Category Archives: Beef & Lamb

Why I stopped making recipes

A vegan version of shepherd's pie with mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, veggies, and a crispy sweet potato topping.

A vegan version of shepherd’s pie with mushrooms, chickpeas, lentils, veggies, and a crispy sweet potato topping.

So as you probably know, this entire blog went silent after its last post published on February 10th. Why? Several reasons.

First of all, I got fat and lazy, literally. Shortly after Christmas I went from 135 pounds back up to 180, and it literally took less than 4 months. I know this because I was recording my weight near the end of March, and I was exactly 167.2 on the 19th of March and 179.6 on the 6th of April. This was after I had went from 210 to 140 within a year and couldn’t maintain my weight as I kept dropping all the way to 135 in 3 months. You can call it metabolic damage, but I’m honestly not too sure what happened… One day, the same day I took the test to become a certified food handler, I started to feel incredibly shaky, and at the time I was speculating that I was developing diabetes since I exhibited a lot of the symptoms. Along with the shakiness, I felt hunger. Insatiable hunger. I have never experienced a hunger so fierce before in my life. I was strongly compelled to shovel every nearby calorie source I could find into my mouth and keep eating until I was ready to explode. I ate lunch at 3 different restaurants that day, and I couldn’t even taste the food at the first two. I had to drown my pho noodles in some weird sauce I found on the table before I could even begin to taste anything. It was unreal, I was out of control, and I couldn’t figure out why I was doing what I was doing. Also my mother came back with lots of sweets from Hungary and some pastries that my grandmother baked on that day as well, and I ate pretty much all of that stuff too. Ever since this bizarre day I’ve been stuffing myself until I couldn’t even move, and one time I actually did end up vomiting. I also went vegan some time in April, but that didn’t stop me from eating bread. My sudden change in weight brought on depression, insecurities, apathy, and my energy levels also completely dropped putting me in no mood to cook, let alone take pictures and write a recipe that no one would ever use.

Second of all, I got a job at a restaurant on the 19th of February. I’m now a full-time Chef de Partie and working my way up. This blog never made me any money, all it did for me was give me something to do besides playing video games and watching Star Trek. I had passion, and I was ready to throw some money at this site, but that passion is 100% GONE. I have better things to do with my life than be a fucking food-blogger. I get paid to cook now, this site is a waste of time, and it finally started feeling like a waste of time.

Thirdly, as stated earlier, I have adopted a vegan diet. I was tired of pretending that I was okay with animals having to die so we can eat their cooked corpses especially if it doesn’t benefit us in any logical way besides satiating our cravings to eat dead animals. Our culture is absolutely fucking disgusting. What about eggs? You mean hen’s periods marketed by an industry that grinds up the male chicks alive because they are of no use to the industry? No, this is not okay. It is FUCKED UP. And dairy? As much as I love sour cream, butter and cheese, what I don’t love is an industry that takes newborn calves away from their mothers (who are literally being milked dry by the way) and sending them off to the veal industry. I’d rather leave the sour cream off of my mushroom paprikash than give my money to these psychopaths.

And lastly, it dawned on me that nobody really cares. Nobody’s really interested in authenticity when it comes to another culture’s cuisine besides the people who belong to said culture. I am fed up with the push to remain true to a culture’s roots rather than experimenting and seeing what works better; it goes against our instinctual nature to evolve and better ourselves, and I don’t want to be part of the group that holds humanity back. This is another one of the reasons I’ve adopted a vegan diet; it seems most vegans nowadays are thriving, significantly more so than health-conscious meat eaters. Humans have the potential to be so much more than stationary obese fatties who on the inside know it’s wrong to kill and eat animals for pure pleasure but still do because they think it’s funny to die a pre-mature gluttonous death of cancer or a heart attack in their 70s. Vegans have a much lower risk of all-cause mortality, and the amount of energy high-carb vegans seem to have is incredible. I have admittedly struggled in my own transition, but I know it’s the right then to do and I’m going to keep doing my best to stay on track. I really don’t care if meat would help me lose weight, I cannot bring myself to eat another animal ever again.

