Tag Archives: beef

Sous vide Bo Luc Lac

For those who don’t know Bo Luc Lac, it’s a Vietnamese dish of beef cubes (usually scotch fillet or rib eye) served with tomato rice and salad. Translated, it means shakey shakey beef, or shaken beef – like a stir fry.

I’ve done a bit of a modern take on it and went the sous vide route, why? Because I can use a cheaper cut of meat like rump or blade and still have tender meat (usually it’s made with scotch fillet). My sous vide machine is Sunbeam Duos bought for me by my lovely girlfriend.

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Before you begin, you’ll need (this will serve 4):

  • Cheap beef –  800g of rump (discounted one too)
  • Onions – 1 large
  • Garlic – 4 cloves – diced finely
  • Oyster sauce – 3tb spn
  • Soy sauce – 2tb spn
  • Sesame oil
  • Neutral oil – Canola
  • Salt and pepper

To sous vide, i pat my beef dry, sprinkled on a few drops of sesame oil, salt and pepper. Vacuum sealed it, then dropped it into the sous vide machine.

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Settings? 50 degrees for 4 hours – aiming for rare here as the meat will cook a little further on the wok (and also because this is for lunch, I want to keep it on the rarer side as the microwave will cook it further). When done, I put the meat into the fridge (again this is to prevent overcooking when tossed on the wok.

The result? Consistently rare beef throughout.

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Once cool, dice up the meat into 1.5 – 2cm cubes.

Then marinate the meat – oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, diced garlic and 3 tablespoons of regular oil (typically I’d add salt, pepper and sesame oil, but that was added earlier). Toss, and let it sit for a while – the flavours here are quite strong so you don’t need to leave it for hours.

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In the meanwhile, chop up a large onion into large chunks. I just half the onion and then cut it into 12 portions.

Final step is to get you work and shake it up, importantly though, because I don’t have a proper wok burner, I cook my beef in small batches. It’s important to keep the work hot and smoking.

Heat up your wok til it’s hot, add some oil and quickly toss the onion in, keep tossing until all the chunks break up. Next add your beef and keep stirring/shaking, you want to ensure a nice brown colour on all sides of the meat. The goal here is to brown the meat.

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The end result – for lunch I served this with a basic tomato pasta and a side of salad; lettuce, tomato and capsicum.

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My perfect steak

I’ve been trying to perfect my own steak recipe for a while now (well since my local Woolworths stock some nice juicy bone in rib-eye pieces!). I’ve been using a combination of oven and pan-frying to ensure the steak is evenly cooked in the center, yet charred and brown on the outside. A good piece of steak should require no marinade, all that’s required is olive oil, salt and pepper. Here’s the result of my steak (as you can see it’s served with a nice salad and roasted vegies), the steak itself is a perfect medium rare. The steak here was about 450grams, pretty big piece but Woolworths will occasionally have pieces up to 700grams!

Steak, salad and roast vegies

The outside however is not the important bit, what’s important is the inside. Below is how a steak should be, first thing you’ll notice is that it’s pink, not red. Second thing you’ll notice is that the pink-ness runs right from the top to the bottom. Why is this a good thing? Firstly pink means it is cooked but not enough to turn it brown and chewy, being pink it remains super juicy and tender. The consistency of the pink-ness means that it’s cooked throughout and evenly, not like most steak places where the middle is actually red/raw and the outside is done.

Perfectly pink

So how do you get a steak this good? Firstly you need a good piece of meat, it’s gotta be thick and good quality, don’t bother doing this with a cheap rump or t-bone. Second trick is the oven, while this seams to go against everything for cooking a steak, an oven allows you to bring the internal temperature of the meat slowly without overcooking the outside. Finally, resting time, this is super important! Resting it will allow it to cook and soak up the juices so that when you cut it open, liquid doesn’t come oozing out.

Now this wasn’t a proper guide to how to do it, but I feel that I can do it consistently enough to do a proper write up and instructions. Next time I’ll take photos along the way to show you the cooking process.

Perhaps the next time I do this will be with a more expensive cut of beef, perhaps a well marbled Wagyu.

The best and biggest burger. Ever. Seriously.

I’ve known about this place for a long time now, but today, I know what it looks like, what it smells like and most importantly what it tastes like. We’ve all seen those giant burgers from Killa burger, but you’ve never seen a giant burger like this before and it’s not only amazing because it’s big, it’s amazing because it’s also tasty. Today I made the trek up to the North West to Gunderman (way beyond the Hill District) 90km from my area and 1.5 hours of driving lands me in a little area called Gunderman. It’s right by the Hawkesbury River and there’s a little cafe called Wombat Cafe.

The Wombat Cafe

Blink and you’ll miss the place, it’s a little turn off Wisemans Ferry road (map all the way at the end). Being a lovely day it was a nice drive with the top-down, there’s plenty of twisty roads to make for a fun drive. When we got there, we saw the signs, Australia’s biggest burger and our faces just lit up.

Home of the 1.7kg big burger

Now 1.7kg sounds amazing and so does that picture but that’s not what we were here for. We wanted the monster 2.4kg Double Wombat Burger with the works. What does that get you? 500 gram bun (more like a loaf), 2x 500 gram Angus beef patties, bacon, egg, cheese, caramelised onion, tomato, pinapple, various salads and whatever sauce you like.

2.4kg of mighty burger

How good does that look?! We were just in awe as it came out on a cutting board with knife ready to share (there’s no way in hell you could finish that on your own) although the owner of the place has told us there had been 6 people who had finished a slightly smaller version (1.7kg one without the second meat patty). We carefully dissected the burger to share and had our first look at its delicious insides.

The guts of the burger

Seriously tasty, but that’s not all that’s amazing about this joint. The owner makes his own home-made chilli sauce and that thing is amazing! It’s quite hot (despite him making it more mild) but at the same time has a bit of sweetness to it, not a sweet chilli sauce sweet, but something and holy crap it is simply divine. It’s so good that we asked him if we could buy a bottle of it. The burger itself is fantastic, very down-to-earth, nothing fancy like relish or exotic herbs and spicies, it’s simple and well-cooked. It’s also not greasy as you’d expect and the variety of fillings makes for a different flavour with every bite. It’s got everything a burger should have, just supersized. We made one grave mistake though and that was by ordering a second burger. As it cooked, our bodies had a little time to digest we were getting quite full as it came out and finishing it was a real struggle.

finished

Tiny bit of bacon leftover but we were seriously stuffed after the second one. Would definitely recommend this place despite the long drive and I’ll definitely be coming back here again. It’s simply amazing.

Probably important bit of information is how do you get there? It’s along Wisemans Ferry road up north, you’ll need to come sort of through the Hills District (if you’re from the west) or Hornsby if you’re out East.

Do a search for Riverlands Caravan Park if you need to find it.