I recently experimented with “beef noodles”.
It went a little something like this; “Chef, I’ve been working with beef now for 3 weeks in all sorts of ways, I want to change it up. Thinking about doing noodles out of meat, doable?” Chef’s reply, “totally“… and so it began.
I started with a 6oz piece of beef shoulder that I had marinating in the walk in for over a week. It was scrap to me, so I thought best to try it out with this. It was simply marinated, salt, cracked pepper, a few lime wedges.
I rough chopped it and tossed into the food processor, pureed the heck out of it.
Next, I pushed it through a tamis into a bowl, cleared all the fat strings and discarded the waste.
With the remaining pulverized meat I sprinkled in Transglutiminase or “meat glue” to it. Mushed it around with my hands (in gloves!) and repeated the process with another sprinkling.
Lets take a time out to talk about what Meat Glue is: The scientific term, transglutiminase are a family of enzymes that catalyze the formation of a covalent bond between a free amine group (e.g., protein- or peptide-bound lysine) and the gamma-carboxamide group of protein- or peptide-boundglutamine. Thanks Wikipedia. In simpler terms it means that this magic powder can combine scraps of meat to make very nice looking cuts or specialty shapes.
I vacuum packed both bags in the cryovac to omit all the air.
Then, I patted the lumps down with my palm until I could run it through the flat rung of the pasta machine. I did this to get a flat, thin surface of the meat inside the bag.
After both bags were thin and even, I tossed them into the immersion circulator to sous vide over night at 131*F.
When I returned the next day, the meat had cooked through and had shrunk just a bit around the edges of the bag.
I removed the thin sheets very carefully and placed them on my cutting board. Using a pairing knife I cut the meat paper into 1cm strips, then reserved into a small metal bowl.
For service I gentle pan-fried a small handful of noodles and tossed them in a Thai chili sauce I had previously made.