Monday, October 26, 2009

juniper and thyme-rubbed and smoked venison ribs with brown rice and beans and herbed butter roasted beets

went on a little trip to do some research for a project with vadim (future proprietor of akimenko meats). ended up out in new braintree, ma at misty river view farms, the largest venison farm in massachusetts. david and rhonda were nice enough to give vadim a nice looking rack of venison ribs to mess around with.

mashed together a few cloves of garlic with six juniper berries (christina's spices), black peppercorns, a few sprigs worth of fresh thyme, a generous amount of salt, a heavy pinch of sugar (about 2:1, salt:sugar), and a splash of canola oil in a mortar and pestle, until a well-mixed paste. removed the membrane from the bottom of the venison ribs, then rubbed them with the paste, focusing on the fleshier parts. put down a layer of lightly ashed-over charcoal in the fire box of the smoker, topped with a layer of aromatic african mahogany chunks (which had been soaking all day, thanks to the turk for scraps from his
shop). placed the ribs in the smoking chamber and adjusted the airflow to maintain a 200-degree chamber temperature. smoked the ribs for about 3hrs, then finished in aluminum foil in the oven for an hour or so.

browned a handful of diced pieces of home-cured pork belly with julienned chicken skin (in an open pressure cooker), until the skin was tender and the fat had been adequately rendered. added a 1T. of unsalted butter, a diced onion, a few cloves of crushed garlic, a couple of sprigs of thyme, dry mustard powder, a pinch of cayenne, some tony chachere's seasoning, a pinch of marjoram, and cumin powder. simmered until the onions were tender, then added 2c. of organic short grain brown rice and lightly toasted over medium heat until slightly darker in color and most of the oil had been absorbed from the pan. added 4c. of boiling water, stirred lightly, then covered the pressure-cooker on low heat until the rice was almost done (40-min or so). added a layer of re-hydrated black beans on top of the rice, and covered again, to steam the beans and come up to temperature (did not stir in, rice continued to cook for a few minutes longer). stirred in the beans once the rice was done, removed from heat and left covered until ready to eat.

crushed two cloves of garlic with some thyme, smoked paprika, caraway seed, salt and pepper, in the mortar and pestle. added 2T. of softened butter and mashed until a nice loose compound butter. coated a handful of rinsed and trimmed beets (parker farms) in the butter mixture, then roasted at 425-degrees in a covered pan until fork-soft, peeled, quartered, and tossed in julienned fresh mint and orange zest, to taste.

[lots of stuff/fantasic plating: vadim]

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

smoked and ginger beer-steamed spare ribs with fresh turnip salad

smoked and ginger beer-steamed spare ribs with fresh turnip salad, originally uploaded by aarn! +21st October, 2009+.

tossed a medium-sized rack of spare ribs (lionette's market), which had been rubbed with salt and pepper, in the main chamber on the offset-smoker. stoked a two-tier fire, consisting of a layer of charcoal briquettes (fired about half-way in a chimney starter) topped with a layer of oak (tongue-and-groove wainscoting!! taken from vadim's backyard), in the fire-box. smoked at 200 to 250-degrees for about an hour, then transferred the ribs to a 1-in sheet pan equipped with a baking rack. filled the bottom of the sheet pan with saranac ginger beer, covered the whole pan with aluminum foil, and let bake at 225-degrees for 3-hrs (there was a water bath in the bottom of the oven as well, probably unnecessary).

mixed together crushed garlic, a splash of apple cider vinegar, dry mustard powder, yellow mustard, salt and pepper, some fennel greens, and some diced feta cheese, and then drizzled in some canola oil until at the desired consistency. dressed some thin slices of raw turnip with this mixture, plated with the ribs.

