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Philippine Pork BBQ

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Winter is always a slow time for me to try new recipes. Since I live in Montana, it is hard to get in the mood to go out and crank up the smoker at 40 below zero. So for the last 2 years I have pulled the 5th wheel over to the Oregon coast near where I grew up. I bring along the boat so I can fish and go crabbing. That being said, I have to leave my Texas BBQ pit at home, along with my other smokers. Still not much chance to do anything creative. I try to look for recipes that I can cook on my portable Weber that might rise to the level that is so good, I want to post it to my blog and share with all of you. I found one such recipe the other day. The recipe is for Philippine Pork BBQ . I am a big fan of the Asian influence on BBQ, Korean, Philippine & Chinese. They use a lot of garlic, ginger, soy, fish sauce & citrus. I found this recipe on a blog called EatingClubVancouver.com. They called it Yaya’s Philippine Pork BBQ. It’s a fairly simple recipe that produces a juicy and flavorful pork skewer.

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To prepare the marinade combine the garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, 7-up, soy sauce & calamansi* in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Slice pork shoulder into thin strips. Place in bowl and using your hands make sure all the strips are completely coated with the marinade.

* Calamansi is a citrus fruit that is a cross between a Mandarin Orange and a Kumquat. You can substitute orange, lemon, limes, or a combination of them. I used limes.

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Pour meat and marinade into a Ziplock bag and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and preferably 48. I let mine marinate 60 hours.

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Weave meat onto skewers bunching slices up to produce a full skewer of pork.

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Cook over medium heat on the grill 3 minutes per side (4 sides per skewer).

Yaya’s Barbequed Pork

1- big head garlic, peeled & crushed
2- tsp. salt
1- tsp. black pepper
4- Tbsp. soy sauce
4- Tbsp. sugar
12 ounces 7-up or Sprite
10- pcs. calamansi
2 lbs. pork, sliced thin into 1-1/2″ pcs. (We get shoulder butt.)

Procedure
Mix all ingredients together including the pork. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

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Home Cured Pastrami

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One of my favorite sandwiches is a true Jewish New York pastrami. Unfortunately where I’m from you just can’t find anything that is even close. So I make my own. The cut of meat most Jewish delis use is the beef navel. It has a lot of fat layers just like bacon that make it so perfect for pastrami. It is a difficult cut to find for the average person. A reasonable substitute is the flat portion of the beef brisket. It has a nice fat cap but not a lot of fat layered. Some people choose to use the point portion of the brisket. It has a lot of fat but is marbled fat versus layered fat. I prefer the flat cut but it’s up to your own personal preference. This recipe works with either. A common error some home curers make is to buy a store bought corned beef that is ready to cook. They press the pastrami seasonings onto the corned beef and smoke it. They eliminate the 5 days minimum curing time needed to cure the brisket. The problem with that approach is that your pastrami is going to taste like corned beef, not pastrami. A dominant flavor in corned beef is pickling spice. You can’t get rid of that flavor by soaking and smoking. So if you are going to make pastrami, don’t take shortcuts.

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You can buy a flat cut brisket at most supermarkets. It should be about 8 lbs. Trim the fat cap down to about 1/4 inch. The fat is important but to much requires that you trim the fat cap after you smoke it and there goes a lot of flavor. Prepare your curing brine. Inject the brisket with curing brine in 6-8 places to cut down on the curing time. Place in a food grade plastic bag and pour in the rest of the brine. Seal bag removing all the air and seal. Place in the fridge and let cure 5 days turning over once a day. Remove brisket from brine and rinse. In a small cooler add cold water and allow brisket to soak 4 hours changing the water every hour. This removes excess salt and if you skip this step you will have pastrami that is so salty you will have a hard time eating it.

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Remove brisket from soaking water and pat dry with paper towels. It’s time to apply your curing spices. Use it all. Press it on all sides firmly. Place back in a food grade plastic bag and remove as much air as possible. Place a cutting board on top of the plastic bag with a cast iron or other heavy object on top. Place bag in the fridge and allow to cure at least 48 hours. I let it cure 4 days because I like the spices to infuse as much flavor as possible, and since the brisket has been preserved with instacure #1 you don’t have to worry about spoilage. Place brisket in the smoker on an oiled rack and smoke @ 250 degrees for 6 hours. After 6 hours transfer brisket to a baking sheet with a rack and pour about 1/2 inch of hot water in the baking sheet. Cover brisket and baking sheet with heavy duty foil and place back in smoker or in an oven heated to 250 degrees for an additional 3 hours. Remove from heat source and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, covered. It takes some serious time to prepare this pastrami so I would suggest that if you have the refrigerator space, do two briskets. Once done, you can cut each brisket into several pieces (don’t cut in slices) vacuum pack and freeze for up to 90 days. You’re going to think you went to pastrami heaven, I guarantee!

