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steamed buns

I was a bit under the weather yesterday.  I took it very slow.  It was a luxury.  I still got a lot done but it was lovely not to have to go into an office when I was feeling poorly.  I did all the things that I needed to do to take care of myself and I feel much better today.

I am obviously addicted to more of the PBS style of cooking shows.  Not the American compitetions or such.  I do enjoy what Netflix has been putting out with their Chefs Table.  The recently did one that was just on French chefs.  There was this French chef who was making steamed buns.  There was a lot of Asian flavours in her cooking.  

I have always liked steamed buns.  I used to buy them when I lived in Seattle.  I decided why not try them.  I had just gotten a recipe in my cookbook Eating with the Chefs so why not give it a try.  Even though I switched it up for what I had in the kitchen and I made my steamer from my roasting pan, I thought it was lovely.  It would be something I would like to take with me when traveling.  Traveling food.  Pocket food.  Life is good.

steamed buns

Note:  I adapted this from Eating with the Chefs to use what was in my kitchen and sourdough.

2 teaspoons whole cloves

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

2 teaspoons multi-colour peppercorns

1/3 cup (20 grams) star anise

2 teaspoons coriander seed

about 1 pound chuck roast

1 cup tamari (soy) sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 ounce (a thumb size piece) fresh ginger sliced and peeled

1/2 head garlic, skinned and smashed

2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

4 1/2 cups water

sourdough starter

100 grams water (1/3 cup)

100 grams flour (1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2/3 cup milk

pinch of salt

about 2 cups of flour

In a large bowl, place the sourdough, 100 grams of water, and 100 grams of flour.  Cover and let sit in a warm place until bubbly.

In a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, toast the cloves, fennel, peppercorns, star anise, and coriander for about 2 minutes.  Stir constantly.  The toasting is done with the spices are fragrant.

Put the beef on top of the spices.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and put into a 350 degree oven for 3 hours.

About an hour or a bit more before the meat is ready, uncover the sourdough and remove some for the next time.

Stir into the starter the sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, milk, and salt.  Mix in just enough flour to make a soft dough.  Knead until smooth and elastic, no more then 10 minutes.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.

While the dough is rising, take the meat out of the oven.  Strain the cooking liquid and reserve.  Shred the beef, removing any unwanted fat or ligament.  I chose to moisten the beef with the cooking liquid until is was of a flavour and moisture that I wished.

Divide the dough into golf ball size pieces.  I made about a dozen.  Roll each ball into an oval and fill with a large tablespoon or more of the beef filling.  

I had covered my roasting rack with a piece of parchment paper and put the buns here to rise.  Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.

In my make shift steamer, I have about an inch of boiling water.  Maybe a bit more.  Place the buns into the steamer but make sure they are not touching the water.

I sealed my roasting pan with aluminum foil.  Steam for 12 minutes.  

They turned out beautifully golden.  If they are not golden, steam them a few more minutes.

I served them with a bit of diluted braising/cooking juice.  It was so good.

These are a keeper.  My family is coming up with other things they might wish to be in the middle of the steamed bun.  The bread itself is good so that is not a problem.

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