Look at you. You probably follow a bunch of blogs, leave nice comments such as “Wow these look amazing! I plan to try them!” but do you ever actually try them? Of course you don’t. You’re not helping anybody. Your kindness means nothing to me. I don’t care about compliments, all I care about are results, and this website did not provide me with results.

I may start some other projects in the future, but this site is done, and my passion for cooking has reached an end. I will continue to work as a chef until I find my new calling. I’ve always had a thing for marine biology…

 

Also, go vegan. I don’t want to hear SHIT about how you “need” your meat. There is NO reason to have meat in your mouth unless you’re gay. Just shut the fuck up and carb the fuck up.

-Christopher

Chili – A Beginner’s Guide to Emptying the Pantry and Freezer

Beef & bean chili topped with crème fraîche.

Chili was one of the earlier things on my bucket list when I was first learning how to cook. At first I wanted a Texas-style beanless chili recipe for the purpose of being more “authentic”, but then I realised I’m not a Southerner, and I’m not really passionate about keeping Southern recipes authentic. Also I like beans, so I decided “screw it” and just went for a nice beanie chili. So the first chili recipe I tried was Chef John’s beef, bean and beer chili recipe, which was amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone who loves beef, beans and beer, but since then I’ve made plenty of other chili pots without following any recipes in particular. I’ve done vegetarian chilis before too. Later I became friends with a fellow cook who says “Chili is something you make when you want to make room in your pantry and freezer.” and there is quite a bit of truth to that… So now every time I make chili, I use it as an opportunity to get rid non-perishables I don’t want to see anymore. Especially dry beans and spices, and oftentimes frozen vegetables.

What most chili recipes have in common is the spices; a large handful of them appear in many different recipes, and chili all comes down to tasting and adjusting the spices until it’s perfect to your taste. So for this post, I won’t be giving an exact recipe with precise ingredient amounts, but rather I want to teach you how to chili, essentially. I’ll be giving out a bunch of commonly used chili ingredients, all of which are optional, even the beans are optional if you want to go southern-style. However, you do need chili powder, whether it’s ancho, chipotle, or even kashmiri. Most people seem to prefer ancho though, especially for chili pots. You can also make your own chili powder blend. And once you know how to chili, you can go on to creating your own personal chili recipes and sharing them! Or keep it as your secret recipe if it really is that amazing. Whatever you prefer!

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Sólet (Cholent)

Bean stew topped with smoked duck breast, beef, and a halved egg.

Bean stew topped with smoked duck breast, beef, and a halved egg.

(Pronunciation: “Sho-let”)

Sólet, which apparently is the father of cholent, is a Jewish-Hungarian dish usually prepared on Friday nights before the sabbath, simmered overnight, and then eaten the next day for lunch. This was done to conform to Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the sabbath. Now I’m not Jewish, but this was something I was pretty curious about because it involved cooking on very low heat in an oven for a long period of time, something I haven’t really done before.

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Fasírt (Meatballs)

Hungarian meatballs!

(Pronunciation: “Faw-Sheert”)

Fasírt! The Hungarian meatball! It doubles as both a main course and as a side for főzelék (vegetable stew), particularly krumplifőzelék (the vegetable stew of potato variety). It can also be served alongside rice, sautéed vegetables, lecsó, mashed potatoes, or pretty much anything you’d serve with schnitzel, as they’re pretty similar. (´・ω・`)

What separates this from other meatballs is the fact that… uh, I actually don’t know. But they’re tasty and that’s all I care about! ⊂((・▽・))⊃

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Jamaican Patties

Jamaican style patties filled with ground beef and vegetables.

Ingredients:
frozen beef patties

Steps:
remove from plastic packaging
microwave on a plate for 3 minutes
serve

Yeah… where’s the fun in that?

