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Everything posted by Doc-G

  1. I am so happy with the Braun, I just bought a second one after the last one just died. I would recommend the one with the highest power rating (I think one is 400W and the other is 600W) and with the stainless steel whizzer (sorry for the use of highly technical words!! ) not the plastic one (I only just realized I am repeating what Ronnie Suburban said..I guess that this is just further support for what he said!). I still have a really good blender but it has been collecting dust since I got the Braun. I use it for everything that needs blitzing, whizzing or even just plain ol' blending! (again apologise for using tech talk!). Cheers, Doc-G
  2. Hi there, Thanks for all the comments. Firstly the oven that I am using: It is called a SMO-KING Turbo 1100 and is used primarily for smoking smallgoods. To use it you switch it on, set the oven temperature to desired temp and then choose whether to cook with a timer or temperature probe. If using timer, set time and oven will switch off after said time has elapsed. If using Temperature probe (as I did with this brisket), you set the temperature for the probe and the oven will switch off when the probe reaches the said temperature. There are a couple pics below: This is of the oven. Temperature and smoke are separate issues. It is possible to have the oven on with no smoke or you can have the oven on at any temperature with smoke. As nathanm stated above, the wood goes into a tray as seen in the pics below of the wood and is heated by an electric element in the tray. This pic demonstrates the two dials used for oven temp and probe temp. This picture was taken during 'brisket stall'. It took only 4 hours for the meat to go from 4oC up to 80oC but then another 5 hours to go from 80oC to 100oC. I'm sure you are all familiar with this phenomenon. With regards to the chips I used: Redgum (fine) and Hickory (coarse and soaked in water for an hour) were used in my smoke oven. Maybe if I used my BBQ at home next time for Brisket, I could get the smoke ring. I have a gas burner with a smoke box attached. I used the smoke oven at work for a number of reasons. Firstly, it meant I could cook it whilst at work and secondly, the smoke oven is so easy to use and requires very little attention. I'm not sure if I would have the same control over my BBQ at home. Next time I cook it, I will definetly go for a longer period. Also as stated previously, I will also try using Wagyu. As for deckle on/deckle off, I am only going by what was said on the side of the box. Either the meat packer left it on and just put it in the box anyway (reasonably likely!) but I wasn't sure how it was supposed to look anyway so I just assumed it was deckle off as the box said. I will try to remember to have a proper look at the other briskets I have to see if they look any different. Anyway, thanks again for all your input. It was a great exercise and the most BEEFY experience I have ever had....and that's no BULL!!! lol Cheers, Doc-G
  3. Ok it's done! I cant believe how impressive a beast it really is. I ended up only getting 9 hours in the oven but I did get it to reach 100oC (212oF). As I said I first concocted the rub. and got the meat ready with minimal trimming and applied the rub to the meat and placed it in the smoke oven: Anyway after nine hours of smoking with a combination of hickory and redgum it looked something like this: And finally when plated up with sides looked something like this: Texas Beef Brisket served with 'Arkansas 'slaw'' and bacon cord bread The meat was extremely tender and the flavour was something of another dimension. It really was beef heaven! To anyone who has not tried this before, the closest thing would be to say that it is as tender as a braised lamb shank and with the beefy flavour profile and intensity of beef jerky! In other words, it is difficult to describe how good it is but I can assure you, it is totally worth every second of effort put in. I still have 7 briskets like this sitting in my freezer at work. I will try to find out ways to improve it. One thing for sure will be longer cooking time. The other thing was that the edges of the meat were pretty dry whilst the bits that were covered in fat were very juicy (for obvious reasons). I was wondering however if there is anything I could have done to fix this for next time? Also, I did not observe an obvious smoke ring. How can I get this to be more prominent? Should I even worry about it? The other thing is to try it with a Wagyu brisket. All that fat will be for an ultimate cause. The other thing is that the flavour profile of the Wagyu will intensify the already 'full on' flavour that the smoked brisket carries. Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all for your help and tips and most of all encouragement. Having eaten at Arzak, Le Manoir au Quatre Saisons, Chez Nico....etc I can say that this whilst extremely close to being one of the best pieces of meat I have ever eaten was certainly the most exciting thing I have EVER done with food. I hope you like the pics! Cheers, Doc-G
  4. Hello there, Is anyone who discussed this starting a course this year. I am about to start the MA in Gastronomy at Adelaide. I will do the first subject on-campus and the rest of the course online. It would be great to find out who I will be studying with this year!! Cheers, Doc-G
