At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

DUTCH HASH

When I returned from the Netherlands years ago, people would praise the place as a hash heaven. Their subsequent insane hippie gibbering made clear that they were talking about something other than cuisine, unfortunately.

I rather severely disapprove of drugs. If caffeine, nicotine, and highly refined white sugar were good enough for Jesus Christ, they're good enough for damned well anybody.
Darned freaks.

Both the English word 'hash' and the Dutch word 'hachee' (pr.: hah-shay) derive from French 'hacher', meaning to chop the meat.
The American version of hash is usually diced meat cooked soft with bacon fat and vegetable matter, served as a side dish to breakfast.
The Netherlandish interpretation is more of a robust stew.


HACHEE

One pound of stew meat, chunk cut.
Two onions, chopped.
One cup brown ale.
Half a cup meat stock.
Two or three bay leaves.
Two or three cloves.
One or two star anise.
Pinches of nutmeg and dry ginger.
Two TBS flour.
One or two TBS sugar.
A hefty jigger of malt vinegar.
Salt and pepper.
Fresh herbs to finish.
Olive oil.

Salt and pepper the meat. Heat olive oil in a pan, add the meat, and brown it. Put the onion in and cook till golden. Sprinkle the flour over and stir to incorporate and colour. Add the liquids, sugar, and spices, once it bubbles turn the heat low and simmer for an hour or so.
Stir to prevent burning.
Throw some chopped parsley and chervil or chive on top.

Serve with plainly dressed vegetables and potatoes or steamed rice.

If you're from Louisiana, use brown roux instead of strewing the flour into the pan.
Traditionally, people would use one or two slices of peperkoek (a swemi-sweet rye cake) or stale brown bread to make the sauce thicker instead of flour. You can do that, but why?


Wherever you are from, have chilipaste ("sambal") on the side.


Variations are endless; from incorporating sharp mustard and ground coriander into the stew, to the addition of rice wine, soysauce, and dark pear or apple molasses ("stroop") in lieu of sugar.
Garlic and ginger are fine to put in also, and instead of beer I use a BIG splash of dry sherry to flame it.
Oh, and I always float a few whole green chilies in it while it cooks, which will render fragrance but not heat.
Unless they burst.


Note that in essence this was how Semor originated. In Indonesia they used dark sweet soy sauce ('ketjap mainis') to make the sauce savoury, tomatoes, lime, or tamarind paste to acidify, and three or four roasted candlenuts ("kemiri") for thickness. Potatoes or lobak could be put in also, like an Irish stew, and crispy fried shallot slivers strewn over.

[OR, you could have chin choi-tau kwai (煎彩頭塊) on the side. Take a pound of lobak, peel and shred it, seethe it with a little oil for five minutes or so. Meanwhile mix two cups of plain rice flour (米粉) and cornstarch (栗粉) or tapioca flour (木薯澱粉) (slightly more rice flour than either of the other two), and pinches of salt and sugar with water or chicken stock to a smooth batter. There should be more lobak than there is batter. Add the cooked lobak to this, mix well, put in a greased cake pan, and steam for twenty minutes plus. Let it cool down, and slice it into long chunks. Saute some ginger, garlic, fatty meat, chilipaste, and chopped celery till fragrant in a skillet, put the lobak fingers in, and fry golden. Add a jigger of fish sauce ("petis") or soy and even more chilipaste, and slide onto a plate. Squeeze lime juice over, and garnish with minced scallion. Note that the same mixture of lobak and batter, if augmented with a cooked mixture of lapcheung (臘腸), black mushrooms (香菇), and dried shrimp (蝦米), can be used to make lobak gou (蘿蔔糕), which is a popular dimsum, and an absolute must have at Chinese New Year.]

The sambal on the table is axiomatic.


Always have SAMBAL.



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6 Comments:

  • At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Would you please not make the chinese so tiny! Especially for obscure culinary terms it's absolutely illegible!

    Do you use an online chinese dictionary?

     
  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    more questions, sorry
    what language is that in which you called daikon?
    I've seen dried shrimp a in chinatown and wanted to use it in cooking, have you written a post yet, or can you direct me elsewhere for information on those - and on dried fish in general?

     
  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Lobak is Cantonese, but also a common term for it in many South-East Asian tongues. It's also called mooli/muli (a term of Indian derivation).

     
  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    And yes, I use an on-line dictionary, quite often in fact.

    MDGB: http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php.

    [http://www.mdbg.net/chindict/chindict.php]

     
  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Regarding dry shrimp, simply pour warm water over them and let them sit till soft.

    Described with other Chinese ingredients in this post: http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2010/10/dried-shrimp-chinese-cooking-fat-girls.html.

    [http://atthebackofthehill.blogspot.com/2010/10/dried-shrimp-chinese-cooking-fat-girls.html]

     
  • At 12:43 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Sorry about the smallness of the Chinese characters - if they're in an annotation, the size is determined by the fact that such things are stylistically always smaller than the main text.

    Here's the annotation in full size:

    [OR, you could have chin choi-tau kwai (煎彩頭塊) on the side. Take a pound of lobak, peel and shred it, seethe it with a little oil for five minutes or so. Meanwhile mix two cups of plain rice flour (米粉) and cornstarch (栗粉) or tapioca flour (木薯澱粉) (slightly more rice flour than either of the other two), and pinches of salt and sugar with water or chicken stock to a smooth batter. There should be more lobak than there is batter. Add the cooked lobak to this, mix well, put in a greased cake pan, and steam for twenty minutes plus. Let it cool down, and slice it into long chunks. Saute some ginger, garlic, fatty meat, chilipaste, and chopped celery till fragrant in a skillet, put the lobak fingers in, and fry golden. Add a jigger of fish sauce ("petis") or soy and even more chilipaste, and slide onto a plate. Squeeze lime juice over, and garnish with minced scallion. Note that the same mixture of lobak and batter, if augmented with a cooked mixture of lapcheung (臘腸), black mushrooms (香菇), and dried shrimp (蝦米), can be used to make lobak gou (蘿蔔糕), which is a popular dimsum, and an absolute must have at Chinese New Year.]

     

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