Asian tacos

tacos plated, with top round marinated with Asian flavors

Large top round purchased on sale for half price. I couldn't help myself. Just threw it in the basket with a promise to think about what to do with it later.

Sliced the whole thing thinly into a huge pile. Marinated with Asian flavors, soy sauce, rice vinegar, rasped garlic and ginger. The whole time I was doing that I was thinking, "This is just wrong."

But I don't care. I didn't intend anything specific, I just wanted flavorful beef, and those are the flavors I grew up with, the flavor profile, so to speak, that I go to reflexively. Just to throw a wrench into the works, I added cumin and coriander because I like them. I like both those things, Mexican and Asian flavors.

The sliced meat was left to marinate for hours until I got tired of waiting, then it was pan-fried in batches in my largest pan to give it burnt edges and to develop layers of fond in the pan. The fond was lifted with water and the fond-laden water poured into the bottom of a pressure cooker but not above the trivet. Of course I tasted the meat. The meat was delicious if a little bit tough. Tough meat would not work very well for tacos which was an idea beginning to take shape in my mind. I wanted to use those taco shells that stand up by themselves. I wanted something salady and crunchy. My tacos would be Asian. The whole time I'm still thinking, "This is just wrong." But I don't care.

The pressure cooker made short work of the connective tissue. The meat is now quite tender, almost too tender and fragile. Perfect for tacos. Cooked to well-done, a little bit burnt and with very flavorful liquid.

* soy sauce
* rice vinegar
* water
* rasped fresh garlic and ginger
* S/P
* cumin
* chile flakes

For the Tacos:
* top round cut thinly and marinated, fried and pressure cooked.
* home-grown balcony tomato diced.
* cheddar cheese in nicks.
* green lettuce, sliced into ribbons.
* white onion diced
* Stand 'n Stuff taco shells
* cilantro

The eerie weirdness-of-coincidence thing was, when I sat down to enjoy my completely wrong Asian tacos, and I did enjoy them a lot, they hit the spot, right then Alton Brown came up on the Food Network hosting some kind of competition. I wish they would stop that crap and just have experts show me how to make stuff. Alton took the competing chefs to Los Angeles and assembeled them in front of a taco cart. He said the thing that the Chairman (of Iron Chef) admires most about American cuisine is its propensity for fusion of cuisines of other cultures using American ingredients into a wholly new and dynamic thing. The chefs were a bit astonished to find themselves standing in front of a Korean Taco mobile. That's just wrong! So while I'm munching on tacos of my own perverse fusion through impulses that steer me to totally wrong tacos, I'm vindicated at that very moment by the content on the Food Network, if it is at all possible to be vindicated by anything on the Food Network, a premise that properly trained chefs would eagerly dispute.

1 comment:

Avierra said...

I so agree with you about wishing Food Network would have shows about how to cook things. I really liked it when they had actual shows like that. I think the reality show biz has ruined things for everyone. I do like Alton's own show a lot, but I think he makes things too complicated. Watching him make coffee-- although that might have been his Eating Asphalt show-- was just painful. I suppose he gets really good results though.

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