  5. I think in Australia we will continue to see a further move towards regional specialties. eg. Limestone Coast Lamb, Western Australian Rock Lobster, Coffin Bay Oysters etc... I also think that asian flavours will continue to dominate although I also see a slight resurgence to classical Western European cuisine. On a personal note, I would love to see the resurgence of the Fondue... Cheers, Doc-G
  6. For those who remember this topic, I am finally about to become initiated in the ways of smoking the Beef Brisket. I'm really excited!!! I am marinading my Beef Briskets overnight with an adapted colKlink rub and will start smoking them @ 7am tomorrow morning for a 6pm dinner. They are called 'deckle off' briskets but were very 'untrimmed' so they still have all their fat on them. They weighed about 12 pounds each. I am going to smoke them with a combination of hickory chips and redgum. We will be using a SmoKing oven (a smallgoods smoke oven). I have also made Mark's Carolina Mustard sauce. I have alot of it and I am thinking of using it to baste my brisket while they smoke. Firstly, does anyone here think that it is a bad idea to mop the brisket with this sauce throughout the day given the sugar content of the sauce? Should I only baste towards the end? I left most of the fat on to keep it really moist. Secondly, I am serving it with skillet cornbread ala Rachel Perlow and Apple and Celery 'Arkansas 'slaw' from Steve Raichlen. Is this how it would be typically served in the US? Do I need to re-heat the cornbread in the oven before I serve it or is it served cold in America? Should I have baked it fresh to serve at dinner? Besides the beer, what am I missing? Any last minute tips? Cheers, Doc-G I promise to update with pics of the whole event once it's done and I've recovered!
  7. What about if you added 'smoked' bacon bones. You can buy them in Australia in all of the continental deli's. My father makes Hungarian bean soup with them and you get this wonderful taste of smoked bacon through the soup. That could be an interesting flavour in your pork stock! mmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMMMMM Bacon!!! Cheers, Doc-G
  8. Here is the link for the nutritional panel calculator on the Food Standards Australia website: Nutritional panel calculator There is also a highly professional software package out called food works which is available in Australia (I use this) but it is pricey. Foodworks software
  9. Hi there, You could also do it manually so long as you have all of the values for each ingredient. As a simple example, let us assume that RECIPE A consists of 2 ingredients: Ingredient A = 200g with 250kcal/100g Ingredient B = 50g with 400kcal/100g The total weight of RECIPE A is 250g. So for RECIPE A the kcal for each ingredient are: (kcal/100) * g OR Ingredient A (250/100)*200 = 500kcal Ingredient B (400/100)*50= 200kcal Total kcal for 150g of RECIPE A = 700kcal If 1 serving of RECIPE A = 10g then (kcal/total weight) * serving size OR (700/150) * 10 = 46.6kcal/serve I hope this helps. Alternatively you could use Mastercook (cheap alternative) as abra wisely suggests or there is also a website on the Food Standards Australia website which allows you to calculate nutritional panels from a database of ingredients OR if you needed a full breakdown of a dish or product (for manufacturers or large commercial kitchens) you could consult someone in your area who does what I do (see Foodology Consulting)). Cheers, Doc-G
  10. That would explain why I got it in the first place then! My neighbours are from Baltimore. I thought the Greeks invented cooking lamb and even if they didn't, they should have 'cause the way they do it is so good. We Aussies really do love our lamb. I have noticed that over your side of the puddle that you have a preference for beef and pork. Do Americans eat much lamb? Sorry getting off topic! Doc-G
  11. Hi Busboy, Lamb shanks are really popular here in Australia. The addition of Old Bay was a complete afterthought and I did not even know what it tasted like! I had just received it from our American neighbours for christmas after I had been asking them every question under the sun about the US cuisine (big fan of Steve Raichlen and Charlie Trotter). They got their family who was visiting to bring some Old Bay seasoning. I added it because it seemed to have everything in it and it looked like it would do the job for seasoning the shanks (I would normally have just have used salt, pepper and some chilli). I got the idea to serve it with risotto from one of the main courses at our wedding four years ago at the Landmark hotel in London which was 'braised beef shin with pearl barley risotto'. The meat was soft and unctuous and with the risotto, the dish was almost 'naughty' in the way that chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce would be naughty! I thought this combination would be a nice adaptation. My parents and in-laws thought it was to 'die for' so I was happy! Cheers, Doc-G
