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Brandon Nelson's Profile

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Hanger Steak

Steak tips come from the knuckle, which is a different sirloin sub primal than the flap.

Oct 14, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Your preferred method for sirloin tip steak?

Your method will be fine. Tip steak is reasonably tender when cooked no more than medium rare.

This cut is off of the sub primal called the knuckle.There seems to be some disagreement in the industry as to whether it is considered to be a component of the round or the sirloin. The muscle group is high on a steers hip. It is not trial tip, quick is another sirloin sub primal. Nor is it hanger, which is diaphragm column.

All 3 make for good eating.

Oct 14, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

What to do with extra okra?

Split them and broil them. Tasty, and not slimy.

Oct 14, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Braciole

Flank is more typical for that dish.

Sep 26, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

squash and zucchini

It makes nice pickles.

Sep 19, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Ideas for steamed pumpkin?

Pumpkin is tasty with rice and yogurt. It is a go to dish in my home.

Sep 19, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Mystery apples

The shape and russet shoulders are common to Pippen apples.

Sep 16, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Vodka in Scone Recipe?

The lactic acid in buttermilk (PH of about 4.1 to 4.8) reacts with the baking powder in a scone causing it to rise. The PH of Vodka is 6-7, making it very close to neutral, and less reactive with the baking powder. You result will be flatter, denser, tougher scones.

Vodka is used in pie crust because it is a near neutral PH (like water) but does not react with the wheat protein in the same manner as water, and allows for a water more user friendly dough.

The best bet is proper technique, don't overwork your dough.

Aug 26, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Making guanciale

There is little to no benefit in dry aging beef tenderloin. This sub primal has neither the marbling nor the fat covering to make the process of any real value.

Your cat might disagree though. ; )

Jul 17, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Grilled slab of short ribs?

Grilling them will require cutting them flanken style on a saw.

However they should be very nice if bbq'd over indirect heat until they are fall apart tender.

Jul 16, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Cannot find brisket where I live. :-(

Please don't use filet or rib.

Chuck would be your best stand in. Like brisket it is a cheaper, tougher cut of meat. Using the rib or tenderloin will result in a tough, overcooked dish.

The German dish saurbraten has some similarities to corned beef, and chuck roll is the primary cut used to prepare it.

Jul 16, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking
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Difference in taste between guanciale and pancetta?

I have cured both of them and prefer the texture of guanciale in carbonara, but it isn't a deal breaker.

The flavor of lean meat in guanciale more forward than pancetta. It makes a very powerful pork statement.

Although they are different and are easy to tell apart they are very similar preparations. Use them both with abandon!

Home cured versions of these salumi make them very frugal, as they use economy cuts off the hog.

Jul 16, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Rancid (slightly) oil -- still usable?

It was rancid 7 years ago.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking
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London broil sous vide

Is that a pic of your London broil that was "dry" with "broken down fibers"?

I cook for eating quality, not for porn shoots.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Hockey puck or juicy burgers

Most of the answers I give you won't be practical. They work for me, because I am they guy behind the meat counter.

More fat. 80% lean makes a luxurious juicy burger.

Less processing. My personal grind goes through the machine once. It looks uneven, dark, and nasty to the common customer. The stuff I put out for sale gets ground twice. It has the nice even red color that the average customer will buy, and will never be a good as mine.

Form patties quickly and gently.

Don't over cook the darn things.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking
1

London broil sous vide

I have done it on the grill actually, but I have some professional cooking under my belt, some schooling, and I am a butcher by trade. It is my job to know meat product, and know it well.

Most folks following this SV craze are using a thermometer for the first time. That is the tool that insures spot on results.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Steak gilling re:mechanical tenderizing

Gilling is more common in situations where you buy prefab meat. It is not common in situations where meat is cut on sight.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

what is happening to my steaks?

Adding water to beef will make it turn dark. No one "enhances" beef with saline.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

London broil sous vide

I would limit the use of sous vide to cuts like shank, oxtail, short ribs, or brisket. These tough cuts become very tender when cooked in this fashion.

Cooking already tender cuts this way detracts from their texture .

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

London broil sous vide

"London Broil" is a technique for cooking cheaper beef cuts, and has been used on a variety of different fabrications.

London Broil" when sold as a cut of beef is a roast cut from the top round, which is a sub primal of the round (the hip for geographies sake)

The Flank is its own singular primal that would be the abdominal muscles on a human.

