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Meat, Curing, Rendering, etc

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Review: 'Case for Sustainable Meat' debunks many sacred cows. When food guru Michael Pollan recently tweeted in support of Nicolette Hahn Niman's new book, "Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production," the protest that followed made it perfectly obvious why such a book is necessary. "A Cattle Rancher wrote a book about how free range, grass fed beef is better than factory farmed. Slow clap," commented @FoodNetworkVeg. But Hahn Niman's mission is much bigger than that. If you are looking for a book to inspire fisticuffs at the Thanksgiving table, you've found it. Her "manifesto" calls for a revolutionized food system — one that requires cows.

And further, that cattle are necessary to the restoration and future health of this planet and its people. Hahn Niman has bit off a lot here. It's a book of numbers, and in it she sets out to debunk just about everything you think you know. One after another, Hahn Niman skewers the, ahem, sacred cows of the anti-meat orthodoxy. I am glossing here, but Hahn Niman does not. Safeway Announces Progress Toward Gestation Stall-Free Pork Supply Chain. How to Make Ventreche, A Recipe for French Bacon. Photo by Holly A. Heyser I always knew the French had their own version of bacon, but until I met Kate Hill I thought it was all unsmoked variants on petit salé. But in Gascony, Hill says they favor a lightly cured, smoked bacon called ventreche. Ventreche (ven-tresh) tastes more like fresh pork and less like a cured meat, and is normally kept pretty simple: Pork belly, salt, black pepper and smoke.

Ventreche becomes a base for pretty much anything a cook in the Gascon countryside might make. This is an easy bacon to make, and you don’t even need to smoke it; unsmoked versions exist in France. Photo by Hank Shaw This one is from Matilda the Wild Pig. How much salt? When the belly has cured to your liking, take it out and rinse it briefly under cold water.

Now it’s time to roll the ventreche. Note that if you have sausage netting, you will only need to tie the ventreche a few times. Leave a length of netting on one end so you can hang the ventreche in the smoker. Ventreche, french bacon. Corned Beef Tongue | Road To… Homemade Corned Beef Recipe. 1 You can either used store-bought pickling spices or you can make your own. To make your own, toast the allspice berries, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, cloves, peppercorns, and cardamom pods in a small frying pan on high heat until fragrant and you hear the mustard seeds start to pop. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the spices a little (or the back of a spoon or the side of a knife on a flat surface). Add to a small bowl and stir in the crumbled bay leaves and ground ginger. 2 Add about 3 Tbsp of the spice mix (reserve the rest for cooking the corned beef after it has cured), plus the half stick of cinnamon, to a gallon of water in a large pot, along with the Kosher salt, pink salt (if using), and brown sugar. 3 Place the brisket in a large, flat container or pan, and cover with the brine. 4 At the end of the cure, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse off the brine with cold water.

Cured Lake Trout Roe « Food Perestroika. The icing on the cake when you catch your own fish is that you’ll get plenty of fish roe during spawning season – my last trip alone brought almost a pound! Cured trout roe (personally, I don’t like calling it caviar unless it comes from a sturgeon) has become an increasingly expensive delicacy, with stores charging as much as $100 for 4 oz. And yet curing roe is incredibly fast and easy! The whole recipe requires only 3 ingredients, a scale and about 10 minutes of your time. If you don’t have curing salt, you can replace it with regular salt. The cured roe can be kept refrigerated for a couple weeks or more, depending on the amount of salt you use (feel free to tune it to match your taste).

Cured lake trout roe Yields 8 oz 8 oz lake trout roe, still in its sac (called skein) about 0.35 oz (10 g) salt (see below) 1/8 tsp (0.75 g) curing salt 2/3 tsp (2 g) canola oil Place the roe on a cooling rack over a bowl, and rub gently to separate the eggs from the membrane (see picture below). Red alder ranch » canned salmon. People are often surprised when I tell them I can my own fish.

The first time I canned fish, it was albacore, in California, and the instructions we had to follow made it needlessly messy and complicated. So here is a little photo essay of how I can salmon at home. WARNING! Please be aware that there are hazards to this activity, and some of the risks are worth noting and making a strong warning about. Canners, operating under pressure, can explode if misused or if the valves and other safety features are not working properly!