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer working for my food. Luckily for me though, I don’t consider cooking work. (´・ω・`)

So I used to eat the frozen variant of this Caribbean recipe a lot as a kid, and ever since I hopped on the “whole foods” bandwagon I’ve had them on my list of things I wanted to learn how to make from scratch, and that was quite awhile ago! But I’ve finally gotten around to it, and I am very pleased with the results~!! (◕‿◕✿)

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Pörkölt (Beef Stew)

Stewed beef served with nokedli and vegetables.

(Pronunciation: “Peur-keult”)

A very long time ago, around the time I started this blog, I posted a recipe for “csirkepörkölt nokedlivel”, or “chicken stew with egg noodles”. Basically, the recipe was wrong; that wasn’t real pörkölt.

It turns out that what my mother called “pörkölt” was actually csirkepaprikás, “chicken paprikash” but without the addition of sour cream. Which was funny, because we always topped that dish with sour cream anyway… it felt right.

The reason for this confusion (and also why my mother is delusional and still tries to argue that paprikash and pörkölt are the same dish) was because apparently my grandfather hated sour cream, so my grandmother always made chicken paprikash without it. And so, when the recipe passed on to my mother, she grew up thinking it was paprikash and that paprikash was just another word for pörkölt… Thankfully nowadays there’s internet, so I was able to figure out the truth, eventually. Based on all the research I’ve done, here’s a graph I made to mark the distinctions between “The Big Three” dishes of Hungarian cuisine:

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Hortobágyi Palacsinta (Meat Filled Crêpes)

My signature dish; crêpes filled with veal drizzled with a creamy meat sauce.

My signature dish; crêpes filled with veal drizzled with a creamy meat sauce.

(Pronunciation: Whore-toe-bah-jee Pa-la-cheen-ta)

Ladies and gentlemen, this is my signature dish. It features a nice handful of most of my favourite ingredients (paprika, sour cream, veal, lard), it’s Hungarian but it’s not a “traditional” dish so there’s a lot of room for creativity, and nobody’s recipe or presentation method is the same.

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Töltött Káposzta (Stuffed Cabbage)

Hungarian cabbage rolls stuffed with ground meat and rice.

(Pronunciation: Tull-toet Kah-po-stuh)

This is a Hungarian stuffed cabbage dish with literally thousands of recipes and variations. Pretty much every Hungarian family has their own recipe which they keep secret and pass down to their offspring as if it were an heirloom. But guess what, my mother doesn’t have a recipe. My grandmother never gave it to her. So I pretty much had to figure out how to make this thing myself, and you know what? I only ever made this once, but I already believe I have the greatest recipe in the world, and I’m going to give it to you. (´・ω・`)

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Moussaka

A layer of eggplants and onions, topped with a layer of ground meat, topped with a layer of baked béchamel sauce.

A layer of eggplants and onions, topped with a layer of ground meat, topped with a layer of baked béchamel sauce.

I’ve been meaning to do this dish for about 3 months now, and while the meat wasn’t on special, I was determined last Friday to get this one done and over with. And I’m so glad I did, the flavour of this dish really caught me off guard. It truly is something special, and unlike any other Greek dish I’ve tried thus far.

I really wanted to use lamb meat, but they didn’t have it ground and the cuts they had weren’t ideal for grinding, so whatever… beef is good too. Just not as good. (*ノ・ω・)

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Gulyás Leves (Goulash)

Goulash soup with potatoes, carrots, and celery.

(Pronunciation: Goo-Yash Leh-vesh)

I welcome you all to feast thine eyes upon my country’s most renowned contribution to the world of cooking… Goulash. (´・ω・`)

With 95% authenticity (with the remaining 5% being the lack of a campfire and a cauldron), this recipe is both traditional and incredibly tasty. I’ve seen a lot of westernized versions of this recipe, which tend to make it more like a stew than a soup and served with regular noodles instead of potatoes or csipetke. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all good, but authenticity is always better~!!

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