Monday, July 18, 2016

Rohan Duckstrami

To say that I am well acquainted with Duck Charcuterie would be an understatement. I just love Duck and when transformed into Charcuterie it becomes something special...at least to me it does. Here are just a few of my Duck POSTS. Having made boocoos of Duck Pastrami from the breast I decided to take on the whole Duck by deboning the whole thing and shaping it into a cylinder. I decided to go with Rohan Duck which is bred specifically for the D'Artagnan Online company. This specific breed of duck is a proprietary hybrid of several breeds and D'Artagnan has the exclusive right to the breed. On their website they describe some culinary attributes for this duck that I found interesting and could possibly work with my version of Duck Pastrami. It's suppose to be mild tasting and when cooked properly the skin crisps up nicely. All these elements will work well with my Pastrami. My only concern is the meat to fat ratio. After deboning the duck I found the ratio a little disappointing. I will postpone my judgement until after the Pastrami is done. I plan on making this again with the Pekin Duck from Maple Leaf farms.


Ordering through this company has always been great. If timing is important to you you will not be disappointed in their attention to detail. They're always precise when it comes to dates. 

The D'Artagnan company as promised delivered my duck on June 29, 2016. This might not seem all that important but I ordered this Duck exactly 5 weeks earlier to arrive on June 29. Again the attention to detail by this company is amazing. From the packaging to getting it to my door as promised in a specific time frame is awesome. 


Time to go to work. Believe it or not this was easier to debone than a Turkey leg and thigh. A while back I made a Turkey Pastrami using the Leg and Thigh from a Turkey. It came out quite good. The Turkey has those big tendons which are hard to remove (pliers are needed sometimes). Anyhow the plan of attack is to start from the back because I want to keep everything intact. I only have two hands other wise I would have video-taped the whole deboning process. The song Getting to know you... comes to mind while I was trying to figure how to debone the Duck. I doubt Julie Andrews would approve of this. 

Anyhow here are some pics of the Duck being deboned. Gotta use a very sharp knife. 







 
Not the easiest thing I have ever done and of course there is a learning curve but still easier than a Turkey. The trick is in using an extremely sharp knife. The goal of course is remove the skin/meat from the bones all the while avoiding massive tears on the meat or skin. Easier said than done.



Working the knife around the bones starting on the back ensures that the breast meat will stay intact. Ripping out the spine and rib bones helps you navigate the knife around the breasts. 





Having only done this on chicken a few times I did a pretty awesome job with this duck. 



All done. Don't forget I deboned the legs, thighs and wings to and kept all the meat and skin intact. 

This is me experimenting with a cylinder configuration. I could have rolled it several different ways but after a few tosses settled in on one. After it's all cured I will roll with Transglutaminase (meat-gloo) and secure with plastic wrap. 




This is the curing and Rub recipe I will be using for the Pastrami. 
For my Curing notes more info CLICK HERE


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 my 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. 

Putting it all together is easy too. Combine the Salt and cure #1 together and coat both sides of the Duck rubbing it into every nook and cranny. Using an electric spice grinder I processed the whole spices and mixed everything together. Thoroughly coated both sides of Duck with this mixture and again getting it into every nook and cranny. Don't forget that you already covered it with the salt and cure combo. That always goes on first. 

The technique I use for curing is referred to as equilibrium curing. Equilibrium curing is using exact amounts needed for the cure. 

Many people use excess salt curing method which is imprecise and not recommended. Excess salt curing is a technique where you cover the meat entirely in salt. 


All done. When you're done rubbing down the Duck toss everything in a vacuum sealed bag and place in a refrigerator. I will flip and massage this bag for at least 7 days possibly 8. After this point I will rinse the Duck and use the TG and form into a cylinder.


It's been about nine days and the time has come to proceed to the next step. Although it was fully cured at 7 days my schedule is/was crazy and I could not get to it hence the advantage of an equilibrium cure. 



All rinsed off and now I need to figure out a good way to role this Duck up into a cylinder. 











I believe I figured out how to roll this thing up into a cylinder without compromising the meat to fat ratio. I dusted the Duck with Transglutaminase (meat-gloo) and rolled it up nice and tight.
 I won't go into a lot of detail on how to roll this thing up because I have covered this in previous posts but here is a synopsis. I used a 24 inch commercial plastic wrap and rolled it extremely right squeezing the sides while forming a cylinder. Roll the ends in the opposite direction and tie off with rope. note: I rolled it over 20 times to make an extremely right cylinder. 



Vacuumed Sealed to help secure the Duck cylinder. In order for the TG to work (proteins setting up) it will need at least 24 hours of rest in the refrigerator. 




All set and Pastrami rub applied. 




Now on to the smoking. I love cold smoking Pastrami. I believe that's what makes it taste so dang good. Cold Smoking equates to Old world flavors in my opinion. I used the A-MAZE-N SMOKER for the cold smoking which makes this easy. I cold smoked the Pastrami 16 hours.


Such a beauty. After 16 hours the bark set up very nicely. 




I added these pics of the ends to show you how nicely the TG work. The Duck stayed in tact.







After the cold smoking process the Duck was re-wrapped in plastic and double vacuumed sealed. Here's a pic after the Sous-Vide bath. The Duck was SV'd at 135 F until Pasteurization was reached using baldwins tables. 


Applied reserved rub. Note: you may need to spray a little canola oil to get the rub to stick.



Back in smoker to set bark. I used Hickory and smoke it for an hour at 225 to set bark.













Gratuitous pictures below. My review of the Pastrami is at the bottom. 











Review


Let me begin by saying that it came out OK. Not great but OK. Like I said earlier in the post I was concerned about the meat to fat ratio which means I will try a different breed of duck when I attempt this again. I will rate this with numbers from 1-10 and 10 being the best. I will explain in detail why I chose these numbers. 

Appearance and Aesthetics-10
Taste - 6.5
Texture- 5
Sliceable-
Mouthfeel- 5
Overall- 6.3
After being fried up and eaten in a sandwich it was more like an 8. 

Appearance and Aesthetics- What can I say it looked beautiful. It was symmetrical and flawless. A perfect 10.

Taste- I only gave it a 6.5 because I thought the flavors were a bit too overpowering. I will use the same recipe next but reduce everything by 25%.

Texture- I should have know better based on my other duck breast recipes but I took a chance and it did not pay off. I decided to Sous-Vide this at 135 f and that was evidently a mistake. The fat did not have a chance to render enough and the meat's texture was poor. It didn't slice up well at all. I should have stuck with 145 f which has worked for me in the past. In Addition the Fat to Meat ratio on Rohan 
Duck did not help either. I am choosing the Pekin next time. 

Sliceable- Poor.... because of what it says above.

Mouthfeel- Not great not horrible. 


I will say that after I fried up the Duck Pastrami and put it in a sandwich it got upgraded to an 8.