Saturday, June 28, 2014

BBQ Short-Ribs Deuxième Fois

BBQ Short-Ribs Deuxième Fois

How do you describe success? For me it's doing something over and over again until it's perfect. Only after you make something several times can you truly say "SUCCESS", and only after careful honest analysis. Very few people can constructively scrutinize their own food which is why I am a big fan of giving most of it away.  

The first time I made these ribs they came out good but not perfect. These two packages are identical to my other Ribs I did so we will see if I can modify some things and get it right or near perfect.  

This blog will be short because I am just outlining what I did for these ribs. For more entertainment and more in depth understanding of what I am doing read my previous blog on BBQ Ribs.
The Sous-Vide machine was set at a perfect temp of 149 degrees;so I think. My hope with this temp is the highly anticipated rendering of collagen to gelatin. When I Sous-Vide at 131 degrees for 48 hours it was good but not great.

Thermal water bath doing its thing. The other pic is the ribs after 48 hours. Ribs will be placed in refrigerator over night. 

Refrigerated for 24 hours than ribs individually separated. Ribs were spiced up and BBQ sauce applied. 
Note: Ribs refrigerated over night because of personal time constraints and is not necessary. 

I placed a giant ice cube into my water reservoir and some ice cold water to keep BBQ at about 150-180 to generate a lot of smoke. It worked flawlessly. Temp approached 210 a couple of times but I was able to control the temps with vents.

It begins......I plan on smoking them for about 3 hours or so.

Almost done....

All done. Visually perfect.  Now let see how they taste.


 My final thoughts and review

The ribs were fall off the bone delicious. The collagen rendered down perfectly but this is somewhat subjective. Maybe just maybe I could have seen just a little bit more rendering. There is some wiggle room to improve on what I already did. Some things to consider.

  • If you want fall off the bone tender this is a perfect recipe.
  • If you like pull off the bone tender which means you have to cut it off or bite it off then you need to tweak the recipe.

Some things to consider doing if you want pull off the bone tender.

  • Increase temp of thermal bath to 155-159 but decrease time in thermal bath down to about 30-36 hours. At this temp the collagen will render down of course.
  • Keep temp at 149 but of course Sous-Vide 60-72 hours so more collagen will render.
A must do!!!
  • Apply dry rub 24 hours in advance

I will have to do this several more times to figure out what I like best. It's a hard life but someone has to do it. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sous-Vide Duckstrami

Moulard Duckstrami

Yup, that's what I am making!! I've been criticized in the past for posting pictures of what we eat but that's not gonna stop me!! Most people don't know what their food looks like or where it comes from. So with my blogs I am hoping to share a little bit of insight and hopefully know how. I am not on a crusade or anything but I think we should respect the process. Oh by the way these Moulard Duck Breasts were free range and organically raised. 
If you love beef pastrami you will love Duck pastrami. I chose Moulard Duck Breasts to make my Pastrami. My reasoning for choosing this Species of Duck was the percentage of duck fat it carries. A Muscovy duck breast has about 18% fat, the Peking duck breast has about 29% and the Moulard is a cross between the Muscovy and the Pekin.  In a previous post I made Muscovy Duck Pastrami and it was the bomb. I wanted to try Moulard because they're bigger and have more fat.  These babies are huge too (2900 grams and 6.39 lbs).


This recipe is almost identical to my other pastrami recipe with the exception to a tweak in salt and cloves quantities. 

The first thing I did was measure out all the ingredients and put them in separate bowls. As you can see I used percentages based on meat weight. This makes replicating recipes very easy. Two of my ingredients make this Pastrami I think very unique. 

First I used Grains of Paradise instead of Black Pepper. Grains of Paradise has a peppery taste with hints of citrus.

I also used Dark Muscovado Sugar instead of Brown sugar. It's a molasses sugar that is very moist and gets its unique flavor from sugarcane juice. The other ingredients are pretty common. I decided to use a combination of spices that are common with both Beef and duck. Heck this is just an experiment. 

The first thing I did was combine the Salt and cure #1 together and coat both sides of the Duck Breast rubbing it into every nook and cranny. Next I combined the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly coated both sides of Duck Breast.

I Vacuumed sealed the breast and plan on flipping it every day until fully cured. I think I will give them about 12-14 days to cure. These breast are very thick.
I used equilibrium curing instead of excess salt curing. Excess salt curing is a technique where you cover the meat entirely in salt. 

Equilibrium curing is using exact amounts needed for the cure. 
"This method would be the Sous-Vide cooking of the curing world"Jason Molinari

Procedures after the curing process. Remove breast from bag and rinse under cold water removing as much as the cure as you can. 
Pat dry and apply Rub .

mixed up and ready to go....

Place the Grains of Paradise, Coriander, Juniper Berries, and Cloves (if using whole) and grind in a spice grinder. Apply Rub to both sides of the Duck.

Place Duck breast in smoker. I cold smoked the breasts at the ambient temp outside using Apple pellets for about 2 1/2 hours.  I used a cold smoking device called A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER

After the cold smoking process I hot smoked the breast using charcoal and apple wood. Starting at a very low temp below 175 and bring it up to about 225 degrees. I will smoke the duck breasts until an internal temp of 135 degrees is reached. 

Note: the breasts internal temp ranged form 133-143 because of placement in smoker and size of breast.

Vacuumed Sealed

After they are done smoking I will Sous-Vide the breasts for 3 hours at 137 degrees to tenderize them. As you can tell from the picture they are beautiful and developed a great bark.

Floating in a thermal bath getting tenderized. 

Final thoughts- Textually different from the Muscovy Breasts and very meaty. Not as delicate as the Muscovy Breasts but still over the top as far as Duckstrami goes. I will be making this again. 

Now for the gratuitous photographs. 


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Smokey Turkey-Legs Sous-Vide

I have been wanting to Sous-Vide Turkey legs for the longest time but I have never been a fan because of those darn tendons. They are a pain to eat around. Then I had a thought..... why not Sous-Vide the legs and remove the tendons with culinary pliers. Of course I am not doing to stop there. After the Sous-Vide I am going to smoke that Legs for a couple of hours using my Weber smokey mountain using charcoal and chunks of Apple wood.   

The big question was how to remove those damn tendons. Do I do it before or after I cook them? Well after some exploratory knife cutting I decided to do it after they were cooked. Those tendons are locked in there mighty tight. I tried to remove them with pliers but I would have torn up the meat really bad. 

The next question of course was "at what temperature do I cook the Legs at". I searched and searched the net and found many many different suggested temps out there. Some suggested cooking at 150 degrees for 8 hours and some as high as 176 degrees for the same time. I talked with a chef and he personally likes 149 but this seemed low to me. Anyhow I used 160 degrees for 6 hours. Although they came out great I think I should have used 149 for 8 hours like the chef suggested. Of course I was going to smoke them regardless of temp I was going to use.  

Here is a picture of the legs after they came out of the Sous-Vide. The legs look very unappealing if you ask me. 

A picture of the leg being filleted open to reveal tendons.

Very difficult to remove tendons. It was not pretty and I tore up the meat just a bit.   

The goal of the smoke was to impart flavor so I kept the temp down by adding ice cold water to the pan below. I was able to keep the temp within 10 degrees of 180 degrees. They smoked for 3 hours.

Over all they turned out really well. The family loved them but I think they could have been better. 

What did I learn from this experiment? Next time I will Sous-Vide at 149 like the Chef said for 8 hours. I am hoping that the additional 2 hours will allow easier removal of tendons.  And I will Brine the legs this time.  Since this dish was a spontaneous one I had no time. 

I will do this again in the next two weeks hopefully!!!!!