Friday, May 26, 2017

Baconized Jerky

BEEFY BACON JERKY

Who doesn't like Jerky or for that matter Bacon? So with that I give you a Jerky that tastes like Bacon. And if you like Bourbon that's even better. This recipe is quite easy. What might be unique to this recipe is the addition of Brown Sugar Bourbon and a Bacon Booster. Everything else is normal... Salt and Cure # 1. For more crazy Jerky recipes Click HERE and for Curing Notes and how to apply percentages Click HERE.  To purchase BACON Booster which is just an optional ingredient Click HERE.



I always use Top Round for my Jerky. It's the leanest and easiest to work with... at least for me. Combine Salt, Cure #1 and Bacon Booster in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Rub into Meat. After you have completed this step rub in the Brown Sugar.
Place meat and any residual rub into bag and add the Brown Sugar Bourbon. Vacuum seal using caution to avoid sucking up any liquid from the bag. Cure for at least 8 days and up to about 14 days. This is an equilibrium cure so not concerned about over curing. Place in refrigerator and toss over every day.
I removed the Cured meat from the refrigerator right at 10 days. I'm always working around my crazy schedule so 10 days was about just about right for me. See my notes on curing and jerky HERE. Anyhow at this point you want to remove as much fat as possible. Fat and Jerky don't make for tasty Jerky. The fat ends up going rancid and does not taste all that good. 
Partially freeze (about 70% frozen) the meat and slice to desired thickness. Having a professional Berkel slicer is helpful. 
Just a pretty picture.
Douse with some Brown Sugar Bourbon.... just enough to get all the pieces wet. Using your hands mix it all up making sure it's thoroughly coated.  
Place on dehydrator racks and sprinkle on some Brown Sugar. Rub the Brown sugar into the meat too. 
Dehydrate.....this one did not take as long as I thought it would. I started out at 135 for 2.5 hours, 2 hours at 110 and finished at 90 degrees until I could bend a piece in half and it was barely splitting. 


Review- It was damn good. I loved everything about it....... It tasted like bacon. I fried a few pieces I trimmed off that had fat on it and it was bacony delicious. If you love sweet bacon, and bourbon you will like this jerky.  



Safety and Jerky

I don't want to go on a rant or lecture about Beef Jerky but there are some precautions you need to take. The amount of jerky recipes out there pales in comparison to the amount of opinions there are about how to make Beef Jerky properly. You can google to you're blue in the face and everyone has an opinion. There are a lot of rules out there and if you want to explore them I have collected on my BLOG. Click the Link HERE and go to the bottom and click on the desired information. 


This is what I do. I make sure there is adequate salt levels. If I am using a dry rub I use 2.5-3% salt. If I use a marinade I go by taste and experience. I use Cure # 1 because I tend to like my Jerky a little moister than others and cannot guarantee that the AW will be below the 85 threshold to ward off Botulism. I store my Jerky vacuum sealed in bags hence Cure # 1. I refuse to pasteurize like the USDA suggest so I have an alternate way of doing it that provides great texture. I pack all the Jerky in Vacuum sealed bags no thicker than an inch and Sous-Vide at 135 degrees for a minimum of two hours. I prefer 3-4 hours for improved texture. All cured and pasteurized. 


Making Jerky the Safe way....

Safety and Jerky



I don't want to go on a rant or lecture about Beef Jerky but there are some precautions you need to take. The amount of jerky recipes out there pales in comparison to the amount of opinions there are about how to make Beef Jerky properly. You can google to you're blue in the face and everyone has an opinion. There are a lot of rules out there and if you want to explore them I have collected on my BLOG. Click the Link HERE and go to the bottom and click on the desired information. 

This is what I do. I make sure there is adequate salt levels. If I am using a dry rub I use 2.5-3% salt. If I use a marinade I go by taste and experience. I use Cure # 1 (.25%) because I tend to like my Jerky a little moister than others and cannot guarantee that the AW will be below the 85 threshold to ward off Botulism. I store my Jerky vacuum sealed in bags hence Cure # 1. I refuse to pasteurize like the USDA suggest so I have an alternate way of doing it that provides great texture. I pack all the Jerky in Vacuum sealed bags no thicker than an inch and Sous-Vide at 135 degrees for a minimum of two hours. I prefer 3-4 hours for improved texture. All cured and pasteurized. 

