Thursday, March 26, 2015

Turkey Pastrami

Why another pastrami post? Well why not? I've made pastrami from just about every cut of meat out there (Kosher of course) so I thought why not Turkey? Yea, yea it's healthier but that's not why I am doing it. Simply put I am obsessed with the seasonings of pastrami. I am thinking about making Pastrami hot dogs, Salumi's, Salami's and many other combinations. 

This post will be very short. Please refer to my other Pastrami's for details. 

Start out with a large Turkey breast.

Remove wishbone and skin.
Separate breasts (1133 grams)
Combine Salt and Cure #1 apply to breasts.

Here is the recipe. Click Here for more details about how to apply %. 

Combine spices and rub them into every nook and cranny.
Vacuumed sealed. Will flip every day for 12-14 days.
14 days later all cured.
Rinsed off
Rub applied and cold smoked for 6 hours.

All vacuumed sealed and ready for Sous-Vide. I will SV for 5 hours and 30 minutes at 143 degrees. This time and temp combo will also pasteurize the breasts. 
All Sous-Vide...d
More cracked pepper added and hot smoked for a bit. Just enough to heat through and tighten bark.

OVER ALL IT CAME OUT VERY GOOD. BUT HECK IT'S TURKEY AND I PEFER BEEF. Next time I need to focus and getting it a bit more moist. 



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Szechwanese Bacon

In June of 2014 I experimented with Asian flavors hoping to come up with a unique beef Bacon. I named this endeavor Yin-Yang Bacon. My venture was somewhat fruitful but not awe-inspiring which lead me to this post. This is my food journal....good, bad or indifferent I am gonna blog about it. It's my goal to revisit my posts and try to improve on what I already wrote about. My Yin-Yang bacon was just OK and not mind blowing so I am here to revisit this recipe. 

I decided to call this new post Szechwanese Bacon. I love Szechuan food because it's bold & pungent and that's what I am hoping to create here with this bacon. In addition to the normal cures I am going to focus on Asian herbs, spices and more specifically Szechuan.
I am going to use the Brisket flat for the bacon but to be honest this is not my first choice. I would have preferred the Navel or the Point of the brisket but they are hard to come by.

This is an easy recipe!! Combine Salt and cure and rub thoroughly into meat getting it into every nook and cranny. 

Combine rest of ingredients and again apply to meat. Place in vacuum bag then place in refrigerator for about 2 weeks flipping every day. 

After the 14 day cure I rinsed off the meat and allowed it to dry to develop a Pellicle.
Developing a good pellicle is important because it helps the smoke adhere to the meat during the smoking process. 

I am using the A-MAZE-N cold smoker to cold smoke the bacon which uses pellets and in this application I am using Apple. The picture on right was cold smoked for 10 hours.

AMAZING!!!!! I might kick up a bit next time.  We will have to wait and see.

Brisket Maple Bacon

Roses are red Violets are blue Bacon is awesome Unless your're a Jew -Aaron Cutting.  I guess this sums up what I don't believe. Being Jewish does no restrict your culinary palate if you have a Yiddisher Kop!!!! For the past couple of years I have been making all kinds of beef bacon and I'm here to tell you that you too can do this. It's a great alternative to Pork Bacon and it's not hard to do. Whether it's pork or beef the curing formula is the same. If you want to check out some of my ideas on Charcuterie CLICK HERE.

By now you all know that I do not eat Pork or for that matter Treif so I have set out on a quest to make that best non-pork version.  I will never be done. I have so many ideas!!! 

This is one of the easiest recipes you will find on my blog. All you have to do it measure out the Salt and cure and combine and apply to Flat. Make sure you to get it into every nook can cranny. "NOTES ON CURING"

Mix up the sugars and do the same thing. Rub in the maple syrup and your done.

Vacuum seal the Brisket flat turning every day for two weeks and you're done. That's all it takes to cure a piece of meat. I just notice the date on the bag is wrong. It should say 2/17. 

After the 14-21 day cure I rinsed off the meat and allowed it to dry to develop Pellicle. Place small fan in front of brisket for an hour or two. 

Developing a good pellicle is important because it helps the smoke adhere to the meat during the smoking process. 

Meat all cured and rinsed.

I am using the A-MAZE-N cold smoker to cold smoke the bacon which uses pellets and in this application I am using Apple. Picture on right smoked for 10 hours. 

Absolutely delicious!!!! Will try point or plate next time.

Roly-Poly Pastrami

Roly-Poly is just another name for FAT. That's right this is a fatty Pastrami and anyone from the east coast knows that the best pastrami contains lots of FAT. In order to make a Roly-Poly pastrami I had to acquire a certain cut of meat. I either had to buy a Navel (Beef Plate) or the point off a brisket. Well, you can't find Navel and you can't buy just the point of a brisket either. I had to buy a full packer Brisket just for the point. This is a lot of meat (15.63 lbs) but not to fear because I plan on using the flat for bacon and or corned beef. The picture in the upper left corner is the full packer. The picture on the right is a simplistic diagram of what a full brisket looks like. The point is a separate muscle and has to carefully removed without scarring it to much.

Breaking down the meat is relatively easy.  all you have to do is follow the fat line and muscles will separate. You will loose about 30-44% of weight due to fat. 

After the muscles are separated you are left with a Flat and the point. Here is a picture of the Point. check out all the beautiful fat.  Link to Instructions on Notes and Cure.

Meat trimmed lightly. I remove thick outer fat layer. It was trimmed down to about 1/4 inch. I mixed together the salt and Cure # 1 and rub it into the brisket making sure I got it into every nook and cranny. To bring out more flavor I heated all the whole spices in skillet briefly then ground them in my spice mill to a med grind. I liberally applied rub all over the meat. The meat is all vacuumed sealed up and will be flipped daily for 12-15 days. 

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 


All Vacuumed Sealed up and will be flipped every day for 14 days. After curing I will rinse the corned beef and apply rub. The Pastrami will be cold smoked for 10 hours. I will Sous-Vide the Pastrami for 36 hours at a 149 degree water temp. After the Sous-Vide I will refrigerate over night (optional) and apply a light rub and Hot smoke again to form a better bark. When I say hot smoke I am talking about 200 degrees or below.

Cured and Rinsed.

Rub applied. I will cold smoke for 10 hours than SV at 149 degrees for 36 hours.

This is what it looked like after the cold smoke. 

After the Sous-Vide bath I plunged in ice bath and refrigerated it over night. 

The following day I applied a Course Black pepper sprinkling and hot smoked at 200 degrees for 2 hours. 

Gratuitous pictures and review below.

Overall it came out great. A whole lot better than the flat. Having the additional fat really helped. Also the 36 hours created a less flaky texture compared to the 48 hours one. If you really like a flaky meat than 48 hours is your magic number. I will try 30 hours next time.

Update 05/09/2017- After trials and misgivings about time and temps I think I have finally nailed down the temps and times. That being said I think I have made well over 250 lbs of Pastrami to reach these new numbers (explains waist line too). Drum roll please... 142 f for 40-44 hours. Ta-da..... The lower temp ( 148 vs 142 f) and the lower time (48 vs max 40-44 hrs) produces a moister better textured Pastrami. Update Cure and Rub HERE and Latest Pastrami HERE.