Posts Tagged ‘stuffed’

Well, it took a while, but I finally completed all of Alton’s recipes for an entire butchered beef tenderloin. In “Tender is the Loin I,”  Alton showed how to butcher a whole tenderloin into cuts to be used in five different recipes. You cut the loin into four filets, a center cut roast, a head roast, a tip portion, and a chain.

In addition to the butchering in that first tenderloin episode, he also demonstrated a recipe for the filets from the tenderloin. As I mentioned before, for some reason, a cocktail episode aired in between the two tenderloin episodes, which was an odd decision. Here are the recipes for the remaining cuts from the beef tenderloin.

Center Cut Tenderloin Roast

The center cut roast from the tenderloin is used first in the second episode. This cut of meat should weigh 1 to 1 1/4 pounds. For this recipe, place 1 1/2 t Kosher salt, 1 1/2 t pepper, and 1 t cumin in a loaf pan.

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Kosher salt, pepper, and cumin.

Set the roast in the spices and toss it around to coat on all sides. Let the roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour.

After resting, place a grill pan over high heat for five to seven minutes. Sprinkle the pan with Kosher salt, as this will make it easier to clean later. Sprinkle vegetable oil over the roast and turn it with tongs to coat. Place the roast at the front of the grill pan and gradually roll the roast from the front to the back of the pan, searing for about eight minutes total on all sides.

Transfer the roast from the grill pan to a metal baking pan and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

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Seared roast placed in metal pan.

While the roast sits, preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the roast back on the grill pan place it in the oven with a probe thermometer in its center. Cook the roast until the probe thermometer says 135 degrees.

Remove the roast from the oven, wrap it in foil, and let it rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

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Roast wrapped in foil for 30 minutes.

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Alton’s center cut tenderloin roast.

This roast was so easy and was perfectly cooked. I typically use some sort of sauce with beef, but I found that this roast was flavorful enough on its own. The outside of the roast had a spice-filled crust, while the inside of the roast was juicy and tender. This is a roast you could easily make any day of the week and any meat-eater would certainly enjoy this.

Stuffed Roast

To follow the center cut roast, Alton prepped his recipe for the small head roast (1 to 1.5 lb) portion of the loin. I prepared this for dinner on Father’s Day. To begin, slice open the head roast, creating a pocket. Open the roast and place a few more slices internally, slicing it “like a book.” Brush the inside of the roast with olive oil and season it with Kosher salt and pepper.

Sear the roast on both sides on a hot grill pan that has been sprinkled with Kosher salt. Let the roast rest for 15 minutes after searing.

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Head roast on hot grill pan to sear.

Stuff the roast with three ounces of blue cheese, roll the roast up, and secure it with butcher’s twine.

Place a probe thermometer in the center of the roast and cook the roast in the oven at 450 degrees until the thermometer reaches 125 degrees.

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Head roast in 450 degree oven until reaching 125 in the center.

Remove the roast from the oven, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

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Head roast resting in foil for 15 minutes.

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Head roast, ready to be sliced.

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Alton’s stuffed tenderloin.

This was delicious, especially if you like blue cheese. As Alton said, the idea with this recipe was to put the sauce on the inside of the meat… and it works. The meat came out pink and juicy and the cheese was melting in the center. This is another fantastic roast recipe that requires very little effort and produces great results.

Carpaccio

I love carpaccio. Although the idea of raw meat may scare some people, I encourage you to give it a try. I had previously only had carpaccio in restaurants, and I likely would never have made it at home if were not for this project. To make Alton’s carpaccio, you will need a small tip portion from a beef tenderloin. Wrap the meat in plastic and place it in the freezer for two hours, or until it is quite firm.

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Tenderloin tip wrapped in plastic and heading to freezer for 2 hours.

Leaving the plastic on, slice the meat as thinly as possible with a very sharp knife; I actually removed the plastic for slicing, as I found that the plastic really got in the way.

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Slicing meat after freezing.

Spritz a counter top with water and place a layer of plastic wrap down. Spritz the top of the plastic and add the meat slices, overlapping them slightly to form a “disc of meat.” Spritz the meat again and fold the plastic over the top of the meat, sandwiching the meat between the plastic layers.

Spritz the top layer of plastic one final time. Set a pie tin on top of the plastic and pound it with a mallet until the meat is very thin.

Remove the top layer of plastic and invert a plate on top of the meat. Slide your hand under the meat and invert the meat back onto the top of the plate.

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Inverting meat onto plate.

