Beef Tapsilog

Beef Tapsilog

Hello Everyone! First and foremost, I would like apologise for my absence last month. I had a theme all planned out, and even had the dishes ready to post – but life got in the way and disrupted my writing and posting schedule for two weeks. At the beginning of September, I was on a family trip to Singapore and Malaysia for my youngest sister’s graduation – it was a jam-packed week filled with much activities and therefore gifted me with a fever, cough, and flu from over fatigue after the trip.

Alyssa’s Graduation Ceremony – Diploma in Contemporary Music from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
Alyssa’s Graduation Ceremony – Diploma in Contemporary Music from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

Day Trip to Legoland, Nusajaya, Malaysia
Day Trip to Legoland, Nusajaya, Malaysia

And because of that, I decide to take a small break for September and just start fresh with the theme I had planned out for the month of October! (Details in a bit).

Secondly, before I dive into the theme for this month, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and fellow foodies who have contributed a recipe or two for my Auguest series on Amcarmen’s Kitchen. I hope that you guys enjoyed both the sweet and savoury breakfast fixes that they have shared with you! If you’d like to participate in next year’s Auguest series, drop me an email and let’s see what we can do!

Thirdly, I just want to put it out there that have some news to share with everyone so stick around until the end of this post (or you can skip ahead and scroll down to read it now).

Moving on, a new month means a new theme and for the month of October, where I will be sharing with you some of my favourite Filipino Breakfast staples! I’m kicking off the theme with few ways you can enjoy a traditional Filipino “silog” breakfast. Silog is a suffix in which the si is short for sinangag (garlic fried rice) while the log is short for itlog (fried egg). For example, Tapsilog is an abbreviation for Beef Tapa, Sinangag, and Itlog. The popular Filipino breakfast dish is a harmonious combination of sweet, sour, salty and umami flavours that sing in every mouthful you take.

Beef Tapsilog

Traditionally, tapa was a means of extending the shelf life of meats and other proteins such as chicken and fish. Beef Tapa is similar to that of Beef Jerky where it is prepared by curing the meat with sea salt and then left to dry directly under the sun for the purpose of preserving the meat.

Nowadays, Beef Tapa is simply marinated and cooked (either grilled, sautéed, or fried). The marinade mixture consists of, but is not limited to: soy sauce for saltiness, calamansi juice for a punch of tang, sugar for sweetness, and garlic for warmth. You can even buy Beef Tapa from grocery stores across the Philippines that have already been marinated for you, either fresh or frozen. Of course, the best way is to do it yourself so that you can adjust the levels of salt, sweet, and tang to your liking, and also know what actually goes into the marinade.

Beef Tapsilog

PREP TIME 15 MINS* | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

*For ready marinated, store-bought Beef Tapa. If marinating yourself, allow for a minimum of 4-6 hours of marinade time, or 12 hours overnight in the fridge for the flavours to really soak into the meat (maximum 24 hours).

INGREDIENTS

For the Beef Tapa marinade

  • 500g beef sirloin (New York Strip or boneless rib eye), sliced thin against the grain**
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed calamansi juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

To serve with

  • Garlicky fried rice
  • Fried sunny-side up egg
  • Fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Spicy vinegar

**When using beef, it is best to slice against the grain (grain referring to the muscle fibres), as this will result in easier to chew, more tender pieces of beef.

METHOD

  1. Add all the marinade ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and mix until the brown sugar has dissolved.
  2. Toss in the sliced beef and make sure that it is well coated in the marinade. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours (up to 24 hours).
  3. Strain the beef from the marinade and arrange on a grill pan (you may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your grill pan). Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the beef until well browned on each side, about 2-4 minutes per side once they start to sizzle aggressively.
  4. Serve hot with garlicky fried rice, fresh tomatoes, a spicy vinegar dip, and fried egg – browned and crispy on the edges with a golden liquidy yolk is how I like my fried eggs.

This dish is all about balance. The contrasting flavours and textures all work together to keep your palate salivating for more. While Tapsilog is most popular for breakfast, it can also be enjoyed at any time of the day, even as an occasional midnight snack after a night of drinking!

Beef Tapsilog

Okay, now down to business – the news. If you have been a frequent follower of my blog for the past few months or so, I’ve vaguely mentioned multiple times of what has been going on in my life that I couldn’t exactly say back then. The time has finally come…

I quit my job back in Brunei.

Or more like, I had finished my two-year contract with them and I decided not to be tied down for another two years (which I had been looking forward to since the beginning of the year). The working environment just became toxic to my mental health. I also felt that I had lost myself – I didn’t know who I was anymore, as a designer. I was either designing for a client who knows nothing about design, or for my supervisor who thinks she’s better than the designer. She would push for her ideas to be realised, but when everyone criticises it, she puts the blame on the designer. When I push for what I want and then praised for a job well done, she would steal the spotlight. There were just so many things wrong with the system, and I decided to put my foot down and just leave altogether.

I grew tired of fighting and standing up for myself amongst vipers with childish and petty attitudes, and to be honest, my mental wellness is so much more important than dealing with these kind of people 6 full days a week for the past 3 years – and I am not going to allow myself to endure another 2 years if I had decided to renew my contract with them.

With that being said – no job in Brunei for me means no valid visa to work there. No valid visa means I can’t stay in Brunei anymore, and so after more or less 26 years, I finally left my home away from home, my birthplace, and have settled for just over two months now back to the motherland – the Philippines.

