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I've had an idea flowing across my brain waves over the last few months. It's on every channel and I'm getting ready to pull the trigger.
I'd like to try to braise a dish in my smoker. I am thinking of braising a rabbit, but the I'm not looking for guidance on the protein/ingredients, rather the technique. I turn to you, o internet, in hope you will tell me your secrets.
Has anyone ever braised in their smoker before? I've done some research, but I haven't seen much on the "how to" for the technique. Here's my plan:
- Brown the rabbits on skillet (stovetop)
- Get the aromatics/other stuffz sweated browned, etc.
- (MEANWHILE) Smoker heats up to 300-325 degrees.
- Add stock to rabbit, bring to a simmer on the stove top.
- Transfer to smoker, braise uncovered for 1-2 hours, then cover with foil to finish for as long as necessary.
I've seen folks smoke and then braise, but I haven't seen much on the idea of braising something IN the smoker. I saw something on CookingwithMe.at about doing something similar with pork belly, but that's about it.
All I know is that after using stock+drippings from a smoked turkey created this CRAZY MIND-BLOWING flavor, so I'm basing this a lot off that idea.
My neighbor's sister made a huge cassoulet for my neighbor's birthday dinner last night, and invited me to watch her assemble it on Friday. Sister is married to a Frenchman and spends about half the year in France--this is the technique she learned most recently. It was amazingly non-fussy, quick to assemble, and heart-breakingly delicious served with a light fresh salad and lots of home-made bread & whipped butter.
For eight folks, four duck thighs, 4 duck legs [in retrospect she said she should've used more duck], 4 Italian sausages, 2 kielbasa, 2 bratwurst, the sausages cut into 2 inch pieces. First she browned 4 slices of salt pork, cut in half, in about 2 T of olive oil on top of the stove in a large roasting pan, then added the rest of the meats to brown. After 10 mins she removed the meat and added 1 minced oinion, a few cloves of garlic [careful, she said, if you have garlic-y sausages], and a couple shallots, all finely minced, and softened in the fat. Then one large carrot cut in chunks, and a couple celery stalks, de-threaded, cut in chunks. Then the meat went back in, along with 2# of small white beans, soaked for about 4 hours--Great Northern beans, because she wasn't able to get the French beans she prefers. Then, she added enough water to cover the beans, and a few sprigs of rosemary and parsley from the yard [she said sage is good, too], and about 1/2 cup strong tomato sauce--she said the best thing to use is the very concentrated tomato paste from a tube--and, she said, ONLY a small amount--this is more for color than anything else. Don't salt it, because the salt pork should be sufficient.
The roasting pan went covered into a medium low oven for, well, hours, and she checked it periodically to see that the beans were cooking and the water not getting too low--if so, she added more. When she was satisfied it was done, she skimmed off some of the excess liquid--and they like to eat that as a light soup for lunch. Her husband says it's best to reheat the cassoulet a couple times over the next couple days, before serving--to bring the flavors together.
The result was meats that melted on the tongue like communion wafers, in a flavorful stew of perfectly cooked beans.
The 2017 iteration of the International Home & Housewares Show is being held March 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago. This is the world's 2nd-largest tradeshow for the cookware and housewares industry, close behind Ambiente in Frankfurt. It is a cornucopia of what's new and what's coming down the pike in the world of cookware, and if you've ever wondered about why makers do the things they do, this is your opportunity to talk with execs and their product development people (e.g., you can discuss ceramics with the 6th-gen owner of Emile Henry). It takes an able cookware geek a full two days to cover all the booths.
Are any eGulls or eGuys besides me attending?
I'm a little pastry chief in France, still learning and really passionate. It's been five months that I did'nt studiy or practise and I miss that so much. I never stop talking about this. I decided to travel in south america to learn everything I can. I'm actually in Central Colombia, and I will travel to Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia and maybe a little bit more if I want to. I have time until march, more or less.
My project is to go in the farms and meet the people who grow up the raw material I use for make my pastries, Talk to them and see the plantation would be really helpfull for me to understand how does it works. If people need, I'm volunteer for work in exchange with accomodation and food for a few days. My spanish is not good yet, but I'm learning and sometimes it's more funny to not speak the same language. I'm interested about everything, exotic fruits, citrus, coffee, cacao, sesame, pepper, spices...
If some of you is, knows or works with farmers or pastry chiefs in those countries, I would be glad to meet you/them and learn everthing about the work. We can exchange good recipe too.
Thank you very much,
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