Peel off the remaining plastic, leaving the meat on the plate. Chill the meat until eating.

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Carpaccio, inverted onto plate.

To serve the carpaccio, dress it with good olive oil, Kosher salt, pepper, lemon juice, shaved Parmesan, and greens. I also added some capers for good measure.

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Alton’s carpaccio.

I served the carpaccio with good crackers. I honestly did not think homemade carpaccio would measure up to what I’ve had in restaurants, but Alton’s carpaccio was just as good as anything I’ve eaten out. Now, of course, this was using high-quality beef. This would make a great appetizer to serve to guests, as it is really quite simple to prepare, but is a restaurant-quality dish. Great recipe!

Chain of Bull Cheese Steaks

The final recipe of the tenderloin recipes uses the “chain” part of the loin to make cheesesteak sandwiches. We ate these sandwiches just last night for dinner. I had frozen my chain and pulled it out to thaw a couple days ago. To make these sandwiches, trim the chain of any excess fat and place it between sheets of plastic wrap that have been spritzed with water.

Pound the meat with a mallet until it is even in thickness for its whole length.

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The chain portion placed in plastic and pounded until thin.

Place the meat in a bowl and add olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper. Toss the meat to coat.

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Chain placed in bowl and seasoned with olive oil, Kosher salt, and pepper.

Heat a grill pan until it is hot and sear the meat on all sides for about eight minutes total.

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Seared chain.

Remove the hot meat from the pan and wrap it tightly in foil. Add some additional olive oil to the grill pan and add one julienned onion. Cook the onion until is golden brown and soft.

Finely chop the cooked meat and pack it onto hoagie rolls.

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Chopped chain meat.

Top the meat with shredded Mimolette cheese and the warm onions. I could not find Mimolette cheese locally, so I opted for shredded Cheddar. And, we added a little bit of hot Giardiniera.

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Alton’s cheese steak sandwich.

I know people are picky about their cheesesteak sandwiches, and I am a complete novice. All I can say is that the meat was very tender and the warm onions melted the cheese just enough to kind of bind everything together. I did appreciate the little punch of heat from the Giardiniera, so I would personally opt for that again, though some may view that as sacrilegious. I found this to be a really tasty sandwich. Is it a true Philly-style cheesesteak sandwich? Well, that’s a question for those more experienced than I.

 

This January has given 2019 a little bit of a rough start for me. I had a short, nasty stomach bug for the first two days of the year, which was followed up with back pain for several days. After that, I traveled to be with my dad while he had cancer surgery. Two days after I returned home from my trip, I came down with a nasty flu-like bug that knocked me out for 10 days. Whew! Good riddance, January!

Turkey with Stuffing

Although the holidays are long gone, this recipe certainly has a holiday feel to it. While Alton’s other turkey recipes have really featured the turkey itself, this one is all about the stuffing. In the episode, Alton actually goes into very little detail about prepping/cooking the turkey, so I opted to brine my turkey, using the brine recipe from the original Good Eats Thanksgiving special. The premise of this recipe is that Alton can make a well-balanced stuffing that will cook inside the turkey, and that the turkey and stuffing will reach their desired temperatures at nearly the same time. To make the stuffing, chop 1 C each of onion, celery, and green bell pepper.

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A cup each of celery, onion, and green bell pepper.

Toss the chopped vegetables with 1 T vegetable oil and 1 T Kosher salt. Spread the vegetables on a sheet pan and roast them for 25 minutes at 400.

After 25 minutes, add 3 C cubed Challah bread (I made my own) to the vegetables, give everything a toss, and continue roasting for 10 more minutes.

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My Challah bread, ready to be cubed.

Next, place two ounces of dried mushrooms (porcini, morels, or shiitakes) in a bowl and pour a quart of boiling chicken stock over them. Let the mushrooms rehydrate for about 30 minutes.

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Shiitake mushrooms, soaking in boiling chicken broth.

When the mushrooms have finished their soak, drain them (reserving their liquid), chop them, and place them in a large bowl, along with 4 ounces dried cherries, 2 ounces chopped pecans, 2 beaten eggs, 2 t dry rubbed sage, 2 t dry parsley, the roasted vegetables and bread, and 1/2 t pepper.

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Dried cherries and chopped pecans.

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Chopped mushrooms added to cherries and pecans.

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Chopped mushrooms added to cherries and pecans, along with eggs, rubbed sage, and dry parsley.

Add enough of the reserved mushroom liquid to moisten, but not saturate, the mixture; I used about a cup, though Alton was vague about this in the episode and it actually appeared as if he added all of the reserved liquid.

