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  1. Whoa, I always forget that specialties can mean more than something indigenous to a place. Ted Drewes is open at night, and usually late. There's two locations, and the more popular one is on Chippewa. If you have a chance, there's some great farmers' markets in St. Louis and the surrounding areas. It's worth a jaunt to one of them to find really great local produce and meats. At some of the markets, there's prepared foods and ready to fix foods that might fit your bill. While Volpi is an awesome source for domestic salumi, there's Salume Beddu that sells at some markets (and soon to have a storefront shop) that make really great salumi that is made from locally sourced meats. Tomorrow, I'm picking up the first of the local asparagus crop; Belleville, IL (in the metro east of St. Louis) used to be the capital of white asparagus for the country. You could search the Eat at Joe's forum on www.stltoday.com for some ideas. Try to ask the moderator/restaurant critic (Joe Bonwich) as he's a local resource. There's the Pollack's books, and I could be mistaken, but I think the name is Beyond Gooey Buttercake. I'm glad this thread didn't just die with the thought that there's nothing worthwhile in St. Louis.
  2. St. Louis is becoming more of a foodie town than ever before. There are a lot of specialties of St. Louis. There's the toasted ravioli found in so many places. You might want to try a haute cuisine version at Farmhaus which is homemade and uses locally raised lamb. The farmers' markets are just kicking off, and are a great expression of the growing love and concern for where our food comes from. There's a ton of them, so plan accordingly. BBQ here is great, but I'm mainly thinking of Pappy's BBQ. There are a lot more great BBQ places in KC, but I'd put Pappy's toe to toe with any of them. Go early cuz when it's out, it's out for the day. Some other specialties: BBQ snoots (just guess), St. Paul sandwiches found only at chop suey joints, brain sandwiches, and many more can be found by digging through various blogs like www.stlbites.com and Joe & Ann Pollack's website or the Eat at Joe's forum on www.stltoday.com Good luck!
  3. cookingkid

    Pig Bladders

    Did you take any pictures of this? ←
  4. cookingkid

    Pig Bladders

    I had no bearings for what side was up or down, so pardon my non-anatomical discussion. There was a larger (only because I would imagine more opennings that what I found) tube that I cut off. I rinsed the bladder with cold running water, and then soaked it in a salt water solution for an hour. After that, I turned the bladders inside out, scraped them with the back of a knife, and rinsed them again. After the simple cleaning, I proceed to stuff the bladders with my mortadella farce. Since my cut of the tube left a decent sized openning, I wrapped the bladders in plastic wrap before poaching. I couldn't get more than a large baseball size due to the farce coming out of my cut side. The flavor was good, but I don't think it was enhanced by being in the bladder. The bladder definitely was too thick to even contemplate eating.
  5. cookingkid

