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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 3)


KennethT
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on that Hanger:

My guess is because hanger has a tough bit of connective tissue down the middle more or less. that makes it "tough" but the meat is not. although hanger is currently Chi-Chi without dealing with the though tissue first ( ie a busy restaurant ) its a disappointing cut. but getting rid of this first makes a tender very flavorful cut of meat

so does Blade roast or flat iron its a different cut from behind the scapula

if you cut out the tendon-ish tough tissue on the hanger before SV then tied it back together, use the tender timing

I like 130 but thats up to you.

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on that Hanger:

My guess is because hanger has a tough bit of connective tissue down the middle more or less. that makes it "tough" but the meat is not. although hanger is currently Chi-Chi without dealing with the though tissue first ( ie a busy restaurant ) its a disappointing cut. but getting rid of this first makes a tender very flavorful cut of meat

so does Blade roast or flat iron its a different cut from behind the scapula

if you cut out the tendon-ish tough tissue on the hanger before SV then tied it back together, use the tender timing

I like 130 but thats up to you.

I have found that clod tenders have much less trimming loss and are not as tough as hanging tenders. They also have great flavor. Either one is great at 55C for 2-3 hours followed up with a 2 minute sear on each side. I treat each "rope" of a properly trimmed hanging tender as a separate piece and slice them into 1" thick medallions at service.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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Thanks Lofty, and generally do you have a % of weight you think aromtaics should be or is it just a matter of taste? I was just confused since the Standard brine had no pink salt, and the pink brine had no sugar. Thanks for the clarification. I guess the pastram is a combo of the 2.

So I basically could just recalc the salt/sugar/pink salt for the meat + water, then just add in the same amount of aromatics.

Mike

Hi Mike,

Yes, the spices are a matter of taste. I used pretty much the amounts shown in the MC pastrami recipe but recalculated them so that I could vary the amount of water and still have everything come out.

For the brining phase, here is what I used, calculated based on total weight of meat plus water:

Brown Sugar 2%

Salt 2%

Instacure #1 0.25%

Coriander seeds 0.125%

Black peppercorns 0.1%

Mustard powder 0.1%

Pink peppercorns 0.06%

Cinnamon stick 0.04%

Fennel seeds 0.04%

Cloves 0.025%

Red pepper flakes 0.01%

Bay leaf 0.01%

At this point, after you're done brining you have a corned beef and could cook it as such.

For the spice rub before smoking, since you're directly rubbing the spices on the meat, I recalculated the spices based on weight of meat only and based on the amount necessary to coat the meat and not have 5 or 6 times the quantity necessary.

Here are the numbers I came up with:

Juniper berries 1.25%

Sugar 1.25%

Black peppercorns 1.22%

Coriander seeds 0.7%

Garlic powder 0.2%

Salt 0.2%

Chili flakes 0.1%

This makes just enough to cover the meat you have.

HTH,

Larry

Larry Lofthouse

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Hi. I feel like I know all of you, but you don't know me. My name is Judy, and I've been lurking on this site, watching your frustrations and victories, trying to soak up some of your cooking skills ever since I joined the Modernist Cuisine team about two months ago.

Finally I made my own account, because, well, I'm sick of lurking, and also, I wanted to point out that answered the questions regarding the salt in the pink brine last month:

5. nolnacs was puzzled over scaling. Why does the pink brine have a salt scaling of 10% but the other brines are 1%?

Pink brines need to be much stronger than other brines to achieve the full effect. Functionally, a pink brine is actually more of a liquid cure; it is called brine simply by convention. Our brining section (starting on page 3•152) provides all the details on brining to equilibrium and working with high-salt brines.

So, please don't readjust your scaling, Msk!

I worked very hard on that errata page, and if there was something wrong with the salt in the pink brine, I would probably remember. ;)

Anyhow...feel free to send me any messages and let me know if you have any questions. My cooking skills aren't great--sure, I enjoy cooking, but that doesn't mean I can make mojito spheres. Yet.

Judy Wilson

Editorial Assistant

Modernist Cuisine

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Hi. I feel like I know all of you, but you don't know me. My name is Judy, and I've been lurking on this site, watching your frustrations and victories, trying to soak up some of your cooking skills ever since I joined the Modernist Cuisine team about two months ago.

Finally I made my own account, because, well, I'm sick of lurking, and also, I wanted to point out that answered the questions regarding the salt in the pink brine last month:

5. nolnacs was puzzled over scaling. Why does the pink brine have a salt scaling of 10% but the other brines are 1%?

