Monday, December 26, 2011

How-to: Beef Prime Rib.

First off, you'll need a Prime Rib. This is a Boneless Dry Aged (57 days) Rib Roast. Total weight was ~9.5#. 

To season the roast, I mixed Plenty of Kosher salt with some dried thyme, white pepper, toasted black peppercorns and a small amount of dried sage. I combined these ingredients in my coffee grinder and ground them for a few seconds to blend all the flavors together. I let the roast sit out on my cutting board for the better part of an hour so that'd it'd come to room temperature and develop a pellicle for the seasoning to stick to. 

Due to lack of available supplies, I had to improvise with the 'Oven-Searing Stage'. I didn't have a spare rack to rest the roast on and I didn't want to bother with flipping that large of a roast next to a 500F oven. I suspended the roast over the pan using twine. I put the roast in the oven and let it sear for ~20 minutes at 500F. 

Once it reach a really nice golden color, I snipped the twine and backed the oven down to 325. 

The roast took around 3 hours pot-searing. We let it rest while loosely covered with foil for ~20 minutes while we prepared the Yorkshire Puddings. 

This roast yielded 12 thick steaks that were easily the best I had ever had. If you've never tried to cook Prime Rib before, do yourself a favor and give it a shot - it's surprisingly easy and the end result is truly delicious. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How-to: Home Made Boudin.

Alright, Guys... Here we go! Boudin is absolutely one of my favorite sausages, so in order to make a batch, I've been researching tons of recipes to get an idea of what makes the Boudin true. I didn't want to throw together some rice and pork and make it spicy.. I wanted to make a delicious, authentic batch that will blow my Cajun buddies away - We'll soon find out what they think!

Before I go any further, here's the recipe I decided on:
3# Pork Shoulder - my favorite section can be referred to as the Collar, and is the same cut used in the production of Coppa.
~2# Pork liver - I bought a little over 2# but after cleaning it, was more like 1.8#
3 stalks Celery, roughly chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbls black peppercorns, toasted
2 ounces Kosher salt
3 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp cayenne
3 green onions, diced
2 cups rice.

Pork collar and Pork liver. Best friends. 

Add the Collar, Liver, onions, celery and peppercorns into 2 quarts water. I sneaked some of my chicken stock in there, too... Bring water to a soft boil and let the pot braise. 

After the meats braised for a few hours, pull them out. Discard the celery, onions and peppercorns but save the stock - Use the stock to cook the rice and also to add to the mixture to assist in forming the primary bind.. 

Before you use the stock, make sure to strain it first. 

Most of the recipes I looked through called for the meat to be ground.. I don't have a grinder at home (yet) but I figured if the meat was cooked properly, I could chop it by hand. I will say the the liver turned out fairly tough, so I made sure to pulverize it very well before adding it to the meat. 

I nearly dropped the rice on account of being so excited about this step... 

Mix together the dry seasonings as well as the green onions, pour into the meat. 

I decided I wanted to cold-smoke the Boudin, I thought it wise to add some Cure #1 at the rate of 1/2 tsp per 2.5#, Since the mixture of meat weighed ~5#, I used a full tsp. 

Time to mix! This is one of the most important steps in sausage making. If a sausage is not mixed well, it will not be as good as it could have been. Take the time needed to reach the primary bind!
Also, take this opportunity to try the mixture.. this is the last chance you have to tinker with your recipe. If it needs salt, now's the time. 

Poppa bear, Momma bear, Baby bear. 

Link the sausages, making sure they are as uniform and as taught as the casing allows. 

Hang to dry as you prepare the smoker. this step allows the seasonings to continue to dissolve and the Sodium Nitrite will start doing it's thing. 

Once dried, (2 hours for these), take them out to the smoker... By now you'll be so hungry you can hardly stand it. 
And there we have it, friends - Home made Pork Boudin. I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have.. It's been swell and all but it's time for me to EAT! As always, thank you.  -Reece