Category Archives: Entrees, Meat

Boeuf Bourguignon

As winter slowly creeps into the Napa Valley, I look forward to fires in the fireplace rather than the grill, and rich, braised dishes. This is an oldie but a goodie. You can use beef chuck meat, but I like the succulence of the meat from beef short ribs. Using prime or even choice meat is not important. The succulence comes from melted protein rather than fat.

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Ingredients
5 lbs. beef short ribs
1/2 oz. canola or other neutral oil
Salt and pepper

1 lb. yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 oz. celery, rinsed and coarsely chopped
4 oz. carrot, washed and coarsely chopped
1 oz. garlic, peeled and crushed
1 oz. tomato paste

2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 oz. dried porccini mushrooms
1/2 t. black peppercorns
12 oz. red wine
4 c. chicken broth

1 lb button or crimini mushrooms, rinsed, stems removed and saved
1/2 lb. pearl onions, peeled, root off

3 T. AP flour
3 T. sweet butter, room temperature

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Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and black pepper.

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Now is the time to use that huge Le Cruset pot that is collecting dust. Place over high heat and add the oil.

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Brown the short ribs on all sides. Keep the heat on high.

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Darker color on the meat will result in a darker, richer sauce.

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Continue browning until all pieces are done, then reserve.

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While the meat is browning, prepare the aromatic ingredients. Chop the vegetables coarsely, and add the stems from the mushrooms. Crush the garlic cloves.

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Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pot, then return to high heat. Add the garlic, and stir. Cook just 15 – 20 seconds for aroma.

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Add the other vegetables, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to wilt and lightly brown.

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Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring regularly, until the entire mixture is softened and browned.

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Reduce to a

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Add the wine, and bring to a boil.

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Reduce to a fast simmer, and cook until the smell of alcohol is gone.

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Add the browned meat, the thyme, peppercorns, and dried porccini. Push the meat down into the vegetables.

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Add the chicken broth.

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Bring to a simmer, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cover.

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Bake at 350 F. for an hour and a half, or until the meat pulls away from the bone.

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Remove the meat and bones from the liquid, and allow to cool.

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Separate the meat from the bones, and cut chunks into roughly 1″ cubes.

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Strain the broth into a suitable pot, pressing as much liquid from the vegetables as possible with a metal spoon.

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Place the pot over medium heat, with the flame under just one side of the pot. This will cause the simmering liquid to push the accumulated fat to one side of the pot where you can carefully skim it off with a ladle. Continue to skim until the fat has been removed.

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Wash the braising pot, and return it to high heat. Add the mushrooms and pearl onions, and cook until the mushrooms soften and the onions begin to caramelize.

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Add the skimmed braising liquid, and bring to a boil.

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Combine the flour and butter to make a smooth paste.

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Whisk the butter and flour mixture rapidly into the boiling braising liquid.

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The liquid will thicken.

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Add the braised beef, and heat through.

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Stir in a little Italian parsley if you have some.

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Serve over buttered noodles, I like the little nests of pappardelle.

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Happy winter dinner!

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder

Hard to do better than some slow-cooked pork for your tacos. Here’s a fool-proof recipe.

Ingredients
1/4 cup BBQ chicken rub
3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder or butt

I make the rub in a big batch. It keeps in the cupboard forever, and I use it for lots of things. Slow-roasted pork is one. Unwrap the pork, and sprinkle the rub over. Toss in a bowl to coat evenly, then discard any that does not stick to the meat. Cover and refrigerate at least five hours, or overnight.

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When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 250 F. Remove the salted meat from the bowl, leaving any accumulated liquid behind.

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Transfer to a suitable pan, and place in the oven.

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After about an hour, fat will begin to melt and accumulate in the pan. Remove from the oven, and use a tablespoon to baste the meat with the melted fat. Continue like this, basting every hour or so, until the meat becomes tender enough to pull apart with a fork, about five hours total.

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Remove the pan from the oven, and allow the meat to cool until you are able to handle it.

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Using two forks, have at the meat, tearing it into shreds. I usually incorporate any fat and juices that are in the pan.

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That’s it. Keep the meat warm while you heat your tortillas. Make sure to finish every taco with freshly minced white onions and cilantro!

Beef Stroganoff with Egg Pappardelle

One of Julie’s favorites from her childhood, Beef Stroganoff is an American version of Boeuf Bourguignon, or Beef on the style of Burgundy. We add little or no wine, and we finish with sour cream. Otherwise, it’s braised beef in brown sauce.

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I use beef chuck if I want to be cheap, or meat cut from beef short ribs if I want to splurge. Avoid more tender meat like sirloin and round. It will not be as succulent.

Ingredients
Serves four
1 oz. canola oil (or any neutral oil)
2 1/2 lbs. beef, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
1 lb. crimini mushrooms (or plain white mushrooms)
1 oz. garlic, minced
1 lb. yellow onions, medium diced
8 oz. red wine (good enough to drink, but not too good)
2 c. chicken broth

2 T. sweet butter
2 T. all-purpose flour

8 oz. sour cream

4 nests egg paparadelle

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Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over high heat, and add the oil. Add the meat in two batches.

