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JanusInTheGarden

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Many if not all of you have probably worked for or are continuing to work in a restaurant that provides its employees with a meal--prepared by one of its own. I thought it might be interesting to see what everyone's "go to" staff meal preparations are/were/continue to be. So how about it folks? What do you like to make for your fellow workers?
 

MadMel

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I'd always fall back on curry when I run out of ideas.
 

ecchef

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Pasta. Cheap, fast, and a way to use up all the odds & ends.
 

JohnnyChance

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Surf and turf. Usually prime ribeye and lobster tails.

Oh, wait. That's not what we actually have. That's what I try to picture while I eat family, in a mind over matter battle to convince my taste buds what I am eating is better than it is. Mon-Fri our family meals are made by one of the lunch folks, and, well, it's not the greatest thing ever. Usually some form of rice, pasta, sometimes orzo, chicken (we get whole birds in so there are always extra parts lying around).
 

Eamon Burke

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My favorite was when Martin from San Luis would make turmeric fried rice with jalapenos, chicken and shrimp, and we'd put salsa and lime on it. I would eat it until I hurt.

At my current job, everyone seems to want deep fried stuff, like cheap tenders fried and tossed in sauce like a chicken wing. barf.
 

Vertigo

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Everyone orders individually where I work, so there's no "family style" staff meal. Though often, at the end of a grueling 6 hour, 500 cover Sunday brunch service (with three hours up and one hour down on the sides), I'd personally like nothing more than to serve the waitstaff a slop bucket full of gravy and some bread heels.
 

Dubsy

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at the hotel we have a "cafeteria" cook, and he has this really nasty habit of putting raisins in the rice. every friggin time. raisins here, overly sweet/sticky sauces for meats, and fish that no one eats, cause no one trusts it. so i usually just suck up to a line dog, get a Caesar or something. the Ex. Sous doesnt care, and the Exec is never there, and if he is i still dont really care.
 

Lefty

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We used to get spoiled! We'd end up getting whatever we were trying out for the "special".
It was often lamb shank, or pasta with a lamb scented sauce. If we worked the morning shift (yay) we would normally get Monte Cristo sandwiches and fruit. The owner treated us really well most of the time.
I always enjoyed when we'd make crepes, because you can go sweet or savory with them.
 

BertMor

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Arroz con Pollo was a pretty easy favorite. Chix and dumpling was easy if done right with Bisquits

My personal favorite was homestyle frijoles. they used bacon grease and white beans with onions and anything else available. On top of rice it was a meal in itself
 
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The "chain" from cleaning tenderloins sliced up w/ mushrooms,peps and swiss cheese on day-old baguettes = awesome cheese steak family meal. Always a crowd pleaser (myself included).
 

sachem allison

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My staff always love it when I do a proper seafood paella for staff meal or good old fashioned homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. They fight over mashed potatoes or mac & cheese.
 

wenus2

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At the last place I worked my favorite "family meal" was simply a nice beef tip stroganoff.
 

AnxiousCowboy

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The "chain" from cleaning tenderloins sliced up w/ mushrooms,peps and swiss cheese on day-old baguettes = awesome cheese steak family meal. Always a crowd pleaser (myself included).
It's n ot tough as hell? do you clean it up first?

My favorite go to family meal is chicken tikka masala... Also I like making biryani, soups (Sancocho), indian rice, meatloaf, sausage.... etc...
 

ecchef

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It's n ot tough as hell? do you clean it up first?

My favorite go to family meal is chicken tikka masala... Also I like making biryani, soups (Sancocho), indian rice, meatloaf, sausage.... etc...
Now you're just making me friggin hungry! Haven't had sancocho in like 7 months.
 

Chef Niloc

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Funny having a smaller staff and it being my own staff family meal and how it was done was something I found myself involved with more then ever this past summer, before I just had my sous handle it. Me and my line cooks take turns making it, and yea when time is short pasta is the fall back. When it's my turn I do pizza a lot as we make our own bread and day old dough works for that. Last night they got a spicy chicken and blue cheese sour dough pizza for staff meal. I also like to make hot dogs, sloppy joes and grill cheeses. Potato scrap is usually around so fries and mash pot is done often. I do a big egg omelet on a sheet pan in the combi-oven and give them egg sandwiches, big hit. Once hamburgers hit 2 days old they go into the family meal pot, as burgers if I have enough or as sad before sloppy joes.
Funny story about the left over ground beef. Earlier this summer I had a new cook victor take ground beef cook it down in heavy cream and tomato paste and serve it over pasta and call it bolognese. I had a few problems with this. one he used the last heavy cream, I don't like them using heavy cream to begin with as it's expensive and tends to make a heavy slow you down meal, not good for a staff that's about to work 8+ hr's before they eat again. 2nd it's slop! Terrible for staff moral to look at there dinner and say " oggg this is going to make me sick" or not eat it at all and go hungry. I yelled at him for using the last cream and for making slop. He told me that's one of the most popular dishes at the last place he worked?????? I asked him what slop house that was and them mumbled under my berth " that's what I get for not checking references". Victor got upset and quit. Now the funny part is about 2-3 weeks ago I had another new cook, Orlando make the same thing! I asked my sous chef were all these guys learn to make this victor sauce?? Orlando also called it bolognese. I then asked every one in the place if they have ever seen bolognese made this way, thought maybe it's a pizzeria place thing? No one seen this slop before so I still don't know were this stuff is made. Orlando quit the next because I would not pay him in cash. Staff all thought it was because of the victor sauce, victor sauce the kiss of death.
 

Eamon Burke

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Wow. That is disgusting. I mean, seriously. Bolognese is not rocket surgery.

They cook the beef down IN the cream!? :puke:
 

stevenStefano

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Wish it worked this way where I work. Sometimes I work 12 hour shifts without a break so I usually make myself some roast beef with pepper sauce, but I don't get a break so I have to eat while I work. Lost count of the number of times I finish eating it about 4 hours after I make it :pullhair:
 

MadMel

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I have not heard or seen of a cream bolognese.. Ever...
 

ThEoRy

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It's a thankless job that no one is ever satisfied with and there will always be complaints regardless of what is made. I've learned to tune that out and not give a ****. You don't like it? Bring a sandwich *****!
 

Chef Niloc

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I have not heard or seen of a cream bolognese.. Ever...
Me nether but you never know what crazy slop they make in some of the pizza shop kitchens. As sad seen it 2x by 2 different "cooks" ( term lightly used) that did not know each other so this summer alone, they got to be learning this somewhere. I have never herd/ thought any one would cook down ground beef in heavy cream...I don't know if Zimmern would eat this slop.


It's a thankless job that no one is ever satisfied with and there will always be complaints regardless of what is made. I've learned to tune that out and not give a ****. You don't like it? Bring a sandwich *****!
True but I still don't like to serve slop, not even to the staff. iDK about other states but here in NY we can garnish there wages for staff meal, so it pisses them off if they can't eat it.... But I still take my moms approach, you don't like it don't eat it....Waite my mom didn't say that she sad... you don't like it, tuff eat it & if you don't it will be waiting for you for breakfast.
 

cnochef

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When I first opened my restaurant, I used to offer a FREE family meal before service for all employees. I always told myself that I would do this if I ever had my own joint. Unfortunately in this day and age staff are incredibly picky, ultimately ungrateful and have a host of allergies and/or dietary preferences. So, my gracious attempt at sociability and civility was put to death. Instead I offered any menu item at a 50% discount after service, accompanied by a glass of wine or bar brand highball for $2.
 

sachem allison

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Funny having a smaller staff and it being my own staff family meal and how it was done was something I found myself involved with more then ever this past summer, before I just had my sous handle it. Me and my line cooks take turns making it, and yea when time is short pasta is the fall back. When it's my turn I do pizza a lot as we make our own bread and day old dough works for that. Last night they got a spicy chicken and blue cheese sour dough pizza for staff meal. I also like to make hot dogs, sloppy joes and grill cheeses. Potato scrap is usually around so fries and mash pot is done often. I do a big egg omelet on a sheet pan in the combi-oven and give them egg sandwiches, big hit. Once hamburgers hit 2 days old they go into the family meal pot, as burgers if I have enough or as sad before sloppy joes.
Funny story about the left over ground beef. Earlier this summer I had a new cook victor take ground beef cook it down in heavy cream and tomato paste and serve it over pasta and call it bolognese. I had a few problems with this. one he used the last heavy cream, I don't like them using heavy cream to begin with as it's expensive and tends to make a heavy slow you down meal, not good for a staff that's about to work 8+ hr's before they eat again. 2nd it's slop! Terrible for staff moral to look at there dinner and say " oggg this is going to make me sick" or not eat it at all and go hungry. I yelled at him for using the last cream and for making slop. He told me that's one of the most popular dishes at the last place he worked?????? I asked him what slop house that was and them mumbled under my berth " that's what I get for not checking references". Victor got upset and quit. Now the funny part is about 2-3 weeks ago I had another new cook, Orlando make the same thing! I asked my sous chef were all these guys learn to make this victor sauce?? Orlando also called it bolognese. I then asked every one in the place if they have ever seen bolognese made this way, thought maybe it's a pizzeria place thing? No one seen this slop before so I still don't know were this stuff is made. Orlando quit the next because I would not pay him in cash. Staff all thought it was because of the victor sauce, victor sauce the kiss of death.
your are not going to believe this, but when I was in Bologna they actually make bolognese with cream or milk. It is actually registered as the official version of bolognese.

The sauce dates back at least to the 5th century. Tomato was added after the discovery of the New World.[1]

The traditional recipe, registered in 1982 by the Bolognese delegation of Accademia Italiana della Cucina, confines the ingredients to beef, pancetta, onions, tomato paste, meat broth, white wine, and milk or cream. However, different recipes, even in the Bolognese tradition, make use of chopped pork or pork sausage, white chicken, rabbit, or goose liver may be added along with the beef or veal for special occasions, and today many use both butter and olive oil for cooking the soffritto of small amounts of celery, carrot and onion. Prosciutto, mortadella, or porcini fresh mushrooms when in season may be added to the ragù to further enrich the sauce. Milk is frequently used in the early stages of cooking to render the meat flavours more delicate but cream is very rare in the everyday recipe and only a very little would be used. According to Marcella Hazan in "The Classic Italian Cookbook", the longer Ragù alla Bolognese cooks the better; a 5- or 6-hour simmer is not unusual.[2]

The people of Bologna traditionally serve their famous ragù with freshly made tagliatelle (tagliatelle alla bolognese) and their traditionally green lasagne. It should be noted that the Italians do not pair Ragù alla Bolognese with the pasta shape spaghetti. Wider shaped pasta are thought to hold up to the heavy sauce better
 

ThEoRy

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Traditional bolognese

Season and sear the meat, strain, add seasoned brunoise mir poix, sweat till translucent, deglaze with cabernet, reduce au sec, add heavy cream, reduce au sec, add plum tomatoes (food milled first) tom paste, bring to a boil, simmer 4 hours, add fresh basil and oregano in the last hour, season. Fin.
 

SpikeC

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I have always used Marcella's recipe. You add the milk after the meat has been cooked, and cook it down until there is no liquid left. It adds sweetness to the sauce.
 

Chef Niloc

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Thanks for the info, I guess it all comes back to proper procedure. Trouble I find with a lot of cooks is they only pay attention to the list of ingredients and not what to do with them. These guys throwing everything into a pot at the same time and calling it a day. Still must say hamburger meat and cream don't sound like a winning combo to me, but I'd love to try it done right...I'll ask around....if any of you know a place in NY that does it well post it up.
 

Eamon Burke

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Dude, the procedure for bolognese in my mind is this: Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil, allow the sugar to stick to the pan. deglaze with white wine. Add cooked ground beef, then tomatoes, stewed from a can if out of season, or fresh sauce if in. A little stock perhaps depending on how dry it is, and reduce a bit, then add heavy cream at the end, finish with salt, pepper and herbs.

But cooking the beef in the cream? That's not kosher. And tomato paste? We aren't making soup here. Bolognese is about beefy, rich flavor, and I don't see why anyone would make this for a PRE-shift meal. But if someone was putting raw beef in milk and cooking it down(especially cooking 80/20 in any liquid that doesn't get tossed), they'd better have some sweet mongolian tricks up their sleeve, cause that sounds like a puke party.
 

Vertigo

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Theory's recipe is the way I learned it. The lactic acid in the milk helps break down the meat and give it a smoother texture / better mouth feel, and a slightly sweeter flavor--hence using it early in the cooking, rather than at the end.

It's not just putting a pile of raw hamburger in a puddle of milk though, lol.
 

apicius9

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Theory's recipe is the way I learned it. The lactic acid in the milk helps break down the meat and give it a smoother texture / better mouth feel, and a slightly sweeter flavor--hence using it early in the cooking, rather than at the end.

It's not just putting a pile of raw hamburger in a puddle of milk though, lol.
Just a hobby cook, but that's also the way I learned it. That said, a bit (!) of pancetta never hurts. And a friend made one with a few minced chicken livers thrown in and I thought that was great.

Stefan
 
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