  12. Braised Lamb Shanks with Porcini Risotto. serves 6 (with risotto (risotto recipe not included unless requested!!)) I made this yesterday for my parents and in-laws. For the Shanks 6 Lamb Shanks Flour (to dust) A little vegetable oil (for browning the meat) 1 cup Noilly Prat 6 small sprigs Rosemary 6 cloves garlic (Finely Chopped) 1 Onion (Finely Chopped) 2-3 cups of Beef Stock Old Bay Seasoning (to taste) 1 table spoon Veal Glaze (demi glace?) Dust Shanks with flour and quickly fry in pan with a little oil to brown meat. Then place shanks in Le Creuset pot and add other ingredients. Cover and place in 180oCentigrade oven for approx 3 hours until meat falling off the bone! Drain juice into a small saucepan and reserve shanks. Simmer pan juices until reduced by half and add Veal glaze and stir until sauce has a nice glossy appearance. Serve with porcini risotto and a nice South Australian Coonawarra Shiraz. Cheers, Doc-G
  13. Doc-G

    Sausages--Cook-Off 17

    Nice job Jeniac! I just thought I would post another couple of pics. The first is of some polish sausage that we made. These you need a large nozzle for your sausage filler and some special skins that you should be able to get from your local butcher or butcher's supplier. You need to ensure they are filled out tightly and then you tie them by hand or if you have a clipper, you then clip them. Here you can see that they have already been smoked and are sitting on the smoke sticks, ready to be taken off and stored or eaten!!! The next picture is of biersticks which are made in a similar way to polish sausage except that they have a 'thin' natural casing and are filled using a smaller nozzle. Both of these products have cures and are both smoked until an internal temp of 68oC has been maintained for 10 minutes. I can assure you that both products were delicious. I hope you like them. Let's see what others have done. Cheers, Doc-G
  14. I concede the point regarding methodology. Of course there must be significant methodology in place firstly for evolution of his dishes and merely for the dishes to be consistent. I wonder however if you could elaborate on how hypothesis driven the work of Adria is? This is important as I feel that this may be one of the key differences between the two approaches. I have had the pleasure of reading El Bulli 3 98-02 and noticed a partiular dish which had the consistency and 'look' of sand. The notes explained that this particular dish was 'discovered' whilst making sorbet. They discovered that when you open the sorbet machine just before it starts to set, it has this particular consistency. This is an example of observational research. Similarly, from the eg Q&A you quoted 'We went to a Japanese restaurant, they served us agar-agar and we saw that it didn’t melt.' Again this is another example of observational research which led to the development of a number of highly innovative dishes. Does Adria begin the deveopment of a new dish or technique with a hypothesis and if so is the hypothesis rigorously tested? This however appears to approach MG from this angle and this is what I feel distinguishes the two. I do not feel that this makes one approach more legitimate that the other and I also feel that both approaches are totally consistent with the basic tenets of MG. It is important however to recognise the difference between the two and celebrate them both equally for what they are. One for providing a rich understanding of the way food works (This) and another for providing innovative, beautiful and provocative new dishes (Adria). This is a very interesting thread. I hope it continues. Cheers, Doc-G
  15. Doc-G

    Sausages--Cook-Off 17

    I cant believe there is actually even a thread for my kind of people in here!!!! Well done to whoever thought of this!!! Sausages!! I LOVE THEM!!! I have grown up around them....I make them...I sell them...I've even judged competitions for them! Someone here was mentioning that they had problems with collagen casings and that they were using twine to create the sausages. You need to learn from someone how to link your sausages. It is relatively easy to learn but difficult to describe over the net. The picture below is of a beef sausage made with a collagen casing and then linked by hand. You are right that collagen is easy to work with and you hardly ever get any splits although I dont think it looks as nice as a well made sausage with a natural casing. Below on the other hand is a picture of a sausage I judged at the South Australian 'Sausage King' competition. You can see that this is made from a natural skin. It has a natural curve, a nice sheen and you can still see the remnants of blood vessels in the gut wall. Below is a picture of some Weisswurst that we made. They are then boiled in a copper. They are delicious grilled in a pan and served on crusty toast with a sweet mustard. These were made in a natural casing. They look a little nicer as they have a natural curve and also have a natural sheen that makes them look beautiful. I have lots more pics which I will share when I have the chance. I would love to hear more stories from my fellow 'snag' lovers. Cheers, Doc-G
