Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Muscovy Duck Pastrami

Muscovy Duck Pastrami

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 Muscovy Duck Breasts were free range and organically raised

If you love beef pastrami you will love Duck pastrami. I chose Muscovy 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.

To be honest I wasn't planning on making pastrami with the duck but I had 8 duck breasts and I had to doing something with them. I decided, 4 for Pastrami, 2 for Prosciutto and 2 Smoked Salami's. These are original recipes so it's any one guess as to how they will turn out. Anyhow I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Note 1: The weight of meat plus fat is 100%. All ingredients to be added are expressed as a percentage of the weight of meat plus fat. Percentages can be used to standardize recipes regardless of batch size.  All weights are metric. 

Note 2: No weights are given because the weights of meats vary. Everything is a percentage of the meats weight after trimming. Example- Meat weight 2393 grams and we want to find out the amount of salt we need in grams- 2393 X 3.5%=83.755 or 2392/100 X 3.5 =83.755 grams. 

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 together and coat both sides of the Duck Breast rubbing it into every nook and cranny. Next I combine the rest of the ingredients and thoroughly coated both sides of Duck Breast. 

I Vacuumed sealed the breast and plan on flipping them every day for a week. At the end of the week it will be cured. 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 below.

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 on smoker. I cold smoke breasts at an ambient temp outside of about 55 degrees 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 smoke the breast using charcoal and apple wood. Starting at a very low temp below 200 degrees and slowing bring it up to 225, I smoke the duck breasts until an internal temp of 145 degrees was reached. 

After they were done smoking I decided to Sous-Vide the breasts for 2 hours at 145 degrees to tenderize them. 

Final thoughts.  They were amazing and spot on. The only thing I would change is maybe is smoking them until an internal temp of 135 is reached instead of 145 degrees.