Note- The importance of Sous-Vide-ing the Jerky is to kill of pathogens. If you SV first than dehydrate you're defeating the very purpose of why you SV to begin with. Do yourself a favor and SV at the end. 

Note 2- How to use Cure # 1 with Jerky? Click HERE! It's very simple though. Weigh everything and make sure to use grams. If the meat and marinade weighed 9 lb. I would convert 9 lb. to grams which is 4082 grams. You would multiply 4082 X .25% (.0025) = 10.25 grams... You would need 10.25 grams of Cure #1. If you want a huge amount of detail click the link above.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Pastrami Again?


Mad Mad Pastrami King
Even in these epicurean times when food is the forefront of just about everything I always come back to Pastrami. Pastrami is the measure of all things cured. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy, something simple know as Pastrami makes the world go round. To say that I love pastrami is an understatement. 

I have a many recipes dedicated to Pastrami using several techniques using all kinds of meats. If your're interested in those details take a look here

 This post will not provide a huge amount of detail so if you're looking for specificity click on the link above. This post is about recording what I love to do. These posts are are liken to a diary but my diary happens to be about food. BTW-In case you're interested the picture above is a point.




Just purchased a whole packer from Costco. I have never used Prime Brisket from Costco so this will be a first. 












Trimmed off quite a bit of fat. At first I wasn't going to separate the Point from the Flat but there was so much fat. The fat layers was a concerned of mine in that the cure wouldn't penetrate all the way through. If I was just BBQ'ing this Packer it wouldn't have been an issue. Anyhow I saved all the fat for another project.

The Pastrami cure and rub can be found HERE
Heat whole spices in skillet and cool. After cooling grind up. 





First things first. Place brisket (Flat and Point) in large container.
Lets get started. I combined the cure and salt in a bowl and blended them well and than proceeded to cover the meat packing them gettiinto every nook and cranny. Add the ground up ingredients to the remaining ingredients and mix well. Like before cover the meat getting it into every nook and cranny. Note: I measured out precise amounts for both the Point and Flat separately. Place brisket in separate Vac bags. Flip everyday for 15-21 days and give it a good whack.

 


When the brisket is fully cure (15-21 days) remove from bag and rinse thoroughly and dry. 




Apply the pastrami rub and proceed to the next step.









Cold Smoke for at least 10 hours!!!! If you don't have a cold smoker A-Mazen-Smokers are awesome for this application.





This is a critical step!!! After you have completed the cold smoking it's all down hill from here. Seeing how I never have spare time I normally refrigerate my cold smoked meat until the following day. Anyhow, vac seal the Pastrami and get the SV up and running for the anticipated long immersion.





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. After the long haul in the SV I shock the Pastrami and refrigerated until I was ready to apply Hot-Smoke. 


Are you still with me? Remove Pastrami from Vac bags and dry off meat a bit. Apply more rub and lots more coarse pepper. I love pepper!! 




Get the smoker up and running for the Hot-Smoke. The weather was awesome so I was able to use my Custom Modified Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker. Yes I am bragging here. If the weather had turned to crap I would have used my propane smoker but you can't beat Charcoal and wood. Anyhow smoke the cold meat at 200-225 f degrees until an internal temp of 142-145 is reached. Do not go above 145 f. Don't forget we SV'd at 142 f. The reason why we start out with cold meat is to delay the meat reaching the final temp of 145 f which allows the meat to stay in the smoker for a longer time.


All done!!! Check out that bark. It came out perfect. I had my Mise en place all ready to go which means rye bread and mustard. 




What can I say other than it came out great!!!

Note- I am not a fan of cold pastrami so I always warm the meat up in a pan with a touch of water. 

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Buffalo Tongstrami aka "Pastrami"

Give me some tongue why don't you. Well she did; figuratively speaking of course. When I was a little boy growing up in NYC Beef Tongue was pretty common in the Jewish culinary community. My Bubbe ate Tongue often on rye bread with spicy brown mustard. She was a awful cook so I can only assume she sourced the Tongue at some Jewish Deli. 