Also, on some types of canners, there is a pressure release valve that should be tested every year. Enough said… I like to use wide mouth, half pint jars. Then carefully wipe each jar’s sealing edge clean, and put a NEW lid on, with a ring and screw it down snug. My canner is pretty much the cream of the crop: an All American, aluminum model 921 . Once you get the canner packed and sealed up, put it on the heat, and watch for when it starts to vent steam. Red alder ranch » gravlax. So, this is one of my other favorite things to do with salmon. Gravlax is basically cold cured salmon, and the recipe originated in Scandinavia, where so many of the interesting ways of preparing fish come from. Start with a couple of small fillets. I usually use coho, but this year I saved a couple of fillets off of my spring chinook instead, since I couldn’t wait for coho season to have some of this delicious treat. I freeze the fillets for a few days to kill any parasites, since gravlax does not involve any cooking of the fish.

Thaw out your fillets and then rub them down with a light coat of olive oil, probably not an original Scandinavian ingredient, but what the heck. Then I usually rub them down with a little scotch whisky, but this time I used a little sake, since I am all out of good scotch. I usually grind a little bit of pepper on the fillets too. Twelve hours later, pull the dish out of the fridge. This is what it looks like after 12 hours. Bon appetit! Cavegirl Chicken Pate | Open Ayurveda.

Conjure an image of a caveman on the hunt, ok? Now picture him and his tribe nabbing it, the mammoth or whatever. What next? Do they carefully butcher the thing, discard the fat and squabble over who gets the USDA prime cuts? No! Fast forward. When it comes to our health, lets consider what people have been eating for thousand upon thousands of years. It might be hard to fathom bringing organ meat and tendons and sinews back to the table.

Below is a simple recipe to help you get your caveman on–with refined elegance. Once you get the hang of pate, you might find yourself dicing up pork heart to mix into hamburger meat. Cavegirl Chicken Liver Pate 1 stick butter 1 small onion, diced small 1 clove garlic, minced bay leaf 1/2-3/4 lb chicken livers mustard 2 teaspoons brandy salt and pepper handful parsley, choppedhandful dill, chopped Prep onion and garlic, wash livers. Measure brandy (or cooking sherry in a pinch) by the teaspoon. A recipe. I already know that this won't be one of my more popular posts, but hey, I'm in charge here and I love jerky. At least, I love homemade jerky. Do not call Slim Jims or that other crap that they sell at gas stations or the packy "jerky" -- bleeeeccckkk. Jerky is nothing more than dried meat and spices, so if you like meat and have never tried it because you thought jerky = Slim Jim, I urge you to reconsider.

Jerky is a great snack to have on hand when you want something a little salty, and the portability makes it ideal for hikes, lunch boxes, road trips, etc. Not to mention that jerky is an incredibly high-value dog treat -- the Ninjette will pretty much do any kind of trick you ask and never take her eyes from mine when I'm holding even the tiniest bit of this jerky. I make my jerky in a dehydrator, but you could make this by drying the meat on cookie sheets in a low (200 degree) oven as well.

(Can you tell yet that I'm a big fan of the dehydrator?) How To Render Beef Tallow From Marrow Bones. I recently made beef stock with marrow bones (sometimes called pipe bones) and in the process rendered out a heck of a lot of beef fat (tallow) from inside the bones. Two birds with one stone, and all that. See all the white stuff inside the bones? That’s marrow. It’s either a great culinary delicacy and the reason mankind started using tools in the first place, or totally super gross, depending on who you talk to.

It’s composed of about 90% fat. After roasting and days – days- of simmering, the bones were empty and the stock made from them was covered with a think layer of fat. Now if I’ve made a batch of chicken broth and there’s a thin slick of oil on the surface, I consider that just about right and leave it in to give soups and whatnot a little oomph. There are two ways to skim the fat off of stock. The first is to carefully ladle out the fat by pushing the lip of the ladle just under the surface of the stock. I like to use a wide, flattish slotted spatula for this. Strain your fat.