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  #1  
Old 10-07-2011, 09:35 AM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default Ode to the Browning of Meat

all the hooha about searing in juices triggered another of my favorite 'quirky cooking interpretations' - namely "brown the meat and . . . ."'

probably preaching to the choir, but anyway:

this came to a point when my son - who is a avid cook but like so many people lacks the opportunity to devote huge chunks of time to the topic - was visiting. spaghetti with (ground beef) sauce was on the menu. his comment was "gosh how do you do that? mine never quite tastes as good."

long story short, it browning the meat. "browning" the meat does not mean just making it turn from bloody red to insipid brown. that one can do in the microwave. heat red blood, it turns brown.

"browning the meat," imho, means putting a sear on most of it. haven't written any cookbooks, don't work in a four star kitchen - just practical experience.

for "ground beef" I push up the heat and toss until about 50% of the crumbles have some notable color - past yukkie brown to dark brown & crisp outside.

as I stood fixing chili, this all came to mind so I grabbed the camera.

here's the red-turning-brown beef - diced up USDA choice top round was the cut - on sale - $2.44 for 0.98 lb. one can see the color change, but that ain't "browned" to me.


pushing it right along, here's what I consider 'dang near browned" - I'll take pix, just don't ask me to sacrifice my dinner - the pix is a bit early, I took this pan further. as I mentioned in the other post(s) - for stuff going into a 'wet cook' dish - chili in this case - dark red kidney beans + "schufft" I push the brown past "average" because most of that color&crisp is going to dissolve into the liquid "mix"


the ad-hoc chili was a hit - probably far from original but:
two ultra-generous portions - stretch to four . . .
3/4 cup dry red kidney beans - bring to a boil, simmer for 2 hrs, add water as needed
with
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced banana pepper (frozen garden stock)
1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen supermarket variety, sigh)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
salt to taste
BAM it up a notch with cayenne if you please.

sliced & cubed the meat - salted & peppered & dusted with garlic powder - rested about an hour
brown the meat with a smidge of olive oil, when nearly done toss in 1-1/2 handful diced scallion.

when the beans are tender, add meat mix to bean mix - low low simmer for 30-45 minutes.

loaf of saltines, a jug of wine, hot chili - what else I need?
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2011, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

Now that's a perfect pan of browned meat!
Mmmmmm!
(I like your chili recipe too)
Indeed, what else would you need?
Delicious!
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

Good info chow. Interesting.
I have not browned that far but your post makes sense. I plan to try it next time we have spaghetti.
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:08 PM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

thanks guys - give a deeper browning a try - it's definitely worth the effort!
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChowderMan View Post
... loaf of saltines, a jug of wine, hot chili - what else I need?
BEER, BEER, BEER!!!

LOL!

Great post, Chowder! Thanks!

Lee
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

WONDERFUL!!

I brown/sear meat (almost ALL meat of any variety before I "finish" it whatever way) till it has a nice colorful crust and the kitchen gets a bit smoky. LOL
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbopeep View Post
WONDERFUL!!

I brown/sear meat (almost ALL meat of any variety before I "finish" it whatever way) till it has a nice colorful crust and the kitchen gets a bit smoky. LOL
Me too. Dad taught me to brown until it is almost but not quite burned.
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leni View Post
Me too. Dad taught me to brown until it is almost but not quite burned.
YUP!! I learned buy trial and taste. LOL
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

Your method of searing is the same degree that I take beef and pork roasts to prior to baking, but after reading your description for chili, I'm going to use this method for stew and chili. That "carmelizing" (someone used that term in Qsis's thread) has to add another dimension of flavor to those dishes. Thanks for the tutorial.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

I'm going to give that deep browning a try the next time I make meat sauce or chili too. An added depth of flavor we didn't even know we were missing!
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

This is exactly why I buy primal cuts of meat, or double thick cuts if it's on the shelf. You will never get a proper sear on those wafer thin pieces of meat the supermarkets put out there. All you'll wind up with is a gray piece of shoe leather.

Also, for good browning you need 2 things:
1) high heat and
B) fat

If you think you're going to get some browning on a "london broil" or any very lean meat without adding some sort of fat you're wrong.

For steaks on the grill I like to use a 3" thick steak, ribeye. I sear all sides over high heat, then reduce the heat until I reach the temp I want. I'll serve the steak by slicing as you would do a london broil, and you wind up with a tender center and nice crispy/well seasoned exterior.

Burgers seared in brown butter.

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Old 10-11-2011, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Ode to the Browning of Meat

Flank steak rubbed on both sides with oil then seasoned and cooked on a cast iron stove top grill pan





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