This is also why for the month of October on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I have decided to share popular Filipino breakfast staples – something that I have been enjoying and indulging in for the past two months so I hope you enjoy my Filipino Breakfast series for the upcoming month!

To end, apologies for the super long post!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

Hello Everyone! You guys must be thinking that I’m on a roll here! Three consecutive recipes?! Don’t get used to it because it’s just for this one time to get everything wrapped up for this month so that I can start a new theme for the month of June! I did mention in a couple of posts back that for the month of June, I’ll be switching up my upload schedule day to Mondays, and the reason does indeed correlate to the theme. I’ll keep everyone on their toes for a while longer and come Monday, all will be revealed!

I had lots of fun last night a my friend’s place for sungkai (iftar) and of course to celebrate her daughter turning 1! Tonight’s post is a little later than usual this time around because I literally just came back from another night out for a sungkai catch up dinner with friends. I’ve probably mentioned this before in a post somewhere on this blog, but I’ll mention it again just to clear things up – I’m not a Muslim. I don’t practice ramadhan which then subsequently means that I don’t have to break fast for iftar. Yes I was born and bred in a Muslim country, and even though I have been exposed to these practices for practically my whole life, I wasn’t born into the religion (hint on the ‘Third Culture Foodie’!).

Anyway, tonight’s recipe is sort of another way you can use leftover Ropa Vieja to make similar, but not so Eggs Benny dish. Okay, I mentioned in yesterday’s post about this Latin American café that Jialing and I found during one of our “Fatness Fridays” adventures. While I thought back to this day, I was totally convinced that the Huevos Rancheros dish that I had was a marriage of it and the Ropa Vieja sandwich that Jialing had, but it wasn’t until I scrolled through hundreds of Instagram photos on my feed to recall the dishes to find out that they were two separate things.

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

In my last post I said that a Ropa Vieja Eggs Benny came into mind – which it did, but that wasn’t they way I had initially imagined it. In fact, this Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros was how I pictured the ‘Eggs Benny’ dish to look, but in the end I decided to reimagine it just because this didn’t really have the feel of an Eggs Benny dish. However, I didn’t want this dish to end up in my archive of ‘will never get around to posting’ but since this dish is sort of related to the last two I posted, I thought I’d share the recipe with you! I mean, it’s essentially, well practically identical to the last recipe, just a few minor differences, especially with the plating.

Huevos Rancheros, or in English “rancher’s eggs”, is a traditional breakfast dish served as a mid-morning fare on rural Mexican farms – hence its name. The dish is made up of fried eggs that is served atop a lightly fried tortilla (traditionally corn, but other adaptations have used wheat tortillas instead), with a tomato-chilli sauce, refried beans, and slices of avocado or guacamole. You could say that my adaptation to marry Ropa Vieja and Huevos Rancheros together is an amped up version of a humble and traditional Huevos Rancheros brekkie.

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros Ingredients
Ignore the other ingredients photographed but not mentioned below – the other ingredients are of the ropa vieja dish to accompany this dish!

PREP TIME 5-10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS* | SERVES 3

*Provided that you’ve made your Ropa Vieja ahead of time, i.e. the night before, if not then make sure you allocate yourself 3-4 hours altogether for this recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • Leftover Ropa Vieja
  • 3 super soft flour tortilla wraps
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 2 large avocados, pitted, peeled, and halved**
  • 1 can (16oz) organic black beans, drained, blanched in hot water, and smashed
  • Chopped spring onions, to garnish
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste

**Squeeze a touch of lemon or lime juice to prevent it from browning

METHOD

  1. If you haven’t pre-made your Ropa Vieja for this recipe, then start of with this before moving on to the other components of the dish. Allocate yourself about 3-4 hours prior.
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan. Crack the egg in and fry until the edges start to brown. I personally like my sunny-side up eggs this way – the browned edges gives a nice nutty flavour to the whites which is total yum! Repeat for the remaining eggs.
  3. In a medium-sized non-stick frying pan, lightly heat the tortilla wraps until they start to slightly brown. Remove from the pan and repeat for the remaining wraps.
  4. Place the tortilla wrap on a plate and top with the smashed black beans. Make a nest in the middle and top with the ropa vieja, sunny-side up egg, and halved avocado to the side. Drizzle a bit of tabasco sauce over and sprinkle some chopped spring onions. Serve and enjoy!

Ropa Vieja con Huevos Rancheros

Tune in on Monday for an all new theme and a bunch of yummy recipes!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone! I’m getting this post up way earlier than I usually do just because I’m about to leave and head on over to a friend’s house to celebrate her daughter turning 1 today! I can’t believe the little munchkin is a year older already – it felt just like yesterday I was holding her in my arms just only being 2 or 3 months old. Gosh how time flies by so quickly! With that being said, I honestly have no idea what time I’ll be back home tonight and thus the early upload.

Tonight’s recipe is a branch off from the Ropa Vieja recipe that I posted just last night. When I was thinking of what other Eggs Benny recipes I could whip up to share with you guys, I immediately thought back to the time Jialing and I had our weekly “Fatness Friday” sessions in-between our classes in search of great food at cafés and/or restaurants that we have yet to explore. One Friday afternoon, we came across a Latin American café in Surry Hills (no, not Cafe con Leche hehe) I don’t actually remember the name of the place. Jailing had the Ropa Vieja sandwich while I had their Huevos Rancheros, and BOOM! A Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict dish came into mind.

