Friday, March 22, 2013

Slow Cooked Beef in Guiness

Since I moved to the US, I have been looking for beef tendons -  "suji" in Japanese - at my local butcher and in the supermarket's meat section, but I have not yet seen it sold separately.

In Japan, especially in the Western parts of Japan where I am originally from, suji are commonly used for lots of braising dishes.  They are one of the stiffest parts of beef, but once prepared properly, they are surprisingly soft and have much more flavour than most meats.  Stews, hotpots and curries cooked with suji are so delicious!

Nowadays, as I can not buy suji separately, I process them myself!

When I buy a big block of beef, I cut off all the fat and tendons quite generously (usually one quarter to one third of the total weight) then, rather than chucking them away, freeze them separately from the trimmed meat which requires less cooking time.  Whenever I decide to cook a braising dish, I defrost the beef trimmings, prepare them properly and use them as suji.

Here is how I prepare suji and make homemade beef stock.

In a large pan, boil just enough water to cover the beef trimmings.  Add the beef trimmings (if previously frozen you must defrost them completely before adding to the boiling water) for 5 - 6 minutes or until no longer red.  Drain (throwing away the liquid) and wash the beef trimmings thoroughly under running water. Cut the large pieces into bite size pieces if necessary, but bear in mind they will shrink a lot after cooking for several hours.  Wash the pan with detergent, too.

Return the beef trimmings to the cleaned pan, add a half cup of sake (or any non-sweet white wine) and 6 - 8 cups of water per lb of beef trimmings, put the pan on high heat and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 - 1.5 hours.

With a slotted spoon, take out the beef trimmings from the pan and transfer to a plate.  Now, all the fat of beef trimmings should have dissolved into the stock and they have become so soft.  You can use them as suji to cook any braising dishes.

As for the stock, strain the pan liquid through kitchen paper to remove the extra fat and scum, then allow to cool.  Once cooled to room temperature, chill it in the fridge over-night.  The following day, take out the bowl from the fridge, then strain the liquid one more time through kitchen paper, so that you can have low fat and healthy but still beautifully flavoured clear beef stock.

For the recipe I am introducing in this blog, make your homemade beef stock using the beef trimmings.  Do not waste the beef trimmings and the rest of the stock!  Freeze them so that you can use them as suji and homemade beef stock for your future cooking.  For your reference, you can cook a beautiful Japanese style curry using the suji and stock (click HERE for the Japanese style curry recipe).

Ingredients for 5 - 6 people
3 lb stewing beef (weight before extra fat and tendons trimmed generously)
olive oil if necessary
4 oz fatty bacon
6 large shallots, peeled
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 heaped tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 can (14.9 fl oz) Guinness
1 cup beef stock made with the beef trimmings (as above)
2 bay leaves
2 - 3 sprigs thyme
salt & black pepper
1 - 2 teaspoons granulated beef stock (optional)

Cut off all the fat and tendons generously leaving some meat on the tendons.  Cut the meat into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes.  Following the directions above, prepare home made beef stock using the beef trimmings.

Heat a non-stick saute pan and brown the beef without oil or with a little amount of oil if the beef is lean until the beef is browned all over and any excess water has come out of the beef (4 - 5 minutes).  Remove the beef from the pan and place on kitchen paper to drain.  Discard the “mysterious” water and wash the pan with detergent.

Heat the cleaned saute pan and cook the bacon for 3 - 4 minutes until browned.  With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon onto kitchen paper to drain.  Do not discard the bacon fat as it is used for the next step.

Cook the shallots with the bacon fat for 4 - 5 minutes.  If the bacon is not fatty enough, you can add a little bit of olive oil.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Return the beef and bacon to the pan, then add the flour.  Stir well and coat the ingredients with the flour evenly. Gradually add the Guinness and homemade beef stock and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil.

Transfer the mixture into a slow cooker and season with salt & black pepper and add the granulated beef stock if you are using.

Put the bay leaves and thyme sprigs in a small cheese cloth bag and tie to close.  Place the herb bag in the stew, put on the lid and cook at the low temperature setting for 6 hours (if you don't have a slow cooker, put it in a casserole dish and cook in the oven at 280 F for 3 - 3.5 hours.

During the last half an hour, taste, add more seasoning as necessary and cook for the remaining time.

Serve hot with some creamy mashed potato and boiled greens.

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Below is the Japanese version of the recipe.  If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese with pictures covering every step, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

<材料 5~6人分> 









Before you go, click the ranking banners below
to keep me near the top of the blog rankings.
Many thanks and see you soon! 
  にほんブログ村 料理ブログ 各国料理(レシピ)へ

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