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Chris Amirault

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 1)

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Fat Guy   

Right. You've got to specify beef tallow to be technically correct. Though it seems that in common usage in the food-geek subculture people assume beef.

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Mjx   

Right. You've got to specify beef tallow to be technically correct. Though it seems that in common usage in the food-geek subculture people assume beef.

I associate 'tallow' with candles (probably has to do with the literature I go for), and 'suet' with the fat that's used for cooking. I looked this up, and added the initial findings to the wiki.

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So just to make sure it's understood that it's my own stupidity at work here: the book doesn't use the word tallow, it says rendered suet. I don't have suet, and figured that rendered fat from the chuck would be a worthy substitute. I called it tallow because I didn't know any better.

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Anyone know how to take glycerin flakes and make liquid glycerin? What are the correct proportions, when the recipe just calls for glycerin (a.k.a. "glycerol" I think)?

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emannths   

You can't--they're different.

Glycerin flakes don’t contain glycerin. They are actually monoglycerides and diglycerides used to emulsify fat and water.

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emannths   

Might want to be careful with that stuff: "This product generally produces bowel movement within 15 minutes to 1 hour."

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It's used as a stool softener, when, uh, directly applied to the stool. I'm just guessing here, but perhaps it has a similar effect on the tomatoes?

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OK, just popped these beauties into the oven:

gallery_56799_5925_223032.jpg

Wow, you should smell my house! Slow roasting tomatoes, garlic, and herbs... just about the most soulful food imaginable.

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I thought the hamburger called for vacuum compressed fresh tomatoes? or is that from a different recipe?

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jsmeeker   

Doh! What sort of store would one purchase glycerin at?

Stand back everyone--I've got this one too! :-)

Pharmacy, apparently.

Perfect: the local CVS even sold it in this convenient applicator...

Might want to be careful with that stuff: "This product generally produces bowel movement within 15 minutes to 1 hour."

It's used as a stool softener, when, uh, directly applied to the stool. I'm just guessing here, but perhaps it has a similar effect on the tomatoes?

:blink:

:hmmm:

:shock:

What have you gotten yourself into, Chris?

:laugh:

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I thought the hamburger called for vacuum compressed fresh tomatoes? or is that from a different recipe?

It does. This is the tomato confit, which is used as a component of the burger's glaze. I should note that I'm not making the exact burger in the book, though I'm getting pretty close. In particular, I am supplying an alternate source of the smokey flavor called for in the recipe.

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nathanm   

I thought tallow was rendered suet.

Suet is [from] the fat around the kidneys, and renders harder and whiter than tallow, which comes from... elsewhere on the cow.

Fact is that we used rendered kidney fat for the recipe, and that is what we recommend.

Fat from other cuts will also work, but kidney fat is usually a bit stronger flavor.

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So here are the short ribs that have been cured, smoked, cooked in brine, and rested:

DSC00006.JPG

Off the bone and sliced:

DSC00008.JPG

Some Latvian rye bread from the European Deli on Hope St in Providence:

DSC00002.JPG

Along with some strong homemade mustard, great pickles from the deli and less-than-great slaw from same, the full meal:

DSC00011.JPG

I snuck another layer of pastrami onto the bread after this photo because -- wait for it: Best. Pastrami. Ever.

Like nearly everything in the book I've tried, this pastrami packs more flavor per molecule than anything I've ever had. It's like eating a dictionary definition of pastrami; it's so beefy that you realize, oh, yeah, that's right, pastrami is BEEF.

Part of it is probably the quality of the short ribs, which were from a nearby farm. Part of it was probably using short ribs instead of a brisket. But there's no question that the benefits of SV preparation are on full display here: it's hard to imagine a wisp of flavor making its way out of these short ribs.

The details of the finished product suit me just fine; I might bump the coriander and juniper a bit, cut back on the red pepper. But, really, this is small potatoes. If you had told me a year ago I would be making pastrami that rivals Katz's on the Lower East Side of New York, I'd have said you were nuts. But, honestly, I think that this is much, much better.

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So, I've mentioned a couple times that this stuff is prep work for "The Burger"—that's not quite true. I can't actually make The Burger owing to a spousal objection to mushrooms, and a lack of a chamber vac (or for that matter, tomatoes worth compressing in the first place). So rather, I am making the bun, burger, glaze, and cheese slice. Instead of a mushroom swiss burger, I'm making it a bacon swiss burger: no vegetation involved (lettuce or tomato). So I guess this is the Lite version of The Burger. I still tell myself I'm considering it a warmup round for when I can convince my wife that a) mushrooms are good, and b) a chamber vac is clearly a kitchen necessity.

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DSC00008.JPG

If you had told me a year ago I would be making pastrami that rivals Katz's on the Lower East Side of New York, I'd have said you were nuts. But, honestly, I think that this is much, much better.

So, when are you starting to take orders? Where does the line form?

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jsmeeker   

Speaking of orders and take out and what not... How much yield can you get out of using small pieces of meat like a short rib? Do you thing you might try it with a larger cut. Like a brisket some day, to see how it compares?

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I'd love to try it with a good brisket, but that's nearly impossible to find around here for reasons I cannot understand: uneven quality, no deckle, on and on.

Yield is a good question; I'll try to measure next time. Because, oh yes, there will be a next time.

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So, I've mentioned a couple times that this stuff is prep work for "The Burger"—that's not quite true. I can't actually make The Burger owing to a spousal objection to mushrooms, and a lack of a chamber vac (or for that matter, tomatoes worth compressing in the first place). So rather, I am making the bun, burger, glaze, and cheese slice. Instead of a mushroom swiss burger, I'm making it a bacon swiss burger: no vegetation involved (lettuce or tomato). So I guess this is the Lite version of The Burger. I still tell myself I'm considering it a warmup round for when I can convince my wife that a) mushrooms are good, and b) a chamber vac is clearly a kitchen necessity.

Two points:

1. The mushroom ketchup is an umami bomb, more glutamate than mushroom per se. You might want to give it a go and see what she thinks of it. You will likely love it.

2. The intensity implied by nearly everything in the MC book is the only thing that makes this claim sensible: a burger subbing bacon for vegetables is the Lite version.

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weinoo   

I'd love to try it with a good brisket, but that's nearly impossible to find around here for reasons I cannot understand: uneven quality, no deckle, on and on.

Yield is a good question; I'll try to measure next time. Because, oh yes, there will be a next time.

If you can't get a good brisket, then you definitely can't get a good navel, right?

Won't Whole Foods order you a whole brisket?

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1. The mushroom ketchup is an umami bomb, more glutamate than mushroom per se. You might want to give it a go and see what she thinks of it. You will likely love it.

Thoughts on substitutions for the cane vinegar and the barley malt syrup?

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nickrey   

I snuck another layer of pastrami onto the bread after this photo because -- wait for it: Best. Pastrami. Ever.

Like nearly everything in the book I've tried, this pastrami packs more flavor per molecule than anything I've ever had. It's like eating a dictionary definition of pastrami; it's so beefy that you realize, oh, yeah, that's right, pastrami is BEEF.

Having made this with two different cuts now (a leanish round and beef cheek), I can state categorically that Chris is not exaggerating about the taste.

The cheek was a better texture: I suspect more similar to the ribs that Chris used.

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