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Jul 9, 2010, 1:15 PM

Post #26 of 32 (16710 views)


Re: [Hound Dog] Ground beef for hamburgers

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The story may explain to the Dawg the quality of New Mexican food:

If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope
for you. I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed
to paramedics at a chile cook-off in New Mexico

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the
first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better.

For those of you who have lived in New Mexico , you know how true this
is.. They actually have a Chile Cook-off about the time Halloween comes
around.. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Santa Fe
Plaza Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chile taster named Frank, who was
visiting from Springfield , IL

Frank: "Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chile
cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I
happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for
directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was
assured by the other two judges (Native New Mexicans) that the chili
wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free
beer during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3."

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:


Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild..
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could
remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the
flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These New Mexicans are crazy.


Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what
I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who
wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer
when they saw the look on my face.


Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chile. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels
like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now.
Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my
backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting sh*t-faced from
all of the beer.


Judge # 1 -- Black bean chile with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or
other mild foods, not much of a chile.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable
to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer
maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. woman is
starting to look HOT .. just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is
chile an aphrodisiac?


Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chile. Jalapeno peppers freshly ground,
adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chile using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must
admit the jalapeno peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I
can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed
paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her
chile had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by
pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher .. I wonder if I'm burning
my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to
stop screaming. Screw them.


Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chile. Good balance of
spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous,
sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it
will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me
except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt
with a snow cone.


Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chile with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of
chile peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried
about judge number #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is
cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I
wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds
like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chile, which
slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my
shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've
decided to stop breathing.. It's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting
any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the
4-inch hole in my stomach.


Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chile. Not too
bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chile. Neither mild
nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted,
passed out, fell over and pulled the chile pot down on top of himself.
Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor feller, wonder how he'd have
reacted to really hot chile?
Judge # 3 - No Report

Albuquerque, NM


Jul 9, 2010, 3:21 PM

Post #27 of 32 (16704 views)


Re: [Hound Dog] Ground beef for hamburgers

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Now to be quite serious, you cannot believe the effort that we have put forth to replicate Arrachera in Albuquerque. We have visited every Mexican Market on the horizon and either they don't know what Arrachera is or those that claim to have no idea what a good marinade and proper cut of meat is. We have purchased skirt steak, flap steak, flank steak from various sources and of various grades without success. My most recent experiment was with choice top sirloin from Costco. I sliced the thickness of the steak in half and used a homemade marinade. This was my best effort so far but still not primo.

On our trip last August, we did purchase some pre-packaged Arrachera at a Soriana and while passable, it wasn't the greatest and the four packages are long gone.
Albuquerque, NM


Jul 9, 2010, 3:59 PM

Post #28 of 32 (16701 views)


Re: [chinagringo] Ground beef for hamburgers

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Neil, an FYI for your next trip; Both Tony's and Costco have excellent vacuum packed arracherra. Take some north.


Jul 9, 2010, 4:59 PM

Post #29 of 32 (16693 views)


Re: [DavidHF] Ground beef for hamburgers

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Thanks for that info! Interesting that Costco has it down there but not up here. They do have Bill Bailey's Carne Asada, which while passable, it is not Arrachera! While I have eaten Arrachera at Tony's on numerous occasions, I did not realize that they sold vacuum packed. We had one of the Soriana brands at Pedro's a couple of times and it was quite good. Since our trip was so extended, we waited until we got to Chihuahua before purchasing a different brand (not as good) at Sorianas. That way we could get it home that night and into the freezer.

This recipe has become a personal challenge and I will keep trying until I find the right meat and a marinade that tastes just right!
Albuquerque, NM


Jul 9, 2010, 5:18 PM

Post #30 of 32 (16690 views)


Re: [chinagringo] Ground beef for hamburgers

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Costco sells arrachera either with or without marinade. I buy the 'without', roll up the individual long strips of meat, and freeze them individually in plastic ziplock sandwich bags. When I want to cook a stir-fried Chinese beef dish, I just cut across the semi-thawed roll for perfect cut-across-the-grain strips.


Jul 11, 2010, 9:19 PM

Post #31 of 32 (16659 views)


Re: [chinagringo] New Mexico chili cook off

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Chinagringo, it's not nice to make an old man laugh so hard his dogs turn against him. That is so funny! I for sure had tears in my eyes and I have taken the liberty to pass that one along. Almost had sympathy gas for Frank!



Jul 11, 2010, 9:59 PM

Post #32 of 32 (16657 views)


Re: [tashby] Ground beef for hamburgers

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I cannot believe that you all can't get it! There is no such thing as the perfect hamburger meat. There is such a thing as the perfect hamburger meat for where you spent most of your lives. Have you ever heard of . . . . . "You are what you eat?" . . . . . well folks cows are the same! In my younger days I had herd of registered white faced cattle, in Washington State. Let me be the first to tell you that cattle are much like bees, in that they produce meat that is very definitely flavored by the food they eat. Think "clover honey", "buckwheat honey", etc are from large areas of dense areas of clover or buckwheat flowers. it is the same with cattle. When cattle have access to large areas of one kind of grass, such as clover, timothy, or brome, they produce meat with a different flavor than that of a steer that has grazed solely on alfalfa with a flavor typical of that particular grass. When many ranches seed their hay fields they may use different percentages of different mixes of hay such as a mixture of alfalfa-brome-timothy, again based upon many different parameters such as what are the minerals in the ground that supports the hay also based upon many other variables such as weather and terrain. Many ranches such as in New Mexico and Arizona have mixed breeds that include browsing as well as grazing cattle. This can also have an impact of the flavor of the meat of that animal. It also make a big difference if your livestock grazes from "live green hay" in season and dry hay out of season versus straight dry hay (year round feeding) or in the case of many Mexican ranches corn stalks and other brush that most Mexican cattle eat. Then the livestock is shipped to a feed lot where steroids and a lot of different water is fed to cattle to fatten them up for sale. Most Wal Mart or large chain store meat is a mixture of many different cattle from many different parts of the USA. If you bought your meat say at a small chain store or a local butcher (if you can find them any more) or for that matter on the hoof from a farmer, all will have a different taste. So you see there is no such thing as the perfect and consistent hamburger tasting meat. There is a huge difference in the Mexican beef and the NOB beef again for many reasons, mostly is that Mexican beef rarely have the opportunity to graze on green fields for a great part of the year. Most I have seen in Mexico are dry grass foragers or brush browsers. Next time you are in the real desert parts of Texas, New Mexico or Arizona where it takes many, many acres to feed one head of beef, you will usually find a grade beef mix of browser African beef and American beef breeds or straight African browser beef breeds. These browser beef know how and are physiologically built differently to be able to browse by standing on their hind feet for good periods of time. All of these parameters give a different taste to the meats you buy. Want a really good deal on meat? Buy direct from the rancher when the steer is about 4 months old. Leave the animal there to graze and for the last thirty days have the rancher feed the steer some good molasses and grain to fatten him (or it) up naturally. Have it butchered at the ranch and delivered to a butcher to be cut as you want, including the percentage of fat content in the hamburger. That is the very best and over all the least expensive beef that you can buy. Now you know why the hamburger meat in Mexico is different.
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