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Qwerty

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Posts posted by Qwerty

  1. I don't understand the idea behind wanting to get rid of liquid...why would you do that? certainly a quick cure would get rid of some of the liquid, but not really enough to do anything beyond make it seasoned.

    I've never heard of anyone wanting to make their meat less juicy. It's probably normal what happened to your pork.

    If you don't want it sitting in liquid your best bet would be to use a dry heat method of cooking rather than a moist one. You can't really get rid of liquid if you do it in a crockpot can you?

    Dry dry roasting it. There are several good posts and topics on the board about cooking pork shoulder any variety of ways.

    Good luck.

  2. But doesn't something with meat (i.e. fish, chicken, beef, etc) by definition already have umami in it? I'm curious if adding soy to a ribeye would somehow enhance the taste of the "meatiness." I doubt it.

    I understand the idea for some vegetables (and even things like mushrooms have umami) but I don't get the idea of stacking it on proteins. Seems like adding sugar to honey to make it sweet.

  3. I've eaten there a couple of times. When I was younger it was where my sister always wanted to go for her birthday dinner, so I've been 3 times. I'd say that the first post of this thread is pretty accurate. The food actually wasn't that bad, but the service and all that was terrible 2 of the 3 times. I remember a pecan catfish dish I ate there, but nothing else was memorable. All I remember is that it wasn't bad.

    Haven't been back in years, not really planning on it.

  4. Wow, thanks so much for all the great replies guys and gals--lots of cool information as well as food for thought. I don't mind that the thread has taken a few turns--I never thought there would be this many replies. I only got a little "testy" in my earlier reply about keeping the thread on topic because I didn't want it to devolve into a "don't do it" or "do you have any idea what you are getting yourself into" type of thread. I wanted to keep it constructive basically.

    I will not be doing my own bread. It's just simply too much of an investment in both time and equipment to validate doing it. Not to mention space, as I will likely have to be very flexible in what size/type of space I can set up in. I also think ultimately that paying someone to bake my bread (I can make decent bread but I'm not a baker) as well as buying the equipment (and eating the depreciation) needed to do so would ultimately add to my prices, which I would like to keep down. In an ideal world I would love to have control over every aspect of production, but I would rather control things like making my own corned beef, roast beef, turkey, sauces, relishes, etc. than bread.

    In my head I have things like meatloaf sandwiches, reubans, hot roast beef, chicken sandwiches, pork belly "BLTs" and such. Cold roast beef, turkey, etc. as well.

    The city I'm looking at isn't in Texas...my profile says I am from Texas but I now live in Boston (maybe I should change it).

    Thanks for the great replies everyone keep them coming...I'm getting a lot of cool ideas and things I haven't thought about.

  5. Listen, I appreciate what you and gfweb are saying...and believe me, I don't intend to rush into anything and I fully intend to explore the demographics, do research, etc. Right now, I would like to keep this discussion specific to what makes an ideal/great sandwich shop...not the likelihood of my business failing or succeeding. I would rather get ideas on the eden of deli's and then cater to the market once I have a horde of ideas.

    So again, please, I understand the risks and fully intend to get my ducks in a row before I commit to anything. This is one of the reasons for a 3 year time frame.

    Thanks!

  6. Thanks guys I appreciate it.

    I have a bakery in mind that I would like to use...there are a couple of options. The one I want to use has great bread and I'm pretty sure I'd be the only one in town using it for sandwiches. The only thing I'm not sure of is wholesale prices--the other shops may very well not be using it because it is expensive. But, also, the bread is weak at these places and not fresh.

    I know that everyone talks quality, but I definitely have the expertise to pull off high quality stuff like this--I've worked in some great restaurants in several different cities.

    Beth--that is great advice. I may not have ever thought about doing that so thanks...much appreciated.

    Keep it coming guys.

  7. I'm fortunate to count in my professional network some great chefs and managers, as well as a successful restaurant owner. My father is a CPA and well versed in business matters, so I fully intent to get them to dissect my business plan as soon as I have one in place.

