Friday, February 26, 2016


My torrid love affair with the Rib-Eye-Cap began at Costco. Up on till then I had very little experience with Rib-eye-caps. I think I had a couple over the years but never purchased one until now. In the NW they're not common. In my opinion the Rib-Eye-Caps are unequivocally the most tender most flavorful piece of meat on the animal. They encompass the tenderness of a fillet and the flavor of a rib-eye; the perfect package. An exquisite piece of meat. Dang my mouth is watering just talking about it... well typing anyway. 

This is the typical way Costco sells the Rib-Eye-Caps. They roll them up and make Pinwheels out of them. If you ask me the Pinwheel is a terrible way to prepare the caps. Yea, they look cool but that's about it. Cooking them shaped like this does not yield great results.

After a brief conversation with the meat manager at Costco he was willing to butcher me two of them. Here they are in all their glory. 

I love everything about the Rib-Eye-Cap and after eating them both rolled up and flat I decided to do something different. Since this meat; at least to me; is so amazing I thought how cool it would be to make a cured version similar to a pastrami. Anyhow that is what I am going to do. The recipe below is similar to my other whole muscle salumi's. The Cap will be cured and rolled tightly into a cylinder using Transglutminase. 


Combine the salt and Cure #1. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl. If the coriander and white pepper are whole make sure to grind them using a spice mill. 

Sprinkle the salt and cure on the meat getting it into every nook and cranny. Now cover the meat with the remaining ingredients.

Vacuum seal in separate bags making sure to include all the spices that might have fallen off the meat. Turn every day for 12-14 days. 

It's been 13 days since I started this process and I believe the cap is cured. 

Cap was rinsed under cold water. The removal of the cure, herbs and spices is an important step. It's now ready for the next step. 

The Cap has a thick end and a thin end similar to a chicken breast. I inverted them on to each other creating an even thickness. Creating an even thickness makes it easier to roll into a cylinder. 

The trick here is to apply the Transglutaminase (meat gloo) in all the right places. You need apply the TG to every nook and cranny. And more specifically to all the places that will be glue together. Even the ends need to covered. I use a powdered sugar shaker to distribute the TG. 

All rolled up tight!!!! Get a good grip and use some wrist action. You need to get this very tight!!!

The secret of this TG project is the plastic wrap. I used 24 inch plastic wrap laid over a very large cutting board. I roll and roll until the cylinder is extremely tight. I never cut the plastic wrap until I have at least 12 revolutions. I twisted the ends extremely tight and tied off the ends with butchers twine. 
Double vacuumed sealed!!! The TG will take at least 24 hours for the protein to bond to each other. After the elapsed time I will Sous-Vide for 6 hours at 131 degrees. After the thermal bath the Cap will be Ice-Shocked and refrigerated until ready for the next step.

All SV and and ready for the next step. 

Pictures of ends. Notice how tight the ends are. Plastic wrap and strong hands is the only way to accomplish this. 
"Before cured foods are smoked, they should be allowed to air-dry long enough to form a tacky skin, known as a pellicle. The pellicle plays a key role in producing excellent smoked items. It acts as a kind of protective barrier for the food, and also plays an important role in capturing the smoke’s flavor and color."

Toss the Coriander, Pepper and Fennel in a spice grinder and give it a whirl. Combine all the ingredient in a bowl and set aside until ready to use. 

I sprayed a little oil spray on the Cap and coated it with the above rub. 

Cold Smoked with apple and cherry for about 3 hours and Hot smoked at about 200 degrees for about 2 hours. I wanted to set the bark. 
All done!!! A thing of beauty. The Cap will be refrigerated until I am ready to slice. 

All done. This was the bomb. The color, texture and taste were off the charts. I will not change a thing. I may use this recipe for a whole Rib-eye!!!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Molto Caldo Controlfiletto Di Manzo Salumi

This is one of my favorite Salumi's. I have made this a couple of times but never with this cut let alone being of Prime grade. Salumi filetto di manzo and Salumi lombo di manzo are my original recipes. Why the funky name? I like crazy funky names that's why. What does it mean? Molto Caldo (Very Hot) Controlfiletto (Sirloin) and Di Manzo ( Bovine aka Steer). I have noticed a trend with Beef Charcuterie taking on the Pork traditional names and I am not a fan. In most cases I try to come up with my own names. In the U.S for example there is Coppa, Cappicola or my favorite funky name Gabagoul pronounced Gaba-gool denotes a traditional Italian pork dry-cured muscle running from the neck to the 4th or 5th rib of the pork or shoulder or neck. My point is this; the beef counterparts should have their own unique names because it's beef not pork. When you hear Coppa you think of Pork not Beef. I made a Veal version of Pancetta but I came up with my own name. I did not call it Veal Pancetta. I name my original recipe Vealcetta and I am working on beef version called Bovicetta (Bovine). Ok, off my soap box.... at least for a while. 

Sirloin unsheathed from its plastic home and trimmed up just a little.

Since I have made this several times before I will keep this post short. If you want additional info click on the link above. Here's my list of ingredients. 

Salt & Cure #2 applied to every nook & cranny.

The heavy rub applied.

Dripped in Wine!!! I love wine!! All vacuumed sealed. The chunk of meat will be flipped everyday for 21 days. 

It's been a long 21 days but it's all cured and ready for the next step.

Combine and mix equal parts of Cayenne, Garlic, Smoked Paprika and Pepper and coat the Salumi. 

Tied to hold it's shape while drying. Place in UMAI bag to dry. 

I placed the Salumi on a rack inside my refrigerator with a little fan blowing to circulate the air. I also placed a bowl of salted water inside to generate some extra moisture. The extra moisture will prevent case hardening. 

The Green Weight was 2722g and needs to lose 30% it's original weight which equates to 816g loss which brings it down to 1906g. 

Well it's been almost 10 weeks and I am proud to say that I nailed it... My timing was perfect. Final weight of 1906g was achieved!!!!! All done...

Rope removed....only there to keep shape while drying. 

Meat vacuumed sealed in a normal bag to equalize. It will sit like this for a minimum 2 weeks. Equalizing just means that the moisture has a chance to distribute evenly through the meat. 

It's been about 2 1/2 weeks and she is ready to be sliced very very thin. Review at the bottom

Review- Amazingly good!!!! It's pretty spicy but if you like hotter you can always add more pepper.