Monday, October 02, 2006
STOLEN BY BITACLE Shredded Granny Pants from Cuba... via Italy (FINAL!).

Joke posted this a while ago. I'll wait here while you go read it because nothing else will make sense until you do.

Are you back?


Now you know why I am showing you pictures of Shredded Cuban Granny Pants. Which, when I read Joke's post for the 17th time to check ingredients and technique, I realised was actually an Italian grandmother version of a Cuban recipe. Or something.

Whatever, after many work and ingredient related delays, I made it last night.

I used skirt steak, which Joke tells me is pricey over his way now because it is popular in Mexican recipes. Sounds like what happened here when lamb shanks became The Dinner Party dish and this basic off-cut started being charged out at around $20 a kilo (about two pounds).

Anyhoo, I paid about $10 a kilo for the skirt steak and they stripped it for me while I waited. (Which is butcher speak for removing the loooong fat from the loooong grained meat, and nothing kinky involved. Although: cute butcher. I could go a bit more of the stripping on that side of the counter. I'm just saying...)

As you see above, Joke's instructions for 'low and slow' poaching finally paid off. I put it on at midday and by about 8.00pm it had (finally) reached the stage you can see in this pic. The Cuban God of What Am I Feeding The Kids Tonight only knows how long it would have taken with thicker cuts - these steaks were about an inch thick.

The Le Creuset got too hot at the start and I had to keep the lid off for the rest of the cooking and top up the water as needed. Poaching settled at a point just below simmer - the water had some movement but no bubbles. Next time I might try a higher heat but I was worried that, at a simmer, the meat would first toughen and then start to crumble rather than shred.

And who wants crumbling Granny Pants for dinner? Eeww.

This way, it shredded like a freakin' dream. Bliss on two forks. Can I tell you how much fun it was?

Nope. You'll just have to try it for yourself.

It was getting late, the kids had eaten ham salads and gone to bed, and it's just possible that some of the shredding fun was engendered by my third large glass of red wine...

The black saucepan in the background has the tomato basil sauce, plopping away while I shredded.

I did cheat a tiny bit there and used a bottle of passata rather than tinned tomatoes. I had the tinned tomatoes but, quite frankly, the second half of Sharpe's Challenge was starting in 10 minutes and I wasn't going to let simmering tomatoes rob me of a single moment of Sean Bean in period costume.

At long last, with some hastily grated parmesan and even more hastily thrown together salad of red capsicum (bell pepper?) and baby spinach with balsamic vinegar.

Sorry. Should have paid more attention to the plating before I took the pic.

Did I mention I was gagging for some Sean Bean?

Australian readers may be alarmed to look at their clocks and calendars and realise that a) the NRL Grand Final was underway while I was prepping this dinner, and b) that it was still underway when Sharpe's Challenge started. They might wonder a) where my priorities were and b) whether I am still married to the ex-pro-footballer.

Answer a) is I could care less about the ugly league, and enjoyed the peace in the kitchen, listening to Crowded House with aforementioned buckets of red wine. Answer b) is the Prof could care less about Melbourne and Brisbane fighting it out for a Sydney-based prize and was quite happy to turn to Sharpe at the appropriate moment. Plus: he wanted to eat and pissing off his wife would not have put dinner on the table, now would it?

And at last, with the rebel Indian maharajah capably deposed by the Dishy Colonel Sharpe, and the nastly concubine meeting a nasty end (but not as nasty as the way Sean knocked off her murderer) the verdict on the Shredded Granny Pants can be seen below.

Thanks Joke.


ps - the leftover potential is fantastic - just had some for lunch on a bread roll.

pps - this post accidentally published about three times before I was ready and I was recently told this can be vexing for people with Bloglines who may get lots of false starts before the final post is publised. As Maxwell Smart so beautifully puts it: sorry about that. Posted by Picasa


Blogger Joke said...

Well done! Bravissima!

If I had a daughter, and she got married, this is what it'd feel like.


P.S. If you can find veal breast (and the handsome butcher will de-bone it) it also works beautifully. Dunno about Oz, but ovah heah veal breast is ridiculously cheap.

Blogger meggie said...

ER... I dont eat red meat.
But it looked as if the red meat eating GOM would LOVE it!

Blogger My float said...

ok, stupid question, but does it taste really beefy? Because the plebs in this house won't eat anything that is too heavy in meat flavour. (I KNOW. I live among the peasants and not the easy-to-please ones.)

However, it sounds fantastic. Would it freeze well? I'm just wondering aloud because I can't imagine that it would really last long in a house of people who actually Unlike the ones in this place who have to be cajoled into eating anything other than a. cheese on toast. b. plain pasta. c. lamb (sometimes, if they're in the mood) and d. bread.