Ropa Vieja Ingredients

PREP TIME 5-10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS* | SERVES 3

*Provided that you’ve made your Ropa Vieja ahead of time, i.e. the night before, if not then make sure you allocate yourself 3-4 hours altogether for this recipe

INGREDIENTS

For the eggs benedict

  • Leftover Ropa Vieja
  • 3 English muffins, halved, slightly toasted, and buttered
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and smashed**
  • 1 can (16oz) organic black beans, drained, blanched in hot water, and smashed
  • Chilli flakes, to garnish (optional)
  • Chopped spring onion, to garnish

For the tabasco hollandaise sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp tabasco sauce, less or more to adjust to your liking
  • Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

**Squeeze a touch of lemon or lime juice to prevent it from browning

METHOD

  1. If you haven’t pre-made your Ropa Vieja for this recipe, then start of with this before moving on to the other components of the dish. Allocate yourself about 3-4 hours prior.
  2. Tabasco Hollandaise Sauce: While the balsamic reduction is underway and slowly simmering, start on the Hollandaise sauce. Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  3. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  4. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  5. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, tabasco sauce, fresh thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or over – or perfect)!
  7. Assembly: Spread the smashed avocado on the toasted and buttered English muffin half and top with the smashed black beans. Build up with the ropa vieja followed by the poached egg. Drizzle a generous amount of the tabasco hollandaise sauce and sprinkle some chilli flakes and chopped spring onions. Serve and enjoy!

Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Ropa Vieja Eggs Benedict

Next month I’ll start off with a whole new theme so stay tuned for that! To give you guys a clue, I’ll be switching up my upload schedule day to Mondays just for the month of June. Yes, the fact that I’ll be posting on Mondays does correlate to the theme! My loyal and long term followers may know, and to anyone who wants to take a stab and guess, comment down below!

Don’t forget that the overall theme for Amcarmen’s Kitchen for 2018 is Breakfast Eats!

But before that, I have one more recipe that will go up tomorrow night so stay tuned for that to know what else you can do with leftover Ropa Vieja!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja

Hello Everyone! So if you read last week’s post, you’ll know that tonight is part 1 of the actual recipe that I’ll be sharing tomorrow night. I’ve decided to split it up just for easy future reference, i.e. if you’re just looking for a mouth-watering Ropa Vieja recipe without it being in an Eggs Benny, then this is it! I first came across this dish during my university years in Australia. It wasn’t even the main highlight of the dish, rather a small side to go with the Colombian-style Arepas that was  my absolute favourite brunch dish then *drools just thinking about how much I miss having it in my tummy* It was a little place that Jialing had stumbled upon when she took the wrong bus to uni and got off at a stop that was just opposite Cafe con Leche.

Ropa Vieja is actually a Spanish term that directly translates to “old clothes” as the shredded beef and vegetables that are the main components of the dish resemble a heap of colorful rags. Though the dish dates back to the Middle Ages of Spanish Sephardi, it was then taken to Cuba where the Cubans made it their own. Ropa Vieja is now one of Cuba’s most popular and beloved dishes; in fact, so popular in fact that it is one of the country’s designated national dishes! It is also popular in other areas or parts of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and Panama.

The traditional method of braising the meat is in water. However, for this recipe, I am going to release all those flavourful beef juices directly into the sauce together with carrots, celery, bay leaves, onion, and garlic to get all the flavours of a stock going at the same time. This infuses the sauce with some umami-flavour qualities and natural sweetness from the vegetables, making everything of braising by this method super rich and mouth-watering. Do check out the original recipe by Kimberly from The Daring Gourmet.

Ropa Vieja Ingredients

Ignore the avocado, black beans, and the egg in the shot above, that’s for the Eggs Benedict recipe to follow tomorrow!

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 4 HOURS 30 MINS | SERVES 8-10

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg tender beef chuck
  • 1 cup beef broth*
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine**
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 can (16oz) chopped tomatoes with sliced olives
  • 1 brown onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 large celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized red, yellow, and green capsicum
  • 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp baby capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Chopped spring onion, to garnish

*Or 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup of hot water

**The first time I made this dish, I omitted the dry white wine only because I didn’t have any on my pantry shelf at that moment. For those who are living in, or know about Brunei, it’s not as easy as popping over to the shops to buy a bottle. Anyway, I found that the flavours weren’t really brought out as much as when I attempted this dish for a second time with the wine. It felt flat like that pop or zing was missing from it.