  16. Hello, This looks like a very interesting topic, should it get going in a major way. Coming from a science background, being involved in a food manufacturing company and having a love of food, I have naturally been drawn to find out as much as I can about MG. I'm not sure if my view of the difference between the Adria approach and that of This is too simplistic but I was under the impression that Adria's approach was the development of avant garde cuisine for the sake of avant garde or for the sake of art. Also, my impression is that Adria's approach is for the production of a totally new cuisine using new technology and innovative ingredients or alternatively using existing technology and existing ingredients in an innovative way. The other point I feel that Adria and people of the like are doing is to challenge or shock the diner into a paradigm shift with regards to their approach to conventional cuisine by using 'unconventional' combinations of ingredients and presenting them in an unconventional manner. I'm sure there is much more to his approach than my simplistic view but as a learner in the subject of MG, I fully admit I may be missing his point. Finally, Adria appears to be highly experimental but not altogether methodological or hypothesis driven. At the risk of sounding heretical, much of his cuisine appears to be designed almost by accident or by observation after the result rather than by design (ie hypothesis). The net result of this approach is the production of a number of new cooking techniques, a new cuisine and approach to cooking and the glorification of a restaraunt and the celebration of Adria as a culinary genius. This on the other hand appears to be attempting to validate 'old wives tales' and 'kitchen magic' by trying to find out why we sometimes do what we do in the kitchen and whether some of what we do can be validated scientifically or whether we are merely doing because we are 'blindly' following the instructions of the person who taught us to cook. An example of something on the radio here in Australia was when an 18 year old girl was describing on a talk-back show that she always cut the bottom of the leg off when she cooked a pot-roasted leg of lamb. When asked why, she said that 'I dont know. This was what my mother always did'. They decided to ask her mother why she cut the bottom off her legs of lamb when cooking the same dish to which she replied, 'I dont know. This was what my mother always did'. They therefore decided to ask the 18 year old girl's grandmother why she cut the bottom off her legs of lamb when cooking the same dish to which she replied, 'I never had a pot big enough to fit a whole leg of lamb!'. Here, the hypothesis is that cutting the bottom off a leg of lamb when pot-roasting improves the outcome of the dish. This hypothesis was ultimately disproved when it was discovered that the Grandmother merely did it in order to fit her leg of lamb into her particular casserole dish. It could be said then that This's approach is to use hypothesis driven scientific methodology to validate what people currently think about cuisine and current cooking techniques. The net effect of this approach is to discard the scientifically disproved theories and to embrace the scientifically validated which will in turn due to the fact that it is being used to validate conventional cooking should have beneficial effects for all people of all cooking standards. Unfortunately, I do not know enough about Gagnaire's approach to comment on it although I have seen some of what he does and have to say that what he does looks very beautiful. To summarize though, to me at least, it appears that as akwa states, Adria's approach is to apply technology to cuisine to create something new. This's approach on the other hand appears to be the scientific approach of hypothesis driven research to validate theories of current and/or past cuisine. What is interesting though is that whilst both approaches are termed molecular gastronomy, one for the sake of research and one almost for the sake of art, both would fit nicely into the subject of food science which is abhorred by 'food snobs' due to its connotations with mass food production. Both approaches however would have much to learn from Food Science as would Food Science from Molecular Gastronomy. I hope this thread takes off and I would be very interested to hear what other people think. Cheers, Doc-G
  17. I just bought two tonnes of beef trim for work which we use for making sausages, beef patties and burgers etc. When it got delivered my production manager came running to me me all excited after the conversation I had with him last week about how I wanted to learn how to smoke Beef Briskets like the Americans do. He said come and look at this: Whilst we did not specifically order brisket, we ended up with 2 pallets of it. I thought this is a little more like what you guys are using. This one was 9 pounds and is deckle off and untrimmed. After having a discussion with my production manager, he confirmed what I had seen which was that even with the deckle on, a full brisket off the cow is a hell of a lot bigger than this. This had been cut down significantly and obviously was also missing the deckle. I might have some pictures next week of a full brisket. I will then be able to point out the bits that you guys use. Anyway, the outset is that I set aside about 10 of these which I will start to use as soon as I get our smoking oven sorted out. I will also be able to get these when I want from our suppliers. I will keep you guys posted when I get down to cooking them. Cheers, Doc-G
