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    Zagreb, Croatia

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  1. I guess this is the wrong thread to post how I made my guanciale (it's basically done, but I'll leave it on my balcony for a day or two before I decide what to do with it... beside carbonara and Amatriciana)... ETA it has survived quite adverse conditions with regard to humidity, which rarely dropped below 85% over three weeks it's been hung...
  2. Wolf

    Dinner 2019

    I'll probably skip dinner tonight... I sort of get full from aroma when I cook- and tonight I have a date with 5lb of oxtails I intend to make into oxtail ragu (I had to splurge... cost me $9.50 the lot). Yesterday I prepared 5lb of tomato sauce, portioned off some to the freezer, and I'm about to start with ragu- wish me luck (I'm starting rather late).
  3. Wolf

    Stir Frying in Stainless Steel

    I think the reason is that stainless steel is poor conductor of heat (most of the heat going into pure stainless steel pan will try to warp it), and as aside bonus carbon steel can get 'non-stick' patina. I've done patina (by applying horseraddish and ketchup, of all things) on one of my carbon steel knives which prevent it from rusting, but does not prevent it from imparting 'metallic' taste to food being cut. I like to keep things as 'traditional' as possible, hence me trying to figure out a way to make (what I percieve to be a quintessential) wok work in an environment (heating element) not very suited to it. I'm more of a braising and simmering (european style) type of guy, but this experiment of mine is making me want to try stir-frying on electric stove (any my stove has 3 gas burners ) just as a proof of concept.
  4. Wolf

    Stir Frying in Stainless Steel

    Pardon me from butting in on this topic, but I have a related inquiry... I'm trying to set up a friend with a wok, but she has only (conventional) electric stove. Would regular round carbon steel wok work with induction plate (I have one lying around, and don't mind lending it to her- because I think it would be more responsive to adjustments)? My idea is to make (or have it made) a solid steel 'adapter' which would be placed on induction plate. It would protect the plate top, to some degree steady the wok and hold it in place, while distributing more heat to the bottom of the wok, and woul additionally prevent induction plate from shutting off when lifting wok to toss the food in it... So, my quiestion is- would it work? Is it worth the trouble?
  5. Wolf

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Chef John from Foodwishes,com (link) - it was delicious. I only added a pinch of thyme and oregano (and a salted anchovy fillet) to his recipe and it was very savoury, enough spicy and the warm aftertaste lingered for quite a while.... 👍
  6. Wolf

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    Today for lunch (with a bunch of leftovers ) were chicken riggies, recipe from Foodwishes...
  7. I live in EU and FWIW I think I'm allowed to distill up to 60 litres (roughly translating to 15 gal) per year for personal consumption (mind you, curing meat and sausages. without nitrates. is sort of national passtime, so distilling should come rather naturally). Unfortunately, I've not done, as of yet any distilling or brewing projects- but have researched (insufficiently) and collected quite a few recipes for fee verte (Green fairy aka Absinthe). I think I could harvest most of the ingredients from 'the wild' in late spring/early summer should I try to do it... Are there any good reference books on the subject of production of brewed and distilled drinks? Leslie- I think I've read that British royal court imported juniper berries for gin production from my neck of woods (Zadar hinterland), as well as quantities of Maraschino. So, I could possibly (for a price, hehehe ) hook You up with some quality berries. Lately, some gins from my country have been getting some 'traditional gin' awards (as well as some 'funky' products emerging- like first ever gin that turns colour from blue to pink with addition of the lemon, thanks to deep infusion of some southern asian petals/flowers) so there might be a smigdeon of the truth to this rumour.
  8. Le Caisne's method seems a bit 'one-directional' for my liking- just like Jo, I haven't mastered braising, but in his method seems liked meat is steamed, and its juices leaching out into the braising liquid. The way I see it, in La Caisne method should produce less flavourful meat (water in - flavourful juices out), with few spoonfuls of exquisite sauce. IMHO, I'd be willing to settle for more ballance of conventional 'half submerged meat' method wherein meat and liquid interchange flavours (and more liquid, which can be reduced in the final stages*)... I've always fancied luting (sealing) the lid with dough, as Le Caisne suggests, but am not entirely sure it's worth the trouble with 'modern' pots, if one uses reasonably decent one- I've braised oxtails on stove top for hours in IKEA enamelled dutch oven (which one would be hard pressed to call 'state of the art' or 'top of the line') with no perceptible loss of liquid with just the lid on the pot. * actually, I leave my braising liquid quite thin, to facilitate reheating, and reduce to desired consistency only when the meat is reheatred properly/thoroughly
  9. I changed the 'recipe' a bit (after 2nd wash in wine, jowls were rubbed with crushed garlic, pepper and pepperoncino- all of which were then ommited from dry rub). After 8 days in ziploc bags in fridge, one stiffened up considerably, other one not so much, so both were additionally rubbed with salt-sugar mixture during their stay in fridge. Here's a photo of both pieces before I put them in a makeshift curing chamber- a cardboard box on my balcony, with holes for ventilation (later today, I'm going to put a tray with super saturated brine in there.
  10. Thanks a lot, Liuzhou, that helped a lot. Incidentally, one of his videos is translated and therein I picked up one of the best culinary advice found anywhere:
  11. Sorry for digging out this thread but I stumbled upon this video and it has intrigued me a bit... Would anyone who speaks Chinese be kind enough to explain what is he cooking, and what is he using for ingredients. Thanks in advance.
  12. Change of plans... I wasn't thrilled with Victorinox knife (it was apparently slicing knife, not an utility), so I did some further searching and being lucky as I am, the shop selling the knife I liked had 20% off today... I've treated myself to a nice de Buyer 14cm utility knife- much larger and lighter knife that pictures led me to believe.
  13. Wolf