METHOD

  1. Pat the beef dry and rub all over with the dried herbs, spices, and seasoning -dried oregano, chilli powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, smoked paprika, sea salt and ground black pepper.
  2. Heat about a tablespoon in a slight large Dutch oven over high heat. Once it is very hot and starts to smoke a bit, add the beef and brown generously on all sides. Once done, transfer the beef to a plate. Do not discard the drippings and blackened bits in the pot. They are key to the flavour!
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the minced garlic and cook until slight golden and fragrant. Follow with the sliced onion, cooking until softened before adding the sliced carrots and celery, and the chopped chipotle peppers. Cook for about 15 minutes until caramalised. Deglaze the pot the the dry white wine and bring it to a rapid boil, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and bay leaves. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Return the beef and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat down to low, then cover and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the beef is fork tender and falls apart easily.
  6. While the beef is slowly simmering away, you can move onto roasting your capsicums. Turn a stovetop burner to its highest setting and place the capsicum directly on the flame. Use a pair of tongs to turn them over until the skin has completely blackened. Put the capsicum in a heat-proof mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The skin will loosen as it steams, and once it has cooled down a bit, you can easily remove the skin with your fingers under running water. Slice thinly.
  7. Once the beef is done, discard the celery, carrots, and bay leaves. Remove the beef from the sauce, transfer to a plate and shred. Return the shredded beef to the pot and stir in the roasted capsicum and baby capers. Season with salt and pepper to taste and leave uncovered to simmer until the sauce has thickened, about a further 15-20 minutes.
  8. Serve the beef in a large serving dish and enjoy! Best served with steamed rice and black beans on the side.

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja

As per Kimberly, for a variation on traditional beef you can also use pork or chicken, bone-in/skin-on for the most flavour, or boneless breast or thighs. I might try this recipe out with succulent pork shoulders next time *already drooling*.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

Hello Everyone! Finally I’ve managed to come to the theme that was intended for the month of March on Amcarmen’s Kitchen! Three weeks late, but you know what they say, better late than never! I hope that I can get all the recipes up for March before the end of the month so that I can start fresh (frish – inside joke) for April seeing as it is also an important upcoming month ahead for Amcarmen’s Kitchen. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, or long enough to know why April is important for Amcarmen’s Kitchen – I won’t reveal things now, but as the days draw closer to April, I will tell you why!

If​ you are just tuning in to the blog, the theme for this year is all based around foods that lower or help maintain your blood pressure to normal and safe level. I drew up the theme when I found out last year that I am susceptible to high blood pressure, and ever since, I’ve been doing what I can to eat right – it hasn’t been easy. So tangent aside, the theme for March is basically hero-ing broccoli! Though I must say, some of the dishes that I will be sharing with you guys don’t exactly hero broccoli, but at least it includes the ingredient I guess? Haha. Broccoli is a good source of the blood pressure-regulating minerals magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Previous research in animals has found that a diet high in broccoli sprouts may help reduce blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Tonight’s recipe is a little twist on the classic Beef and Broccoli Ramen – well okay, it’s not really a massive twist or anything like that, the only difference is that I used mee pok noodles instead of ramen noodles. Mee pok is a Chinese noodle characterised by its flat and yellow appearance, varying in thickness and width. Mee Pok is commonly served tossed in a sauce (often referred to as “dry”, or tah in Hokkien, though sometimes served in a soup (where it is referred to as “soup”, or terng), where meat and vegetables are then added on top. Other than that, everything else is pretty much the same, so before I move onto tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe over on Chelsea’s Messy Apron. I’ve also added a soft-boiled soy egg just for another layer of flavour and texture to the overall dish. When I thought of adding a soy egg to the dish, I didn’t look into how I could add more flavour the egg rather than just dunking it in soy sauce, but turns out that you can add star anise and cinnamon bark to the soy sauce, and apparently leave it overnight to soak up all the flavour. I left mine for about an hour or so just for the colour really.

Also, I know that this recipe calls for a lot of soy sauce which is in fact contradictory to lowering high blood pressure because of the amount of sodium in soy sauce. Therefore, ensure that you use low-sodium soy sauce for this recipe.

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs Ingredients

PREP TIME 15* MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4

*Plus about 4-6 hours of marination time

INGREDIENTS

For the beef marinade:

  • 500g rump steak, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch

For the mee pok:

  • 1 package (400g) mee pok noodles
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef stock
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium dark soy sauce
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

For the soy eggs:

  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Optional:

  • Chilli powder
  • Lightly toasted sesame seeds
  • Spring onion

METHOD

  1. Whisk all the ingredients for the beef marinade (except for the cornstarch) in a small bowl. Place the beef slices, and the whisked marinade into a medium-sized zip lock bag and seal. Give it a good shake and then set aside in the fridge for about 4-6 hours, or no more than 12 hours. Flip the steak in the bag halfway through the marinating time.
  2. While the beef is marinating, you can get a head start on your soy eggs. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and set it over high heat. Let the water come to a rolling boil. Once it comes up to a rolling boil, reduce the water to a rapid simmer by lowering the heat. Gently lower the eggs into the water one at a time and cook the eggs for 5 to 7 minutes (5 minutes for a very runny yolk or up to 7 minutes for a barely-set yolk). I cooked mine for about 6 minutes. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and run under cold tap water for 30 to 60 seconds. Slowly are carefully peel the shell off the eggs and dunk them into a bowl of dark soy sauce and warm water mixture. Make sure that the eggs are fully submerged in the mixture and let it sit for an hour or so until the egg white is coloured by the soy sauce.
  3. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil and then cook the mee pok noodles for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
  4. Remove the rump steak from the bag and drain off any remaining marinade. Toss the steak to coat with the cornstarch.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, until the oil is shimmering and then cook the beef in batches if needed, adding a touch more of olive oil after each batch. Cook without moving or flipping the beef until it is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Continue cooking while stirring until the beef is lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  6. In the same pan, sauté the minced garlic until golden brown and fragrant, about 30-45 seconds, then add the beef stock and dark soy sauce. Stir and cook (uncovered) over medium heat until sauce thickens a bit and reduces by about a third (about 5-8 minutes). You don’t want to reduce it too much so it can still generously coat all the noodles & veggies.
  7. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, top the mixture evenly with the broccoli (don’t stir in). Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Allow the broccoli to steam until crisp tender about 3 minutes or to desired tenderness.
  8. Once the broccoli is to your liking, remove the lid, add in the cooked noodles and beef. Stir and top with desired toppings: green onions, chilli powder, and sesame seeds, and not forgetting the soy egg!
  9. Serve and enjoy immediately with family and friends.