    I'm more asking about what types of things (in your opinions) you would like to see in an ideal sandwich shop, so I may take the boards' informed opinions and work it into my own ideas.

    Sorry to hear about your brother, though...that sucks.

  8. So, I have it in my head to open a sandwich shop in the future. Time frame currently is about 2 1/2 to 3 years--and a lot of things have to fall into place for that to happen, but it should give me plenty of time to find a space, set up financing (I hope), etc.

    I don't want to say exactly where I plan on opening, but its a small town (approx. 9-10,000 people) with a healthy tourist business (year round, peaks in fall and winter, however), many commuters for work every day, and a couple of small colleges. This town already has a few deli's and sandwich shops, ranging from a Subway to other more, "mom and pop" type places.

    I don't think any of the places are really any good, so I see a gap in the town for a really good sandwich shop.

    And what do I mean by really good? My idea is to just basically do as much as I can by hand--corn my own beef, roast my own beef/turkey/ham, dressings, relishes, sauces, etc. I have the expertise to do so (which I don't think my competitors do) and can still keep the prices down and competitive since buying that stuff is actually cheaper than buying pre-made roast beef/turkey, etc. Making my own salami, etc, as well as cheeses and such, as well as baking my own bread are about the only things I don't intend to do myself.

    I understand that this is not a new concept in the sandwich business, but it would be in the city and area I would be doing this, so I feel it has potential to take off.

    I'm posting this on eGullet to have you guys help me flesh out my ideas, help me think through the setup of the kitchen, etc, and to give me advice on what you guys think a great sandwich shop has going for it. What do you look for? Sandwich ideas, marketing, pitfalls, etc. are all welcome.

    I don't think the market would allow me to go TOO crazy with sandwiches (no corned beef TONGUE, for example), but I think things like pork belly braised and crisped "BLT's" would work, for example, or having the best meatloaf sandwich in the area, things like that.

    What is important to you guys when you go get a sandwich?

    Any advice is appreciated, I would however, like to avoid anything along the "don't do it" or "do you know what you are getting yourself into" type of replies, only because I do know and it's not something I take lightly. I understand the risks but I feel with my experience and proper planning/financing it could be a hit.

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention that I intend to make fresh soups as well

  9. There is a device called sous vide magic which controls a crock pot or a rice cooker and keeps it at whatever temp. you set it at. This combined with a foodsaver or whatever will give you great results for home. This can be had for less than 300 dollars. It will also accomplish 90% of the things that you would want to do with sous vide.

  10. The times I've worked with octopus at the restaurants I've been at we braised it, chilled it down, and then grilled it to order to re-heat/char.

    While I'm sure this was an oversight in the Babbo cookbook, I can't imagine that it is done any different.

    I mean, wouldn't that just be the logical conclusion?

  11. Well, I certainly understand that. I think your idea of starting it around 5-6 hours before the party is a good idea. If it doesn't take as long...no harm in letting it rest for an hour or two then popping it back in to crust it and re-warm it. I would prepare to be a little flexible if things don't go 100% to plan (have some extra canapes or something), but if you build in that buffer you should be fine.

    10 weeks is a long time to dry age something...but not unheard of. It will be pretty funky but should be nice.

    Let us know how it turns out and snap some pictures if you can.

  12. Could you imagine a 10 week old wet aged steak? lol

    I'll re-iterate...don't pay attention to time per pound or anything like that...the most important thing is the internal temperature. I would seriously invest in a probe thermometer--it will eliminate a lot of the anxiety that goes with cooking something like this.

    Ten weeks is a long time...are you sure your dining companions are up for it? That is going to be one funky chunk of meat. Make sure you get the butcher to trim it before he gives it to you..or do it yourself. There is going to be a "skin" on the outside that needs to be trimmed off.

  13. If you temper the meat, then start it in a low oven (say 200) then blast it at the end for a crust, you shouldn't get much (if any) of a bulls eye.

    I would invest in a probe thermometer...stick it in the middle of the meat, set the temp you want it (probably about 5-10 degrees below desired final temp) and take it out when the timer beeps. Don't worry about time per pound or anything like that...take it out of the oven when the timer beeps at the temp you want.

