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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 1)


Chris Amirault
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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.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
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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.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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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.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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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:

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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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.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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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.

Nathan

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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.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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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.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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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?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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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.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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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.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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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.

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?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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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.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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