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

Beef & Broccoli Mee Pok with Soy Eggs

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Hello Everyone! Week 3 of Cooking with Alcohol is here and I’ve got a recipe that is sure to knock your socks off! Beef Ribs are without a doubt a favourite of mine – especially is they are Bourbon and Coke braised! I first had a similar dish back when I was still studying in Australia at a Café, or maybe it was a Restaurant – I honestly cannot remember, and I think the place was called New Orleans… Something. Wow, I cannot believe I actually forgot the name of the place! It was actually one of my favourite fix of Southern American food whenever I craved it! I guess the reason why I forgot the name was because I had only been there a couple of times when I lived in the Lower North shore for about a year and a half. My then housemate and I would always walk over to Crows Nest from Cammeray to grab a plate of spicy Buffalo Wings, or this delicious Bourbon & Coke braised Beef Ribs for dins. When I moved out of the Lower North Shore area and to the Eastern Suburbs, I almost never visited Crows Nest after that. Then one day, after a kayaking trip that started in the Lower North Shore. all the way down to the Harbour, and then back up, I wanted to take my friends to that Restaurant and then later found out that it had closed down and another café took over! I was really sad at that time because I was really looking forward to visiting an old favourite. Oh well… Life goes on.

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Wow, I didn’t realise my introduction was going to be that long – and I am going to apologise now because I’m about to take a short tangent before moving on to tonight’s recipe. Now that I think about it, it may not be as short as I think it will be. Oops! Anyway, I was reading through old posts from about a year ago, and I remember mentioning in some that I had been going through a lot of stress, but I could not say the reason why. I don’t know if I officially told everyone what the reason was behind that when it was all clear to actually say it on social media, and on my blog for that matter. If I haven’t, then I’m definitely going to say it tonight as today marked my 1-year worksary! Haha, yes, worksary as my colleagues would say it. On this day last year I started my unofficial first day of work at D’Sunlit Sdn Bhd, Brunei’s leading advertising agency. I say unofficial because at that time, I was under my 3-month probation, and didn’t get my official permit to legally work at D’Sunlit until just a few months ago when I arrived back from the Philippines in August. Don’t get me wrong, I passed my 3-month probation – it was just that the company was excruciatingly sluggish in getting all the paperwork done so I could be official and legal. Anyway, the past is the past! My colleagues tries to surprise me with a worksary cupcake… I mean… I wouldn’t say that they failed miserably – only just a little bit. Let’s just say when something doesn’t seem right, I get a bit nosy haha! So I kinda figured out that they were up to something before they could surprise me because of a few tiny hints. But thank you anyway to Laurence, Wendy, and Tifah for trying *cheeky grin*

One Year Worksary at D'Sunlit Sdn Bhd

Again, I apologise for the short (but long) tangent, so let’s not waste anymore characters and let’s head on to tonight’s recipe! The original recipe can be found over on The Hopeless Housewife. Just a little note: these ribs were packed with intense and bold flavours that really made my family and I go whoa. Pairing it with a smooth cauliflower purée really helped cut the intensity back a bit. Okay, another small (I promise) tangent – my Mom would always see contestants on Masterchef Australia make a cauliflower purée to add to their overall dish; and every time that they did, she would always ask me, “what does it taste like” to which I would always respond, “I don’t know” because I sincerely don’t! I’ve never made it before – not until today that was. When I was thinking of what to pair the ribs with I thought of trying out a cauliflower purée as I recalled this memory.

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs Ingredients

Cauliflower Purée with Thyme Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 3-4 HOURS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the bourbon and Coke ribs

  • 3 kg beef ribs
  • 3 & 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 & 3/4 cups bourbon (or a little more if you’d like!)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Coke
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt

For the cauliflower purée (original recipe from Once Upon a Chef)

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (don’t worry about keeping florets intact) 
  • 40g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 140C (275F or gas mark 1). Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. In a heavy oven-proof dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high and sear each side of the ribs until they’ve turned to a nice caramelised brown colour, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside.
  2. In the same dutch oven (do not clean out), add the garlic, sautéing until lightly golden and fragrant. Follow with the onions, carrots, and celery, cooking over medium heat until tender, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, about 4-5 minutes in total.
  3. Add the bourbon to deglaze the pan, making sure to incorporate any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Follow with the Coke, bay leaves, and beef stock, stirring well, cooking until it starts to bubble.
  4. Lay the seared short ribs on top of the vegetables and cover the dutch oven. Place in the oven and cook for about 3-4 hours, until the short ribs are very tender and fall off the bone. If there is a lot of fat on top, use a baster to remove the excess fats. If there is too much liquid, place on range over medium-medium high to reduce the liquid. When it’s reduced, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, when the ribs are nearly almost done (give it about half an hour to go), bring the chicken broth and salt in a large pot to a boil over high medium-high heat. Add in the cauliflower and bring back to a boil.
  6. Cover, and reduce the heat to low and steam for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is very tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a food processor.
  7. Add 3 tablespoons of chicken broth from the pot, along with the unsalted butter. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add thyme and process until just combined.
  8. Serve the beef ribs on a bed of smooth cauliflower purée with blanched green beans. Enjoy!

