Stretching the beef

February 4, 2011

The Latinos, they know a thing or two from grilled cheese.

This would be a beef and cheese quesadilla.

But not just any beef and cheese quesadilla.

This would be a beef and cheese quesadilla made from PJF beef tips braised in ancho-coffee sauce. And a pound of beef tips will make six of ’em, and that is the best use of your beef buck you can make.
The coffee-ancho prep has been previously discussed; essentially, brown your beef, take it out, brown your onions and garlic, add some tomato paste and cook, add a buttload of ancho chile powder and cook, add coffee, brown sugar and lime. Simmer. Put the beef back in and braise the hell out of it.
I’d done these beef tips last weekend and stuck ’em in the freezer pending whenever I wanted to use them. That was tonight. I thawed them, chopped them fine, and assembled quesadillas — six 10-inch flour tortillas, about 12 ounces of grated co-jack cheese. Cheese-beef-cheese, folded into half-moons. Filmed my big non-stick skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil, fried ’em up beneath my panini press, two at a time.
NS ate one. I ate half of one. Child C, who has headed out for Friday evening parts unknown, asked us to please save some for her. There seem to be a gracious plenty. I expect they will make most excellent lunches next week.
It’s been a snow day. I didn’t feel particularly well last night, nor when I got up this morning, so I dispatched NS off to school in the care of Child C, and went back to bed. Felt kinda wrung out when I got up again at 9 a.m., but have gradually gained ground over the course of the day; a snow day and assorted naps will do that for you. In any event, when I got up at 9 it was snowing, which I think came as a surprise to most folks. School dismissed, Child C’s workplace sent everyone home, and residents of the Spa City commenced to do what Southerners do when it snows: drive like damn fools, and slide off in ditches.
Child C seemed to hold up OK (she was, after all, driving my car, which is a heavy sumbitch, and has front wheel drive, so long as no one runs into her, she’s ok).
So everyone was home by 1o a.m., and I cooked breakfast — cheddar cheese biscuits, bacon andd eggs. And then, because snow days call for yeast bread, I mixed up a big ol’ batch of Miss Mary Loyd’s yeast roll dough, and proceeded to make a two batches of cinnamon rolls.
Here’s one, as-yet-unbaked:
I forgot to take a picture after they were baked, and now they’re already wrapped in plastic awaiting tomorrow morning. They were quite tasty, particularly when topped generously with cream cheese icing.
Tomorrow, I’m contemplating bourbon-braised beef roast, just because it freakin’ sounds wonderful.  And it’ll be a good meal to enjoy  before I go on this enforced fast on Sunday.
You and y’mama ‘n ’em please take a moment to think of me suffering, Sunday.

One Response to “Stretching the beef”

  1. cindy trammell Says:

    ok….so where do I find the recipe for the beef tips you used in those quesadillas?

    Look back a few posts and you’ll find it; I think I did country style pork ribs that way. Or, go to and search recipes there for coffee ancho short ribs — that’s where I snagged the recipe!

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