Sunday, October 1, 2017


That's right another Duck recipe from me. An out of the box recipe no doubt. As most of you know I don't eat Pork which leads me to my next point of evolution in food. Since I don't partake in treif I'm on a constant and boundless quest to make the unusual. Transforming food is what I love to do. I like using the term Yiddisher Kop which means Jewish Head to describe what it is I do. Katshkecetta is Yiddish for Duckcetta if you were curious.

This recipe originated with my desire to replicate the treif version know as Pancetta. I did this twice before using both Veal and Beef. I used the Veal Navel Cut for this application and it was  magnificent. I called the Veal version Vealcetta. I also made a Beef version (Used Beef Navel) called Bovicetta. The veal version was much better than the Beef version. Anyhow I thought that Duck would be a great canvas for this grandiose of a recipe. Based on previous experiences I'm using the Muscovy Breast for this "Cetta". The Muscovy breasts are tasty and easy to work and should work well with this crazy concept of mine. You can check out my other Duck Cured meat recipes HERE. In this recipe I won't go into a huge amount of detail because it's virtually no different than my Vealcetta. 

As with most of my recipes there's always a need. Growing up in NYC and eating (PORK) was normal for me. Having a Sicilian Grandfather turned me on too many many different Italians foods which I miss and love. That being said I have not eaten any Treif in almost 18 years. About 8 months ago I saw a recipe being made on T.V. called, yup you guessed it Pasta Carbonara. I remembered eating this many times as a young man. Traditional Carbonara like the one my grandfather cooked was made with Pancetta or Guanciale. So with that I needed a meat that was high in fat and just tasted divine. Well we all know that's Duck. My Vealcetta would have been Ok but Duck is the best for this application in my opinion. All that Duck fat is heavenly. 
Here's my version of Pasta Carbonara with Duckcetta.

First things first- Measure out all your ingredients. Combine the Salt and Cure #2 in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using a spice mill grind Whole Cloves, Mustard Seed and Fennel together and place in separate bowl. Measure out the remaining ingredients and place in same bowl as the Cloves, Mustard and Fennel......mix thoroughly. You should have two bowls.
Note: You will need Orange Zest too. not listed in recipe. 

Here is a beautiful picture of both sides of the duck. It's important that the skin is attached. We're going to roll this baby. 

Apply the Salt & Cure to the breast making sure to get it in every nook & cranny (skin side too). Next add orange zest all over the breast. I didn't add it to the skin side.

Anyhow take the other bowl that contains the other ingredients and apply the rub getting it into all the nooks & crannies. Vacuum seal and place in refrigerator for at least a week and up to about 12 days. It's an equilibrium cure so you can't really over cure the thing. Flip it over every day too.

After the 12 days of curing I removed the Duck from its plastic home and rinsed and patted them dry. Notice they're sitting on plastic wrap? Explanation coming.

What's all that white powder? That's called Transglutminase aka Meat-Glue. This stuff will allow us to roll that baby up tight and it will hold its shape. The proteins will bond in about 24 hours and it will become ONE perfectly shaped cylinder. 

This is an important part so pay attention. Using the plastic wrap we're going to roll the duck up extremely tight. The idea here is to roll the duck up so tight that all the proteins are connecting and there are no air gaps. As you roll up the duck a cylinder will form. You must keeping squeezing and stretching the plastic wrap to create a very tight cylinder. In the end I think I rolled it probably 20 plus times. During this process you will twist the ends and squeeze in.  

Keep squeezing the ends and tie off with butcher twine. It may require two of you to get this baby really tight. After your done Vac seal and refrigerate. It needs 24 hours for the proteins to bond and meld together. 

After 24 hours you have a perfectly shaped Duck cylinder. 
Now that's tight!!!!

Now place in a dry aging chamber or use a UMAI bag like I did until the Duck loses 30% of its green weight. 

Wow.....because of the fat content of the Duck this took 5 months to reach the proper weight. I was not expecting it to take this long. 

After the long haul the Duck was placed in a standard Vacuum bag to equalize. Ok what's this equalize thing? Equalizing just means that the moisture levels will have a chance to distribute evenly through the meat. As the meat dries we know that the outer layers are drier than the inner layers. Sitting in a vac bag for a few weeks will equalize the moisture. How long? It needs at least 4 weeks. So all in all this baby took 6 months to complete. Was it worth it? 

Here it is......... Review below gratuitous pictures. 

Review- Wow just amazing. From the flavors to the texture just absolutely divine. How does this compare to my other duck recipes? .....all I have to say is WOW!!! I'm blown away. I must say the texture is far superior to my Duck Prosciutto. With the Prosciutto I never considered rolling them up and now that I have I won't go back. I will use this techniques for all my future recipes. 


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Doshers Smoked Shoulder

What can I say I'm addicted to Salumi and anything cured. You can say that Charcuterie is one of my prized hobbies. I love coming up with new recipes and the funky names that go along
with them. That's right these recipes are all originals and so are the crazy names. To say that I am a Salumi enthusiast is an understatement. So with that maybe we'll just go with Zealot. Yup, a Salumi Zealot will do. Note: Salumi is just whole cured muscles. By the way not all Pastrami's are made from brisket. 

