Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Hot Beef Injection?

Anger Burger still inspires me, despite Sunday's blog absence. Flipping through the site for dinner ideas a few days ago, I came across Sunday's recipe for Bowl Noodle Hot, essentially a slow-cooked Asian beef soup designed to be a salty, tangy vehicle for noodles and veggies and the giant hunks of beef you simmer with it. Hmm. I did what probably should have had a terrible result: forgot the beef and made it anyway. IT WAS AWESOME.

The method is pretty simple: everything gets plonked in a giant pot, brought to the boil and simmered on low for hours. You start off with pretty bright veggies - it looks bright and fun, but ends up a gorgeous thick dark mess with a layer of (very attractive) sludge. Sieve it and you have a seriously fantastic soup going on there. As far as the recipe, if you ignore the lack of beef here I didn't really deviate from the recipe too much; I used my homemade stock concentrate (via the recipe at Appetite Affliction - brilliant stuff, so convenient!) instead of beef broth and added a small sprinkle of Massel's beef powder to attempt to get a 'beef noodle' flavour. No Kitchen Bouquet, because I don't know what it is. A little Maggi Seasoning instead. No Szechuan peppercorns because we're wusses in this here house - I did throw in some of the regular variety though. This gets super salty and condensed, so add water as you feel it's needed - I probably added two-three cups on and off as it simmered. I didn't measure my vinegar, just tasted as I went along. It's a great addition; if you have it, use it - it helps with the complexity of the flavours something fierce.

Organic ramen from the supermarket (something seems ironic in there), dumplings and my favourite firm tofu fried crispy. I wouldn't do the dumplings again but the tofu really is amazing here. The broth is salty and rather intense and the crispy, kind of egginess of plain fried superfirm tofu does wonders. Next time I'll keep the 'fu but add some veg - Sunday suggests carrot and daikon, and I'll definitely use bok choy. If I had a barbecue, I'd use PPK's grilled ramen recipe for the veggies, because that sounds delicious. This was an awesome dinner with a pretty minor amount of effort. And there's still a decent amount of stock left to reduce down and freeze, so there will be more of this in the future. Brilliant. I'm going to go sit down and congratulate myself on this one.

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