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

Bourbon & Coke Beef Short Ribs

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

ps: just before I end things (yes, I saved this for last because the introduction was getting a tad bit too long than usual – I mean, sorry if my life got a little bit more interesting this week hehe), I wanted to say that on Sunday our beloved President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited the Sultanate for 3 days, and his first stop when he landed was to meet the Filipino Community in Brunei. The event, which was held at the National Indoor Stadium housed more than 6,500 Filipinos, out of the 23,000 residing in the Sultanate, greeted President Duterte that night. My Mom, my sister, and myself we’re among the 6,500:

President Rodrigo Roa Détente visits Brunei Darussalam

myTaste.com

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Hello Everyone! It’s week 2 of Cooking with Alcohol month and today I will be cooking with one of my favourite bevvys to have when I’m out with friends or just socialising with – well, this was back when I was in Australia and I don’t do it now; only if a friend throws a party and there’s red wine being served *cheeky grin*. Of course, using red wine in your cooking is just as good as having a glass or two (whispers: or more) on the weekends.

“Secondary cuts of meat are my favourite and I love to use them in this dish. Remember, you’ll need to start this the day before so the beef has time to marinate overnight in that gorgeous red wine. You really do need to use a bold red wine for this recipe, it makes all the difference — just make sure you buy an extra bottle to drink with the meal!” — Manu Feildel

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

Okay, so a little bit of a tangent before I move on to the recipe, this morning at work, my colleague asked me a question after she had seen the ingredients shot that I uploaded just minutes before she asked me this: “I have one question… Whenever you cook, do you always buy new ingredients?” At first I was confused, because obviously I buy meat and veggies when I need them so it’s always fresh, and then she pointed out that my block of butter was new as seen in the photograph below, and went on to point out a new tube of maple syrup in another photo, and a new jar of something which I can’t remember. Well, to answer your question, especially to the particular photograph that she pointed out this morning, yes, most of the stuff were new there because I didn’t have those ingredients in my pantry at that time. Then she saw another photograph that had the same tube of maple syrup that looked new. I then told her that I gently move it around so that the maple syrup sticks to the sides of the tube to make it look full. Also, in terms of butter, I always, and I repeat ALWAYS have a new block of untouched butter in the fridge for my photos, especially if it’s less than half a block already. I eventually use it anyway within the next couple of weeks – it’s not like it sits in the fridge for months/years.

Anyway, one last thing, but not a tangent – before I head on to the recipe, please visit Manu Feildel for the original recipe! I once made Manu’s recipe for Bœuf Bourguignon, while I was still studying in Australia. I made this dish during my second year of studies, and when I come to think of it, that was 4 years ago! I can’t believe how long ago that was! Well, I decided to whip it up again for this theme since I really enjoyed this dish the first time I cooked it. So don’t forget, as the man Manu said: you need to start the recipe a day before so that your beef cuts have enough time to soak in the marinade overnight. And of course, make sure you leave some wine behind, or buy an extra bottle to have with your Bœuf Bourguignon!

Bœuf Bourguignon Ingredients

PREP TIME min. 24 HOURS* | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

*If you didn’t read above, the beef needs to marinate overnight to soak up all the yummy flavours before cooking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2kg beef chuck

For the marinade

  • 1L red wine (Burgundy or Shiraz)*
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary**
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped

*I used Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet.

**Manu’s recipe used thyme, but at that moment I couldn’t find fresh thyme in the stores and I really didn’t want to use the dried kind – however, I had some sprigs of rosemary in the fridge leftover from another recipe I whipped up before this, so I used that instead.

For the stew

  • 250g brown mushrooms
  • 200g bacon, cut into bits
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 3 brown onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Fresh parsley
  • Pasta, mashed potato, gnocchi, or crusty French bread***

***I first paired my Bœuf Bourguignon with soft pillows of potato gnocchi, and any leftovers we had, we paired them with fettuccine pasta.

METHOD

  1. Place the chopped carrots, celery, and onions in a large bowl (or deep pyrex dish like I have) together with the minced garlic, rosemary sprigs, and bay leaves. Cut beef into large 4cm/1.5″ cubes and add to the dish with the aromatics. Pour over the red wine to submerge the meat and vegetables, then cover with some cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove beef from marinate and season well with salt and pepper. Strain out the marinade herbs and vegetables and discard, but reserve the liquid as this will be your sauce!
  3. Heat the butter and half of the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to foam, add in the meat and sear on all sides for a minute or two. Do this in batches if needed, and once done, set the meat and any pan juices aside.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pot, and add onions, carrots, and mushrooms, cooking until golden and caramelised on the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the bacon bits and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Return seared beef and juices to the pan and sprinkle over the plain flour. Stir well, and then add in the red wine liquid to the pan.
  6. Cover the surface of the liquid with a cartouche (baking paper lid), and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce it to a simmer and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until the beef is tender enough to pull apart with your fingers.
  7. Once tender, spoon the Bœuf Bourguignon into a dish, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with fresh pasta, mashed potato, potato gnocchi, or even a big wedge of crusty French bread. Enjoy!

