Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Prime Rib Reconstructed



Prime Rib Reconstructed? What is it? Well first off it's not "Prime Rib". Prime Rib as most Americans refer to it is something of a misnomer. (Second version HERE)





Prime-Rib (the misnomer) has more to do with the USDA grading system then the actual cut. Beef graded (Crowned) Prime comes from steers with abundant marbling.
Would it surprise you to learn that less than two percent of all U.S. Beef makes the grade of Prime? 

The actual cut is a Standing Rib Roast and the grade is more likely to be in the choice category. Prime meat will cost you between a 100%-150% more per pound. Why do we call it Prime Rib? Because it comes from a section called the rib primal and from my understanding it was called this before the USDA grading system. 

USDA grading system is very interesting. Within the USDA grading system there are Prime, choice and select. Within those categories there are sub-categories too. The "Choice" tier has 3 sub-levels so buyer beware. Unfortunately the consumer will never know what they're getting. That meat you're buying could be a 1,2 or 3 and one would never know. 

In order for Black Angus beef to be certified as Black Angus it has to rate a 1 or 2. Well that's good news to me because I mostly eat Blank Angus. Take a look at this picture what do you see? I see tasty meat. 

Ok so what is reconstructed Prime Rib? So glad you asked. First let me give credit where credit is due!!! This game changing technique came from the Chefsteps.com Website. Chefsteps intuitive website helps foodies and hobbyist like myself become better cooks....so Thank You chefsteps. I also want to thank SeriousEats.com and Amazingribs.com for helping me gain a better understanding of Prime-Rib!!! A special thanks to my friend Chef Norn over on facebook who was kind enough to give further insight too.


Reconstructed Prime Rib (really a Rib Roast) is a technique in which you removed all the undesired parts of the Rib Roast and put it back together using Transglutaminase. It creates in my opinion a perfect Roast. The technique is very easy. The meat is opened up very carefully with meticulous precision using a very sharp knife. The goal is to remove all the connective tissue, bones and all undesirables namely that thick fat that no one will eat. After you have done this put it back together......Tutto Fatto!!

Profile pictures of the Rib Roast. If look closely you can tell where I will separate and open up the roast.






Side profile showing bone removal and some excess fat. 



Rib Roast all broken down and undesirables removed. 


Rib Roast reconstructed using Transglutaminase. Note 1: It takes 24 hours for the Transglutaminase to bind proteins.
Note 2: I lightly salted the meat using a dry brine technique to ensure juiciness for 24 hours. Note 3: This is where the shaping of the Rib Roast takes place. Starting out with a very large and long piece of food grade plastic wrap (I use a 24 inch wide version) I start rolling the Roast very tight using a lot of pressure. I want to form a perfect cylinder. After several layers of plastic wrap coats the meat I sprinkled on the plastic wrap chopped up herbs and peppercorns. I used thyme, parsley, a little rosemary and black peppercorns but you can use whatever you like. As I am rolling the Roast up I am piercing the plastic wrap with a toothpick (or sausage pricker) to allow air to escape which will allow for a tighter roll.
After the Roast is shaped into a perfect cylinder and is nice and tight I tie it off with a string. Again I pierce the plastic wrap with a toothpick or whatever you have. The piercing serves two purposes. It allows for a tighter cylinder and as the protein cooks the herbs perfumes the meat with Herby flavors (yes that is a made up name). I know what you're thinking....How about rolling up the herbs on the outside of the meat? This is also a NO NO because the herbs would overpower the meat. My indirect approach will allow for subtle fragrances to permeate the protein. Please refer to the above links for additional instructions.



Vacuumed Sealed and ready for SV. So the plan is to SV this hunk of meat for 24 hours at 128 degrees. 

Meat is all done. Very unattractive. No to fear I need to blast it with intense heat. The lacking of Browning (maillard) is one of the shortcomings of SV. You need to brown it with a torch like my SearZALL or blast with another heat source like your oven or BBQ.  I also made a roasted garlic, herb and peppercorn paste and coasted meat before blasting it with my Searzall.


ALL DONE!!!




Overall it came out great but there's need for improvement. I think 24 hours was to long and 15-18 hours would have been adequate. I wanted more roast taste so maybe an hour or two in my smoker will help next time. Maybe blast it with my Charcoal Weber for the Maillard reaction I needed. 


