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Msk

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 2)

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I keep burning my carrots when making the pressure-cooked caramelized carrot soup.

I've only used my pressure cooker twice, and it was for this recipe both times. The recipe calls for pressure cooking for 50 minutes. After about 30 minutes, both times, I could smell burning. I removed the pressure cooker from the heat and rapidly cooled it. When I opened the lid, I discovered that the bottom of the pan was covered in burnt (not just caramelized) carrot. I was able to salvage most of the unburnt carrots, but the scorched flavor had already made it's way into the soup.

So, what am I doing wrong? My pressure cooker's manual says to always operate it over high heat. On my second attempt, I ignored that instruction and used medium heat. I even picked up the pressure cooker and jostled it around a few times to try to mix up the carrots inside. Still scorched after less than 30 minutes. There's no pressure gauge on my cooker, so I don't know how many psi it's running at.

Note that the recipe does not call for any additional water. The only moisture comes from the butter and carrots, which is plenty to produce lots of steam pressure.

Has anyone else run into this issue?


SCOTT HEIMENDINGER
Co-Founder, CMO

Sansaire

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I keep burning my carrots when making the pressure-cooked caramelized carrot soup.

You may have the heat cranked up too much. Make sure you turn down the burner to its lowest setting once the PC comes up to pressure. On my Fagor PC there is just a little steam coming from the vent during cooking with the gas turned down to minimum; that way I know I'm at pressure but I'm keeping most of the vapor inside the PC. I made this soup as directed last week (well, except for substituting WF carrot juice for the centrifuged type) and it turned out amazingly well.

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There's no pressure gauge on my cooker, so I don't know how many psi it's running at.

How do you know you have come to high pressure if there is no gauge? There must be some indication somewhere. Typically you would keep your pressure cooker on high heat until it reaches that point which might take a few minutes and then you immediately drop the heat. How much depends on a bunch of factors like your burner, size of pressure cooker, contents etc but normally you drop it to somewhere around low and if it starts looking like it will drop pressure then you bump it up a touch. I made this and didn't have any issues with burning, just incredibly caramelized carrots. Good luck!

Roy

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I keep burning my carrots when making the pressure-cooked caramelized carrot soup.

The only thing I can think of is you have a leak or your lid is not on tight and the moisture is escaping causing it to dry out inside and burn.

Mike

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Glad we have another pastrami convert!

I smoked the meat for 4 hours at 171F per the recipe but I though the meat was a little too smokey. I used applewood. What kind of wood are you all using for your pastrami? I thought maybe mine was too smokey because I had so much surface area.

Good point. I had "whole" short ribs on the bone the first time around and smoked them only for about 3h with applewood. We thought the smoke balance was just right, and until I read this I hadn't remembered that I had cut back on the smoking time.

So I need some help.

I'm preparing for a big Mother's Day event that will include someone (me mum) who's currently on a very restricted diet. I'm getting details soon, but I think that I'll need to keep spices, fiber, and a few other things limited or out. It seems to me that there are approaches and recipes in MC that can be very useful for this endeavor. For example, I know that she can eat chicken breast meat, so a simple but perfectly executed, high quality chicken dish is in order.

As I get more information I'll share it here.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris, why are you so surprised that a longer time in the cure will distribute the ingredients better?

I'm not surprised that that happened. I was surprised that an additional ten days -- ten days more than anyone has ever suggested to me, including Ruhlman & Polcyn -- would have such a dramatic effect.

And NB: it wasn't extra time in the cure. It was extra time OUT of the cure, in a curing chamber.

Sounds so good and it is time to make bacon. I'm getting a good 5lb piece of a quality pig belly this week. I'll be trying the MC bacon. I have no Sodium Erythrobate so I might skip it unless I find it at my local supplier (Allied Kenco).

Other projects in the works include the corn bread (frying corn in lard/butter is brilliant), SV beef tongue and some form of the pea clusters with Methocel but probably made with corn. Not 100% sure what the eventual application of each will be just yet.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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If i remember the brine for pastrami calls for 2.25kg of salt in 500g of water...how exactly is 2.25kg of salt supposed to dissolve in 500g of water? Am i mis-remembering?

You're mis-remembering: you dissolve 145g of salt, 75g sugar, and 15g TCM, into 2.25kg of water. He has you pre-dissolve it in 500g of the water brought to a boil, then add in the rest of the water.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Do you think some of the improvement is also because of the moisture loss in those 10 days which would concentrate the flavors before smoking the belly?

Yes, I think so -- and based on my experiences with stresa pancetta, it makes sense.

So, a combination of things, including moisture loss, diffusion, and controlled aging of the meat, probably combined to make it work. Oh, and for MC owners, this all happened without any Fermento.

To confirm, Chris, you used no Fermento? What about Sodium Erythrobate?


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Hrm, ok i'll try...how come?

If you are following up the smoking with a 48 hour sous vide, why couldn't you cold smoke the pastrami? Is there no curing salt in the brine?

What avaserfi said. I didn't want to fiddle too much with the smoker, water pan, etc. so I aimed low.

To confirm, Chris, you used no Fermento? What about Sodium Erythrobate?

Correct: I had neither.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Cold smoking gives a different flavor than hot-smoking: presumably the recipe calls for hot because that's the flavor they are looking for. I see no reason you couldn't cold smoke too, if you wanted a different taste.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Hrm, ok i'll try...how come?

