Jul 17, 2010

How to cook like Bea and me.

First off, what the hell is wrong with me?  I drive-by post on my own blog and that's just sad, especially when I drive-by with a pity party like that last one was.  Jeeeez.

In the interest of moving onward and upward and just being an all-around more pleasant person, I decided to cook something...interesting. But first off, this is Beatrice, also known as Bea, Bebe, Miss America and before she was spayed, Miss Antsy-Pantsy.   Bea is a character...one of those cats full of personality and quirks.  Many quirks. Lately, she has decided it is fun to cook with me since she gets tastes of good things like mayo and whipped cream.  Mmmm, yeah, whatever.  :-)  This is where she was when I called her to the kitchen and she arranged those pillows herself, thankyouverymuch.

But enough about Miss Bea for now, since she's not what's for dinner.  What is for dinner, you wonder?    Oh, Baby, we've got something special!  And don't mind the date...it's been in the freezer.
Oh, yeeeeeah, beef cheek!  Now, I've never had cheek meat but Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain just rave about it so when I spotted this, I had to have it.  Good price, too,  They carry on about it being such a delicacy and their favorite bit of meat, so how can I go wrong, you wonder?  Well, just you watch.
These were the ingredients for my initial plan, which was to treat it like a pot roast.  We've got the onions, 'taters, carrots, celery and a rutabaga.  I like adding rutabaga in with other root vegetables.  It's such an underrated vegetable, but has such a nice taste and good texture.  Try one, if you never have.  Anyway, there's also some cheap red wine, garlic, salt, pepper and lavender, which is also a very underrated spice in stews and such.  So, ingredients in place?  Check.
Beatrice in place?  Check.  Yes, she's back in the casserole dish.  There's really a very valid reason for this happening often but I'm not going to tell what it is.  It's more fun letting people think I just randomly let my cats sleep in my cookware.  But I know what you're really wanting to see...you want to see what that cheek looks like out of the package, don't you?  Yeah, so did I.
There you go - all spread out and both sides of it.  I'll admit that I was a bit disturbed here and I wasn't a bit bothered by the cow tongue or any other thing I've tried but this?  Just really bothered me.  I think it was because no matter how I arranged it, I could not figure out how it ever fit on a cow's face; I couldn't tell up from down or anything.  However, that did not deter me.
I browned it and let it aside while chopping my vegetables.  It looked better with some browning and I went back about this with some enthusiasm.
Trust me, always use a big knife when you cut up a rutabaga. Unless, of course, you have a thing for EMTs and/or abdominal wounds.
I browned up the celery, onions and garlic in butter, with a lot of salt and pepper.  At this point, I realized there were only 3 onions in the pot but 4 had been out on the counter.  I never did find that other onion. *scratches head*  I began to wonder how long this meat should cook so I ran to look up a recipe online.  I probably should have done that before, but hey, I found a recipe that sounded really good...so good, in fact, that plans changed.
These are the new seasonings - cocoa, cumin, a bit of cayenne and paprika.  A Latin-flavored dish sounds good, doesn't it?  Mmm hmmm.
Once in the pot, a last taste of the broth confirmed that this whole dish was going to be either really good or really bad.  When in doubt about a dish, add some Maggi seasoning to it.  For some reason, that fixes a lot.  Then  it went into a 325 degree oven for 3 hours.  Now, I'm going to share something I probably shouldn't share, but what the hell.  I never use my oven light and knew there was one small dirty spot in my oven, but no big deal.  It happens to the best of us, right?
If you ever want to know what's *really* going on in your oven, take a picture of the inside using your flash.  Yeah.  I'm so ashamed.  But, much like having herpes or something, sometimes you can make others with the same affliction feel better by being the first to admit it, so you're seeing my shame.  And no, I don't have herpes; that was an example. 
Time to make the cornbread!  Hey, I like Jiffy Mix...so what?  Did you know if you add 1/3 cup of sour cream to it while mixing it all up, it makes it really, really good?  Yup, try it!  Now,  here's where you pretend 3 hours have passed. 
Bea had some Doritos and ranch dressing, then went to take a nap in my recliner, wrapped up in her blankie.  It was all so exhausting, what with the whole recipe change and all.  I should have just joined her.
When it came out of the oven, I sorted it out into separate dishes and pretty much knew this wasn't going to be a rousingly successful meal.  Sometimes, you can just tell by looking, even though it did smell nice. That cheek, once sliced?  Was even shinier than it had been.  And really, it was no wonder when you look closer.  Please, enlarge it or you'll always wonder...
Look at the fat in that sucker!  But, weirdly, this made me a bit hopeful.  See, I'm that weird person who just loves the bites of fat on a roast or steak...so I tried a piece.  Mmmmm, it was actually pretty good.  Fatty, but good.  Until I hit that cartilage or whatever it was.  We fixed our plates and Jake managed to choke down about 3 bites before he actually gagged.  It was the texture, "like eating a glob of fat on a sneaker sole", he said.  I suggested he make himself a Hot Pocket and I ate mine.  My whole serving.  In fact, I was thinking that I'd maybe make it again, but using a very different recipe since the whole cocoa and cumin idea pretty well sucked. Not a great success but not a dismal failure.

Cut to about an hour later...I'm watching TV and get hit with a stomach cramp.  I ignored it.  I also ignored the next few, except for some Rolaids.  What I could not ignore was the sudden need to teleport myself to the bathroom since running might not be fast enough.  *sighs*  And I spent most of the rest of the night performing this very activity, leaving me with a very clean and very well greased colon.

I will not be making beef cheek again and do not suggest you make it either, although it could be served to guests you don't like as long as they're going to have a very long ride home that night.

The end.


kristin said...

Sorry AP! I was actually giggling a bit by the end.

I hope your stomach has recovered.

Karen said...

I was almost gagging too - and knew it was not going to come out good... I would have opened up that package of meat, and taken a good close look, and thrown it all into the trash! So you are braver than I - I'm sure Jake is happy he had a hot pocket, which is what I would have happily eaten as well!! You get bonus points for being daring!

PS the veggies look delicious!

Anemone Pie said...

Oh, my stomach is fine. By morning, I was good as knew and maybe even a little bit lighter...lol.

Karen, the veggies were, well, greasy. And everything tasted the same. They got trashed, sadly enough.

It was a fun adventure, though. Thanks for reading and giggling over it with me. :-)

Just CK said...

The medical profession could add Beef Cheek to the colon cleanse process.

Sandy said...

You are one very brave woman and Bea is just stinking cute in the casserole dish!

Tee said...

Poor Bea! What kind of a Momma are you, to work that sweet kitty so hard that she had to pass out in your recliner?

You're braver than I am when it comes to food. I'd suggest baking it into a pie next time but nobody's colon needs to be that clean, right?

Deb said...

So glad you were brave enough to try it out for all of us first!

So, I guess if anyone is planning a colon check, this could be their last meal, huh?

Anemone Pie said...

Beef cheek would probably taste a hell of a lot better than that nasty liquid you have to drink for a colon check and eliminate the need for a lube, too. We should write the AMA or something.

I ought to take requests - what should Lisa eat next?

Bella said...


KaytieJ said...

You, Jake and Bea are brave souls.

Raising Black Angus and seeing them chomp, well...

For your next food post suggestion:
Easy answer would be tripe. Since you are on the cheek side, try Salmon Cheeks. If you cannot find them, I will flash freeze some for you in the fall when the Chinook are in :-D

Trudy said...

WHY DID I READ THAT. I should of know better after the cow tongue.