Steak Tartare: Deconstructed Fajita Style

I love steak Tartare. And I love the flavors of Fajitas. So what do you get? Steak tartare: deconstructed fajita style.

What the heck does that mean? If you had been here to eat it you would know. Sometimes you just have to show up.

So basically this is chopped steak with cilantro, onion, tomato, and chilies with olive oil and lime on a chip. Good yeah?

I wanted some steak tartare but had a garden full of really great peppers. Sandias, Marconi, poblanos, Big Jims, jalapeno, Thai reds… They just called out for something other than the standard salsa and chili.

I also had a sirloin steak and a new kitchen gadget, the Nomiku immersion circulator made for sous vide.

“What the heck does that mean? Again? Really?”

Really. The Nomiku device circulates hot water around sealed food and slowly “cooks” it to a proper temperature. By cooking slow and low the method can turn a sirloin into a filet. And for the tartare application I get a great compromise. Cooked steak with a raw mouth feel that does not cost a fortune.

For more about sous vide cooking, check this Facebook page for a practical guide.

For a less practical guide, or how I learned, the low rent method you can try this here.

Ingredients:

1 LB sirloin all fat trimmed – about 1 inch thick
¼ cup finely diced onion
¼ cup finely diced tomato
¼ finely diced green peppers (all jalapeño or a mix to taste)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 diced avocado
Juice of ½ lime
¼ cup olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Fresh Pepper
Good tortilla chips (fresh would be best)

Directions:

Heat a large pot (8 to 12 quarts) of water to 131 degrees with the sous vide device. Or fill the pot with hot tap water and place on your smallest burner at the lowest temp. Check the temp after ten minutes or so and the temp will probably be around the right temp. Just play with the heat.

Place the steak in a ziplock bag and partially close. Place the bag into the water and work out all of the air and seal.

Let the sirloin cook in the bath for 2 hours. Or more – at this point it will be cooked but be very rare. Pull the bag from the bath and put into an ice bath.

Once chilled, finely dice up the steak about the size of this __ square. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill until it is cold.

To serve, place a spoonful on top of a chip and top with avocado. Lightly sprinkle some sea salt on top and serve.

 

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The reason for meatballs in red sauce is not to top spaghetti. The real reason is the meatball sub. Growing up, I didn’t have many of these and I am not sure why. It was more likely that we would have meatloaf sandwiches. Mom made great meatballs but I guess my brother made sure that there was none left.

So this is a recipe as a work in progress. Over time, my mom’s recipe became closer to my Italian sausage recipe. And I adopted my sister-in-laws idea of finishing them in the sauce at a low temp for a few hours. I suppose that it will change further as my tastes change. But it has been stable for two years. That means I only messed with it for 30 years.

This will make a lot, but it will make two meals. Sunday spaghetti night and subs on Monday.

And as always, I am cooking for 4, but one is a fourteen-year-old athlete so he eats like two. It’s his favorite sub. I couldn’t let him think that Subway was good.

Ingredients:

1 LB Ground beef – 85/15 fat content
1 LB Ground pork
2 Eggs
½ Cup Milk
½ Cup breadcrumbs
¾ Cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Teaspoon red chili flakes
1 Teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Teaspoon oregano
1 Teaspoon thyme
1 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Teaspoon salt
½ Cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Batches of marinara plus 1 cup of red wine

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, milk and spices and salt and mix. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Whisk in the eggs.

Whisk in the cheese and parsley.
Add the pork and beef.

Mix this by hand until combined. Both hands. In the bowl.

Cover a baking pan with either nonstick tinfoil or parchment paper.
(Or be prepared to scrub a pan).
Preheat oven to 350.

Roll the mixture into roughly 2-inch balls.
Place about ½ inch apart on the pan.
Start the tomato sauce.

Bake the meatballs for 30 minutes.

Place the baked meatballs in the sauce and lower the heat on the sauce to just below a simmer.
Cook for at least two hours – less would be OK but the more time the more tender the meatballs. I usually make this over lunch and let them cook until dinner.

At this point you could just eat them out of the pot. But the way we do it is like I said, Sunday dinner follow by meatball subs.

Cheers.

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