Saturday, February 20, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different

We Slivers are in a bit of a culinary rut. Mr. Sliver does most of the shopping and cooking, but let's not blame him. I know how hard it is to put food on your family. Every week, he prowls the Manager's Markdown bin hunting for bargains. The equation of frugality plus testosterone always adds up to slabs of meat the size of our six-year-old, all with menacing expiration dates. The bottom shelf of our fridge perpetually sags under their weight. If it's not a pork loin doing an impersonation of a human thigh, it's a roast shrouded in plastic sacks like something buried at the bottom of Tony Soprano's dumpster.

Despite all the words up there to the contrary, I'm not complaining. Really. I love the discount. He learned to shop like this by watching me, back in the dark ages when I actually used to help around here. What wears on us both, though, is the commitment. I've had exes who didn't stick around as long as our meat. Every night we're faced with the challenge of reinventing the roast — roast tacos, roast Stroganoff, roast ala King, chicken fried roast. If colon cancer doesn't do us in, boredom will. Suicide by Manager's Markdown.

So we're experimenting with new recipes, and entirely new sections of the market — sections regular folks shop in, not just us and the Duggars. Join us on our maiden voyage out of the doldrums as we prepare Beef Rendang, an Indonesian dish traditionally served at ceremonial occasions and to honored guests, like you.

RENDANG DAGING — Dry-Fried Beef Curry (Just trust me, okay.)

(click to enlarge)

Step 1: Gather mise en place

I learned that term in Culinary Arts school. It's all I remember, so I try to use it as often as possible. It's French for get your shit together. Sometimes I use it with my class, like this, "Boys and girls, if you plan to go to recess today then you had better mise en place right this minute!"

The Buddha isn't officially part of the recipe, but we think he adds good mojo.

Employ child labor whenever possible. It's an Asian dish.

Step 2: Cut beef into 1 inch by 2 inch strips.



Step 3: Put onion, garlic, ginger and chilies in blender with 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Find a small child or someone you don't like much to blend it until smooth.

Step 4: Wait several hours for the burning of his eyes to subside.

Step 5: Pour pureed toxic onion goo into a large saucepan. Swirl remaining coconut milk into blender container to get every last drop of pureed toxic onion goo. Pour that into saucepan, too.

Step 6: Add all remaining ingredients except tamarind liquid and sugar to saucepan. Mix well.

Step 7: Add meat to saucepan. Bring quickly to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and add tamarind liquid.

Step 8: Cook uncovered for as long as you've got. Hours and hours and hours. Watch a movie, get a pedicure, call your mother.

Step 9: When gravy is thick, reduce heat to low and cook, and cook, and cook some more. Don't watch a movie this time, maybe just an episode of Mad Men or The Office — something interesting, but forgiving enough that you can get up and stir frequently until gravy is almost dry.

Step 10: When oil separates from the gravy, add sugar and stir constantly. Allow meat to fry in the oily gravy until it looks dark brown and delicious.

Like this:

Serve in prawn crisps as an appetizer, over rice as an entrée, or over Idris Elba for dessert.

If you try it, please let me know how it turned out. Or better, invite me over.

*No joke, when you seed your chilies, wear gloves. Or a hazmat suit. Or poke them with long sticks and scrape the seeds out with your toenails. Under no circumstances should you touch those seeds. Only a real idiot would touch those seeds. But if you do, find somebody to help you use the bathroom for the next several hours.

Don't ask.


Jenn A-G said...

Ooh, girl you made this semi-vegetarian laugh. The burning sensation reminds me of deep-fried jalapenos dipped in queso.

The next day.

Anonymous said...

You need to do a cooking show! That was the most exciting recipe I have ever read- I will not try it though but I really enjoyed reading it I dont really do the hot stuff due to the GERD -dont get old. :D
Diane M

Anonymous said...

I am glad to know that Buddha is safe and sound and helping you in the kitchen -- I'd forgotten where he was. I'm going to mise en place and go get my kids.
I would publish this by my name but can't remember my focking google passsword.