Stories have always been shared over a good meal. Perhaps, the best of them have been churned over dinner while masticating a generous beef cuisine. Eid-ul-Azha reminds us again of the practice, recalling fond memories over a good piece of cooked meat, especially by chef - mom and sous chef - dad.
I particularly like making this with qurbani beef for three reasons – it's fresh meat, can keep the meat for a long time and is really versatile to eat. We use them in sandwiches, in salads, and also into thin slices with cheese. It's simply a great snack to have around the house.
½ cup salt
1 cup white vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice
10 garlic cloves
Crushed black pepper
2 kg boneless beef chunk (whole piece of undercut)
1 cup butter at room temperature
Take the chunk of meat and prick it all over with a fork.
Mix the vinegar and lemon juice.
Slit 10 large incisions into the meat. Try to make the incisions on all side. The incisions have to be large enough to put a clove of garlic in it.
Place the meat in a large sealable box. Take a spoon and pour the vinegar mixture over the beef. Make sure you coat the piece of meat properly on all sides. Next take the salt and pepper and pack the salt all over the meat.
Now put the cloves into the slits that you prepared earlier.
Cover the box and refrigerate. I like to marinate the beef in the preservation mixture for 2 days. If you want to make it earlier than you can marinate for 24 hours. The longer you marinate the softer the meat will become.
While you are marinating the beef chunk, occasionally take it out at and turn the piece over. Try to turn it around at least 4 or 5 times.
After you are done marinating, take the beef out and put it an oven proof dish.
Take the butter and with a brush, brush the butter all over the beef. Don't hold back, use all of the butter!
Now place the dish in a preheated oven at 160/170 degrees. And bake for 2 to 3 hours. The slow cooking ensures the beef to be soft and moist.
Cool the beef, take out the garlic and refrigerate for further use.
ROASTED MUTTON LEG WITH GARLIC AND ROSEMARY
Mutton legs are one of my favourite things to make post Eid. It's a classic recipe, and even though it takes a long time to cook, the results are amazing. The garlic and rosemary takes away the smell of the mutton.
Leg of Lamb (preferably 2 kgs)
10 garlic cloves, cut in half
10 whole cloves of garlic
2 tsp crushed garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp smoked paprika (use 1 or 2 tsp chilli powder if you want it hot)
2 carrots cut into large chunks
10 potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
3 cups beef stock
In a bowl, mix crushed garlic, olive oil and paprika/chilli powder. Bathe the lamb with the mixture. Make sure you rub the mixture all over. Then you need to stud the mutton leg. Using a sharp knife, make around 20 or more incisions into the meat. Put the garlic into each incision and also push a sprig of rosemary into them.
Cover and refrigerate the lamb for one hour.
Heat the oven at 180 C degrees.
Take an oven proof dish and make a bed of potatoes and carrots at the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the whole garlic cloves over the vegetables. Then place a few sprigs of rosemary.
Pour 3 cups of beef stock over the vegetables. Take the lamb out of the fridge, and place it on top of the potatoes and carrots bed.
Place in the oven for 2 hours. Turn the leg over after one hour. But please check the meat. Mutton takes a long time to cook. Prick the meat with a fork to see if it's soft. You might have to keep it longer or for a shorter period. It depends on the age of the goat or the size of the leg!
Once cooked remove the lamb, cover it with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Take out the vegetables from the dish and pour out the juices/stock from the dish. Put it through a sieve. The juices of the vegetables and the lamb will give a rich rounded flavour to the stock.
I like to thicken the gravy. In a pan, heat the butter and add the flour. Cook off the flour, take the pan off the heat and pour in the stock. Put it back on the stove Bring it to a simmer while you keep stirring so that the flour incorporates with the stock and creates a silky gravy.
Serve the lamb with the roasted veggies, salad, mashed potatoes and the gravy.
SAMOSAS WITH JHURA-MANGSHO
Everyone has their favourite recipe for jhura-mangsho, so I won't waste your time by giving mine. I make samosas with jhura-mangsho, which is somewhat inspired by my grandmother's pitha samosas. Trust me these turn out super yummy.
½ kg jhura beef preparation
2 large onions thinly sliced
4 green chillies, chopped
1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
Spring roll sheets
Flour and water paste
Mix the beef with the onions, chilli and coriander leaves. I like to do it with my hand so that the ingredients are mixed well.
Take a spring roll sheet and cut it into four long strips.
Spoon a teaspoon of mixture at the bottom of each strip. Fold over the bottom to resemble the shape of a triangle. Keep folding in a zigzag manner and when you come to the end smear some flour water paste and seal the samosa.
Deep fry and serve. You can also freeze the rest.
Along with all the beef, you will also have a lot of bones after qurbani. One option is to make a big pot of nehari, but that is very rich and not suited for the warm weather. If you want to opt for something lighter you can make a lovely, fragrant Asian style beef broth and use if to make different type of soups throughout the month. Make a large batch, freeze in separate freezer boxes and use when you are in the mood for soup.
2 to 3 kg beef bones (combination of knuckles and marrow bones), ask the butcher to chop the bones into small pieces
1 kg boneless beef chunk
2 large whole onions, peeled
1 thumb sized ginger piece, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 bulb of garlic
2 dried chilli peppers
2 large star anise (you can replace with one tbsp aniseed tied in a cheese cloth)
½ tsp whole black pepper
Put all the ingredients in the pot and cover it with cold water. I use a large stock pot – the size should be around 15 litres. Bring it to a boil. When the water starts boiling, lower the flame and let it simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 4 to 5 hours. Remove the chunk of meat after 2 hours. And keep simmering the stock with the bones. I use this beef chunk in soups. If you boil it for too long it will get dry and tough. Check the stock every hour and skim the fat and the layer of foam from the top of the pot with a spoon.
ASIAN INSPIRED BEEF NOODLE SOUP
8 cups beef broth
3 inch slice of ginger, 1 star anise
2 tsp light soy sauce, 4 tsp fish sauce
300g dry rice noodles
4 green onions, sliced, 2 cup bean sprouts
1 cup coriander leaves, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Previously cooked beef chunk from broth, cut into thin slices
Take a pot and pour in the stock. Chuck in the ginger and star anise. Bring to boil on medium heat, add the soy sauce and fish sauce. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Put another pot of hot water and bring it to boil. Pour the water on the noodles and let it steep for 6 to 7 minutes or according to the directions on the noodle packet.
Slice the beef chunk that we used while making the stock. If you had refrigerated it then add the slices to the boiling stock. If you are making the soup on the day you made the stock, then just slice the beef and set aside.
Take four soup bowls and divide the noodles into them. Place the beef slices on top of the noodles. Ladle the hot soup into the bowls. Top it off with green onions, bean sprouts, coriander and basil leaves.
Serve with a lemon slice.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed