I know this very nice lady. Her name is S.S. (have to keep it private.) She is a major foodie and has traveled all over eating some of the best foods there is. Do you want to know what she said about my corned beef? She said that it equals, if not surpasses, corned beef she has had in New York City. Can you believe that? What a great compliment.
It was my first try at corned beef. In fact, it was my first shot at leaving anything in a brine. For 5 days that meat soaked in all the goodness of the bring that I had created. Then on the 6th day I rinsed and I boiled. (By the way, on the 7th day I drank a beer with the profit I made from the person who bought the meat from me. For privacy sake I can not tell you that I made a ton of money on 13lbs of meat—can’t tell you that.) The aroma in the house was awesome as the meat became tender during the boil. I tried a little bit of the meat when it was all done and I loved it. Truthfully I never had corned beef before; it was never on the menu at my house. But it will be from now on. There is no reason that a cheap cut of meat, like brisket, can not make its way to my plate more often if all you do is soak and boil.
It was sooo good.
Now I am on to a new adventure tomorrow. My wonderful friend Corey L, just gave me 3 wonderful ducks. They are in the fridge right now. Tomorrow I need to somehow do the following:
- Take Off The Feathers
- Gut Them
- Get over my insane fear of anything dead with a head on it. I mean really, I chose not to go to medical school becasue I found out that I hate dead things with a head. I could easily work on a person’s heart if it was still beating, but as soon as it stops and the person is dead (or animal in this case) I get freaked out.
But I am going to get over that stupid fear (even though one of the ducks is looking at me through the bag). When I get over my fear I am going to make the best duck confit you have ever had. Or maybe Peking duck. We will see. More later my friends and remember you can save money and your health by buying bulk and breaking down your own food.
So this latest little experiment has taken me a few days. I used the master list for sausage making and added my own flavors. I will tell you more. But I’m sitting next to my smoker, it’s hot and I need water. But I wanted to at least post this link to a Sausage Documentary my six year old did while I was stuffing the casings.
Flipping through my meat bible, Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, I came across a recipe that I had not seen before. It caught my eye because it had the word HAM in it. So I stopped flipping and read. What I discovered is going to be my first long term project. SALTED AIR-DRIED HAM. I know that my bacon takes 7 days to cure…but this recipe says 4-5 months (or even up to a year.)
As soon as I read that I knew that had to be my next project. I want to get into making sausages that take months or years to make, but I am a little scared. So this recipe is so simple I figure that it will be a good place to start. From the description the ham will be like prosciutto di Parma. I can not wait.
I will need:
4 pounds salt
12-15 pounds fresh ham
1/2 cup lard
WISH ME LUCK
KIELBASA. Think about that word for a moment. Did you know that Kielbasa is a generic term for sausage in Poland. That is a great little tidbit of information but I think it understates the quality goodness of the Kielbasa.
Currently I am gathering all I need to make this wonderful sausage. I bought the mustard, the sucrose, the meat and the big thing I need next is the pork back fat.
It’s 10:29pm and I’m not going to make any tonight so I will keep you posted.
I am learning a very important lesson today. In a effort to save money we have been buying meat in bulk. I cut it up and make other things. Well I have learned that you have to be on the ball when doing sausage. Im rushing to try to get this next batch done so the meat does not go bad. So my advice to you is to be prepared to process your cuts ASAP
OK, so while I am sitting here waiting for my wife to bring me some more pineapple for my sausage I was doing a little day dreaming. I was dreaming that I could use this new hobby to start making personalized sausages for people. People would place their orders and I would whip up a batch using the flavorings and additions that they want. In my dream this personalized sausage making spun into a romantic restaurant. I would have like 20 tables and make it very personal. I would make people everything from simple sausage to glorious steaks. There would be duck and sweet breads and so much more. Because it would be small it would create a desire to get in. Maybe I could even get Nikki to come in and use her magic to make bread and her other recipes.
I wanted to do this with my friend Brett because we would name the place BJ’s, but then we found out there was a place already named that and the sexual innuendo was lost. So I need help thinking of a name for my dream restaurant. My first suggestion is: THE HOT SAUSAGE.
Take the poll and tell me what you think.
Today is going to be a busy day. I have two sets of sausage I want to make.
1) I’m going to make andouille again. Why? It was good. Plus I want to make some homemade jambalaya with it.
2) Next I’m going to make my own no recipe Asian inspired sausage. It’s going to have pineapple and teriyaki in it.
AND I might find time to start the hot dogs.
Wish me luck.
So Makin Bacon was a success. Clean and simple. 8 days of love and I still have a ton of left overs. Sunday was my Mother In Law’s birthday and she wanted a brunch. Nikki was tasked with making homemade chocolate croissants. They came out great. And I volunteered to have my bacon ready.
So Sunday came and it was the day to start. My first project; a project of love. Really, I started this 8 days before I smoke the meat. I defrosted it and rubbed it with salt so it could cure and dry in my fridge. I am not as patient as I would like to be, so waiting 8 days was hard. But I was able to do it.
I set my alarm for 6:30 and got up at 7:00am. Went outside to get my upright smoker going. I got a bunch of coals nice and hot and I put it in the smoker. I left it to go get the pork ready. Come back outside about 20 min later and the smoker is still stupid cold. I was like WTF. I added some more coals and waited…and waited…and waited. It was not getting hot at all. So I had to think up a plan B.
Plan B: USE MY BBQ. I have an awesome BBQ. The left side is for propane while the right is for charcoal. I took off half the grate on the right side and put my coals there. As you can see in the picture above I was able to get both slabs of bacon on the single grate. I did not go all out in the marinade and the rosemary. For my marinade (it goes in the bowl under the meat to help steam it) I used a bottle of Guinness beer and maple syrup. For my wood smoke I used both cherry chunks and chips. I like using both as the chucks go longer, but the chips get me a pretty immediate smoke. AND I LIKE SMOKE.
So 2+ hours on the grill and the meat hits the ideal internal temp, 150. I brought the two slabs off and allowed them to rest. Now mind you, the meat was not ready to eat. Yes, technically one could eat it because the temp was at the safe level but slicing off a piece and placing it in my cast iron was the best way to finish it off. It got a little char on it and when I put it in my mouth I got a FOODGASM. Yes, I had never tasted any better piece of bacon ever. It was just so rich and satisfying. Plus I knew what was in it and actually it was probably better for someone as there was less chemicals in it. I have 3ooz of bacon left ready to fry up and a whole other slab in the freezer.
Now I paid $28.00 for the two pork bellies. I got basically 6 pounds of bacon. That is about $4.66 per pound. At Trader Joes I think it is around $5.50 for 12oz of bacon and it is a whole lot more at the other stores. Not only did I save money. I had a lot of fun, made something with skill and artistry, and made people smile when they tasted it.
Here you will see 1 complete slab and half another cut into slices.
Categories: Mission: Bacon
Tags: bacon, Birthday, FOODGASM, Fun, Good, OMG, pig, Sex, smoke, Smoker, yum