At some point when I was a little boy (under the age of 10 I think) she tried to make Tongue for dinner. For the life of me I don't know why she would do such as thing. I use to spend a weekend or two a month with my Bubbe and we always ate at Katz deli which was located across the street from where she lived. My Bubbe cooking tongue is like me trying to ski down hill for the first time.....she didn't know what she was doing which was evident by her cooking technique and how she tried to to serve the Tongue. I'm not kidding either. She literally tossed it in a pot of boiling water and after a few dumped it on a serving platter and said dinner. What? Are you freaking kidding me? I don't recall the exact words but I didn't eat the darn thing and she cried. She made no attempt to to disguise what it was nor did she peel off the taste buds. What the hell was she thinking? It had to be the grossest thing I have ever seen in my life.... at least up to that point anyways. Anyhow that was my introduction to Tongue. I'm sure I ate it before but no one told me was it was and it was disguised as something else....I.E Deli meat. 


I've been wanting to make Pastrami from Tongue for quite some time but never made any attempt to source it until now. A few weeks ago I was down at my buddies house for a food extravaganza (Norm King) and he made Pickled Tongue. It was amazing and I knew then I had to try my hand at making Pastrami from this wonderful piece of meat. Sourcing Tongue is not that easy until I got turned on to Nicky USA by Norm. They source their meat from the NW and sell to high end stores (only in OR) and restaurants in the NW. If your willing to spend $$$ they will ship to their Seattle location and you can pick it up there. A dream come true for me!!! This last weekend I purchased 7 Beef Navels, 2 rack of American Lamb and 1 Buffalo Tongue. Game on!!!! They did not have regular Beef Tongue which is bigger so I got the Buffalo one. 


This recipe will not be much different than my other pastrami recipes. From the cure to the rub much won't change. Here's a Link to the Cure and Rub. Link to dry curing notes here.




Place Tongue in a clean container. This is where you're going to apply cure and spices. 





Get your separate bowls out and start measuring. Put the Salt and cure in their own bowl and mix thoroughly. Take your whole spices and roast them a bit in a dry skillet and grind them up. Combine all the ingredients now except keep Salt and Cure in their separate bowl. 









Using the Salt and Cure thoroughly coat the Tongue getting it into every nook and cranny. Take the other bowl of spices and coat the Tongue too.





Vacuum seal the Tongue and refrigerate for at least 12 days. You can go longer if you want. This is an equilibrium cure so you can't over cure.





The Tongue was cured for 15 days. After I removed the Tongue from it's baggy I gave it a good rinse and got it ready for the next step. Tongue will be cold smoked for 10 hours.







The Tongue was coated with more Pastrami Rub. Note: the recipe for the rub makes a lot. The Tongue will be covered in the Rub for the cold smoke and the hot smoke. The Tongue will be cold smoked for 10 hrs.






This picture is what a 10 hour cold smoked Tongue looks like.









Vacuumed sealed!!! 
Sous-Vide at 142 f for 48 hours.















After the long Jacuzzi ride the Tongue was cold shocked for about 10 minutes. You can't peel a raw Tongue and you can't handle a hot one either.

Very easy to peel after cooked and cooled slightly. Just make some defined slits trying not to pierce the meat too much and peel away.




Note: I refrigerated the Tongue over night! You need to refrigerate for at least 12 hours before proceeding. Refrigerating mitigates over cooking during the Hot Smoke. Anyhow after the refrigeration Coat with the rub and more black pepper



Check out my kick ass modified Weber Smokey Mountain. Anyhow Hot Smoke at 225 f until an internal temp of 142 f is reached. This is the same temp the Tongue was Sous-Vide.





All done!!! It appears that I hit a homerun. More likely a Grand-Slam. 






 Time to Slice!!!




Review- Oh dear God!!! Just absolutely amazing. From the taste to the texture is flawless. I will not change a thing. The fat content is out of this world. This tastes and feels better in the month than a pastrami made with brisket. No pun intended. More gratuitous pictures below. This is what flavor town is all about.









You notice the little tongue sticking out? This was not on purpose. 




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