TOAST’s Web “Thing”

Wednesday, 2007-02-07

Master Stock Tripe (Failure)

Filed under: Cooking / Eating,Recipes — by Toast d'Béchamel @ 11:46 pm

Greetings all y’all

I got through my first month of “not buying anything at a supermarket” with ease.  I’m healthier, wealthier and full ‘o’ MEAT!  I think I’m now considered a “regular” at my local butcher, noice.  I’ve been buying a lot of the rest at “Ashfield Fruit World”, a gigantic place, full of fun.  I’m still looking for a half decent poulterer and deli, the ones I’ve been going to seem to have lost the will to live.

This week I’ve got a bit of a whacked-out schedule, day trips to Newcastle, 2 sets of workshops in the evening, and a full workload in between.  So I decided to wake up the master stock from a few weeks vacation, throw in a bunch of meat and set myself up for the whole week.  I’ve been waking up very early, and if I put my rice cooker on the night before, I can start the day with an Omurice (rice omelet) while watching “Hey Dad !” at 6am, make a meat-cabbage-rice pack for lunch, and if I totally run out of time, have another one for dinner.  If I’ve got a couple of types of meat in there, I can easily go for a week like this without getting tired of it.

On the streets of Hong Kong, there are many tiny, tiny restaurants specialising in one thing or another, sometimes with exactly *one* dish on the menu.  Something, which I’ve mentioned previously is the slow-cooked briskets, tripe and other beef innards, in a “perpetual” stew.  Similar principle to master-stock cooking, but instead of soy / sugar / star anise / tangerine, it’s milder, beefier, and you can eat the resulting stock as a soup with your meats and some noodles.  I’ve got an ambition to do this, but for the moment, I thought I’d practice with my now six month old master stock.

You really expect us to swallow this tripe?

Cheap as chips.  Actually, not as cheap as you might think.  There’s not a lot of demand for tripe, a lot of what a butcher will buy will the thrown away and it’s labour intensive as you have to clean it like mad.  You should try and find a butcher who has at least a moderate turnover of tripe.  Although you may not think it, offal freshness is often more important than for other meats, as you can’t really tell two day old tripe, unlike a steak which will be moving from red to pink/grey.  Still, this stuff is under $5 a kilo, and there’s no bones or trim.  And yes, I’ll admit, when I was a kid I used to have nightmares about this stuff.  It took me many years to work out that it’s wasn’t the tripe, but the microwave white sauce (clag) that I was scared of.

Spooky?

There she is.  This week is extra licorice root, extra star anise, all the tangerine peel I could find, rock sugar, rice wine but no dark soy as the thing was getting too black.  I had 3 large pieces of brisket (about 2kg) and half a kilo of tripe in there for 3 hours, took them out and threw in a kilo of mid-wings for a 10 minute boil and 10 minute steep.

Failure

BZZT!, failure.  The brisket and chicken were great, in fact, the colour of the chicken was the best I’ve ever got it, but the tripe?  No.  I forgot that tripe acts like a great big sponge (like a mushroom or tofu), and in 3 hours, turned a very interesting jet-black.  But it was salty, and the licorice flavour too concentrated.  Although I did get the texture / cooking time pretty close.  Oh yeah, excuse my cutting board, the meats were straight out of the pot and got soy sauce on everything they touched (live and learn).

Next time for sure.  My master stock (I think it needs a name, send in your suggestions) is spending a week in the big fridge, and will get a skim and be back on duty next weekend.  I’m going to try a 1-2 hour boil in plain water first, and a 15 minute soak in the master stock (and then might fry a bit).  While it’s out there… who knows.  If you throw six chicken wings in for twenty minutes, someone will definitely end up eating them 🙂

Chow down dudes ! “New” Japanese episodes of Iron Chef on SBS this week, and a new series of the US “top chef” is on lifestyle food.  Valentine’s day coming up, be finalising your menus and planning your shopping by this weekend. Unless of course, you’re going to a restaurant this Valentine’s day, in which case, as usual, you’ll get exactly what you deserve.

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1 Comment »

  1. I remember the poor bastards in the mountain chain room at the abs when I worked there, it was lower down in the place and probably only one step up from the shit room. I remember hearing they actually made more money from exporting the offal that the rest of the cow!

    Comment by Tim Chmielewski — Thursday, 2007-04-26 @ 9:45 pm


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