    Beef Short Ribs -- The Topic

    Thanks for the tip, Heidi. I usually stew for shorter periods (goulash and similar) and never brown the meat- I think the conventional wisdom for goulash and stuff is not browning the meat (the sauce would not infuse meat as much, and in turn meat is supposed to flavour the sauce less when browned). Later, I found out about jus au pan, which benefits from caramelized bits of meat, and when I started long braised dishes I continued to brown (because everyone else seemed to do it)- but in lieu of Your post, I'll seriously reconsider it. Your way also seems to make sense, so I'm willing to try it out. 👍 BTW, the dish turned out great, except for small niggling detail- it didn't reheat as well as I expected. Despite the sauce getting more savoury each time it reheated, it also lost most of its aroma and spiciness (most notably, rosemary and smoked paprika were 'gone' on first reheat- both beef and wine seemed to taste more pronounced on each reheat)... Oh, and it was really an old cow- it tok me around 6 hours braising to get it tender(ish)...
  14. Call me crazy, but once my Christmas bonus lands on my bank account, I think I'll treat myself to a 6" forged Victorinox Grand Maitre carving knife to serve as my 'primary knife'- slicer-cum-pairing knife (I don't use chef knives)...
  15. Wolf

    Beef Short Ribs -- The Topic

    Today I swung by 'my butcher' to pick up an order (two pork jowls for guanciale and 2 lb. beef tendons) and he didn't have it but had great bargain on old beef short ribs, English cut, so I picked up 5 lb for 9$. I usually do peposo d'Imprunetta with short ribs (a recipe from Chef John), but I didn't feel like making it today so I fiddled with his recipe for short ribs and porcini braised in tomato sauce (I was a bit underwhelmed how the sauce turned out first time I tried it). In case anyone's interested, here's how I'm doing it (I'd welcome any comments or critique)... First I browned the beef (seasoned with some coarse sea salt and black pepper) on a tbsp or two of vegetable oil in 5qt Dutch oven, then removed the meat and sauteed 4 finely diced largeish onions on remaining fat. I waited until they were 'reduced' to about the quarter of initial volume (15-ish minutes on relatively high heat), then added thawed porcini (about 3/4 of a cup), sauteeed until onion got down to 1/5th of initial volume, added 2-3 tbsp tomato puree and 'roasted' it for few minutes before adding smoked paprika and cayenne and 'roasting' them some more. Added 2 tbsp flour and kept on same heat for few minutes before adding quality passata (I'd say a cup) and half a bottle of chianti and a cup, cup and a half of beef stock to deglaze, plus 2 bay leaves, a pinch of rosemary and one finely diced salted anchovy fillet. Once it reduced a bit, returned the ribs to the pot and am keeping it on the stove top under laziest of simmmers. So far, it's been abut two hours braising- I seasoned it a bit with ground pepper and stirred in a tsp of mustard. I've started the braising with meat 'bone side down', and haven't turned it over yet- I'm trying to get the bones to yield most of their succulence to the sauce before turning the meat... So far, the sauce is spot on (might adjust the salt, or add a bit of mustard later on), and am, judging by expirience with this older beef, looking at leat at another 2-2 and a half hours braising. I don't think I'll need to reduce the sauce, it's already got a consistency I'm looking for (and it doesn't seem to change too much as braising progresses).