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Brown each cube evenly on all sides, then remove to a plate and brown the remaining meat.

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When you have browned all of the meat, you should be left with your pot nicely coated with beef juices. Take care not to burn the bottom while you are browning the beef.

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Add the garlic to the fat remaining in the pot, and stir to combine. Allow to cook for just ten seconds to release the aroma,

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Then add the onions along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to cool the pan, then reduce heat to medium, and cook the onions, stirring often,

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until they completely soften and begin to brown.

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Add the mushrooms, and stir to combine.

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Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften and release their moisture.

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Add the wine, and increase the heat to high.

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Cook on high heat until the liquid has reduced by roughly half, and all of the meat juices left from browning the process have dissolved into the liquid.

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Return the meat to the pot along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate.

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Then add the broth, and bring to a boil.

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Reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until the meat becomes almost fork-tender, about 45 minutes depending on what cut you are using.

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Meanwhile, combine the butter and flour in a small bowl,

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and mix with a spoon until smooth.

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When the meat is almost done, bring the mixture back to a boil, then add the butter and flour mixture.Whisk immediately to dissolve and break up any lumps.

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Reduce to a simmer, and cook for another ten minutes until the beef is barely fork-tender.

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Whisk the sour cream in, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Hold warm while you cook your noodles, or cool and refrigerate for a later date.

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Bring a pot of heavily-salted water to a boil, then add the pappardelle (I use the De Cecco brand)

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Cook as directed on the package,

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then drain, and add to the meat and sauce. Toss gently to combine, then divide onto four warm plates and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

 

Veal Sugo with Papardelle and Ricotta

Chef Bridget Batson made one of the best pastas I have ever had when she and I worked at TWO, successor to Hawthorne Lane. It’s simple to make as long as you have a meat grinder. She used 100% veal breast, but I like to add a little pork for that piggy goodness. The sauce freezes well, so don’t worry about having leftover.

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Ingredients
2 lbs. 12 oz. veal stew meat, cubed to fit through the grinder
12 oz. pork shoulder, similarly cubed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped, about 6 oz.
2 large ribs celery, chopped, about 6 oz.
3 medium large onions, peeled and chopped, about 1 1/2 lbs.
1 bunch fresh basil, about 1 oz. of leaves
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, about 1 1/2 oz. of leaves
6 large cloves garlic, about 1 1/2 oz.
1 bottle sherry wine, 750 ml
3 pints canned crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, about 3 oz.

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Prepare all ingredients, then toss everything except the sherry and tomatoes together to combine.

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Grind through the medium die of a meat grinder. This is a good thing to look for at garage sales and flea markets, or about $50 new.

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Transfer the ground mixture to a suitable pot, and place over high heat. Lots of liquid will come out of the meat and vegetables. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

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Reduce the heat to medium as the mixture begins to dry out, and scrap the bottom and sides to prevent burning.

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Wen the mixture is completely dry, add the sherry, and return the heat to high. Scrape all of the dried liquid up into the sherry until the pan is clean, then reduce the heat to medium and reduce until the liquid is gone.

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Add the canned tomatoes, I use my crushed San Marzano tomatoes, and I think that ripe tomatoes make a big difference. Look for high quality at Whole Foods.

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Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the flavors come together, about a half hour. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cool and reserve until you are ready to serve. It also freezes well at this stage.

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I like the little nests of dried papardelle from DeCecco, but fresh pasta sheets are better if you can find them. Cook in well-salted water as directed on the package, reserving about 3/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain and return to the pot.

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Add the warm sauce and the cheese and abut 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Place over medium heat, and stir gently to combine. The cheese should melt into the liquid, and the pasta should absorb most of the liquid.

Correct seasoning to taste then transfer to warm plates, and top with a generous dollop of ricotta cheese, preferably basket ricotta with a high fat content and low water content.

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Cheeseburgers for a summer dinner

016Growing up in the Midwest in the 70s, I ate more than my share of Big Macs and Quarter Pounders with cheese. Garbage food to be sure, but the experience somehow left burgers near and dear to my heart. When I get the craving these days, I head to In and Out where I order a 3×3, medium-rare, extra toast on the bun. ketchup and mustard only. It’s a richly fatty bomb that always satisfies.

When I want a grown up burger for dinner with friends, I stop by Model Bakery in Napa for some fantastic buns, and Safeway for ground beef. Then I make a version of steak tartare that I sear on the grill.  Here’s my recipe for flavored rare cheeseburgers.

For the Burger Meat
2  lbs. ground beef, 80% lean / 20% fat
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. whole grain mustard1/2 t. garlic, finely minced
1/2 t. anchovy filet, finely minced
1 1/2 t. capers, finely minced2 T. flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

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Chop the capers, anchovy, garlic, and parsley.

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Toss everything into the mixer fitted with a paddle, or just use a wooden spoon in a bowl.

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Mix on low speed until the mixture is uniform.

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Form into patties that match the shape and size of your buns, in my case, Model was out of burger buns, so we used their sausage buns made from the same dough. Prepare all of your finix’s, and get the grill nice a hot.