Recipe (double if doing two):

For the brine:
1 gallon ice cold water
8 ozs kosher salt by weight
3 tsp. instacure #1
I cup firmly packed brown sugar
12 cloves fresh garlic, minced

For the rub:
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. garlic granules
1 Tbs. onion granules
Place coriander seeds, yellow mustard seeds in a spice grinder and pulse just until seeds are crushed. Mix in the rest of the spices.

Follow recipe instructions above.

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Summer Salami with Bacon

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Summer Salami is a popular salami also known as Thuringer. It is a semi-dry cured salami that is smoked after it is allowed to cure to develop a natural tang. It is very popular with hunters who use venison & elk meat and this recipe works very well substituting wild game meat for the pork. I would however make sure that all fat is trimmed from the meat and add the bacon in this recipe or you can use pork back fat.

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I use pork and pork back fat in my traditional recipe. Today I am using bacon ends instead of the pork fat to give it a little change of flavor.

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Mix all the dry ingredients together.

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Grind the partially frozen meat and fat using a 3/8 grinding plate. Mix in dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place in a ziplock bag and pack tightly removing all air and sealing. Put in the refrigerator and let cure for 4 days.

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To make it easier to regrind the meat, I form little pieces that easily feed down the grinding tube. Grind and stuff the casings using a large grinding plate as the whole peppercorns need to pass through.

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Hang salami on a smoke rack and let cure @ room temperature for 12 hours.

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Insert a temperature probe into one of the salamis and place in smoker @ 110 degrees. When the internal temp reaches that, raise smoker temp to 125 degrees. When that temp is reached, raise smoker temp to 155. The salami is done when 155 degrees is reached. Remove salami still on the smoke rack and shower with cold water until the internal temp reaches 110 degrees. Gently wipe the salami with paper towels.

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Let hang on smoke rack @ room temp for three hours to allow the salami to bloom. Store refrigerated. I like to vacuum pack what I’m not going to eat right away and place in the freezer. They won’t lose any flavor for up to 90 days.

Recipe:
4 lbs. pork shoulder
1 lb. bacon or fatty bacon ends
1 tsp. Instacure #1
2 Tbs. powdered dextrose
2 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. black peppercorns
3 ozs. Fermento

Directions:
Cube pork, bacon & partially freeze. Grind with 3/8 grinding plate. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place in ziplock bag and let cure refrigerated 4 days. Regrind using a large grinding plate and stuff into casings. Hang at room temp for 12 hours. Smoke @ 110 degrees several hours then raise the temp to 125 degrees for about and hour. Raise temp to 155 degrees and salami is done when the internal temp is 155 degrees. DO NOT ALLOW THE SMOKER TO GET ABOCE 160 DEGREES OR THE FAT WILL START TO SEPERATE. Remove from smoker immediately and shower with cold water until the internal temp reaches 110 degrees. Hang @ room temp to allow salami to bloom.

Italian Dry Cured Salami

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This is my favorite dry cured salami to make. It is far superior to the commercial dry cured salami you can buy. A lot of salami sold at the supermarket is cured in about a week. Commercial producers use a process called “fast-fermenting” by using a culture that reduces the moisture content and raises the acidity of the meat in a short period of time. This bypasses the aging process which adds a lot of flavor to the salami. I use a slow-fermenting culture, Bactoferm T-SPX, for traditional fermentation profiles. That means that good bacteria has time to work. Fast-fermented salami will always exhibit a tangy and sour flavor as flavor forming bacteria don’t have sufficient time to work with the meat. My salami can be eaten in 35 days which includes the first 3 days fermenting at near room temperature, however, the curing process continues as long as it is allowed to hang in the proper environment. The longer the better.

There are some important guidelines that must be followed to insure a successful outcome when making a dry cured salami. Since it takes a lot of time before you can see the results of your efforts and hard work, you don’t want to come up to the day to take your first taste and find out your salami is spoiled or tainted with bad bacteria. My 6 rules are: 1.) KEEP IT COLD  2.) Use Instacure #2, not Mortons tender quick.  3.) Use slow-fermenting culture like Bactoferm T-SPX.  4.) Mix the ingredients thoroughly into the meat.  5.) Partially freeze the meat before grinding.  6.) Cure in the proper temperature & humidity ranges. If you follow these rules you should be very pleased with the finished product.