We use the term as both a way to cook, and a particular cut of meat. Makes for lots of confusion.

Apr 24, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking
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Restaurants not fully labelling undercooked food items on menus; how to politely raise issue...

There are several ways "uncooked" foods are treated to make them safe.

People are taught taught to fear dishes with raw eggs without being educated that heat isn't the only way to kill salmonella, sugar and acid kill it off as well. Meringue? The sugar is what makes it safe to eat. Aioli? lemon juice often does the job there.

We are often only offered a singular solution a problem with many solutions.

Apr 08, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Not About Food

"Premium Choice" meat -- what does that mean?

Must be a local term.

Trade terms and nicknames vary a lot from region to region. Always good to know what something is called in another area.

Apr 08, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

Grass-fed beef vs. Grain Fed beef

My issue was with with the description of "ionophores". They were described as something that they are not. My "FOS" was directed at that. I apologize if I was unclear @ that.

As far as hormones in meat goes, each person should make an informed decision. Data can support many stances depending on what studies you trust the most.

My biggest issue would be RBST in dairy cattle. Use of that hormone cuts a milk cows lifespan in half.

Apr 08, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics
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"Premium Choice" meat -- what does that mean?

What is a "rib loin"?

Apr 06, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

Need a vendor of Great Meat!

Nimanranch.com

If you can't find a retailer that carries their product you can order it. They have beef, pork, and lamb.

Apr 06, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

Grass-fed beef vs. Grain Fed beef

An "ionophore" is a fat soluble substance used to transport ions through a cellular membrane barrier. They are used in the treatment of intra cellular parasites.

An antibiotic is an antimicrobial compound from(largely) 4 families of microrganisms; penecillan, streptomyacin,chloramphenicol, or tetracycline. Their general use is to treat infectious diseases.

They aren't synonyms and the stock trade doesn't treat them as such.

The beef and pork industry have been using sub theraputic antibiotics since the 1950's. They started because of disease, but enjoyed the benefit of a side effect, antibiotics accelerate the growth of these animals. There is a profit motive there.

I am educated, and I know who is "FOS" in this conversation.

Apr 06, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics
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Grass-fed beef vs. Grain Fed beef

Hay and silage are typical stock feeds during the winter months. As stocker you must background your animals on this type of feed when grass is not available.

Local ranchers and meat markets aren't regularly set up to dry age beef either.

Apr 06, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

Top Round Roast?

I'm in. Ill bring the beer!

Apr 04, 2013
Brandon Nelson in Home Cooking

Why do Restaurants Use Frozen French Fries?

I will also offer this.

Food network hosts typically know jack @ running a restaurant, including the costs. I would love to ask Rachel Ray or Sandra Lee the cost per serving of hand cut Kennebeck or GPOD 70 fries vs a serving of commercial packed Simplot Classics. The blank stare coming there.

Back in the days when folks with real industry experience like Sarah Moulton or Mario Battali were giving us content worth seeing that was true. Today most FN personalties are just that, personalities, not industry alum.

Apr 04, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics

Why do Restaurants Use Frozen French Fries?

It is business planning like this that causes restaurant failure.

You don't just need a chipper, you need kitchen space to put it. You also need prep storage as those cut potatoes need to be stored in water because they start to oxidize quickly. Ice water is best, so there is another cost, and more space. Those raw fries need to be blanched in cool oil for @ 7 minutes then drained before they go into 375 peanut oil for their second fry. In a busy kitchen it will require 2 deep fryers with different oil temps filled with expensive cooking oil.

Now for the food cost. Potatoes are cheaper that frozen fries right? Sure, but you will get different spuds from different producers and different growing areas through the course of a year. They will simply be called "premium russet potatoes" in your order guide. Those taters show in 40 lb cases they need to be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. Walk in fridge is too cool, it will mess with starch content. Those suckers are dirty, gotta scrub them before they go in the chipper. Can't store the clean spuds with the dirty ones, health department hates that. I could go on,

Point is raw spud to fry takes 5 steps. Each step requires storage space. A busy kitchen that turns a lot of fries will need a person that is pretty much just "the fry guy"

Or...

Frozen fries go straight from the freezer to the fryer. Many people don't know the difference. It is faster, requires less prep, much less space, offers a more consistent finished product, and reduces the labor at the most dangerous station in the kitchen.

There are a lot more factors than you seem willing to address. Frozen fries aren't a single compromise.

Apr 03, 2013
Brandon Nelson in General Topics
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