A nice wonton recipe with some good information about prime rib or pork butchering and what to do with the scraps!
I usually do not purchase many ground meats. I am used to making my own ground meats, as well as making fresh sausage. In many restaurants and yacht clubs that I have worked in, we had our own butcher shop. Usually the butchering task was assigned to the grill cook. Part of the pre-employment requirements for a grill cook was extensive experience as a meat cutter or butcher.I learned quite a bit about how to butcher meats quickly with very little waste from a professional butcher from Milwaukee, while working for two years at a very busy yacht club. I also learned from a great Chicago butcher that teaches at Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas. Basically, I was taught by two of the very best butchers on this planet! As I do more recipes that require meat fabrication, I will pass on some good information that I have learned.
The key to a restaurant's successful profit margin is to minimize waste. Every scrap must be put to use. Knowing what is traditionally prepared with each type of scrap, is what separates the self proclaimed chefs from the highly skilled chefs who really know what they are doing. For example: Most second rate chefs purchase netted pre-fabricated boneless prim rib. Most classically trained high quality chefs purchase the whole rib section with the bone attached.
The reason that a bone-on prime rib is desirable for higher cuisine, is because the fat cap is attached. The fat cap can be easily pulled away from the meat. The streaks of lean beef that are attached to the fat cap can be trimmed off with a filet knife. There is about 8 to 10 ounces of scrap meat alone just from that part of the rib roast that can be turned into some very tasty ground beef!
A classic prime rib has the seasoning and spices placed under the fat cap before roasting. The seasoning forms a layer between the fat cap and the eye of the rib and that will give the roast an excellent flavor with no burnt spice aftertaste!
There is no need to truss a bone on rib roast. The bones will keep the shrinkage to a minimum. For a rib roast to be prime, the bones and fat cap must be removed. The fat cap was trimmed before roasting, so discarding the fat cap is now a no waste situation, unless an oil recovery company will accept rendered grease. Then the thick fat cap can be rendered into oil for sale to a soap manufacturer or biodiesel fuel manufacturer. The bone rack that is cut off of the rib roast can be cut into beef ribs and sold as BBQ ribs or braised ribs. That is more money in the bank! Finally, the trimmed roasted eye of the prime rib is trussed before being finish roasted and held for serving. This is the way to maximize profit from a prime rib!
Why did I chose prime rib for an example? At the yacht club that I worked in, we sold over 30 whole roasted prime ribs on a busy night! We had no waste and our food cost was established on a non-profit club structure. Excess money earned over and above the expected returns in a non-profit food cost structure translated into pay raises! As a manager, you reward a sharp crew for doing a job that is well above the par for the course and you do not give yourself a pay raise based on the crews skills. That is honest restaurant management!
The other reason that I chose prime rib as an example, is because a pork loin roast can be butchered and prepared the same way with the same opportunities to maximize profit by utilizing waste. A few pounds of pork scrap meat can be turned into mountains of wontons!
The moral of the story is: Waste not, wonton not! Ha! Ha! Ha!
If you prepare a small amount of scrap pork meat as ground pork meat, then it can be fun to make the ground pork the old fashioned way, instead of with a modern meat grinder. All that you will need is a "Chinese meat grinder." A Chinese meat grinder is simply a sharp Chinese cleaver. If you have no cleaver, then a chef knife will work just as well.
To fine chop meats quickly by hand, first you should slice the meat thin. Then cut the meat into strips. After the meat is cut into strips, slice across the strips to dice the meat. Finally, keep your fingers away from the blade and quickly chop with short strokes, till you have finely minced meat.
This does save money too. Instead of buying a larger portion than what I needed of ground pork at a store, I bought a cheap pork shoulder blade steak. I needed a little bit of pork shoulder later this weekend for a German recipe anyway. I trimmed a small piece of pork for that recipe and then trimmed the fat and bone from the rest of the pork steak. I chopped the trimmed lean meat by hand for this recipe at a cost of about 50 cents. I saved the bone and froze it for later for when I make a meat stock for glace viande. The trimmed pork fat can be rendered into a high quality lard for Mexican cuisine. As you can see, a cheap pork blade steak that costs $1.50 just turned into many cost saving items!
In many old fashioned Chinese restaurants, if you order a ground meat item, you can hear the cleavers chopping quickly in the kitchen. Fresh finely minced pork is a tradition in old Chinese kitchens. The meat that is minced is scrap meat. Fresh hand minced pork meat is much better than grocery store ground pork that was made several days before. Not only do the pork scraps net more profit in Chinese cuisine, they increase the quality of the food!
Pork Wonton Recipe:
Like most of my entree recipes, this recipe makes one portion! This wonton recipe is a nice appetizer or light meal. The garlic sauce does not have an overbearing flavor that is laden with soy sauce. The wonton stuffing has a dash of lime to brighten the flavor. The wontons in this recipe are fabricated with a different shape than many chefs use. The finished wontons are medium size!
Finely mince about 3 ounces of lean pork trimmings.
Place the minced pork into a mixing bowl.
Add 1/3 of a minced green onion.
Add 1 minced garlic clove.
Add 1 teaspoon of chopped ginger.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 1 pinch of five spice powder.
Add 1 small squeeze of lime juice.
Add 4 drops of soy sauce.
Place about 1 tablespoon of the pork stuffing on a 4"x4" square wonton wrapper.
Brush the edges of the wonton wrapper with egg wash.
Place a second wonton wrapper over the pork stuffing.
Press the border edges of the two wonton wrappers together to form a square ravioli shape.
Dab a little egg wash on one corner of the wonton square and fold the opposite corner over, so the two corners meet.
Pinch the two corners together to form the wonton.
Repeat these steps to make several wontons.
Set the wontons aside.
Garlic Sauce Recipe:
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Add 5 to 6 minced garlic cloves.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
Saute for about 10 seconds, so the garlic and ginger become aromatic.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil.
Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper.
Add 3 to 4 mushrooms that are sliced into quarters.
Add a few red bell pepper strips.
Stir fry, till the peppers and mushrooms start to cook.
Add 2 ounces of sweet rice wine or sherry wine.
Add 1/4 cup of vegetable broth.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 1 small pinch of five spice powder.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce.
Bring the sauce to a boil.
Mix a few spoonfuls of cornstarch with a splash of cold water in a cup to form a slurry.
Add just enough of the cornstarch and water slurry to thicken the sauce to a medium thin consistency.
Add 1 green onion that is cut into large bite size pieces.
Set the sauce aside, till the wontons are cooked.
Pork Wontons with Garlic Sauce:
Boil some water in a pot over medium high heat.
Add the pork wontons.
Stir and swirl the wontons and water gently, so the wontons do not stick to the pot.
When the wontons float in the boiling water for one minute, then they are done cooking.
Reheat the garlic sauce over medium high heat.
Set the wontons on a plate.
Pour the garlic sauce over the wontons.
The pork stuffing tastes very fresh and light. The garlic sauce has just a little bit of zest from the crushed Thai chile pepper. The flavor of the mushrooms adds a little bit of depth. These are some delicious wontons with a nice sauce to match! ... Shawna