Bubbyswhollycow’s Weblog

Tongue and Eggs; Cold Tongue with Chimmichurri
June 28, 2008, 10:57 pm
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For brunch we served the Smoked Tongue with Sauteed Leeks and Potatoes.  Three non-grimacing customers seemed to enjoy it very much.  The waiters were scrunch-faced about trying it. I personally thought it was delicious. 

For dinner tonight we have thinly sliced cold tongue with Chimmichurri. Soooo good. And we are pretty damned excited that every part of cow number 1 has been cooked, and received with… enthusiasm, aplomb, and joy.  Really, everyone at Bubby’s is so excited to have whole steer.

We are going through nearly a whole cow every week.  I can’t even believe it.


Tongue, at long last
June 27, 2008, 4:39 pm
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Yesterday we finally got our shit together and smoke the tongue from our first steer. I have to admit, all the offal was kind of freaking me out. First, the heart, which I had never eaten before, and which turned out to be really good, tasty, and kind of amazing to eat, putting a whole new spin on the phrase eat your heart out. Then the liver, which I was afraid of because I have always cooked calves livers, or chicken livers. I thought the beef liver would be very gamy, but in fact it is very much like calves liver. The chopped liver tastes almost like chicken chopped livers.

One fear I had was whether or not the offal would sell. This fear was unfounded. The customers at Bubby’s are somewhat sophisticated, and they have embraced the whole steer idea(r).

The tongue, the last, but not least, of the offal, proved to be the best of the best of the offal. Now, we have cooked every part of our first cow with very good result.  There is a level of confidence, and enthusiasm for all of it, now that we have seen with our own eyes how it all goes.

Here is our recipe:

1 (about 3 pounds) fresh beef tongue
6 Quarts Water
6 Tbl Salt
1 1/2 cups vinegar
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons allspice
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Cover tongue with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt for each quart of water. Cover tightly and cook slowly until tender, 2 hours.

Drain all but 2 cups of the water from pan. Add the remaining ingredients and return sliced meat to pan. Place in the smoker at 200, uncovered for 2 hours.

Cool the tongue in the liquid in which it is cooked. The cooling should be done under refrigeration or where there is circulation of cool air.

Before serving, remove the skin and cut away the roots. Slice tongue thinly, crosswise. Serve on rye bread with cornichons, russian dressing, and chopped onions.

Chopped Beef Liver
June 20, 2008, 8:00 pm
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Ken Jaffe offers his thoughts on liver, which are very interesting. And Linda Jaffe offers us her recipe for Grass Fed Beef Chopped Liver, and it looks really good. We are running it tonight.

Hi Ron,

Since you have braved the heart, I thought you would like Linda’s chopped liver recipe.

First on liver. It ‘s the first item that predators go after, all that muscle meat comes later. But somehow for us humans the liver seems to end up, like in your situation, the last thing in the freezer. Liver is chocked full nutrients—iron, vitamins and a complex array of proteins. My dogs go crazy when I take it out of the freezer and its still solid at minus 15 degrees. Somehow they know.

The liver that has been staring back at you in the freezer has a purity that you cannot really buy in the store. The liver is the “first pass” organ, so all the junk we feed livestock goes directly from the gut through the liver to be removed before entering the general circulation and tends to stay in the liver. Feed lots and grain make the liver accumulate abnormal amounts of toxins and fat. The liver you have to work with has never seen those toxins. Liver purity.

People react one of two ways to chopped liver. Some get the warm faraway look that comes from comfort food. Other have the narrowed eye stare of unfamiliarity mixed with horror.

Hopefully there are enough of the former coming in. With a name like Bubby’s there probably are.

For one pound of liver.

Saute liver in canola oil till cooked thru but still tender.

Carmelize about 4-5 big onions (“cannot have too many onions”) till they are starting to burn a bit.

Hard boil 4 eggs.

Cool everything.

Linda chops by hand in a wooden bowl and a curved chopper from her own Bubby. She adds mayo, salt and pepper to taste.

She also adds some chicken fat skimmed from soup and frozen and saved, or if she doesn’t have that she uses a chicken bullion cube dissolved in a tiny amount of water.

Serve with crackers, or on rye with tomato and/or onion. Or get fancy with cornichons and chopped onion.



Skewered Beef Heart
June 17, 2008, 8:27 pm
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Offal time. I have been sheepish about the offal. Here at Bubby’s it is not the norm to serve the guts. We’re traditionally a family place. But every time I open the freezer, there are packages of offal: liver, kidney, heart, tongue, staring me in the face. After pulling the heart out yesterday, thereby starting the clock a-ticking, I had some trepidations. I haven’t ever eaten heart. But Ken Jaffe was very encouraging and enthusiastic in his description of it: tastes a little like liver, but has the texture of steak. Delicious, etc… Also, my brother Brandon had genuine enthusiasm for heart, which he had eaten in Columbia, skewered and grilled.

