Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cutting Chicken

From time to time, my customers comment on my lemon chicken.  Some say it's nice and tender and some say it's not tender.  I always trained my staff to cut against the grain from the tip.  I didn't realize it made so much difference until I had a new staff on board who cut it wrong.  I then experimented : the same breast was cut against the grain and towards the grain.   My staff were very surprised with the results.  How can the same piece of meat taste so different ?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

From boneless to bone in.

Our boneless beef chuck short ribs has been a hit since its launch. It's slow cooked for 48 hours and turns out extremely tender and juicy.  Lately,  there appears to be problems with the quality of the meat and the marbling if the meat is not very even.  It never occurred to me until Leeanne refused to eat it.  She told me that the meat had no taste.

Since all meat in Hong Kong is imported some where,  I decided to look into the beef short ribs with the bone in.  It appears that the marbling and quality of the meat is more even and so I've decided to change the cut of the meat from our boneless chuck ribs to a bone-in beef short ribs.  It may upset some customers as the media as been reporting our chuck short ribs as boneless,  but then, I would rather upset a few customers than to serve food that is not good enough for the restaurant. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sous vide vs slow cooked beef cheeks

I got some beef cheeks from my beef supplier and decided to slow cook some of it in a crock pot and compare it with sous vide.  The cheeks were both seared first.  Some white onions were sweated and a gerenous amount of white wine was splashed on.  Stock was then added and the mixture was reduced.  This liquid was then used as the braising liquid for both the crocker and sous vide.  The crocker style beef cheeks were cooked for about 6 hours whilst the sous vide beef cheeks cooked for 24 hours. 

They turned out very differently.  What I liked about the crock pot beef cheeks was that it was extremely tender and the meat fell apart.  Unfortunately, the braising liquid contained all the flavour and without the sauce, the meat would be dry.  On the other hand, sous vide beef cheeks cooked medium does not work.  We cooked the beef cheeks at 60 degrees celsius and although the meat was medium done and tender, it had a strange texture.  I guess it was partly because of the cut of the meat.  I guess for this cut of meat, it does need to be sous vide at much higher temperatures in order to achieve a nice texture and taste.