Sunday, October 28, 2012

12" Meat Sheet

In discussing food with  a friend I told him I would send him some recipes, I started typing them out and realized that the amount of work going in to simply committing things to "paper" is such that I might as well publish them for the benefit of others (should such people exist who are interested!) As such this blog will now have some recipes posted and ideally some more content in general seeing as I feel writing is something that is both important and something I should be better at. To that end I begin with a classic recipe of mine that I have not made, nor eaten in some time as I'm trying to eat as  little bread and sugar as possible these days. None the less I believe that this is quite tasty:

I prefer to not give measurements in my recipes because I tend to cook by sight, smell, and feel. But for the sake of trying to make this more coherent for people who prefer numbers I will make estimations from memory. As such feel free to increase or decrease any of these parameters. I feel that cooking should be a personal process and not mechanically followed from some piece of paper. Pay attention to what you are doing, how things are smelling, be involved with what you are going to eat not, what the paper says to do. The territory is not the map, the material you have to work with is not the same as what's on the list. Your individual needs may differ from what a recipe dictates, do not be held in thrall by an algorithm. Taste is personal, so to should the manner in which you cook be.

Trace's 12” Meat Sheet

Ingredients:                                                         Glaze:

Ground beef                                           Whole grain mustard
Baguette*                                                Honey or Molasses
Egg                                                                Ketchup
Ketchup                                                  Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Soy Sauce
Herbs D'Provence


I will attempt measurements after the introduction of an ingredient. For the sake of scaling I will be using 1lb of beef, which will not in fact create a 12” meat sheet. But that is the original name I gave this dish and I think it's funny so it stays.

In a large bowl place the ground beef (1lb). Take the baguette(~1/3 whole baguette) and shred by hand into small pieces (or cut into medium dice, but I find that irregular edges made by tearing the bread provide better soaking and crisping.). Cut onion(1 large) into large to medium dice and place in bowl with the baguette pieces.

Add the following into the bowl with the beef and bread:

Egg (2)
Ketchup (¼ cup)
Worcestershire sauce(1tbl)
Adobo (1tbl)
Soy Sauce (1tbl)
Herbs D'Provence (2tsp)
Ginger (½ tbl)
Cumin ( 2 tsp)
Garlic (4 cloves minced)
Salt (2 tsp maybe less, keeping in mind the salt already in the soy sauce)
Pepper (2tsp)

Mix this by hand until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. When fully mixed place on to cookie shit, ideally one with a lip around the edges as when this cooks it will release a lot of liquid that you don't want burning onto the bottom of your oven. Then spread the mixture out across the cookie sheet into roughly a 1/4~1/2 inch thick layer. Make sure the thickness is uniform across the cookie sheet to insure equivalent cooking.

The glaze will consist of the following:
Whole grain mustard (4tbl)
Ketchup (4tbl)
Honey or Molasses (1tbl)
Worcestershire sauce (1tsp)

Mix the 4 ingredients together. If you enjoy honey then use honey. Sometimes if you get good local honey the flavor can be particularly strong, and often somewhat floral. As such molasses makes a excellent substitute but either one will work equally well. Though I am partial to molasses. Take the glaze and spread evenly across the top of the meat sheet. If this proves to be to thin for your taste you can always make more glaze and put a thicker layer on top.

In an oven preheated to 375 bake the meat sheet for approximately 15 minutes. Ideally what will happen is that the glaze will caramelize and the outside surface of the meat sheet will become slightly crusty and delicious. This is particularly true of the bits of baguette that will be sticking out of the sheet. When the outside is completely cooked and looking crispy tasty, take out of the oven and let it sit for a minute or two, then cut into portion sized squares and enjoy.

*I prefer baguette but any sufficiently dense strong bread should suffice. The bread needs to be able to hold up to the amount of liquid that will be infusing it.

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