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

Bœuf Bourguignon with Potato Gnocchi

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

Hello Everyone! Oh wow – it has definitely been a while since I last updated my blog (well, I don’t think two weeks is “a while” but it definitely is for me)! I feel like I’ve lost touch on how to write since my last post, but I’m guessing that it is just the fatigue speaking here. In a nutshell, I’ve been super busy for the past two months, and it was really difficult for me to just sit down and write with a clear mind. I had been staying in the office until 9/9:30pm every night and have been working on Sunday’s as well since April. I know I shouldn’t be complaining because my other colleagues already do this on a daily basis and stay even later as well – it’s just that I am not used to this way of working.

Anyway! So what have I been up to? I don’t even remember if I have mentioned this in any of my previous blog posts – if I have, the annual Sukan Ria Antara Syarikat Inter-company Sports Fest 2016 finally closed two Sunday’s ago. You would think that that would be such a relief, but nooooooo! Just 3 days later, the opening of the 18th Consumer Fair snuck up on us, and that lasted up until Sunday. Though things have slowed down a bit, I still feel the stress from the past 2 months – and I believe it’s just because I haven’t had a proper rest yet. That’s right, right after the closing of the 18th Consumer Fair, we still had to report to work the next day at 8am *sigh*. Well, I’m just excited and really looking forward to the upcoming long weekend to just sit back, relax, and catch up on some cooking for my blog (doesn’t exactly scream relaxing, but cooking does made me happy).

Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

For the month of June, I will be sharing some delicious pasta recipes with you. I do believe that I mentioned about sharing some yummy mango recipes with you for this month – but I unfortunately did not have any time at all to make any dishes at all and mangoes are not in season anymore. So here’s a recipe for a classic bolognese sauce with pappardelle and homemade meatballs:

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sauce

  • 250g pappardelle (or any other pasta)
  • 125g baby brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chicken or beef stock
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, cut into small chunks
  • 1 red birds-eye chilli, sliced (optional for that added kick of spice)
  • 1/2 green capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Knob of unsalted butter
  • Mozzarella cheese, grated

For the meatballs

  • 250g minced beef
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 medium-sized red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs*
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Bocconcini balls
  • Ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

*You can buy readily made bread crumbs from the shelves or you can make your own by lightly toasting some stale bread (if you have some in handy) and then blitz it in the food processor.

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C (375F or gas mark 5). Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. For the meatballs: Add all the ingredients, except for the bocconcini balls, to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Shape the mixture into small to medium-sized balls and press a bocconcini ball (cut into smaller pieces if it is too big) into the meatball. Gently place onto the prepared baking tray and repeat with the remaining meat, about a dozen to fifteen balls altogether depending on the size. Place in the oven and bake until browned, about 10 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. For the sauce: Heat about a tablespoon of oil together with a knob of unsalted butter in a large frying pan over medium-high. Sauté the garlic until golden and fragrant, then add the chillies and onions. Sauté until the onions are soft and then add in carrots, followed by the celery, and then the mushrooms. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the dried bay leaves, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Give it a good mix and then turn the heat down to low, cover and let it simmer for about 15 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Finally, add in the capsicum and meatballs, cooking for a further 5-8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the pappardelle according to packet instructions.
  6. Remove the sauce from the heat and serve over the hot pasta. Top with the meatballs and a handful of grated mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!

Pappardelle with Homemade Cheese-stuffed Meatballs

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Hello Everyone! I can’t believe that January flew by that quickly! We’re already into the second month of the new year but I feel as if though the year has just started! It’s going to be a short month too since it’s February. Anyway, when I got up this morning, I came across a photo on Instagram with the caption:

“Did y’all make New Year Resolutions? How’s it going so far? If you got lazy, you can always start back up today.”

We’re all human, and we all fall into that trap of not keeping our resolutions, but it is indeed never too late to start back up today… Or tomorrow. As long as you are determined to continue going, you will probably reach your end goal. One of my resolutions is to get fit and eat healthy, and I can honestly say that I haven’t been keeping up with this for the past 2 weeks. I’ve been busy with deadlines and helping out in a 5-day event that ended on the weekend, that I have completely ignored exercising and eating right. I am now determined to get back on track, but I feel a sore throat coming down so who knows when I’ll be able to get back on track – but I ain’t giving up that’s for sure.

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

Tonight, I want to share an experimental recipe that I whipped up a few weeks ago. I rarely cook with quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah), and the sole reason for that is because it is very expensive – the bag of 280g (just a little bit under 2 cups) I bought already set me back $12.80. If we take a second to overlook the cost of quinoa, it is actually very beneficial to our health. It is incredibly nutritious as its fibre content is much higher than most grains. It is also very high in protein, containing the essential amino acids that we need . Quinoa contains a great amount of minerals – minerals that we other do not get enough of, especially magnesium, potassium, and zinc. If you would like to read up more on the health benefits of quinoa, click here.

I usually cannot go with a meal if it doesn’t have some sort of meat on the plate – which is why I decided to match this salad with another hit of protein from pan-searing a nice slab of rump steak. I was kind of going for medium-rare, but I think the beef turned out to be a bit more towards the rarer side of medium-rare. Nonetheless, it was delicious indeed (my mom seared the meat a little longer after cutting these few slices). You can pair it with any other meats if you wish, or have it completely vegetarian or vegan; whatever tickles your fancy.