Recipe:
4 lbs. pork shoulder
1 lb. beef chuck
4 1/2 Tbs. Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. powdered dextrose
1 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 tsp. garlic granules
2 Tbs. corn syrup solids
1 tsp. Instacure #2
1/4 tsp. Bactoferm T-SPX
1/4 cup distilled water
protein lined casings

Directions:
Cut meat into cubes that will fit your grinder. Partially freeze the meat. Place your grinding tools such as the grinding blade, plate, auger, bowls in the freezer before grinding begins. Mix the Instacure and Bactoferm into the distilled water and let activate the culture for 30 minutes. Assemble the rest of the spices in a bowl and mix well. Assemble your grinder and grind the partially frozen cubes using a 3/8 grinding plate. Place the ground meat back in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove meat from the freezer and mix in the spices and 1/4 cup distilled water containing the culture and Instacure #2. Be sure to mix thoroughly, about 6 minutes by hand, 3 minutes using a meat mixer. Place the mixed meat back in the freezer. If you have a meat stuffer, stuff meat into the protein lined casings in 5 equal amounts. If you are using your meat grinder as a stuffer, clean and sanitize the grinding unit and place back in the freezer for 10 minutes. Re-grind and stuff the meat in casings using the largest grinding plate you have as the whole peppercorns need to pass through the plate. Hang the five salamis in your curing chamber for 72 hours @ 68 degrees and a humidity of 85-90%. After 72 hours reduce the temperature in your curing chamber to 54-60 degrees and a humidity of 75%. Let cure in that environment for 32 days. The salami will lose about 30% of its volume during that time. You will see mold starting to grow on your casings in a week to ten days. This is good mold. If it bothers you, mix equal parts water to vinegar and wipe the mold off with a clean paper towel. I do it a couple of times during the curing process just to avoid the bigger job of cleaning it off at the end. I always take out one salami at the 35 day mark to sample. You can leave the remaining salamis in the curing chamber indefinitely. If you need room for more salamis to cure, you can store the cured salamis in the refrigerator in an unsealed ziplock bag. Be sure to never remove any of the casing from any part of the salami unless you are going to eat it right away. Salami with the casing removed dries out very quickly. Partially open salami can be stored by putting plastic wrap over the cut end secured by a rubber band.

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NDUJA Salami

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Nduja, pronounced “en-doo-ya” is a soft salami, dry cured, from Calabria, Italy. Up until recently it was not available for purchase in the United States. It couldn’t be imported because the salami was made with not only pork, but pork lungs. I know that sounds awful but if you go to your supermarket and look at the Mexican chorizo in the refrigerated section right next to the hot dogs and other packaged meats, you will find that it not only lists its ingredients as pork, but lymph nodes and salivary glands. YUCK!! Anyway, people who traveled to Italy and experienced this spicy hot Calabrian salami wanted to be able to have it here in the US. One such group of Chefs  happen to own the Purple Pig restaurant in Chicago. They produce their own Nduja and serve a killer Pork Blade Steak topped with Nduja and honey. Bon Appetit published a story in 2010 about the Purple Pig and gave the recipe for the Blade steak. That got me interested in finding a recipe and making it for my own use. I found a great recipe by Len Poli, an expert in Charcuterie. That is the recipe I am using with the exception of adding Bactoferm T-SPX as a culture which most people are using now, and using smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika, bypassing the need to cold smoke for hours.

For 5 lbs. salami. 2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder. 2 1/2 lbs. pork back fat. 2 cups Calabrian hot pepper powder. 1 1/3 cup smoked paprika. 3 Tbs. Kosher salt. 1 tsp. Instacure #2. 1/4 tsp. Bactoferm T-SPX dissolved in 1/4 cup distilled water.

Cube meat and back fat and partially freeze. Place Bactoferm in the water and let sit for 30 minutes to activate. Grind meat using a 3/8 plate. Add the spices and mix well. Pour water with Bactoferm into the meat and mix again. Stuff meat mixture into protein lined casings. Let ferment at 68 degrees for 48 hours. Cure in curing box @ 54-60 degrees and relative humidity of 75% for 4 weeks. If you get a formation of mold on the casing don’t worry. It is good mold. However, if you wish, mix equal parts water and vinegar and wipe off the mold with a paper towel. This isn’t necessary but your curing chamber might smell better.