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I always cook them rare, about a minute and a half on each side so that the flavor will be like beef tartare. I’m a ketchup and mustard guy, but I put mayo out for others.

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Happy Summer BBQ!

“TWO” Sausage Pasta for Kim Schultz

One of my favorite quick pasta dishes combines store-bought spicy Italian sausage with broccoli rabe, garlic, chili, and cheese.1 lb. sausage4 oz. Parmesan or Granan Padana cheese, whole (don't buy the crap made in the USA)1 oz. garlic, sliced thin1 dried cayenne chili, crumbled, or 1 Tbl. chili flakes1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut the fat ends off and discard any janky leaves1/2 lb. pasta, I used fettuccine here, but you can use most anything.

One of my favorite quick pasta dishes combines store-bought spicy Italian sausage with broccoli rabe, garlic, chili, and cheese.
1 lb. sausage
4 oz. Parmesan or Granan Padana cheese, whole (don’t buy the crap made in the USA)
1 oz. garlic, sliced thin
1 dried cayenne chili, crumbled, or 1 Tbl. chili flakes
1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut the fat ends off and discard any janky leaves
1/2 lb. pasta, I used fettuccine here, but you can use most anything.
3/4 to 1 cup chicken broth or just water if you don’t have broth

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Heat a large, low pot over high heat, and add a thin layer of EVOO. Add a little chunk of sausage, and wait until it really sizzles.

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When you are sure that the pot is hot enough, break the sausage into little chunks, and arrange them over the bottom of the pot.

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Allow the sausage to cook without stirring until it is nearly cooked through, and it gets really nice and brown on the bottom.

Then turn over to cook the other side for a minute or two.

Then turn over to cook the other side for a minute or two.

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Add the sliced garlic and crumbled chili or chili flakes, and stir for a minute or so to get it hot. You will smell a strong garlic flavor.

Add the trimmed broccoli and chicken broth or water, and stir to combine.  Cover the  pot tightly, and reduce the heat to medium. The idea is to steam the broccoli rabe.

Add the trimmed broccoli and chicken broth or water, and stir to combine.
Cover the pot tightly, and reduce the heat to medium. The idea is to steam the broccoli rabe.

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Meanwhile, cook the pasta in heavily salted water, about 1/3 cup of kosher salt per gallon of water. Stir the pasta until it completely softens to avoid sticking together.
Cook for the amount of time listed on the package, plus another minute or so if you like it soft like I do.

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When the pasta is almost done cooking, take about a cup of the water out for later.

 

While the pasta finishes cooking, grate the cheese. I usually use the finest grate rather than the rasp side. It gets fine enough, and it's much faster.

While the pasta finishes cooking, grate the cheese. I usually use the finest grate rather than the rasp side. It gets fine enough, and it’s much faster.

Drain the pasta through a sieve or colander when it is done, then add to the sausage pot. Give it a good stir, and turn the heat back to high.

Drain the pasta through a sieve or colander when it is done, then add to the sausage pot. Give it a good stir, and turn the heat back to high.

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This is where many people stop and serve the pasta up, but there is a better way.

Add the reserved pasta water and cheese, and cook on high heat, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. The pasta will absorb the entire cup of water if you are patient, and it will have much more flavor. The cheese also makes a nice sticky coating for the noodles.

Add the reserved pasta water and cheese, and cook on high heat, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. The pasta will absorb the entire cup of water if you are patient, and it will have much more flavor. The cheese also makes a nice sticky coating for the noodles.

You can add a little more water just before you serve. It will get stick in just a few minutes, so don't be afraid to thin it a little.

You can add a little more water just before you serve. It will get stick in just a few minutes, so don’t be afraid to thin it a little.

Happy Cooking Kimmy, and congrats on the move!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roast Beef Hash

There was a nice chunk of prime rib left from Christmas dinner along with assorted remnants from the week of cooking, and the girls have started laying again after molting, so I made roast beef hash for a late brunch.

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In addition to the thyme, beef and potatoes from Christmas, there were the centers of the Brussels sprouts that I made a leaf salad from, a few pearl onions that had been rolling around in the veg drawer for a while, the Tokyo onions and mitsuba from from New Year’s Eve.

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I chopped everything up, and heated two pans, one for the vegetables and another for the potatoes and the beef so that I could control how each element was cooked.

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First garlic and chilies (my ubiquitous ingredients) to flavor the oil.

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Then onions that would eventually melt and stick everything together.

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Finally the wayward vegetables.

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I heated them through in the oil, then added a little water and covered them to steam.

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Meanwhile the potatoes in the other pan, allowing them to brown well before turning over.

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Once they were brown and crunchy, I transferred them to the veg pan, and I used the same pan and oil for the meat.

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Finally the herbs, and topped with poached eggs.

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Christmas Prime Rib

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This year I did the prime rib Sous Vide using my home-made immersion circulator. After trimming much of the fat, I slathered the meat in olive oil, and seasoned heavily. Then I browned all surfaces in the cast iron skillet.

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I slipped the meat into the plastic bag, and added crushed garlic cloves and fresh thyme sprigs. Then I sealed it up tightly.

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Six hours at 57 degrees celsius, and the meat was a perfect medium rare.