After 40 Dinner, Part 2

Lets just get right into the good stuff.

For our next dish, we had originally planned on doing the same format of two sandwiches, only the original idea was to make it very Kosher style, with one corned beef and one brisket. Unfortunately, though, after doing some research, we found that when cooking brisket sous vide, the results can be a little fickle. Not wanting to take any chances, we nixed that idea. What about the corned beef?

Well, this is a picture of the corning liquid

(that’s water, salt, evaporated cane juice, tinted curing salt, black peppercorns, ground cinnamon, bay leaves, and the guts of a vanilla bean)

Except that I didn’t take that picture, it’s from AlineaAtHome. Why the stolen pic? Because after double-checking the recipe, I noticed the tiny little requirement that the meat needed to sit in the corning liquid for five days. Yeah, I don’t got that kinda time. So the corned beef got nixed as well. So, less than two days left until the dinner, and one major dish was missing. A little stressful, but I think this comic sums up how we felt.Good ol’ Calvin and I always seem to be on the same page. By the way, if you haven’t read through all of the C&H collections, I’ve just found your summer reading list.

Anyhow, what we came up with still managed to blow everybody’s socks off. We ground our own mix of 25% rib eye, 25% lamb and 50% chuck for the sliders. You should all be grinding your own meat instead of buying mystery meat from your local butcher. You’re guaranteed to get the freshest product, you know what’s going in there, and it’s super easy. All you need is a food processor, which most of you already use for potato kugel. Just make sure that you cut the meat into cubes first and freeze it a little, doing so will ensure that the meat grinds properly.

We then formed the meat into sliders, packed into sous vide bags, froze them again and tossed them into the water bath.

I had left the leftover duck legs and thighs from this dish to cure overnight in a mixture of salt, brown sugar, parsley and thyme. We took them out of the cure, rinsed them, and packed them in a bag with the rendered fat from the duck carcass.

This went into the water at 190 degrees for 8 hours. I wish I had a picture of the bag afterwards, because you would have seen all the beautiful, pure fat that remained. This process is known as “confit of duck”. If you’ve ever heard the term duck confit, it refers to duck legs that have been slow-cooked in their own fat, until the meat is so succulent and tender that it breaks apart in your fingers.

Next, the garnish.

From the Alinea cookbook, and so simple and delicious. You sautee red cabbage and shallots in margarine, then add red wine, port and honey, cover with a parchment lid and cook for 45 minutes, then season with red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.

The burgers were seared in rendered duck fat, as were the slices of bread (DELICIOUS!), the burgers were topped with shredded duck and slow-carmelized onions, and served with the red cabbage, which I actually enjoyed on top of the slider.

Because the sliders were cooked sous vide, they were incredibly juicy, and by far better than any other burger I’d ever eaten. The first exclamation I heard from the diners was “WHY ISN’T ALL BREAD TOASTED IN DUCK FAT?!?” Seriously, that was a genius move on our part. The whole thing just came together perfectly, and the subtle tartness of the cabbage just rounded out the whole bite.

If you recognize the other part of the dish, it’s because I already talked about it here. This time, however, instead of being cheap and using chuck roast, we made the recipe as intended, with short rib. I cooked the ribs the same way for 48 hours and deep fried them in canola oil to get some nice browning.

The bread was dipped on one side in sauce made from the reduced marinade, topped with the thinly sliced ribs and pickled mustard seed. Alongside it was a very simple Asian flavored coleslaw, marinated with toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, honey and black pepper.

I’ll tell you right now, I’m getting so hungry looking at these again. (Pause for a food break.) Both sandwiches were a huge hit, and neither required any wild ingredients (besides for maybe the duck, which was leftovers, so I’m not counting it). Please, make these for yourselves and tell me how much you loved them.

For the final protein, Beef with Elements of A1, I got plenty of use out of my blender and chinois. To be brief, we made a red pepper reduction, spiced vinegar sauce, chive, raisin and orange puree, and a ginger sauce. Additionally, candied and deep-fried orange peel, potato puree and crispy onion rings. Here are the pics, in order.

These were cored and seeded, went into a blender on high, then through the chinois into a saucepan to reduce and be skimmed until the liquid coated the back of a spoon.

