Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cooking projects stacking up - lobster, beef

Many cooking projects still in progress around here. The nine pounds of lobster (only 2 lobsters!) yielded enough meat for several meals, and I made some very nice stock, about three quarts, for lobster bisque. We already had sliced tail meat gently poached in clarified butter with some great bread. I have pasta sheets prepared and will make lobster ravioli with fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, and chives) and serve them with the bisque. I’ll make some extra and freeze them for a quick deluxe dinner. Before I make the bisque I will remove a cup or so of the stock and freeze it so that I can make a sauce for the extra ravioli.

Then there is the oxtail. They made a nice broth, and Dave was kind enough to pick all of the meat. I plan to make an oxtail hash with red potatoes and sweet onions, and serve it with a gravy made of some of the oxtail broth. I will then use the leftovers of that, hash and gravy, and add the rest of the broth to make oxtail soup and freeze that in containers for Dave’s lunches. You might have guessed by now that I like to start with a protein and create a series of meals out of it.

Finally, there is the Chicago Italian beef sandwich project. This one has only one outcome, the sandwiches. I went to Chicago a couple of years ago and fell in love with the Italian beef sandwiches. Dave grew up on them so has a very clear taste memory. I am using a recipe that sounds like it could deliver that taste. Yesterday I rubbed two bottom round roasts (about 5# total) with a mix of dried oregano and basil, onion and garlic powders, and crushed hot peppers. Then they got roasted over a pan of beef broth (in this case, commercial with a little of the oxtail broth added). They roasted to rare, and I shall slice them and reheat the meat in hot broth to put on sturdy rolls that can take an extra bath in the broth. The plan here is to run both roasts through my slicer, and package beef and broth for 2 sandwiches in a package to freeze.

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