    Pig Bladders

    I recently bought a pig from a local farmer who knows that I enjoy offal, and I asked him for as much innards as the inspector would allow him to deliver to me. In the various bags of goodies, were three pig bladders. I've never used a bladder before, but I've heard various scenarios for utilizing them in French and German cookery. The farmer mentioned that the old timers make a blood sausage and stuff it into the bladder (using Morton's quick cure), and allows that to hang until moldy. And I've seen posts on other websites mentioning the availability of dried bladders at Chinese markets; what does that get used in? And finally, there is the mention of a bladder (I assume, veal) for encasing a traditional mortadella, as shown in Paul Bertolli's book. What I'm most curious about is en vessie. These bladders were from full size pigs, but you couldn't stuff anything larger than a baseball into these bladders. How do you stuff a whole bird into a bladder for cooking? I'd like tips (pictures would be awesome!) on how to clean the bladder, any preparations necessary before putting the bird into the bladder, and recommended cooking times/temperatures for a chicken. Thanks.
  6. 164 grams Paprika 48 grams Chili powder 63 grams Salt 8 grams Oregano, dried 17 grams Cayenne 12 grams white pepper, ground 8 grams Red pepper flakes 23 grams garlic powder 6 grams sel rose Here's my tasso rub recipe. It is not necessary to have the sel rose/instacure #1. As for other tips, after the bellies come out of the brine, allow to dry in the walk-in for an hour. Coat liberally with the tasso rub. The only other recommendation is to use all of the belly meat that you can get off of the lamb, i.e. from the hind leg to the tip of the breast. If you see any large amount of fat, try to minimize it without damaging the integrity of the belly flap. If you smoke it and store it for later, thicker slices work well for reheating. I've never had this bacon crisp in a pan like commercial bacon, but the flavor is still great. As for smoking, I've used mainly apple as those are the trees around my house. I prefer pecan. Good luck.
  7. I brine lamb belly for one week in a simple brine of 1 gallon water, 3/4 cup salt, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, and 1/2 cup crystal hot sauce. After a week, I rub it with a tasso rub that has paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, and other dried spices. Then smoke to internal temp of 150. It's best eaten right out of the smoker, but it does hold well.
  8. There are a few places to recommend, but for the dirt cheap way to go, you may have more limited options. I would go for Smoke Pit BBQ in Collinsville. They use sassafras to smoke their meats and they make their own bread for the sandwiches. I can't remember what it was called, but there is a side item of green chile (beans, maybe?) that was good. Maybe I remember it more for the fact that it seemed out of place. If you have more money, go to Erato in Edwardsville for dinner. And it you don't do anything else, you better go to 222 on Saturday morning for killer bakery items. Good luck, and let us know what you wound up doing.
  9. Your andouille looks good, but I'd like to recommend looking into modifying the recipe to be more like the stuff from LaPlace, LA. Look up the blog "Off the Broiler" and you'll find a great article about Wayne Jacob's and how they make their Andouille. I find that the Ruhlman method is too ground and that the wrong casing is used. Andouille is very course and usually due to that fact, it's stuffed into beef straight middles. I've had success with collagen casings for smoking Andouille. Also, since I don't have a 1/2 inch plate for the rough grinding like what Wayne Jacob's uses, I grind half of the meat through my largest plate, then I hand chop the other half of the meat into 1/4 inch cubes. Last, the sausages are fully cooked to an internal temperature of 150 over five or so hours of smoking over pecan/white oak. Good luck if you decide to try out a different style.
  10. I had a few questions about the brisket experiment... I currently smoke a brisket for a beef duo on the menu, but I haven't thought about the sous vide idea for it. In other words, I just smoke until it's done. Anyway, what would the optimal cooking temperature be for the sv of a brisket? It is not a collagen rich cut, as far as I'm concerned, so would you do like e_monster recommends and go for a lower temperature, but not as long of a time, like maybe for 18 to 20 hours? In other words, why such extended water time? What is the benefit of 48 hours, or another way of putting it, what is the gastronomic difference between the brisket at 24 hours and 48 hours? Is is just to be on the safe side? By the way, I'm thinking of a brisket flat or some call it brisket nose off. I use a ribeye for the other part of the duo, so here's why your ribeye fell apart. You got a part that had more deckle than ribEYE. The deckle is the flap of meat that covers the eye part of a ribeye primal. At one point, there is a third muscle that is not exactly deckle and not exactly ribeye (it happens to be one of the best pieces of meat on a cow, and I'd appreciate if anyone could tell me the exact name of that torpedo shaped muscle). So, your cut could have incorporated all three muscles with extraneous fat inbetween all of the cuts. If you decide to cook the ribeye sv again, you may want to try and get a piece that would isolate just the eye. It's tough to explain that to a butcher or anyone who just cuts steaks from the primal. You would have more pure meat without the sinew and without any large pockets of fat. Thanks for any answers.
  11. On a similar vein as problems with custards, I am noticing a separation of my custard for a pot de creme. The only reason why I know it looks like a separation is because we serve them in 8 oz. mason jars. The separation doesn't always occur, or at least it doesn't occur in a patterned fashion. The part on top (same 2/3 of the container) tastes and feels like a traditional custard. The bottom 1/3 is set but tastes eggier. I originally thought we weren't stirring the custard base enough before putting it in the vessels. Now, I'm wondering if removing the custards from the bain upon being set might be the problem. In other words, should I keep the custards in the bain marie during the cool down of the pots? Thanks if anyone has some advice.
  12. Hey, I know the torment of smelling great pancetta and then hitting mold halfway through it. I was wondering if you used any powdered gelatin to help bind the meat together while it was curing? Has anyone had any luck with this technique for tighter, bound rolls. Currently I don't use powdered gelatin or anything like Activa to form a tighter roll. There have been good results with securing the belly with string with multiple ties, wrapping in cheesecloth, then using multiple ties again on the exterior.
  13. What is a chocolatier doing with tripe!?! I had a few thoughts about the technique you mention for pig ears. It sounds like you're talking about the Ste. Menehould method for pig ears and other really tasting parts that have a lot of collagen and/or fat. In the River Cottage Meat Cookbook, there's a great description of how to accomplish this technique. I think there is also reference to it in Jane Grigson's Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery book and maybe a recipe in the Culinaria France book. All are great and revolve around the slow braise/steaming of the cut. While tripe may be a good for this method, I don't think the method depends on collagen richness. Mainly, the long slow cooking is used to soften the meat or cartilage in the ear, which is why the collagen lacking tripe would still be ok to use for Ste. Menehould. When I've fried tripe before, I've braised it as normal (maybe with less aromats and less sticky stock like chicken as opposed to veal). Cooled it and dried it well. The drying part is actually the trickiest part. You can fry the tripe as is; dredge it with wondra flour, or tri-coat bread it and then deep fry it. You might know about the website www.stlbites.com since you're in Columbia. Check out this link which has a description about cooking tripe: http://forum.stlbites.com/viewtopic.php?t=45
  14. cookingkid

    Salumi Questions...

    Maybe you can bug one of the posters from the Charcuterie thread for his description of his speck. From what I've understood, it is the top round of a leg of pork, skin off. I've never done it, but from the IGF description is a boneless ham that is seasoned with salt, black pepper, and juniper. Smoked and aged. Good luck. It has been about three years and different cities, but I've found dried pig bladder in a Chinese grocery store in NYC. You can also get it if you buy a whole hog from a farmer and have it and it processed to your specifications. Smaller butcher houses don't want to mess with cleaning innards, so you might have to do it yourself if it is for a sausage casing. Josh
  15. I cook chicken breasts with the wing bone on at 56 C for one hour. I would not go above 64 C as the meat seems to dry out by that time. I have had a concern for the area around the bone with this temperature, but we cook the chicken before service, shock it, then crisp the skin in the pan with brown butter. While the skin is crisping, you can baste the area around the bone with the browned butter. I don't own the book, but I've heard that 52 C is used in Alain Ducasse's Dictionary. Has anyone had any luck at such a low temperature that does not utilize a further cooking procedure after sous vide?
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