Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pastrami Muscovado

Pastrami Muscovado
Last week I dreamt up a recipe for Duck Pastrami that was over the top. I received so many accolades that I had to try it on Beef. This is almost the exact recipe I used for the Duck with the exception of a minor tweak in the Muscovado sugar. I called it Pastrami Muscovado because the addition of this sugar puts it over the top and deserves to be part of the recipes name.  

The recipe is very simple. Just click on the box to the left and it links to my notes. 

When I woke this morning I was not planning on making Beef Pastrami but while at Costco I could not resist. This is such an easy recipe. All you have to do is measure out all the ingredients and apply them correctly to the meat. 

I cut off the hard pieces of fat first then I used a Jaccard Tenderizer to pierce the meat. Piercing the meat will help with salt the and cure absorption.

I combined the salt and Cure#1 and rubbed it into the meat thoroughly getting into every nook and cranny. 

I took the whole spices and herbs, (Bay leaf, Grains of Paradise, Coriander, Juniper berries, Whole cloves and mustard seeds) and placed them in a dry pan and applied a little heat to them to bring out their essential oil. I than grounded them up in a spice grinder. 

I combined the the ground up spices with the remaining ingredients and applied them to both sides of the meat thoroughly. 

All Vacuumed Sealed up and will be flipped every day for 21 days. On May 9, 2014 the Pastrami will be cold smoked for several hours, than SEMI-Hot smoked at a temp of 150  I will than Sous-Vide the Pastrami for 48 hours at a 149 degree water temp.

After 21 days the Brisket is fully cured.

This is my Rub RECIPE for the Pastrami. 

Full coated with Rub recipe above. The Brisket will be cold smoke for 4 hours (average temp out side was about 62 degrees). I used Apple pellets and the A-MAXE-N-PELLET-SMOKER.
Now on to the semi-hot smoke. I wanted to impart a hotter smoke flavor to the meat and wanted to raise the temp up slightly so I filled the water reservoir up with a bucket of ice and water. I used old fashion charcoal and apple wood to smoke the meat. Temp fluctuated between 150-175 degrees. After 4 hours I pulled the meat off. Now getting it ready for 48 hour water bath.  

All smoked and ready for the SOUS-VIDE.


This is what it looked like after 48 hours. 

I wanted to cut into it right away but it was late and I had to get to bed. I submerged the vacuumed sealed bag into an ice bath for an 2 hours to bring down temp than had the wife toss in ice box. 

Some final thoughts. It turned out great. I will probably reduce salt from 3.56% down to 2.75% and raise sugar from 2.8% to 3.5%.  All in all it turned out very good. Here is the however, if you plan on steaning the pastrami the salt content is fine. The steam extracts some of the salt but a reduction to 3% is probably needed. 

I want to stress the importance of steaming. It releases excess salt and makes a good pastrami an exceptional one. 

I will admit though I favor a bark that is not soft. But how on earth do you do this if you Sous-Vide....Ahhhh it came to me. How about this. 

  • Cure
  • Coat the outside with a thin layer of spices.
  • Cold Smoke
  • Semi-Hot-Smoke at about 170-190 degrees for a couple of hours
  • Sous-Vide
  • Another thin layer of spices
  • Semi-Hot-Smoke to create a better bark. 
  • Steam to perfection
Maybe add some Muscovado sugar to dry Rub and cut back on the Grains of paradise? Maybe Pastrami Muscovado part 2 is in order.

Yin-Yang Bacon

One night while eating Chinese food I started to reflect on all these fabulous ingredients and it hit me...."I must create something!!!!" That's how most of my recipes come to me while eating food or watching TV. So I pondered away and I let my creative inclinations kick in. I have been eating Asian food all my life so this can't be that difficult. What ever I was going to make it had to be original.

Than it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wonder how Bacon would taste with Asian ingredients? I love Bacon and Asian food and I cook it and eat it often so why not. If you ask me it's a match made in heaven. I offer my version of Asian Bacon here so enjoy. 

So why the name Yin-Yang? For that
you have to click on the link to first find out what Yin-Yang means but I will give you an abridged definition. Simple Chinese philosophy describes Yin-Yang as opposite or contrary forces that appears contradictory but actually gives rise to each other as they interrelate to to each other. The ingredients in this recipe definitely are a Yin-Yang. 


Easy recipe to follow. Click on the link to the left to get dry cure instructions

First thing I did was measure exactly what I needed. Here is a cool pic of some of my ingredients. 

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

Using a Mortar and Pestle was really cool.  I could have used a food processor to accomplish the same thing but this was so much better. Feeling the ingredients getting pulverized through the pestle was awesome.  I felt connected with the ingredients. Yes I know that sounds weird.  


Well by now you all know I don't eat Pork so this is of course Boneless Short-Ribs I purchased at Costco. Short-Ribs are an excellent choice for Bacon because of the fat content. For those of you unfamiliar with my other numerous Bacon projects you can click HERE!!

