Gary Cooper

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pot stickers.

Since I set up Gary's doghouse a month or so ago most of the posts have been around meat-based endeavors. This is a break from Charcutepalooza. Tonight I tried something new, tried to re-purpose a trick from Iron Chef America, and I got something very right. I made potsticker wrappers. At the grocery store this morning we bought wonton wrappers for gyoza and they were disgusting little brown things that I couldn't stand to use.

I don't think the picture does them justice but the row of square wrappers are the store bought ones. They look better in the picture than they did in person. The round ones are from this recipe.

Potstickers - or gyoza - are small dumplings that have a filling of either meat, vegetable or a combination of both. The wrappers are a thin, well, noodle. You can buy them but they are so easy to make.

Potsticker (gyoza) wrappers
2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water (plus a bit more if you need it)

Use chopsticks to "whisk" the salt and flour together. Slowly add in the water while "whisking" until it will form into a ball. Add more water if it's too dry. Take the ball of dough and put it in a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let it sit for an hour or more so that the starches can hydrate. Take the ball of dough and start kneading it (it will go very flaky on you for a while but will smooth out in about 3 minutes. Go a bit longer until it is very smooth. A total of 5 minutes. Here is the new (to me) and cool ('cause I'm a geek) part. Use your pasta machine to roll the dough out to the thinnest setting. Use a 3 inch biscuit cutter to cut out your wrappers. I got over 50 out of my ball of dough! Now make potstickers. What are you waiting for? Oh, a recipe? I'll post that later.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Corned beef short rib (step 2) Dinner a week in the making.

Yesterday was a crazy day. I worked the morning then went to a meeting in the afternoon and later in the day we had guests over for dinner. There was no way I could work out how to get the short ribs in the oven at the right time. That's when my wife said, "Doesn't the oven do the thing where it will do a time delay to start?"

So after lunch I took the zip top bag of short ribs out of the fridge. I rinsed them under cool water for a minute or so and put them in the big, heavy dutch oven. I added water to just barely cover and threw in two tablespoons of the pickling spice. I put foil over the top to prevent steam from escaping, since I wasn't going to be around to make sure the liquid was staying at the right level, and put on the lid and put it in the oven. Setting the oven required three tries and the user manual but once set I went off to my meeting.

When I got back to the house the aroma was intense. The familiar smell of corned beef was strong, but there was a difference. I want to call it a meatiness to the smell. Resisting the urge to pull the lid off we went about the rest of dinner preparations. At a total cook time of 3:45 (adjusting for the fact that the oven had to heat and the meat and braising liquid was cold), I took the pot out of the oven.

When I pulled the ribs out of the Dutch oven I noticed that the meat didn't just fall apart.

Of course I was worried that it wasn't going to be tender but the rib bones pulled out easily. I cut the tough connective tissue off the rib side and sliced it.

Foie gras is just liver. Truffles are simply mushrooms. This is just a car. This was just corned beef in the same way. There is a rich intensity that I have never had in corned beef before. The melted connective tissue and oozy fat with the salty beef created something more... It was foie gras, it was truffles, it was that car. I have made the corned beef recipe out of Charcuterie with brisket twice, but this was more. Just more.

Unfortunately none of the plated pictures came out. I am afraid it is up to you to picture the sliced short ribs, roasted new potatoes and braised red cabbage. For Corned beef short rib (step 1) click here.