The Moogarita: A Beef Cocktail

1 Feb

Beef cocktail

Jenny and I love cooking shows based around secret ingredients, like Iron Chef and Chopped. So I was intrigued when I discovered Kitchen Play—a website built around that very concept—earlier this year.

The site invites food bloggers from across North America to participate in monthly “progressive menus.” Bloggers are assigned to develop a recipe for a particular course, using ingredients from a sponsor organization. We were excited and up for a challenge when Casey at Kitchen Play contacted us to be part of the February menu. But we never could have expected just how challenging this particular challenge would be.

Our course: a cocktail. Our secret ingredient: Beef, courtesy of sponsor Canadian Beef. Translation: Make a beef drink.

Our research quickly uncovered the fact that there aren’t too many alcoholic concoctions containing beef, aside from variations of the Canadian classic, the Ceasar, which incorporate beef stock. Then Jenny had a revelation—tamarind, the sour-sweet fruit common to Mexican, Thai and Indian cooking. We’d had a tamarind tequila in Mexico a couple years ago, and knew the flavour would complement the rich, earthy taste of beef.

And so, after a bit more thinking, testing and drinking, the Moogarita was born: a combination of tequila, pure beef stock, tamarind, and lime-ginger syrup. And to beef it up even more, we garnished the drink with sticks of homemade jalapeno and lime beef jerky.

To make the Moogarita, we set out to find the purest beef stock and found some at a local market made from Canadian beef bones and water. That’s all there is to it—no added salt or flavourings, which makes for a very pure and clean tasting stock that doesn’t overshadow the other flavours in what turned out to be a delicious drink. With its tart citrus taste, the Moogarita is similar to a classic margarita, but with a richness from the beef stock and a sweet-sour bite from the tamarind and ginger-lime syrup.

If you can’t find tamarind paste or concentrate (widely available in Asian and Indian food stores, as well as in ethnic food sections of many grocery stores), we’ve discovered that HP sauce—which actually contains some tamarind—is a reasonable substitute.

Check out our recipes for both the Moogarita and the beef jerky garnish below—and read on to find out how you can win $100 from Kitchen Play by recreating this recipe or others from the February menu!

The Moogarita (makes 1 drink):

1 oz tequila
1 oz good quality beef stock (unsalted and as pure as possible)
½ oz ginger-lime simple syrup (see recipe below)
½ oz thinned tamarind paste*
Ice cubes

To thin tamarind paste, put about a tablespoon of it into a bowl and whisk in about a tablespoon of warm water, a little bit at a time until you get a smooth, thin, syrupy consistency. Set aside.

Put 3 or 4 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, beef stock, ginger-lime simple syrup and tamarind. Shake well. Pour into a highball or margarita glass and garnish with jalapeno-lime beef jerky and a slice of fresh lime.

*Tamarind paste can be found at many specialty stores and ethnic grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can substitute ½ oz of HP Sauce, which is similar in flavor with a bit more spice and bite to it.

Ginger-Lime Simple Syrup:

½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

Bring lime juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Add sugar and ginger, and lower heat. Simmer and stir for 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves and ginger infuses syrup. Let cool.

You can strain the syrup to remove pieces of ginger, but we decided to keep them in to add more flavour to the drink.

Makes about 2/3 cup of syrup. Syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about two weeks.

Jalapeno & Lime Beef Jerky

3/4 lb flank steak
1 jalapeno, half of seeds discarded, chopped
1/3 C fresh lime juice
1/2 C tequila
¼ C tamari soy sauce (or regular soy)
4 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Slice beef against the grain, into long, thin strips. (Tip: put your meat in the freezer about an hour before cutting it. It’ll be easier to slice.)

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, tequila, tamari soy, brown sugar, salt and pepper until the sugar dissolves. Stir in jalapeno.

Place beef strips in a glass baking dish (or other non-reactive receptacle) and pour marinade overtop. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat oven to 175 C. Remove marinated beef from the fridge, and place slices on paper towel. Remove any jalapeno seeds stuck to the beef if you want a milder beef jerky. Using more paper towel, pat the pieces dry to remove excess liquid.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Arrange beef slices flat on sheet without overlapping. For a more stylish-looking jerky, twist the slices of beef before placing them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in oven.

After 1.5 hours, remove the baking sheet and flip each piece of meat over. Put back in the oven for another hour.

After another hour, check to see how dry the beef is, flip slices again, and put back in the oven for an additional half an hour if needed. The goal is for the jerky to be as firm and dry as possible, without getting too brittle.

When sufficiently dried, remove jerky from oven and let cool. The beef will dry further as it cools so make sure not to overcook/over-dry in the oven.

Enjoy as a garnish for the Moogarita—or on its own!

* Special thanks to our friends Sue & Chris Pink for the beautiful photography.

Up for a challenge of your own? Want the chance to win $100? Recreate this or any of the other recipes from February’s Kitchen Play menu, then post about it. Read the full contest rules at kitchen-play.com/contest-rules.

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40 Responses to “The Moogarita: A Beef Cocktail”

  1. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 1, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    This is intriguing. What a creative drink idea – I would NEVER have been able to dream that up in a million years!

    • Jenny Tryansky February 1, 2011 at 10:11 am #

      Thanks Mardi!
      Your one-bite steak frite with shallot jam (brilliant!) sounds amazing and I’m definitely going to try making them. I think I could make a whole meal out of a couple of those. Really great idea.

  2. Noemi February 1, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Amazingly creative – I’m SO intrigued to try this.