I toasted .5g each of allspice and cloves,

ground the mixture and added it to a pan with water, white wine vinegar, and sugar. Brought the whole thing to a boil, removed it from the heat and let steep for twenty minutes. Then heated it up again, this time whisking in 6g of agar agar, and strained it into a small bowl set in an ice bath.

Into the fridge it went, overnight, until it had set, like this.

Tossed the gel into the blender on high, strained again, and put aside until service.

The chives were blanched until soft,

then strained, cooled and blended them, and strained again, setting aside until service.

Next, a whole bunch of raisins went through some re-hydrating treatment,

they were brought to a boil and strained three times, then blended on high and strained again. The purpose of doing this, is to get the raisin taste, but not the raisin-y dryness.

Next, the oranges. The book calls for bitter oranges, otherwise known as Seville oranges, but I called around, and most people didn’t even know what I was talking about, let alone could say that they were in stock. So I fudged it a little, and just went with some regular Valencias. Into a sous vide bag with simple syrup and canola oil, and cooked at 190 for three hours.

Can you guess what happens to them next?

Yes! You’re right! Blended and strained!

The last picture I have for you is of the orange peel. The book wants these to be candied and then dehydrated, but since I neither have a dehydrator, nor an oven that goes below 180, I figured that deep frying them would give them an equally interesting texture. I like to think that I was correct.

I almost forgot about the prime rib! Ours was a standing roast, purchased from Wasserman and Lemberger in Baltimore. It was the most marvelously marbled mass of meat I had seen in quite some time. And only fitting that it should be sealed in a bag, cooked at 135 and then have this done to it–

Yes. That’s a blowtorch. And to answer your question, yes, I had LOTS of fun doing this.

Here’s a picture of the final plating.

What I love about this dish is that you can eat the meat with any one of these sauces, and it’s great. Then you can mix a couple of them together, and it gets even better. And if you really want, go ahead and mix em all. It’s amazing, and also tastes like a better version of A1.

And for dessert?

Pineapple upside down cake from Ad Hoc and

homemade ginger ice cream, from The Perfect Scoop.

By the way, some of you still haven’t liked the CrazyTastyKosher Facebook page! I guess you must really not want to win a free copy of The Perfect Scoop! Just clicking the “Like” button is all it takes.

Also on the plate, homemade Kahlua!

The ice cream was really refreshing and tasty. Even if you’re not a huge fan of ginger when you get it with your sushi, you should definitely try this recipe at home.

All in all, not only was this an amazing dinner, it was also a fantastic cooking experience. Working as a team, we put together something that can’t be found at any high-end kosher restaurant this side of Manhattan, and can easily compete with anything you could find there, as well. I’m not even talking about the wine, which was just out of this world.

We killed quite a few bottles by the end of the night. If any of you are looking for some of the greatest kosher wine you can get your hands on, please shoot me an email, or leave a comment and I’ll put you in touch with the guys at After 40. As of yet, they don’t have a site of their own.

Until next time!

–Yehuda

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About ydmalka

Just sharing my experiences as I learn more about kosher cuisine, from non-kosher cookbooks.
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4 Responses to After 40 Dinner, Part 2

  1. Marc says:

    The duck bread sounds awesome

  2. Charlie From Rockland County says:

    Firstly Amazing Blog, G-d bless you for the effort you take just to collect all the ingredients.
    Question 1. Why would brisket be more difficult to cook than any other tough cut (chuck, short rib)?
    Question 2. Why refreeze the burger after you formed it into patties?

    • ydmalka says:

      Firstly, thanks so much for your comment and your kind words.
      To answer your questions:
      1. I have not yet tried to make brisket, sous vide. We were originally going to try it for that meal, but upon doing some research into recipes, online, my friend Dan saw that some people had mixed results with brisket, and most recipes werent specific with regards to the cut of the meat itself; whether being first or second cut. I hope to try it sometime in the near future, and will post the results.
      2. This technique was also discovered by Dan. The purpose of pre-freezing the burgers is to ensure that they hold their shape while being cooked together in the same bag, sous vide, and don’t turn into a giant lump of ground meat. It seems to work perfectly.

      Happy cooking!
      Yehuda

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