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g rump steak
  • 250g green beans, ends trimmed
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 2 cups chicken stock*
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup wild rocket leaves
  • 1 red capsicum
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil fry pan-searing

For the dressing

  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

*You can make you own stock by boiling chicken carcasses for about half an hour, together with whole black peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt. Or you can use the store bought ones, again, whatever tickles your fancy.

METHOD

  1. Bring the quinoa and chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat down to low, cover, and then simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. While the quinoa is simmering away, blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 5-6 minutes. Once done, transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This ensures that you’ll have nice and crisp green beans in your salad. Drain and then add to the large mixing bowl.
  3. Season the beef with some ground salt and black pepper. Bring a large frying pan with olive oil to a heat over high, until it starts to smoke. Add your steak and sear for about 2-3 minutes per side for rare, 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, 4-5 minutes for medium-well, or 5+ minutes per side for well done. Once done, set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. While the beef is resting, you can move on to roasting the capsicum. Rub the red capsicum with a little bit of oil and place directly on open flame of gas stove. Rotate occasionally so that the red capsicum blisters and chars on all sides. Once done, set aside to cool down. Peel the skin off and cut into strips once it has cooled down enough to handle. Add to the large mixing bowl together with the rocket leaves and feta cheese.
  5. Whisk the lemon juice, honey, oil, and paprika in a small bowl until well combined. Add to the large mixing bowl and toss the salad around until well coated and combined.
  6. Serve the salad topped with a few slices of the rump steak. Enjoy!

Quinoa, Green Beans, and Roasted Capsicum Salad with Pan-seared Rump Steak

ps: do not be deceived by the portion of this dish. I just used an oversized dish to plate it up. This kept me quite full for a few hours and I didn’t even finish everything on the plate!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue Braised in Tomato Sauce)

Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue Braised in Tomato Sauce)

Hello Everyone! We’re a third of the way into our 12 days of Festive Filipino Foods, and tonight I will be sharing something a little bit unusual, and when I say unusual, I mean it’s not something that I would think to buy in the stores and cook it myself. It is rather foreign and exotic for some, where adjectives such as gross or yucky is used to describe a dish where tongue is used. I don’t recall ever having lengua before – actually, now that I’ve said that, I have had it before, but only the ones that have been sliced very thinly and  grilled at a Korean BBQ Restaurant in Sydney. If you don’t think about the fact that you are eating tongue, it actually feels like you’re having beef brisket.

Upon doing further research, I have found that many different cuisine and cultures are accustomed to ox tongue. For example, it is a major ingredient in the making of what is called tongue toast in North America, where it is used in an open-faced sandwich served for either breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as an hors d’œuvre. In Mexico, it is widely used in their burritos and tacos. Tongue is also widely prepared, and considered a delicacy in many parts of South America, Asia, and European countries including Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, and Poland to name a few.

Ox (beef) tongue is often prepared by boiling the meat first in various spices, and only after that is the skin removed. It is then cooked further by either braising it in a sauce, grilling, or roasting it in the oven. Tonight, I will be sharing with you a recipe for ox tongue braised in tomato sauce, and served with some mushrooms, olives, and potatoes on the side. Estofado is a Filipino method of cooking based on Spanish influences where it involves the braising or stewing of meat like beef or pork knuckles. Sugar, garlic, soy sauce and a bay leaf are among the other ingredients added into the pot during this process. Lengua Estofado is of a Hispanic origin and has been adapted to suit the palates of Filipinos due to centuries of Spanish colonisation. Despite initial impressions of the dish being gross and yucky, it is quite a popular dish during family gatherings, especially for Noche Buena.

Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue Braised in Tomato Sauce) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10-15 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 35 MINS | SERVES 4-5

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg ox tongue
  • 1 punnet (250g) cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 125g green olives stuffed with feta
  • 3 red bird’s eye chillies
  • 2-3 dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large potato, washed and sliced thinly
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small brown onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Ground salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Knob of butter
  • Whole black peppercorns

METHOD

  1. Add the ox tongue, bay leaves, whole peppercorns, and salt to a large pot filled with water. Boil the ox tongue for about an hour until tender. Once done, remove from the pot and set aside to cool down a bit after which you can then peel the skin off the tongue and then slice the meat into about 1-cm thick slices. Don’t forget to reserve some of the stock for when we braise it later.
  2. Heat oil a large frying pan over medium-high and sauté the minced garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Then add in the tomatoes and cook until soft, about 2 minutes altogether. Follow with the tomatoes and cook until soft, a further 3-4 minutes.
  3. Next, add the slices of lengua and season it with a bit of ground salt and black pepper. Give it a good mix before adding about a cup and a half of the reserved stock. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the tomato paste and chillies. Stir, and leave to braise for a further 30 minutes.
  4. While the tongue is braising away, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a medium-sized pan and fry the potato slices until golden and crispy. Transfer to a dish lined with a paper towel to absorb and excess oils. Work in batches if necessary.
  5. Remove the oil from the pan and melt the knob of butter. Add the mushroom slices in and sauté until the mushrooms are soft.
  6. Once the long is done, plate up accordingly and serve immediately. Share with the family and enjoy!

Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue Braised in Tomato Sauce)

Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue Braised in Tomato Sauce)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com