Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Corned Beef and Corned Tongue Sliders

We tried to make chips out of the taste buds we peeled off of the tongue. Again, we are losers and always are trying out new fun ideas. Unfortunately the picture is A LOT better than the chip. It was pretty fricking gross.

A close up of our Corned Beef Tongue Slider. Pretty damn sexy eh???

Corned Beef Brisket just out of the poaching liquid. You know how hard it was keeping our students at bay?? They're like ravenous wolves. Then again you would be too if you had smelled it cooking for hours.

Sliced Corned Beef Tongue. It ROCKED!! Even Chef Donovan said it was awesome. And he's Irish!!
Corned Beef poaching in the pot. We were making the milk rolls and had extra scalded milk so we figured, What the hell. Add it to the poaching liquid which was water, salt and pickling spice.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pastrami on Rye Oh My!

To honor our beautiful pastrami we kept it nice and simple. We made a loaf of homemade Rye bread that was studded with copious amounts of caraway seeds. We sliced it warm, slathered it with whole grain mustard and stacked it high with thin, tender, fatty slices of our pastrami goodness.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Our second february project is done. Bresaola!
 Dry and salty and PERFECT all by itself!  Here is a slice you can almost see through it.....

Ok...confession time.  Some of our first Charcutapalooza projects came out less than perfect.
 The duck proscuitto? It was gamey as hell and was only edible after a second 2 week stay in the wine fridge.  The Pancetta? Well, salty is not a strong enough word to describe the finished product.  It smelled beautiful, but honestly was so salty that we decided to make osmosis our friend and soak the lardons before we cooked them for the gnocchi.

But not the bresaola. It was a work of art. That is one lucky eye of round.

Smokin' Pastrami

After a few days on the brine, it was time to rinse then smoke the pastrami. The proper wood chip combination was meticulously researched (did I mention we are total geeks?) and a combination of the picture woodchips were selected for their mild character.
We opted for 50% Cherry Wood for sweetness, 25% Acadian Oak, 25% Beechnut Wood both for a lil smokey kick.
Chef Drew with our AWESOME Alto-Sham Slow Cooker/Smoker.
Our brined pastrami brisket and tongue ready for the smoker.
OK.. So the cooking was complex. The pastrami was hot smoked at 150% for 1 1/2 hours to maximize our smoke bark. Then we went to 200 degrees for 30 minutes. We then refilled the wood chip box and kept it at 200 degrees until it reached an internal temperature of 150 degrees. A couple days later we placed it back in the Alto-Sham with out smoke. It was placed on a rack over a pan of water and covered. The temperature of the oven was 275 degrees and it was cooked for roughly 3 hours until it was fork tender and Oh So Juicy!! The resulting flavor was smokey on the outside and beautifully brined on the inside.

So....What did we do with the Pancetta?

Final Dish: Potato/Ricotta Gnocchi, Seared Maitake Mushrooms, Crispy House Cured Pancetta, Sauteed Spring Onions, White Wine Butter Sauce, Shaved Parmesan and a Deep Fried Poached Egg. Breakfast or Dinner Anyone??
Pancetta Crisping and Spring Onions Sauteing. Smells like Pure Heaven Our Finished Pancetta. Isn't She Lovely?
Potato/Ricotta Gnocchi Browning to perfection.

Sounds like some Maitake are asking to be cooked up.

Our Kind of March Madness: March's Challenge - Brining!

For March's challenge, we decided on both corned beef AND pastrami.  And for good measure, we threw in two beef tounges, one into the corned beef brine, and one into the pastrami brine.  
 Corned beef and tounge on brine.

Tounges at the ready!

 Very similar brines required a dry erase label.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chef Donovan in Pancetta.

                                           This one speaks for itself, don't you think?