    • Jenny Tryansky February 1, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      Well, I don’t think it would be hard to arrange a little tasting party… ;)

  3. thebeefladyheather February 1, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    what a neat idea! plus, the name is just SO CUTE! I am going to have to try this at our next dinner party! Everyone always expects ‘the beef lady’ to serve beef, but I bet they would never guess they would be served a Moogarita! Love it!

    • Jenny Tryansky February 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

      Thanks Heather! And thank you for all your support and encouragement.
      Neil came up with the name and I adore it!

  4. Isabelle February 1, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Boy, I thought I’d gotten a tough challenge when they gave me salad, but now I’m thanking my lucky stars I didn’t get the beverage. :)
    You guys totally rose to the occasion, though… sounds really unique and delicious, and totally worthy of a high-end restaurant’s fancy cocktail list. The beef jerky is a brilliant touch, too.

    • Jenny Tryansky February 1, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      Isabelle – I could totally ‘make friends’ with your awesome salad… ;)

      That close up photo makes me want to grab a fork and dig right in.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. Jen H February 1, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    LOVE this idea! So creative, I can’t wait to try it!

  6. Joy February 1, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    This is just brilliant. I would never have thought of creating these. LOVE, LOVE them! And I’m so curious to try them out.

    • Jenny Tryansky February 1, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks Joy!

      I can’t wait to try your chili recipe! I felt like I could imagine the flavors as I was reading through it. Coconut milk in chili – definitely yes, yes! :)

      The photography on your site is really beautiful too! Very inspiring.

  7. Choosy Beggar Tina February 1, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    What an absolutely brilliant idea. I had no idea what someone would come up with for a beef drink, and it looks like you knocked it OUT OF THE PARK! Also, I’m totally tickled by that whimsical jerky garnish. So creative, and looks delightful!

    • Jenny Tryansky February 1, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      Thanks Tina! You guys did an awesome job with your THREE recipes too! Very impressive. And fun idea to do a video.

      I actually think the beef jerky is my favorite part of our creation. I never would have thought to make it at home, but it came out so good that I’ve been craving it ever since the last batch. You can really taste the flavor of the jalapeno (not just the heat but the flavor of the pepper itself) and the sweetness of the brown sugar.

      Thanks so much and congrats to you guys!

  8. lily February 2, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Huh. Beef broth and tomato juice is a common old-timey fortifying drink, at least in the midwest.

    You should try it with spicy tomato juice, beef broth and vodka for a bloody mary.

    • Neil Faba February 2, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      Thanks for the comment, Lily. We’ll have to try that.

      Here in Canada, we have the ceasar, which is similar to a bloody mary except that it combines clamato juice (a uniquely Canadian product that combines tomato juice and clam juice) with vodka, worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce and celery salt.

  9. Sasha @ Global Table Adventure February 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Cute idea and, as other’s have said, the name is adorable. Tamarind is a nice touch.

  10. danna February 3, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    please tell me this is a joke. beef margarita?! BARFARITA!! disgusting.

    • Neil Faba February 3, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Danna. Thanks for the comment. No, it’s not a joke. And we do realize it’s definitely not for everyone. To be honest, if we hadn’t been involved in Kitchen Play’s February menu, I doubt we would have been experimenting with using beef stock in a cocktail.

      But this, surprisingly, works well together. The tamarind, ginger and lime flavours are the ones that stand out, and the beef stock really just adds another very subtle flavour. You could omit the stock altogether and use something like sparkling water instead, and I think the cocktail would be just as good.

  11. MyLifeRunsOnFood.com February 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    It’s only February… but this is the most creative dish of the year. How are you going to top this dish for the rest of the year? :)

    • Neil Faba February 12, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Thanks for the compliment! :)

  12. Cocktail Recipes February 24, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Truly great cocktail and a good name to boot!

    • content January 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Yeah, thats what I like the most about this drink, the name, its very adorable looking as well going to try it out next weekend with my lady friends.

  13. MixnSip November 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Wow! Just found this. It’s a definite improvement on the Bovril I used to drink as a kid. Way to go!

    • Jenny Tryansky November 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      Well, you should test it out and let us know what you think! It’s definitely a conversation starter, but more than that, we think it tastes great! Let us know what you think. Thanks for the comment!

  14. http://tinyurl.com/houshair09531 January 11, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    I truly tend to go along with every thing that
    has been put into writing inside “The Moogarita: A Beef Cocktail
    Communal Table”. Thanks for all of the actual tips.
    I appreciate it,Marvin

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] and Neil at Communal Table infused their signature drink, The Moogarita, with several layers of Canadian Beef goodness, [...]

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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Richard Auffrey, Pam and Canadian Beef, Neil Faba. Neil Faba said: The Moogarita, a beef cocktail @jennytryansky and I created for the @kitchen-play Feb Menu. Check it out! http://wp.me/pJ0ov-gS [...]

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    [...] The Moogarita: A Beef Cocktail Our research quickly uncovered the fact that there aren’t too many alcoholic concoctions containing beef, aside from variations of the Canadian classic, the Ceasar, which incorporate beef stock. Then Jenny had a revelation—tamarind, the sour-sweet fruit common to Mexican, Thai and Indian cooking. We’d had a tamarind tequila in Mexico a couple years ago, and knew the flavour would complement the rich, earthy taste of beef.  And so, after a bit more thinking, testing and drinking, the Moogarita was born: a combination of tequila, pure beef stock, tamarind, and lime-ginger syrup. And to beef it up even more, we garnished the drink with sticks of homemade jalapeno and lime beef jerky. [...]

  8. Vodka Infused with Beef Jerky. Fail. « Well Preserved - February 5, 2011

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  10. Boozy Recipes for National Tequila Day | Yummly - July 24, 2011

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