Now for the gratuitous pictures.
















Monday, December 1, 2014

Turkey Day 2014

Turkey Day 2014 has finally arrived and I am happy to report that it came out fantastic. All my test recipes in previous posts helped me accomplish an ultimate Thanksgiving dinner. The previous posts can be found here (#1#2#3). This post won't go into all the particulars but I will recap what I did. In addition I will discuss some great things that really made my Thanksgiving dinner special. A picture is worth a 1000 words and this picture is no exception. Not to confuse you but that is not a traditional waffle you are looking at. Feast your eyes on a Waffleized Stuffing which means I took stuffing and put it into my waffle iron. That's right I took my stuffing and put it into my waffle iron. I came across the waffle idea on Triple D and man is it good. Stuffing turned into a waffle is a leap forward in culinary thinking if you ask me. Suffice it to say it came out great but more on this later.

While we are here we might as well go over the picture in the upper left corner of your screen. The plate is what I call Thanksgiving on a plate. A perfectly formed Waffleized Stuffing, topped with Turkey Roulade, creamy mash potatoes, homemade gravy and cranberry sauce. Oh dear God was this amazing!!!! The two roulades are white and dark meat. 

So I started out with a 17 lbs Turkey. I will describe some of the steps I took to create the above dish. If you really want details click the links above. Although covered in the previous blogs I would be remiss if I did not mention that I dry brined the bird for 24 hours.



Break down the bird with a very sharp knife. You want to separate the Breast crown from the back and set aside. Do the same with the Turkey legs but make sure you get as much meat as possible which will include a little back meat too. I used the wings for stock but you can use them for something else. Smoked wings are great. You could also make a baby roulade here too. It's only limited to your imagination.




Remove skin!!!! For detail click the links provided.


Breast removed with tenderloins. Breast injected with butter is an option which I did here.

Coat the skin and breasts with Activa RM. Invert breasts on to themselves and make a nice little rolled up roulade.


This is where the shaping of the roulade takes place. Starting out with a very large and long piece of food grade plastic wrap (I use a 24 inch wide version) I start rolling the roulade very tight using a lot of pressure. I want to form a perfect cylinder. After several layers of plastic wrap coats the meat I sprinkled on the plastic wrap chopped up herbs and peppercorns. I used sage, thyme and black peppercorns but you can use whatever you like. As I am rolling the roulade up I am piercing the plastic wrap with a toothpick (or sausage pricker) to allow air to escape which will allow for a tighter roll.

After the roll is shaped into a perfect cylinder and is nice and tight I tie it off with a string. Again I pierce the plastic wrap with a toothpick or whatever you have. In this picture I am using a sausage pricker. Note: this picture is not the actual roulade but just an example of me piercing the meat. The piercing serves two purposes. It allows for a tighter cylinder and as the Roulade cooks the herbs perfumes the meat with Herby flavors (yes that is a made up name). I know what you're thinking.... why not roll up the Turkey breast in the Herbs? Because the herbs would interfere with with binding properties of the Activa RM. How about rolling up the herbs on the outside of the meat? This is also a NO NO because the herbs would overpower the meat. My indirect approach will allow for subtle fragrances to permeate the breast. Please refer to the above links for additional instructions.


Heaven on a plate!!!!



Now for something special. This is not one of my brilliant ideas but something I came across on the web. A special thanks to Chefsteps.com for sharing their Turkey Leg Roulade idea. So what to do!!! Carefully debone the legs. For a lot of detail click on the link. 
Carefully remove all tendons using a knife and pliers. The removal of tendons is tedious work but well worth it. You will be happy you did. All done!!!

Coat the Turkey Legs with Activa RM. Invert breasts on top of each other to form a perfect little package. Sorry for the lack of photos but I missed a couple of important shots during the process. All by myself in the kitchen with an I-phone. Roll up in the roulade in plastic wrap as described above.

I Sous-Vide the Turkey Legs at 151 degrees based on Chefsteps recipe but next time I think I may use 148-149 degrees. Just a personal preference.




I gave it a 4 minute oil fried bath to get it nice and dark. 





All done and it was delicious. 


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