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  1. hi howard I'm not 100% sure of what the scientific explanation for how the vodka effects the crackling but i am guessing that it is a combination of alkali corrosive attack on the skin and dehydrating properties of the alcohol. If you look back to my cooking experiment cooking experiment you can see the effect of altering the PH generally the more acidic or alkaline it is the better the results. But just as a warning we have noticed that using too much of a strong alkali might have two possible detrimental effects 1. it may cause the crackling to lift off the meat 2. it may cause the fat to saponify which will leave an undesirable flavour but yes i believe that vodka might increase the malliard reaction in this case as in the experiment, i did notice that the vodka and lye piece were blistering much earlier then the others. I've never seen the need to brine pork belly for roast pork. I think brining pork is only of use if your piece is particularly lean or you want to add some additional flavour to the meat. but you can always give it a try and see what happens
  2. hi there my friend is planning a birhtday party and wanted to have a hog roast thing is there are so many on goolg eits hard to tell which ones are good. does anyone have any recommendations? or are you a hog roast caterer yourself ? If so please drop me a line thanks regards sam
  3. I agree with prawncracker on getting the best piece of pork you can find. I've tried various sources for pork belly and the result does vary greatly from place to place. Thing is even if you get the best piece you can find you might still not have the edge as the restaurant will have specialist food suppliers. If you think the marinade is too dry just double up on the recipe and add some oil. Cut thinner slices on the meat side to allow the marinade to get in deeper to the meat. Marinade for 2 days. You could jaccard the meat or maybe even use a vaccum marinator. just depends how desperate you are to win? what's the prize? apart from bragging rights? Some extra tips to help you along get the flattest piece of pork belly you can find that has a good layer of fat. Really puncture the skin lots! spend 5-10 minute hammering the skin with a spiked hammer then use a knife to score the meat. Use crush sea salt not table salt for the skin and really rub it in. Use 40% vodka ot even 50% if you can find it. Lye is brilliant for the crackling but not so good for the taste of it. Take the pork belly out of the fridge 2 hours before cooking to come up to room temperature. Definitely pre heat the oven to as hot as possible. buy a piece of pork belly and cook a practise piece and eat it Add some msg into the marinade you know your local will! and good luck!
  4. Hi Alex The only places i have seen fresh yuzu in london is in Atari-ya drop these guys a line http://www.atariya.co.uk/.
  5. hey prawn crackers good to see someone is getting consistent results just for reference how much salt are you rubbing into the skin?
  6. Hi saladfingers could you give more detail on how you are preparing the pork? If you can please post some photos of what you are doing and we can try to figure out how to get better results. please have a read of my recipe in recipe gullet http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r2100.html Are you not getting any crackling forming at all? Who's recipe are you following? as the 150C at 3 hours sounds like a european recipe for roast pork rather then chinese version. Wwhen you lay the pork belly on top of your onions make sure that there pork is lying curved over the onions like a hump and that there is no dip in the middle of the belly where the fat can pool as this will prevent the crackling from forming. Also once the pork belly is in the oven do not open the oven door until you need to grill the skin.
  7. Hi there I am going to be in Verona for three days from the 1st May and was hoping to find some restaurant recommendations for dinner and lunch. I had a dig around and found these three that look pretty good http://www.ristorantearche.com http://www.ildesco.com http://www.ristorantecalanova.com/eng/menu.htm any comments on these three? I am looking for good italian cooking but am pretty open to styles and price ranges. Any recommendations on places to eat or things to do would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advances sam
  8. or could be yellow bean sauce cooked with a load of sugar ← thenks, more likely soy with hoisin or some other sauce...it is very liquid just like soy sauce ← arrr... That could be soya sauce, water, sugar, sesame oil and probably some msg in there. They use that on the duck rice.
  9. or could be yellow bean sauce cooked with a load of sugar
  10. yep you can make it using a plastic container and the freezer but like dellis453 said you will have to go back and stick it in a food processor or you a hand blender to incorporate some air. But as you would expect even then the texture will not be as good as shop bought ice cream. You can get the ice cream makers that have the pre frozen bowl for under £30. The results are pretty good but you need to freeze the bowl the night before and you will only be abel to make one batch before you have to refreeze teh bowl overnight. Or you can buy a ice cream machine with inbuilt refrigeration,. These usually cost at least £200 but I found this one at M&S £99 and has a 2 year guarantee. It's quiet, easy to clean and make very good ice cream. M&S ice cream maker
  11. what you described are pork scratchings. Piece of pork rind boiled and deep fried to crispy. Scratching are nice give it a try you should like what you get but it is quite a different product to the chinese roast pork you would get find in a chinatown.
  12. thanks nathan i'll pull one at 8hrs and see how it is doing, i will rebag and continue if required.
  13. Hi I'm cooking a xmas dinner party for 20 this weekend. Amongst other things I have a 5kg sirloin roast that i am planning to SV. Here's what i am planning to do. 1. Jaccard the whole roast. 2. Cut it into 2 seperate 2.5kg roasts. (just to make it easier to handle) 3. Sear the exterior on top of the stove in a baking tray. 4. Then bag both seperately. 5. Into a water bath 12 hours at 55C. 6. After the cooking time, take it out and rest for 45 minutes before a final sear with a blowtorch. Does this look ok ? any pointers? Do you think 12 hours is adequate for the roast to tenderise a bit? or is it even too long? I plan to add a marinade to one of the roasts 1Tbs of soya sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard, pepper and a sprig of thyme and rosemary. The other i might just simply season unless anyone has a recommendation/suggestions? thanks all
  14. I remember reading a post where someone said they were doing SV stock and the results were good, been trying to look for the post but I can't seem to find it. To be honest I don't think SV stock would require temperature precision just more the fact the ingredients are all bagged. The benefits I could see from SV stock is the possibility that the flavours of the bones and aromatics will be stronger and that there is less water required in the bag and so less need for reduction. Might give it a try over xmas out of curiosity.
  15. I think I remeber a post mentioning someone making stock SV by bagging all the bones and Mirepoix and sticking it into a water bath for a few hours. Has anyone tried this? as i'm wondering if its worth doing?
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