Cleanin’ Out My Cabinets: Beef Fry Marsala

Ah, yes, balls have returned to The Pete Is On, didn’t you miss them??  I wish I didn’t have to post about this again so soon but I did an awful job of cooking interesting stuff these past two weeks.  Some ribs, some chili and soups, but nothing even mildly creative that would merit a post.  Oh well, I’ll make something foul this weekend hopefully.

Anyhoo, A few weeks ago after cooking the Rocky Mountain Oysters, I had a a little extra ball meat left over the next day.  That expressions is like the awful gift that keeps giving.

If I hadn’t already dropped thousands of hints and explicit statements I could have told you that these were scallops.   Probably would help the nausea cause if I gave the cutting board a wipedown before taking this picture

Given my hatred of deep frying things in my own home, I elected to take a different approach to cooking the beef scallops.  Based on my recent discovery that the flavor is similar to chicken livers and the consistency is a little soft, I figured I could eat them on some crunchy bread with a sturdy sauce.  Pretty sure Ma Ryan didn’t expect to ever see this use for her Marsala recipe when she gave it to me.

As with the veal and chicken cutlets Ma Ryan intended her recipe for, it all starts with a heavy dusting of flour, salt and black pepper.

Little more than a dusting, but any extra flour avoids the need to add some later to thicken the sauce.  I should probably make this with chicken sometime soon and post it so that I honor the wonderful simplicity of this recipe

While coating those, I heated a few tablespoons of butter over medium heat on the stovetop.  Once the butter was fully melted and bubbling I added the floured beef scallops to the pan.

While I was cooking it I was thinking the same thing I am thinking now, “I hope that little naturally formed shotglass of liquid drains off when I flip them”.  Also, how we all liking “beef scallops”?  I’m sticking with it, much less painful to type repeatedly

Although the sauce would eventually eliminate any crispiness from the butter frying, I was still hoping to get some nice golden color on the outside.  Easier said than done since these things were pushing out a lot of liquid.  Eventually I got somewhere, I guess.

Tasty golden fried balls.  They seem to be nearly impossible to overcook which is definitely in their favor since nobody wants an undercooked ball

After another 5-10 minutes of pan frying the coating had crisped a bit and I removed the beef scallops to a pile of paper towels to drain.  The heat on the pan went down to low-medium heat and I whisked the flour from the bottom of the pan into the remaining butter and a little extra olive oil.

Little bit of brownin’ flour isn’t a bad start for a sauce.  Well, except when it was previously coating balls

At one point in time I remember frantically reading the recipe word doc my mother gave me, and measuring out the portions of Marsala wine and whole milk to get the sauce right.  I’m past that.  Who knows if the sauce is worse because of it, but I enjoy not having to look stuff up.  For the sauce, I like a ratio of about half Marsala, half milk, alternating between the two as you whisk it into the roux-like substance in the pan.  Post whisking, plus a little simmer time, I had a decent sauce for the beef scallops.

The overzealous flour coating made this sauce a little chunky and unwieldly, but it still tasted and smelled perfect for a Marsala

with the sauce thickened, the scallops went back in to simmer for a bit, just as I would with veal or chicken cutlets.  Not sure how much it does for the flavor, but it definitely gets everything well sauced.  I like to add sauteed mushrooms at this point too but didn’t have any to use.

Not sure why, but I think  anyone with even a moderate knowledge of food would look at this picture and say it was suspect.  Just looks a little off

After a few minutes of simmering, I piled the meat onto a few slices of toasted baguette with multiple spoonfuls of sauce to smother and make solidly messy plate of grub.  I made it messier with a handful of grated parm over the top.  My only regret is the stupidity of how I sliced and toasted the bread which made it impossible to eat by hand.  For some reason I cut wedges instead of flat rounds, so stupid.

‘Lil sprinkle is rarely an accurate assessment of what I engage in with cheese.  All pastas, red sauces, pizzas, and anything broadly referenced as Itallian food gets a heafty pile of cheese in the Ryan household

Marsala plus cheese is rarely a miss from a flavor perspective.  I say that recognizing that I was consuming bull testicles, but really they were quite tasty and far less terrifying than you would think.

Again, white meat.  Like a Marsala chicken tender, except made from sexin organs.  Yuck

Marsala is a perfect compliment to the flavor of the beef scallops; it hides some of the more unpleasant offal flavors but matches well with the poultry-ish flavors.  What was left was a tasty combination of beef and chicken flavors with Marsala sauce. The crusty bread was nice just because the soft meat definitely needs some contrasting crunch so you aren’t eating just a pile of somewhat mushy food.  Overall, a pretty decent meal that I enjoyed eating, though I am good with taking some time off before I purchase my next set ‘o balls.

Here this weekend, will be cooking I promise.

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