  18. The Briskets I have seen so far have been big but not that heavy. I reckon around 10 pounds at most but they are like a big curtain of meat (and fat). I have been told that these are 'small' briskets. I'll try and get a 'big' one and take a photo of it and perhaps someone will be able to point out the 'anatomy' of mine compared to yours. Looking at the photos provided, all that meat looks like it has been 'pre-trimmed' at the meat packers before wholesale at least to the point that it looks presentable. Regarding Wagyu, we just bought a whole Wagyu rump (approx 8 pounds) and sliced it and cyrovac'ed it. We tried some the other day and it was delicious. I'm sure I will be able to source Wagyu brisket from the same supplier. He is making Wagyu sausages from it which I just judged in a competition. Anyway, I want to be able to cook a 'normal' brisket first before I try it on the 'big-game'. Interestingly Carrot-Top, I have heard that the Wagyu we get and grow here in Australia is not distinguishable from the 'Kobe' beef in Japan despite their massages and beer drinking. In fact Australia has just started exporting the best Wagyu to Japan and is getting top dollar for it. Thankyou fifi and SnowAngel for the pics and links. That Texas BBQ comp looks like meat heaven. I wish we had somthing like that around here. It makes me even more determined to visit your country again. SnowAngel, that 19 pounder looked beautiful. More importantly, it will give me a reference point with which to compare the briskets I can get hold of. Similarly thanks to everyone else for providing links to all the pertinent places. I dont know how I could go wrong with such expertise as I've found on eGullet. Does anyone know the size of the cow that is needed in order to get a 12 pound 'trimmed' brisket? I've been told this is how I have to order it. Also thankyou to everyone else who has posted so far. I will endeavour to keep this thread updated when I start to make some progress. Cheers, Big-G
  19. Dear Colleagues, I have been viewing and digesting with great delight the stories and pictures of beef briskets cooked in the US I believe 'Texas style'. With the Aussie summer fast approaching and some friends from the UK and a new BBQ on the way, I want to start learning how to do this. I have read most of the stuff on this BBS and read some literature by Steve Raichlen, checked out websites etc and am ready to start experimenting. The first obstacle is getting Beef Brisket of the right specification. I work here in Australia, in the meat industry and buy tonnes of beef every week for our family manufacturing business. The whole beef briskets I have ordered have been HUGE...much bigger than the ones I see in the pictures on this website. Whilst everyone knows what a brisket is, no-one seems to know how a US Texas style beef brisket should be trimmed. I have the contacts to get the meat I want, but need to know how it is supposed to be cut. I have seen people on this board saying they bought 'whole' briskets from butchers. From what I can tell, these briskets are not whole but already trimmed WAY down from the way they come off the cow. You guys are then obviously trimming them even further. The question I have for my highly esteemed colleagues over the pond is, which part of the whole brisket should I be using and when I say whole I mean as it is when cut off from a side of beef? It would be great if someone could point me to a website or show/describe on this website with the use of pictures how the brisket should be trimmed to a 'useable' 'Texas style' brisket for BBQ'ing. Also, does it matter what breed of cattle to use. I understand it helps to have a fair amount of fat in the meat in order to keep it moist whilst cooking for such a long time. Has anyone used Wagyu (Kobe) brisket as I would have thought the fat content and marbling characteristics would be ideal? I am intending to use a gas BBQ with a smoker box. Can I get a good enough result with this? I do have access to an industrial smoke oven but this could be construed as overkill! My other option is to purchase another BBQ just for smoking. We get a fair amount of Weber products here. Can anyone recommend a good one? Looking forward to hearing responses. Thankyou in advance. Doc-G
  20. Hi Dan and Everyone else, You mentioned that 'too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing' and that BBQ should remain an 'art'. I would argue that having this knowledge will only improve the consistency of which you can produce these beautiful products that are made in these BBQ's. I therefore have to respectfully disagree with you on this topic. You mention that each piece of meat is different with different moods of pit masters etc... Whilst this may be of benefit to cause differentiation across different regions or between one pit master and the next, a proper appreciation of the reactions involved and a truly developed methodology will allow the individual pit master to create and re-create the same results every time, all the time. I gather this is what interests NathanM. Having this knowledge enables you to create consistency with your product. Having consistency also means that you have control and when you have control you are able to further refine your technique so that you will be able to easily define the changes in your product caused by changes in your technique. Doc-G
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