I love hamburgers. Well, cheeseburgers, actually.
I also love the smell of fresh baked bread. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t, do you?
It’s a perfect match: Fresh baked hamburger buns for a great homemade hamburger.
Well, a cheeseburger is what I have in mind…
Did I mention I made this dough by hand? Yeah, I don’t have a stand mixer. I used the French slap & fold technique. Just follow the kneading technique in this video by Richard Bertinet:
Wait. Mmmm. Can you smell it? Yep, fresh baked bread. Man am I hungry. They’re just about done…
While the buns were cooling, I was thinking of hamburger toppings.
This was the second batch of brioche buns (I’ve been working on a recipe…). The first batch did not rise, possibly because I used old active dry yeast. Or, because I am still learning how to knead bread… I threw that batch of old yeast in the rubbish bin and bought a fresh batch. Much better.
Resist all temptation to immediately have at these buns. You must allow them to properly cool, to redistribute the moisture in the crumb. They are actually better the next day. I couldn’t wait that long…
Note: It is more accurate to weigh your ingredients, rather than measure by volume, especially for flour, therefore, I have provided the amount of flour in weight, rather than cups. Make sure you use fresh active dry yeast. If your active dry yeast is more than six months old, toss it in the rubbish bin and buy some new active dry yeast.
What do you do with a big bowl of quite moreish Tex-Mex Beef Cheek Barbacoa, leftover from a roll your own burrito dinner the night before?
You make a sandwich, of course.
Recipe for Tex-Mex Beef Cheek Barbacoa, modified from original recipe for Tex Mex Barbacoa, Slow Cooker Style.
Tex-Mex Beef Cheek Barbacoa
The original recipe cooked the dish in a slow cooker, which I have made in the past and works quite well, but it does take some planning, as it has to cook on the high setting for about 6-8 hours until quite tender… For this recipe, I chucked everything into a pressure cooker for about 1 hour.
2.75 Kg Beef Cheek Meat
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
2 teaspoons Pepper, freshly ground
1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds, toasted and freshly ground
1 Tablespoon Mexican Oregano
8 cloves Garlic
1 whole Bay Leaf
2 whole Limes, juiced
1 cup homemade Beef Stock or good quality, low salt prepared beef broth
Rinse cheek meat and cut away as much fat and visible silverskin as possible. Cut into 5cm cubes. Place cheek meat into a large mixing bowl and season well with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano. Remove the skins and hard end from the garlic cloves and throw them in whole. Mix the spices and meat together until the meat is evenly coated. Add meat mixture to pressure cooker.
Add the bay leaf and squeeze the juice of the limes over all. Add the beef stock + 1 cup of water, stir, cover pressure cooker. Cook over high heat until steam is visible from the vent. Place steam cap over vent and continue to heat until steam vent toggles regularly. Turn heat down and cook for one hour (make sure steam vent continues to toggle).
Allow pressure cooker to cool until steam lock opens. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and reserve. Pour remaining liquid into a clean, medium sized saucepan and heat over a medium high heat until the liquid is reduced until quite thick. Remove from heat and pour reduced sauce over reserved meat. Mix meat and sauce together and serve.
I was on a mission today to find skirt steak.
At the grocery stores here in NZ, what they call “skirt steak” is actually flank steak – an entirely different bit of cow. When you ask the butcher at the meat counter, they tell you that’s all they get, boxed meat. That is not acceptable!
What I needed was a proper butcher, someone who fabricates a whole side of beef. As it turns out, there is a proper butcher just down the street. But, would a Kiwi butcher know about skirt steak? Only one way to find out.
I walked down to the butcher shop and asked for skirt steak. He said, “just a minute” as he opened the door to the walk in cooler. A moment later he returned with a package and handed it to me, “This is what you want.”
Indeed. There it was: skirt steak.
As it turns out, the butcher fabricates beef on Monday and Wednesday and I showed up just in time to buy the last one. Lucky, as there are only four skirt steaks per animal.
Time to fire up The Mighty Hibachi!
Yeah, I know, the meat is already grilled. I was paying so much attention to grilling the meat, I forgot to take a photo of the meat sizzling away over the coals. You’ll just have to trust me.
I suppose now I’ll have to fire up The Mighty Hibachi another time, so I can take a couple pictures to share with you.
I heated a few corn tortillas on the plancha and made some fresh guacamole. I would typically make these tacos with two tortillas per taco, but I did not have very many tortillas, so I went with a single tortilla. Get over it.
Are you hungry?
It’s chili time! No beans. No vegetables (OK, a single onion and chiles). No ground beef.
2.7 kg (6 lb) of chuck cut in 2 inch cubes, home made chicken stock, and chiles. Heaps of chiles. That is all.
I used Kenji’s recipe for The Food Lab: Real Texas Chili Con Carne as a guide.
Chili con carne served with home made Spanish rice, refried beans, and fresh, warmed flour tortillas from Mexican Specialties in Ellerslie.