Joke, aw shucks, thanks. I've not heard of veal breast, but will ask. Our local vietnamese butchers have a cut they just call 'lean pork' which I'm thinking could work for another variation: Porky Granny Pants.

Meggie: the GOM would love it. And you could make it in a much smaller quantity - I used three normal sized skirt steaks and could easily have fed eight adults. Plus, you can both use the same tomato sauce at the end, but yours might go on pasta instead!

MF: very meaty, sorry, but see above for Porky Granny Pants suggestion, which I think would work a treat and certainly wouldn't taste as fleshy... You know the butchers on the lower end of Marrickville Road? They all do the 'lean pork' cut and it's loooong grained and very cheap.

PS - My float, I don't think you get to count cheese-on-toast AND bread as two choices. sorry 'bout that.

Blogger nutmeg said...

That dish looks bloody fantastic! Leftover potential is always a bonus.

I had a quick look at your "Recent books from my library" and noticed March by Geraldine Brooks. That was a bookclub pick over this way and was unanimously enjoyed. I also note Kate Grenville's A Secret River. I have it in my TBR pile. Maybe we should read it before the Booker is announced?

Blogger Em said...

Wow - you are a dedicated cook... I love to eat but am not so inspired to create (to my husband's dismay).

Sean Bean in period costume - wasn't that a treat?!

Hi Nutmeg, I loved March. I read it because I was intrigued at the idea of Geraldine winning the Pulitzer... You'll love the Walden Pond bits!

Em, now that I know what to expect in the Granny Pants department, it is incredibly easy and low maintenance. Literally a set-and-forget dish. Does that help?

(and yes, Sean Bean NOT being an IRA terrorist for a change, yum!)

Blogger Kim said...

That looks bloody sensational. I love the kids got ham salad. That's funny.

And Sean Bean - I have no idea who this is of which you speak with such girding of loins.

ps - Secret River was a Pea Soup recommendation and it was even better than March. Kimbofo is reading it now, I noticed, and what's more, reading the opening, Southwark scenes IN Southwark.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Kim! Sean Bean! There is a link to a recent pic, above. But you might not like him. He's craggy. Definitely not Johnny Knox-whatsy...

Blogger Joke said...

1- If you use pork, a) increase the quantity of EVOO and garlic in the sauce or b) make the sauce more of an "amatriciana" (as opposed to a "marinara") type of sauce.

2- Veal breast is the veal equivalent of brisket and over here it's beyond cheap. They practically pay you to take it away. I have the butcher de-bone it and then I keep the bones for stock. Also, for MF's purposes, veal is infinitely milder than beef.


Blogger Carolyn said...

That looks delicious!

Chicken is the cheapest meat here. I am soooo sick of chicken.

Blogger Emma said...

Looks like it was a yummy dinner! I wish I'd seen the first half of Sharpe's Challenge, somehow it slipped under my radar, so we watched Love Actually. AND we live in Brisbane.

Regarding your buttermilk question on my blog : it's a lot like runny yoghurt, and gave the chicken a nice little tang. It also charred a little (in a delicious way), and made dinner look quite exotic. I think it would BBQ well, but we don't own a BBQ to test that theory. Let me know if you try it!


Blogger nutmeg said...

Thankyou for the comments on the "food issue" over my way. They are really appreciated.

As to books, I see now that the list on your sidebar is not exclusively, like mine, a "To Be Read" list; more of a random selection (which could be read or otherwise!) I too saw that Kimbofo was reading A Secret River. Very, very jealous of her location, just quietly ;-).

Blogger blackbird said...
Blogger Stomper Girl said...

I've seriously enjoyed this tale of the Cuban Granny Pants. Especially loved the ham salad kids, the hungry Prof,and the red-wine-fuelled shredding fun. Oh and the cute butcher. Could a serial burner of food such as myself be trusted with this recipe?

Blogger Suse said...

I really disliked 'March' and so did all of my bookgroup bar one person. However I ADORED Year of Wonders, Brooks first novel. Sensational.

I have the same blue le crueset pot. Makes me feel like a real cook when I use it.

Blogger Kim said...

Ahhh, from that shot Sean seems to be in the same field as Bill Nighy and Alan Rickman - both of whom could do anything a.t. a.l.l. to me anytime, anywhere.

Blogger Loralee Choate said...

I dream of a Le Creuset.

I figure I have more chance of getting that than getting it on with Ewan McGreggor. A girl has to be reasonable, after all.

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