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Challah, vegetables, pepper, and mushroom liquid added to mixture.

Place the stuffing in a cotton produce bag, or use cheesecloth to make one – you can seal it with butcher’s twine. Place the bag of stuffing in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave it on high for six minutes. Also, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

To put the stuffing in the turkey, prop the open end of the turkey up on the side of a bowl and use tongs to plunge the bag of stuffing into the bird. If you have a plastic cutting board, you can form it into a tube shape, insert the tube-shaped cutting board into the cavity, and push the bag through the tube.

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Microwaved stuffing placed inside turkey.

For this recipe, you will ideally want two thermometers – one inserted in the thigh and one inserted into the center of the stuffing; I only have one oven-safe thermometer, so I placed that in the thigh and checked the stuffing periodically with an instant read thermometer. Place the bird in a roasting pan and roast it for 45 minutes at 400 degrees. After 45 minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 350 and cook until both the stuffing and the thigh meat are about 170 degrees. When done cooking, remove the stuffing bag with tongs and place the stuffing in a serving bowl.

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Turkey after cooking to thigh temperature of 170.

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Alton’s stuffing.

Tent the turkey with foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. Okay, so there were some good things about this recipe and some bad things. This stuffing has a wide variety of both flavors and textures, with flavors ranging from sweet/tart to umami, and textures that range from slightly crunchy to moist and soft. I will say that the stuffing would have been too wet, and probably overpowered with mushroom flavor, if I had added all of the mushroom liquid as Alton appeared to do in the show. My biggest problem with this recipe was that it didn’t achieve the goal of having the stuffing and turkey finish cooking at the same time. For me, the stuffing was done cooking long before the turkey was, so I ended up pulling the stuffing out early while I had to continue cooking the bird for a good 20 minutes. In my mind, that makes this recipe a failure. Also, I think the bird could have done with a little less cooking. While I would consider making the stuffing again, I would not attempt to cook it in the bird again. Instead, I would opt for either the original Good Eats roast turkey or the butterflied, dry brined turkey.

Stuffed Squash

Since the tendency with stuffing is to stuff vegetables into meat, Alton decided to formulate a recipe where a meat filling is stuffed into squash. Acorn squash are the squash of choice for this recipe, as they are perfect for individual servings. To make four servings (I only made two), cut the lids off of four acorn squash and scoop out their seeds; be very careful when doing this, as I discovered it is very easy to poke a hole in the bottom of the squash! Be sure to save the lids for later. If your squash will not sit flat, you can also cut off part of the bottoms to make them level.

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My two acorn squash, ready to be prepped.

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Lids off and scooping out seeds.

Set the prepared squash on a parchment-lined sheet pan. To make the filling, cook 1/2 pound ground pork in a large skillet over medium heat until the pork is no longer pink. Transfer the pork to a small bowl and set it aside.

Return the pan to the burner, but decrease the heat slightly. Add 1 T olive oil to the pan, along with 1/4 C chopped carrots, 1/4 C chopped celery, 1/4 C chopped onion, and a pinch of Kosher salt. Cook the vegetables until they have softened a bit.

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Celery, onion, and carrot added to hot oil, along with a pinch of Kosher salt.

Deglaze the pan by adding 1/2 C white wine and scraping up any browned bits.

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Wine added to deglaze the pan.

Follow the wine with 10 ounces of thawed/drained/chopped frozen spinach, 1 1/2 C cooked rice, 1 1/2 t dried oregano, the cooked pork, and 1/2 C toasted pine nuts.

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Spinach, rice, oregano, pork, and pine nuts added to the skillet.

Stir the filling until it is heated through and add a few grinds of black pepper. Remove the filling from the heat and place 1/2 T butter in the bottom of each prepared squash.

Spoon the stuffing into the squash, avoiding tightly packing the stuffing.

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Filling spooned into prepped squash and lids placed on top.

Place the lids on the squash and cook them for one hour at 400 degrees, or until the squash are just fork tender.

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Alton’s stuffed squash.

We ate these squash as our dinner entrée and were pretty happy with them. Ted really does not care for squash, in general, but he agreed that the sweetness of the squash paired well with the very savory pork filling. This is a an easy meal that really gives you both your protein and veggies in one, and the individual squash “serving dishes” are sort of fun. The squash also did not become mushy, as some squash are wont to do. I could see making the filling ahead of time for these, and on a busy weeknight you would only have to fill the squash and put them in the oven. Super easy!