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Cooking with Neelix: Meat the Chef

by Neelix, Rotisseur

8th January 2021

"The food is not to be eaten."

"Then what is it for?"

"It is here to tempt us into breaking our fast."

- Worf and Alexander Rozhenko, "You Are Cordially Invited" Star Trek: Deep Space 9

Neelix, Culinary Usurper

If you've been paying attention, we've had a soup for an appetizer, a side of misunderstood vegetables, a spirit to cleanse the palate, and a dessert of Klingon proportions, but we haven't gotten to our main course yet, so set aside your gagh and get read for the sweet meats. Once again, this is your old friend Neelix, your guide and conscience through the world of Alpha Quadrant cooking. And today, I couldn't be happier to introduce you to a good friend of mine (introduced to me by another good friend Harry Kim - and to think I had just beat him three games in a row at Kadis-kot; what a good sport): Quark.

Quark, Smarmy Restauranteur

It turns out that Quark's time is so valuable that one has to transfer some gold-pressed latinum in order to book an interview, but I think it's worth it. The files I uncovered from the project codenamed "Shore Leave" included a reference to a meal Quark cooked for Kal'Hyah, which is basically a Klingon bachelor party. My only experience with a bachelor party was Mr. Paris's, which consisted of the baked wings of the Earth's native buffalo, so I was fascinated to hear that Quark not only provided a smorgasbord of requested specialty items by a pair of the groomsmen, but also roasted meats that would sit around for four days, none of which was eaten. Seems like a waste, but the recipe conjures up psychosomatic olfactory thoughts to die for.

Before I get to that, Quark himself is also a fascinating person. I spent time with a couple of Ferengi once, but he is much more of a people person, which makes me think the general Federation attitude towards them might be a bit overblown. For instance, he loves his staff. Depending on whether he's on Deep Space 9 or on his home planet of Ferenginar, he keeps tabs on a staff of about five to six Dabo Girls and anywhere from three to seven Waiters, not to mention the culinary talents of Benjamin Sisko and Kaga while on the station. What a positive role model! I hear he even puts away a little something for each of those special people in his life.

And speaking of special, the moment has arrived to unveil the recipe for the meat Quark specifically created to water the mouths of the Klingon bachelors. (I still can't believe they didn't partake! How rude!)

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil in a shallow roasting pan with foil extending beyond pan. Spray with no-stick cooking spray. Place the brisket fat-side down in middle of the foil.

Combine onion soup mix, jelly, and cocktail sauce in a medium bowl. Pour half of mixture over the brisket; turn brisket fat-side up covering with remaining mixture. Bring both sides of foil to the middle and fold foil down on itself, containing the brisket. Bake for 3 hours or until fork-tender.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter; sauté onions and mushrooms for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Place aside.

Remove brisket from pan; pour off and collect juices. Remove layer of fat from brisket. Return meat to oven on low to keep warm.

Add remaining butter to skillet and sprinkle in flour, stirring as you do. Mix a couple of minutes until smooth for a blonde roux. Add juices, mushroom and onion mixture, and tarragon and allow to reduce to form a gravy. Slice meat across the grain into 1/4 inch thick slices and top the meat with the gravy mixture.

 

Real Author's Note: The jelly adds a sweetness balanced by the cocktail sauce's tang. If a roux seems complicated, the juices and mushroom/onion mix can be reduced without them and simply ladled over the meat. I've used many types of jellies, jams, and preserves. I've never used prune jelly, which is, I'm sure, the flavor that would most entice Worf, but different fruits each add their own flavors. Pick one that you like. I hope you have enjoyed these recipes. Apart from that, what more can be said about Shore Leave on release day? Bon Appetit!


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