    You might also look into salting it a day early..I'm sure there is a topic somewhere on the board about that.

    Good luck, sounds like a helluva piece of meat (now don't mess it up).

  14. The problem wasn't the internal temp...the problem was that you simply didn't cook it long enough. In order for the meat to become tender, the collagen has to break down and convert to gelatin. This is what gives you the fork tender effect.

    I would think that 8 hours would be enough time, but your results speak for themselves. Slow roasting is a great way to cook pork...I bet that it just didn't cook long enough. There is no need to braise or anything like that (unless you want to) because the heat from the oven should be fine at breaking down the collagen.

    My advice would be to just cook it longer--ignore internal temps, ignore recipe "times," and just cook it until you can easily pull off pieces of meat with a couple of forks.

  15. One thing I found interesting as well was the apparent shift in the plating at TFL and per se. It seems that, in TFL cookbook there was a definite style to the plating in that everything seemed high and tight (generally). I noticed that the presentations in UP were very European in their design. Looked very Michelin 3 star to me.

    Just an observation...I found it interesting to note the change. It's nice to see that even though it is regarded as one of the finest restaurants in the world they don't rest on their laurels about things.

  16. If you cook the butter for 8-12 minutes, you will not have foaming butter (very important) and you will end up with what I would call greasy and essentially clarified butter with imparts a different taste to the meat.

    . . . . .

    I just tend to think of basting as a finishing technique.

    One way to address the "greasy butter" issue -- which I agree is an issue in long basting -- is to change the butter part way through the process. You just tip the pan into a receptacle and then add a new knob of butter. But I don't think the best move is to have only white, foamy butter. Letting it brown a little is also nice, for that nutty flavor. You just don't want to let it break down completely or burn. Moderate heat and the constant motion of basting help with this.

    I think a lot of cooks -- especially busy line cooks -- think of butter-basting as a finishing technique in meat cookery, but I think that's in part because in a restaurant setting it's too labor intensive to do longer basting. But if you baste earlier and longer, you develop a better crust -- simple as that. At one restaurant where I trailed for like a minute, the main difference between a regular order and a VIP order on the meat station was that a cook would take more time with basting the VIP meat by starting the process earlier.

    Point taken. We do refresh the butter as needed during basting if the butter loses its foamy quality. Of course the butter is going to brown, but in my original post I make reference to the fact you want brown butter, not black. Basting with brown foaming butter is great. Just to clarify I never said white foamy butter.

    To each his own. I'm sure the method in the OP is a good method, I was simply adding my two cents to the topic, which I thought was the point of a post like this. Didn't mean to offend.

  17. I think your method sounds a little off. Here's some of my advice:

    IMO, its better to get a deep, dark brown sear without the butter in the pan. A rich crust should be developed before adding the butter. In the picture, yours look OK but I think you should/could take it a lot further. Most of the cooking should be done without the butter...8 to 12 minutes of additional cooking after adding the butter seems way to high...and a recipe for black butter.

    I would cook the meat approx. 90% of the way in the traditional pan roast method...the FINISH with foaming butter basted over the meat. (the butter, when spooned over the meat, should sizzle and foam up, as well as be "boiling" in the pan as you spoon). If you cook the butter for 8-12 minutes, you will not have foaming butter (very important) and you will end up with what I would call greasy and essentially clarified butter with imparts a different taste to the meat.

    Also, it is important to drain off any excess fat from the pan before you add the whole butter. The fat is very very hot and it will burn the butter very quickly. If you drain all the hot fat from the pan first, there should be no need to turn the heat down. It is important though to add enough butter to ensure that it doesn't burn It will brown, however, so be prepared for that.

    I would spend just a couple of minutes in the basting stage. It is important to finish cooking proteins this way, but there is, IMO, no need for 8-12 minutes of it. Fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary) and any other flavors (like garlic) can and should be added to the butter as you baste to give off the aroma from the meat.

    I just tend to think of basting as a finishing technique.

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