 I place whole spices in a dry skillet and heat them through to release their essential oils than used a spice grinder to pulverize them. 

I combined the salt and Cure#1 and coated the meat thoroughly getting it into every nook and cranny. I than combined all the spices, herbs and dextrose and coated the meat exactly as stated above. After meat was nicely coated I added the ingredients from the mortar and pestle and lathered the meat up. 

The Shaoxing wine, Sesame seed oil and the Fish sauce was mixed together and placed in Vacuum sealed bag where it will sit for 21 days (until May 9, 2014) being flipped everyday. Afterwards I will cold smoke Bacon in Apple wood.  

So after careful consideration I felt that the very thick short-ribs had been cured after 18 days. As you can see from the picture I rinsed off all of the cure. Now on to the cold smoker. 
I cold smoked that Short-Ribs for 6 hours using Applet pellets. I used a product called A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER to cold smoke.  So easy to use and it really does not generate much heat at all. 

Bacon all sliced up!! Here are my thoughts on this Asian Bacon experiment. The Bacon came out OK, just OK mind you nothing incredible or over the top. I need to rework the recipe so the Asian Flavors come out. I am also going to reduce the salt % especially since I used fish sauce which has a lot of salt. The Bacon could have been a little sweeter too. Back to the drawing board I go!!!

Salumi lombo di manzo

Salumi Lombo Di Manzo is just a fancy way of saying Salami Loin of beef in Italian. What can I say I like funky crazy sounding names that sound appealing. So what exactly did I want to create? Well in a different blog titled Salumi Filetto di Manzo I wrote about my experimental Salami that was created from the center cut of a Beef Tenderloin. It was an experiment that yielded some great results. So with that in mind I wanted a sequel to this incredible Salame with a different cut and with the same great flavor. When I made the Salame from the Tenderloin it encapsulated everything I was looking for with the exception of cost to yield ratio. I produced a Salame that cost about $57.00 a pound to make that was very small. So with all that in mind I decided to test a variant of the original recipe with some tweaks and slight improvements to my technique. 

Short definition of the Loin. The whole loin is divided into two main parts. The Short loin, which includes the choice tenderloin and the top loin (which we are using here) and the sirloin which lies closer to the rump. 

Some names you might be familiar with. The strip steak is know internationally as a club steak. Every where in the US it's called a New York except for New York. 

I purchased a 15.14 lb (6868g) Loin at Costco for $5.69 a pound. After trimming the Loin I yielded a piece of meat that weighed 7.20 lbs (3264g). I reserved some of the scraps and I was able to save 2.14 lbs (1020g) of meat scraps and 2.1 lbs of fat. The scraps will be used later on for sausage. Overall I did very well. Ultimately it will be the taste of the Salame that will judge whether or not I was successful or not. However, when you compare this Loin experiment to the Tenderloin one I think I hit a home run on the price.

Note 1: The weight of meat plus fat is 100%. All ingredients to be added are expressed as a percentage of the weight of meat plus fat. Percentages can be used to standardize recipes regardless of batch size.  All weights are metric. 

Note 2: No weights are given because the weights of meats vary. Everything is a percentage of the meats weight after trimming. Example- Meat weight 2393 grams and we want to find out the amount of salt we need in grams- 2393 X 3.5%=83.755 or 2392/100 X 3.5 =83.755 grams. 

With this Salumi I chose to do things just a little different than the Salame Filetto di Manzo.   One thing I did different was to add the cure first (Salt and cure #2) on to the meat first. This way I know the meat will have 100% contact with the cure. I think this is a good way to guarantee that the cure will make its way down into the meat. In this recipe I changed the percentages of ingredients a bit too. I used a higher percentage Red wine, Red pepper and I used Garlic powder instead of granulated garlic. Instead of adding wine to bag I chose to add it to the meat, herb and spice mixture and massaged it into the meat.  

Salt and cure thoroughly massaged into meat. 

All the spices mixed up and massaged into meat.

The wine I chose to use. 

I poured the wine over the meat instead of pouring into bag. Much better technique.

All vacuumed sealed up and will cure between 21 and 25 days. 

After 24 days meat is cured and ready for the drying application. 

I decided to try something new this time and dust the meat with some spices. I combined in equal amounts, Black pepper, Cayenne, Garlic powder and Smoke paprika.  


Tied up to maintain shape during drying. 

Netted to help keep shape.

Weight 3158 grams. It needs to lose 30% of its weight which is 947.4 grams. At 2210.6 grams it will be ready to be eaten. 

After 986 grams loss (final weight 2190 or 4.82 lbs) which is just barely over 30% weight loss the Salame is done. This Salame too almost 3 months to do and it was worth the wait and expense. I will make this again!!!!!!

A thing of beauty!!! The flavor is intense and spicy!!!

Slicing it up.