I have the 18.5" WSM and have found it fairly hard to maintain lower temperatures, especially for cold smoking. Have you had any luck? Right now I have a couple techniques which are kind of successful. I can keep the smoker from 120-180 by adding 5-10 hot charcoal at a time and monitoring. The problem with this method is getting wood smoking too. I am also experimenting with an A-MAZE-N-Smoker (no personal affiliation) to add smoke at lower temperatures and cold smoke. I've only used it once and was having trouble at first, but after a quick chat with the company's owner I think the problems have been ironed out. I will hopefully get to cold smoke again soon and test it out for a longer time.

good question avaserfi...there is in fact cure in the brine, so cold smoking might work too. Though it might ahve to be longer? Is the adsorbtion rate of smoke higher at higher temperatures? Guess it depends on the humidity too

I don't have Modernist Cuisine yet, but I did cold smoke a short rib for pastrami rack yesterday. My brine was based off of the recipe in Charcuterie. After brining I gave it about 5-6 hours cold smoke and it came out smokey, but not hugely so (This was my first experiment with the a-maze-n-smoker I mentioned above). So there wasn't smoke going the whole time, but I think if it had been smoking the whole time 5 hours would be perfect. Right now they are sitting in my sous vide rig at 137 degrees F, the temperature I guess would work. They will be ready tomorrow around noon.


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

Host, eG Forums

avaserfirer@egstaff.org

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I have the 18.5" WSM and have found it fairly hard to maintain lower temperatures, especially for cold smoking. Have you had any luck? Right now I have a couple techniques which are kind of successful. I can keep the smoker from 120-180 by adding 5-10 hot charcoal at a time and monitoring. The problem with this method is getting wood smoking too. I am also experimenting with an A-MAZE-N-Smoker (no personal affiliation) to add smoke at lower temperatures and cold smoke. I've only used it once and was having trouble at first, but after a quick chat with the company's owner I think the problems have been ironed out. I will hopefully get to cold smoke again soon and test it out for a longer time.

I use a Pro-Q for cold smoking in my WSM. The WSM wasn't built for cold smoking. And i agree..keeping the WSM under 200 is tough

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Cold smoking gives a different flavor than hot-smoking: presumably the recipe calls for hot because that's the flavor they are looking for. I see no reason you couldn't cold smoke too, if you wanted a different taste.

Can you expand or point me to a resource on this? I tried poking around in my books and online, but didn't see too much on the differences in flavor they impart. I thought both gave the same flavor, but were used with varying ingredients depending on the necessity of heat.


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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avaserfirer@egstaff.org

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Well, the best resource on it that I have is Modernist Cuisine, section starting 2•132. The info on hot versus cold smoking starts on p. 2•140:

Temperature matters because the volatiles have a wide range of boiling points. In general, molecules that are big and heavy—like hefty isoeugenols and vanillin, which contribute clove and vanilla accents—start condensing into droplets at pretty hot temperatures. So whereas vanillin can permeate deeply into a hot-smoked food, cold-smoking diminishes vanillin's contribution to the flavor.

It goes on to give even more detail, and this pretty much lines up with my experience of hot- versus cold-smoking.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Last night I made the Guinness "pâte de fruit" (page 4•145). I made a couple of (I hope minor) substitutions: I used the apple pectin I normally use for fruit jellies; I assume it’s an HM variety. The recipe specifies DE 40 glucose, and I’ve been unable to confirm the dextrose equivalence of my glucose syrup, but I used it anyway. Finally, the tartaric acid I bought from a local brewing supply store is labelled “acid blend,” although the store employee assured me it was pure tartaric. Never having worked with tartaric before, I have no way of knowing whether it's pure or blended with citric or malic acid. Does tartaric acid have the same kind of "brightness" that citric does?

I also don't have a refractometer, so I just cooked them to 110°C and prayed. They came out a little soft: firm enough that most of them held their shape, but I still lost a few while cutting, and they're very soft to the bite.

The flavour is good. I think you'd be able to identify it even if you weren't told in advance what it was. But I think there's too much tartaric acid for my taste (assuming it was actually pure tartaric I was using), because they're a little more tart than I would like. A pastry chef friend agreed with me on this point; he cut it down to 4g from the 10g specified when he made it.

In any case, it's a playful way to present "beer and pretzels," so I can definitely see making it again!

Guinness PDF 2.jpg


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Very nice, Matt, those look great.

I'm starting in on the Braised Short Ribs from volume five: today I put the flank steak in its marinade, and I just started the garlic chips. Here's the flank in its marinade (of soy sauce and fish sauce):

Braised short ribs - 1 - Flank in marinade.jpg

Next up come the garlic chips, made from elephant garlic:

Braised short ribs - 2 - Garlic chips 1.jpg

Braised short ribs - 2 - Garlic chips 2.jpg

Sliced thin by hand (no one is going to be hiring me to hand-slice chips anytime soon...):

Braised short ribs - 2 - Garlic chips 3.jpg

These get put in milk and brought up to 160°F: does anyone know what's going on with that magic temperature?

Braised short ribs - 2 - Garlic chips 4.jpg

Then rinsed and dehydrated. I don't have a dehydrator, so I've got my oven set to 170°F and they're in there right now:

Braised short ribs - 2 - Garlic chips 5.jpg

Hopefully that all works out. The ribs themselves have been cooking at 140°F for the last two days, and have one more to go.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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