Earlier this year I made cholent, a traditional Jewish dish that is braised overnight to avoid kitchen work on shabbat. Now low-temperature braised beef is a wonderful thing, and so I decided to take this concept and use it for a more generic approach that does require some work the next day.
Tongue is another meat that does not have the best reputation. But if you think about it, the tongue of any animal is pure muscle meat, even though the texture is rather different from say steak. I have always loved tongue so when I saw an entire beef tongue on offer I couldn't resist.
Some people say it's dog food, others love it. Tripe is a typical poor man's food of the past, but in Germany is has become almost forgotten, except in Swabia. My mother was born near Stuttgart, and in her youth she learnt to prepare all the traditional Swabian dishes. This is how she cooks tripe.
Cholent is a meat stew usually eaten on shabbat. It is prepared on Friday and simmered overnight so it can be eaten without breaking the "no cooking" (bishul) shabbat rule.
During my last visit of the Viktualienmarkt in Munich two lovely pieces of beef shortrib caught my eye at the Eisenreich butcher's shop. They loudly cried "barbecue me!". So I bought them and obliged.
I have always wanted to make flank steak but I never got around it so far. As a condiment to go with the steak I had the idea to make a mayonnaise with herbs, also to test the blending capabilites of my Magimix food processor which so far I have only used for chopping sausage meat.
Doppelbock is a very good beer for cooking because its sweetness stronlgy offsets the bitterness of the hops. In braising doppelbock can replace red wine in numerous cases without problem like with oxtail.
"The stockwurst is as good as dead.", Bavarian satirist Gerhard Polt said in an interview [link in German] over 15 years ago. A good stockwurst is just as good as a weisswurst, and it would be a shame if this type of sausage eventually became extinct.
I came across an interesting article on the New York Times website that includes a bit of Texas chili history that so far I was unaware of. Apparently German immigrants had an influence on chili too via the goulash recipes they brought with them to America from Europe.
Ox or beef cheeks are quite a tough cut, they are the heavily used muscles the cows use for chewing. Their high content of connective tissue makes them a prime candidate for slow braising. Clasically, ox cheeks are braised in red wine or port, this recipe uses sweet red vermouth instead.