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lopen78
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Quote lopen78 Replybullet Topic: cayman style beef
    Posted: 13 Mar 2011 at 12:40pm
hello everybody, can anybody post a true recipe of the cayman style beef ? i know that there are many differnt recipes in cayman, i would like to to the one used at the little hut behind the scotiabank. many thanks to who can help me.


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sandra
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Quote sandra Replybullet Posted: 13 Mar 2011 at 4:06pm
Harmac the Caymanian will definitely help you out.

Sigh! I'm so hungary I'm going to Budapest for a meal.
I asked for all things so that I might enjoy life; I was given life so that I might enjoy all things
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lopen78
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Quote lopen78 Replybullet Posted: 13 Mar 2011 at 5:41pm
Originally posted by sandra

Harmac the Caymanian will definitely help you out.

Sigh! I'm so hungary I'm going to Budapest for a meal.
   But unfortunatly im not in Cayman and don't kbps how to get this delicius recipe
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harmac
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Quote harmac Replybullet Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 3:32pm
 
Turtle or beef for Christmas dinner? Caymanians remain divided about which of these is the truly traditional Christmas meal. As dear as turtle is to its culinary heritage, Cayman’s delicious Christmas Beef is also an enduring tradition with... a unique holiday recipe, one that dates back to long before many Caymanian readers were born. But forget those images of thick slabs of rare prime rib or fancy imported standing rib roasts. This is not the “roast beef of Old England,” served with Yorkshire pudding, that patriotic symbol dear to British palates since the 18th century. Cayman’s Christmas Beef is a much humbler dish that uses local beef (which is grass fed and free from hormones and antibiotics) that is well-seasoned and slow- roasted until it has a rich brown crust and is falling apart tender. It’s served with ground provisions like yam or sweet potato, not roast Irish potatoes and green peas.

Although it was called “Christmas beef,” it was actually beef and pork, seasoned and cooked together slowly, over a low fire, in the same covered iron pot. Cooking the meats together allowed the pork fat to moisten and tenderize tough or lean cuts of beef—the same cooking principle as “larding” beef, which dates to the middle ages. Cooked this way, the meat would keep without spoiling for several days after.

Cookbook author Miss Cleo Conolly, now 82, shared her memories of the family Christmas meal in East End when she was a little girl. “We never thought about gifts, because life was hard in Sand Bluff. But Christmas was always a happy time for us children and getting ready for Christmas dinner was exciting! We looked forward to that wonderful meal, the beef and pork, cooked for hours to make a nice brown crust –how I loved that! To cook the meat you first had to wash it very well with water and vinegar or lime juice, and “scald” it. You did this by putting it in a pot of water and bringing just to a boil, then removing from heat and draining off the water, then rinsing the meat again. This removed any “scum or foulness” which could spoil the flavor.
Then we would season it well, by “scorching” (scoring) with a sharp knife all over, and putting the seasoning in the cuts. Back then, we used whatever seasoning was available: black pepper, salt, a little Cayman (Scotch bonnet) pepper, and maybe scallion and thyme. We didn’t use garlic at all back then—and onions were very rare too. My brother Frank and I would walk the beach and look for onions washed up from passing ships and sometimes we were lucky! I always wondered how they made it into the sea in the first place, but they were good and fresh and gave the beef such good flavor!

The meat was put in a heavy iron pot with a cover and cooked slowly over the fire for a long time, until browned on the outside and so tender inside. That was a real feast for my family,” Miss Cleo said.
Preparing traditional Cayman Christmas Beef

Cayman Christmas beef is part of its culinary heritage. It takes time and patience but the delicious result is worth the effort. While the exact recipe and technique may vary from cook to cook, here are the basic directions. Choose a good cut of local beef, especially a chuck roast. Miss Zelmalee Ebanks of Whistling Duck Farms in North Side said her favorite cut is a 6 to 8 pound “the number 7 cut from the shoulder.” (At the meat counter, this is labeled a Seven Bone Chuck Roast, because the bone is shaped like a number 7.) If you want to cook beef and pork the traditional way, choose a 2-3 pound piece of pork from the shoulder or butt.

Clean the meat well. Wash with cold water and vinegar and pat dry before seasoning. Seasoning is a matter of opinion, but almost everyone agrees that some hot Cayman pepper (Scotch bonnet or mutton) is a must. The seasonings commonly used are salt and ground black pepper mixed with finely chopped scallion or onion (or both); thyme and slivers of seeded Scotch bonnet pepper. Fresh garlic and seasoning blends like Nature’s Seasons and Mrs. Dash are popular additions today, but not traditional ones. And then there are some who say “less is more.” A friend from West Bay cooks his Christmas beef (local beef, from West Bay, of course) just like he cooks his turtle: with only a little onion powder, salt and black pepper on the outside, and lets it cook down in a covered pot on top of the stove for hours, until all the water and fat is released. His family believes that simple recipe is the best in Cayman.

Score the meat all over, making small but deep cuts in the surface with a sharp knife. Using your fingers, stuff seasoning into those holes and then cover the roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or longer to let the flavors permeate the meat. Christmas beef should be browned outside with a nice “crust” and cooked until very well done. Miss Cleo firmly believes that baking (roasting) is the best way to achieve this. Place the seasoned meat in a Dutch oven, caldero (aluminum stew pot) or other heavy pot with a cover. If desired, add a large onion, sliced to improve the flavor, and just enough liquid to keep the beef from scorching the bottom, about a half inch.

Cover and bake at 350 F. for about 18 minutes per pound. Remove the cover for the last hour of baking so that it browns nicely, adding a little more water or broth if necessary to keep the meat from drying out too much. If you want to “boost” the browning, you can brush meat with a few teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet or browning, but do not use too much or it will ruin the meat.
Cook the meat until it is well done—and very tender. Depending on the amount of beef and pork, or beef alone, used, this could be 3 to 6 hours or longer. (**Braising is the correct term for this cooking method: slow cooking in a covered pot, either on top of the stove or in the oven, using a very small amount of liquid. Some Caymanian cooks insist you should NOT cover the pot and cook the meat on top of the stove, checking often and turning so it browns all over and adding liquid as needed. The old time method of seasoning and slow cooking turns a less expensive cut of beef into a gourmet meal.

Worldwide, traditions live on from generation to generation for a reason…sometimes the old ways are still the best ways, and at the very least they are interesting and unique. Certainly the Christmas traditions of days gone by have a remarkable elegance and charm that doesn’t exist in our modern fast-paced world.
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vutjebal
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Quote vutjebal Replybullet Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 3:56pm
But we do have a CAYMANIAN ship cook  on board...thanks Harmac-ky....please dont  wait for the next call...just  stay with us....
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
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lopen78
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Quote lopen78 Replybullet Posted: 16 Mar 2011 at 6:21pm
Many tanks Harmac, i will try it. Tank you si much
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