[notes: i didn't take the strap off the back of the ribs, and didn't put much thought into a dry rub because i was in a rush. some additional ingredients in the dry rub would have helped a bit. also, the ginger
beer steam-bath flavor didn't really attach to the meat the way i thought it would. there are a few samples out with some friends now, we'll see what they think (about the ginger beer flavor and whether or not it exists). basically, the simple smoky flavor and tenderness of the meat was complimented very well by the fresh turnip and garlicky dressing. smoke on.]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

shaved slow-roasted rare pork loin with peach-onion chutney and chevre

made a brine base by heating 1-gal of water and dissolving into it 1c. kosher salt and 1/2c. sugar. seasoned the brine, while still slightly warm, with many springs of dill, 8-cloves of crushed garlic, a few cloves (4?), and lots of fresh cracked pepper. placed the brine in a large non-reactive tub and chilled in the refrigerator. placed a 5-lb pork loin (strap-on) in the brine and let sit, covered and refrigerated, for 16-hours. removed the brine liquid from the tub containing the pork, and let the pork sit for 24-hours, covered in the refrigerator (to allow the salt concentration to normalize throughout the meat).

in a mortar and pestle ground together a few cloves of garlic, 1.5t. smoked paprika (christina's spices), 1t. dry mustard powder, a dry tobasco pepper, salt and pepper, and 1T. canola oil. patted the pork loin dry and then covered the entire outside surface with the ground paste. placed the pork loin on a rack on a baking sheet in a 225-degree oven for 2 3/4-hours, until the internal temperature of the meat was around 130-degrees, then rested for an hour or so, “tasted” and then chilled.

in a small sauce pan simmered 1/2 of a medium sized onion, thinly sliced, with a little canola oil, salt and pepper. added 1/2 of a large peach (about a 1:1 ratio of onion to peach), which had been cut into thin matchsticks, and about 1T. of molasses. simmered until the peach was softened, but still firm in the middle.

shaved the slow-roasted pork loin thinly and placed on a toasted sesame seed bulkie roll (hi-rise bakery), topped with the onion-peach chutney and a smear of chevre.

[brine ratio: ruhlman]

light hen of the woods mushroom risotto with pressed italian sausage

rinsed well and chopped a 1-lb hen of the woods mushroom (parker farm). sauteed the chopped mushroom in 2T. of butter, with a pinch of salt and coarse ground black pepper, until tender (about 15-min), then added 3-cloves of garlic which had been crushed in a mortar and pestle with 1.5t. of caraway seed, and a diced half of a green pepper (wasn't planning on making risotto initially, so this seems kind of out of place in retrospect, but it added some nice flavor and color, regardless of the vision). simmered for a bit with a touch of sherry, then added 1c. of dry risotto. slowly added boiling water from a hot kettle on the stove until the risotto was the right consistency, then mixed in 1/3c. of low-moisture whole milk mozarella, and approximately 1.5oz of plain goat cheese (chevre). lightly simmered until the dish was holding together properly. served on a warm plate with a slice of sweet italian sausage (stillman farm), which had been pressed on a cast iron skillet until nicely browned.

[notes: was shooting for a lighter risotto, using the mozarella (unconventional for risotto, but what was on hand) as a binder, and the chevre as a tangy and creamy addition.]

Thursday, October 8, 2009

hearty polenta pancakes with apple-puya sauce

hearty polenta pancakes with apple-puya sauce, originally uploaded by aarn! +8th October, 2009+.

mixed together 1/2c. sifted all-purpose flour, 1/2c. maseca corn flour, 1/2c. dry polenta, 2T. ground flax seed, 1 1/2t. baking powder, 1 1/2t. dark brown sugar, and 1t. salt. in a measuring cup, beat two eggs with 2T. canola oil, and 1.5c. whole milk. folded the liquid into the dry, whisked for a minute, then let sit for 15-minutes or so.

finely diced a small macoun apple (parker farms) and simmered in 1T. unsalted butter with a single sliced dry puya pepper (from christina's spices), and 1T. of dark brown sugar. added a pinch of salt, and then transferred the diced chunks and liquid to a mortar and pestle and lightly brutalized the softened mixture until at the desired consistency.

melted a little butter in a hot skillet, poured the right amount of pancake batter in, shook until the right thickness, flipped. that's a pancake. served on some warmed plates with a little of the apple-puya mixture.