Now, the Calabrians like to put a little olive oil on crusty bread and top with thin slices of Nduja. For me that is a little spicy, but good. Here is the recipe for the Purple Pigs Pork Blade Steak with Nduja.

4 blade steaks. 4 ozs. thin sliced Nduja salami. 2 Tbs. honey. Lightly coat blade steaks with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and coarse black pepper. Sear steaks on griddle or cast iron pan for 3 minutes. Turn steaks over and top evenly with Nduja. Salami will soften. Sear another 3 minutes. Place steaks Nduja side down on plates and drizzle honey over each. Serve with arugula salad.

Smoked Beef Brisket Flat

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When smoking a beef brisket I usually use a “full packer Brisket”. This has two distinct cuts, the point and the flat. They are separated by a thick layer of fat. The point is the thick cut on top, with the flat being on the bottom. The picture above is the flat. You can separate these two cuts by cutting through the fat layer being careful to leave about 1/4 inch of fat on the top of the flat. I use the point to make my burnt ends and the flat for slicing. Today I am smoking just the flat since I am preparing BBQ for just me and my wife. There will be plenty of leftovers since a flat is around 5-7 lbs. raw and will lose about 30 % of weight when finished. That will leave about 3 1/2 – 5 lbs. finished meat. The first step is to prepare a marinade and inject to meat. I use equal amounts beef broth, cider vinegar, and olive oil. I emulsify them in a blender until smooth. For this brisket I used 2/3 cups each. Inject the meat along the grain every inch or so. Be careful because this is a coarse grained cut and the marinade will squirt out in all kinds of places and ruin your shirt! Place the meat in a large ziplock bag and add the rest of the marinade. Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.

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When you are ready to smoke the brisket, remove from the marinade and pat dry. Apply your favorite rub (or you can use my “Basic Rub Recipe” found on this blog) on the top, bottom, and sides of the meat. Place in a smoker @ 225 degrees and smoke for 6 hours.

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At the end of 6 hours it will look like this.

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I remove the brisket from the smoker and wrap in unwaxed butcher paper and tie with kitchen twine. You can use heavy duty foil if you want but I find that using butcher paper the meat retains the moisture whereas the foil causes a lot of the juices to come out of the meat leaving a considerable amount in the bottom of the foil. There is none in the paper. The smoking process is done but the cooking process is not. You can place the wrapped brisket back in the smoker or place in an oven @ 225 degrees for another 3 hours. I recommend the oven to save on smoker fuel.

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This is what makes it all worthwhile. It is smokey and melts in your mouth. NO KNIVES NEEDED!

Smoked Texas Hot Links

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The finished product
The finished product

Ingredients:
5 pounds boston butt
6 fl oz ice cold beer
1 Cup soy protein concentrate
3 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 3/4 tsp granulated garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground corriander
1 teaspoon ground bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole anise seeds
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
5 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp Instacure #1
6 ft. 1 1/4 inch natural hog casing

Mix seasonings into ground pork
Mix seasonings into ground pork
Stuff into natural casing
Stuff into natural casing
Link sausage and hang on smoke rack to cure for 12 hours
Link sausage and hang on smoke rack to cure for 12 hours
Apply heavy smoke @ 110 degrees for 2 hours
Apply heavy smoke @ 110 degrees for 2 hours

Raise the temperature to 125 degrees and smoke 1 hour. Raise smoker temp to 155 degrees and smoke until sausage reaches an internal temp of 155 degrees. Do not let the smoker temp exceed 155 degrees or the fat will start to separate from the meat. When 155 internal temp is reached, remove from smoker and immediately shower sausage with cold water until the internal temp drops to 100 degrees. Allow to hang on smoker racks @ room temp for 3 hours to bloom. The complete directions are below.

Hang 3 hours @ room temp to bloom
Hang 3 hours @ room temp to bloom

Directions:
Mix all the spices, cure, and garlic into the beer and place in refrigerator while you cut up the meats into grinder sized pieces. Grind the meat at a small grind. Add the spiced beer into the ground meat and mix it up good. Run spiced meat mixture through the largest grind plate when stuffing into medium hog casings. Allow to cure 12 hours. Cold smoke for 2 hours. Raise smoker temp to 125 degrees and smoke 1 hour. Raise temp to 155 degrees and smoke until sausage reaches an internal temp of 155 degrees.