggies won't mind if they cook a little longer. Serve with beans and rice and a pile of warm tortillas. Serves 4.
Serve the shredded brisket on white sandwich buns with sliced sweet onions and sliced pickles. You can also serve it as tacos with taco fixings and tortillas.
Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a large non-reactive pot (stainless steel or enameled cast iron) on medium-high heat, brown the beef on all sides in the olive oil. Do this in several batches being sure not to crowd the pan or you will never get the beef browned. You also want a "fond" to form on the bottom of the pan. This is all the browned bits and caramelized juices from the meat and it adds a significant amount of flavor. When all the meat is nicely browned, return the meat to the pan with the sauce. Bring the sauce up to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove the browned bits. Cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer on low heat. The easiest way to do this is to put the whole covered pot into a preheated 300F degree oven or dump the whole thing into a crock pot set on low. Simmer for at least 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure the liquid has not evaporated. If you start to run out of liquid, add a little beer or water. The beef should be fork tender. As you check on it, you can begin to break up the meat into shredded chunks with a fork. When it's all done, you should be able to easily pull the meat apart with a fork. Serves 6 to 8. Freezes well.
Save the chickens! Eat More Texas Beef!
David Bulla is a chef living in Austin, Texas.
Online Since 1997
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