Some of you already know that I make a lot of Pastrami and lots of funky cured meats but what you may not know is I've been referred to in many circles as the the Pastrami King. My Pastrami rub and techniques are so creative that I decided to come up with a new rub to use with a different cut of meat. Anyhow a few months ago I created a cured meat called Bavagool aka Gabagool using the Whole Chuck and it came out so good I decided to do it again but this time I'll use my Pastrami techniques. Of course this will be a departure from the traditional Pastrami ingredients and taste......well just a little anyway. I chose shoulder over Brisket because I wanted to try another cut for this application. Choosing this cut also helps me stay fresh. These are uncharted waters for me so I will be learning as I go. 

Without further adieu I give you the Costco special Chuck Roast. After unleashing this 20 lb monster from it's plastic cage I trimmed it up just bit. I removed very little overall which was just some hard fat and some silver skin. That about all I did.

There's not much to this recipe and the instructions are relatively simple. Cut in half and tie. Wow not very hard. Use the butchers not if you know how to tie them and place in a very large container or vac seal. 

Combine the salt and the cure and place in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. Take the whole Coriander seeds, Whole Black Pepper ( if using) and Granulated Chipotle and run through spice mill a bit. Add these ingredients and the additional ones to a large bowl and mix.

My notes on curing HERE.

First....use the Salt and Cure mixture and rub thoroughly into meat getting it into every nook and cranny. Next do the same thing with the spice mixture. Normally at this point I would Vacuum seal everything up but these babies are too big. I plan on rotating them them every day for the next 30 days. I would normally cure for about 21 days but these things are enormous so we will see. 

Just a pic of the meat after 36 hours. If you look closely you can see the moisture collecting on the bottom. 

Pic after 8 days. A lot more moisture collecting at the bottom. I'm rotating meat everyday (sometimes a 1/4 turn @ 12 hrs). 

I know I said I would cure for about 30 days but all I needed was 22 days. How do I know... I just know. After a good rinsing it was time to set in refrigerator to develop the pellicle

Here she lies..... gonna wait at least 24 hours. 
All done.... I waited about 36 hours. There's no rule on how long one should wait to develop a pellicle. The meat is sitting in a commercial refrigerator and has a lot of airflow.  

"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."

Here is the crazy rub I chose to create. Much higher percentage of pepper from the cure. You will only need about half for cold smoking. Use the other half for the hot smoke. This is a very heavy rub and is quite spicy. Use as much or as little as you want.

After the pellicle formed I applied half the rub.

Here comes the smoke. I am using the A-MAZE-N Pellet Smoker for the cold smoking process. Some people have asked why I cold smoke if I am planning to hot smoke too. It's a simple answer.... I like the flavors that cold smoking provides. Also get a head start on the smoking process. Cold smoking provides certain complexities you can not achieve with hot smoking. It will smoke for 8-10 hours. Remember it always better to cold smoke when it's cool outside. 

All cold smoked and ready for the Vac bags.  

Double Vac sealed for the long bath. I had to make some decisions about time and temp. Again these are uncharted waters. I've SV plenty of cuts that were tough so I knew that temps of 135-155 f and long times were needed. But I had to ask myself is that necessary? Thinking about it for a moment I considered the following. Do I plan on using a knife or my Berkel Slicer? Hmmmm....20 lbs is a lot of meat to slice up just using a knife. Yea going to use my Berkel. If I'm using my Berkel the meat needs to be a little firmer and not falling apart. So I need to chose a lower temp and a shorter cooking time. I decided to use 135 f and SV for 16 hours. This should create a texture suitable for a slicer. We will see......this is just a guess mind you. I will post a review at the bottom with some pictures. In addition, the low temp and short time in the water bath should prevent the fat from rendering to much which will keep it very moist. Having a high fat content means I can heat the meat in a non-stick-skillet with a little water and it will remain moist. The fat will render a bit during this process and will produce a succulent sandwich.

After the 16 hour cooking process I submerged (my wife did it) them in a large container filled with ice {Blue Ice}. I wanted to drop the internal temp down rather quickly so I could refrigerate. Getting them out of the danger zone and into the refrigerator was the goal. Note: You cannot go from the SV to the refrigerator. The idea is to reduce the amount of time the food sits in the danger zone. The meat surrounded by ice-water will drop the temps rather quickly. If I were to put the meat directly in the refrigerator from the SV I would accomplish a few thing things and none are good. I would raise the temp of my refrigerator and put everything else at risk. And the meat I wanted to cool off would most likely be ruined by the prolonged time in the danger zone. Anyhow here's a pic of meat out of the vac bags. I dried them off very well before proceeding.

I took the remaining rub and applied.

I plan on Hot Smoking at 225 f until an internal temp of 125-135 f is reached. 

All done!!! Look at that bark.

Gratuitous pictures first than a review at bottom 

Review- Absolutely amazing. I won't change a thing (maybe). Cooking at 135 f for 16 hours was perfect. Very little purge in the bag which means very little fat rendered which was my goal. I wanted to preserve as much fat as possible so when I warmed up the meat in a pan the fat would render just a bit and make for a great sandwich. The smokiness and kick of spice really put this over the top. Next time I might increase the coriander just a bit but we will see. This temp and time is not suitable for knife slicing btw. If you want to use a knife you will need to increase temp (I'm guessing here) to 145 f and cook for at least 32 hours.