Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter brings along Hunter Beef

My wife cooked - I photographed

Winter is the best season of all seasons since in winter one can feel the heat of steamy and sizzling dishes almost lost in clouds of steam. The road side vendors find a new business to sell roasted peanuts, cashew nuts, dried fig (one of my most favourites), raisins and many other indigenously made sweets like til kay laddoo, reoris (I cannot spell it correctly) and the sort. One also finds vendors selling chicken soup at very cheap rates compared to the same served in bigger restaurants. Everyone, rich or poor, seem to be making him adept with the winters by buying eatables synonymous to winter and capacity of one’s pocket.

But there is one thing very special to winters and that is Hunter Beef. Wow I love that big loaf of boneless meat with its pink layers of varying shades. Although beef is rather cheap in Pakistan, hunter beef is very costly. And due to its unique taste, whatever quantity is brought home, it vanishes in no time. Owing to its excessive “homely demand”, my wife prefers to make it indigenously in our kitchen.

Like every year, we bought a loaf of beef and added simple ingredients (2 tsp crystallized salt, 3 tsp black pepper, 2” stick of cinnamon, 2 tsp brown sugar, 4 black cardamom and 3tbs of lemon juice) and make a paste. Now rub the paste thoroughly on a 2kg loaf of boneless beef. Then put it in glass container, apply a covering and put it in the refrigerator. Take out the loaf everyday for next 5-6 days, rub it with the paste which would have now become water for 5-10 minutes (some suggest even half an hour). On the sixth fateful day, take out the meat, put two cups of water in a pot (do not pour over the beef) and let it cook for 2-3 hours on a low heat. Then take it out and hunter beef is ready.

So my wife repeated this ritual this time too and finally today was the day when the loaf of beef duly marinated for six days turned into hunter beef as shown above. And as I said before, this is a magical thing, it vanishes very quickly. We made sandwiches in the evening when my sons came from the university and in doing so half of the loaf was gone. This was bound to happen.

So next week she intend going to market and buy another loaf of beef to make hunter beef for winters without hunter beef feel cold. Wouldn’t you agree?


Shirazi said...

Our khaya kis kis ne? Yummy :-)