We are serving it grilled, on skewers, with a simple balsamic, lemon, shallot vinaigrette.

Cutting it up was very surgical. There is an encasement of silver skin on the outside that must be removed. Then there are the things you’d generally associate with a bad visit to the doctor: arteries, valves, etc, all of which must be removed. What remains is a beautiful piece of red meat that looks very much like steak. We cut it into thin strips, and marinated them in a little lemon, garlic, rosemary and thyme, and some of the French sea salt, and some black pepper. It looks really good. (But it sounds a little scary!)

Calculated Usage of Steer in the Future
June 15, 2008, 5:31 pm
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One of the difficult things about buying whole steer is being able to plan out how many head of steer we will actually need in a month, quarter, or even trying to see out as far as a year. One issue is our burger sales have gone up 50% since we started serving the Grass Fed Beef. Ken Jaffe has a small herd of 65 animals. And we trust him. Not just because he’s mishpucha (yiddish sp?), and not just because he was a doctor and therefore must have taken the oath of Hippocrates, but because he seems to have trust for us Bubsters. No one wants to deal with someone who lacks trust. Because his herd is so small, it requires very good communication to assure not running out of, at the very least, hamburger meat. So I am trying very hard to get a handle on what we will need, but I cannot predict how our volume of GFB will grow, especially when we hit the autumn and more and more people find out we are serving it. It takes several weeks to process an animal, so if we run out, we are SOL until Ken can arrange an animal to be slaughtered (they can only be killed on Wednesday,) hanged for two weeks, butchered, frozen, and delivered. It’s a lot to keep in mind.

So here is what our best guess is, based on current usage: We will be going through two Prime Finished Steer, and one steer that will be 100% burger every month. It’s hard to believe we will go through three whole cows a month, and we haven’t even started in Brooklyn yet. I am moving ahead with faith that Ken Jaffe will be able to deliver on the goods. From conversations with him it is obvious that a) he is going to do his best to do so, and b) he feels confident about it, and c) that he will be involved with our decision-making process should he fall short. I am convinced that the only way to work with the farmer is to really work with him, like a partner. This takes a lot of the cantankerousness out of buying food. That’s good for me because I have been a chef for a hundred years and I am sick of haggling over the price of hoohaws and widgets all the time. What I mean to say is, this takes away the game of paying one vendor off another (always fun and mean) and makes it so the handshake is the thing that binds.

Here is what it seems like we will use, based on current usage, plus a little padding.

Loco Soda is ALIVE
June 13, 2008, 4:55 pm
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Some years ago, we ventured into the bottled beverage business with a product called Loco Soda. It was the only soda in the world made with fresh juice. Due to many reasons, we got killed in the marketplace. Mostly because a company needs to spend millions on marketing and making doodads like coasters, stickers, point of purchase crap, and other garbage. Also, as one marketer told me, the market does not care about quality. If I could have hired Farah Fawcett to rep the thing…maybe. Or Christey Brinkley, or whoever is hot and modelly, maybe. But, just after 9/11/01 the thing died, all financing dried up, and we could no longer keep up with 34 states worth of plastic stickers and electric nipple clamps and dangling participles and payola and all the superfluous stuff that goes along with marketing products in America.

Loco is back at Bubby’s. Each one is made by hand from scratch. We still have some stickers left from before if you need one to entice you to try it. But, use your head instead, and try it. Loco is the thinking mans cocktail, with no alcohol. It has an amazing chili pepper kick from habanero, jalapeno, and serrano chilis.

Oxtail Soup!
June 12, 2008, 7:15 pm
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I have been slow to use any of the offal. As many times as I said it was tongue week, I have a tongue still in the freezer. One problem is that the butcher cut the tongue in half for some reason. I keep thinking it is ruined. Then I think the reason I am thinking that is because I have never made tongue before, and I want it to be great.

The oxtail is not considered offal, but it is the tail end of the steer. It made for a lovely oxtail soup today. I was a little concerned to make that in this weather; who wants oxtail soup when it’s 100 degrees outside. But, along with a big crusty chunk of garlic bread, it seems to be a hit. I think I will make cold borscht with oxtails with the next steer, which is coming in ten days or so.

So, this next week will be the perfect time to do the heart, and the liver. I think I will make chopped liver, and I think I will pickle the heart, then slice it thin, bread it in cornmeal, and fry it. I have never eaten heart, but I hear it is delicious. As for the kidney, it may be bypassed, until it is steak and kidney pie season. I have never had that either, and I want to make it good. Guess I better get my own offals up and get crackin’