Pink brines need to be much stronger than other brines to achieve the full effect. Functionally, a pink brine is actually more of a liquid cure; it is called brine simply by convention. Our brining section (starting on page 3•152) provides all the details on brining to equilibrium and working with high-salt brines.

So, please don't readjust your scaling, Msk!

I worked very hard on that errata page, and if there was something wrong with the salt in the pink brine, I would probably remember. ;)

Anyhow...feel free to send me any messages and let me know if you have any questions. My cooking skills aren't great--sure, I enjoy cooking, but that doesn't mean I can make mojito spheres. Yet.

Welcome to eGullet, Judy.

If a pink equilibrium brine needs 10 percent of the combined weight of meat and water in salt, why does the pastrami recipe on page 3-213 only use 2.3 percent?

Larry

ETA of salt

Edited by LoftyNotions (log)

Larry Lofthouse

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Larry, You hit exactly on my point. The pastrami brine looks neither like a pink brine or a regular brine from the "Best Bets for Brining" section when you convert it to Meat+water scaling.

Mike

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Larry, You hit exactly on my point. The pastrami brine looks neither like a pink brine or a regular brine from the "Best Bets for Brining" section when you convert it to Meat+water scaling.

Mike

Hi Mike,

First, I want to re-iterate that the quantities I posted above were direct derivations from the pastrami recipe on 3-213. The top section was only changed to allow verying quantities of water to accomodate different sizes of curing vessels. The bottom section was changed to allow only making the exact amount of rub needed for the meat being used.

Also, I think part of our problem has been my casual usage of the term brine. On page 3-168, which we've been discussing, is the recipe for brines. On page 3-169 is the recipe for wet cures. This is the table that most closely resembles the pastrami recipe, with 2 percent salt called for in all (scaling 1) recipes. I agree with this number, plus or minus a little to account for taste. 2 percent works very well for me in most cases. The percentages for Instacure number 1 vary between the table and the recipe, with the table saying 0.15 percent and the pastrami recipe (again, adjusting for total weight of meat plus water) is close to 0.50 percent. Personally, I always use 0.25 percent based on various web sources, but I don't have a quibble with either 0.15 or 0.5.

If you have any questions about how I derived my numbers feel free to either pm me or post here.

HTH,

Larry

Larry Lofthouse

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I've got two pork shoulders in the fridge now for cooking this weekend with by soon-to-be-picked-up BGE. I've been researching the best ways to do pulled pork, pouring over MC, this site, and several other BBQ forums - with countless "perfect" techniques. A perfect opportunity for an experiment!

Well, the experiment has concluded...for now.

  • I used the MC best bets cola brine for both pork shoulders, including the 7% brine injection. Soak time was 48H instead of 72H suggested; rinse time was 1.5H instead of 2H suggested. I used boneless pork shoulder without skin, whereas MC said to use bone-in with skin, so I figured brining would happen faster.
  • Both had an initial smoke in the BGE for 7 hours at between 200F and 225F (I couldn't get down to 150F suggested by MC). I used oak lump charcoal plus applewood chunks.
  • Shoulder number 1 continued in the BGE for another 7 hours until it reached 190F internal.
  • Shoulder number 2 was bagged and put into a 65C water bath for 60H (instead of 72H suggested by MC)
  • Both shoulders were pulled apart with 2 forks when finished.

Since shoulder 1 was finished Sunday and shoulder 2 was finished Tuesday, it was impossible to compare their "fresh" flavor just out of their respective cookers. This might put shoulder 1 at a disadvantage, as I had to re-warm it.

Results:

  • Both shoulders tasted fantastic - no complaints on the cola brine!
  • The smoked-only shoulder had an amazing bark; the smoked-then-SV shoulder had no bark to speak of.
  • The smoked-then-SV shoulder left about 1.5cups liquid in the bag; I used this to moisten the pork after I pulled it.
  • As a result, the smoked-only shoulder was comparatively drier than the other
  • The kitchen filled with smoke aroma while the shoulder was in the circulator -- apparently the bags I have are permeable to smoke flavor
  • The smoked-only shoulder had a much more pronounced smoke flavor
  • The smoked-then-SV shoulder felt more tender and looked more pink; the smoked-only shoulder had a more uniform brown color other than the pink smoke ring.

Conclusion:

At the end of the day, I'm not sure I can pick a clear winner. I think from a tenderness/moisture perspective, MC's smoke+SV approach is best. From a flavor, convenience, "theatre" perspective (it's quite dramatic to do the "reveal", opening the BBQ to see this gorgeous piece of browned meat on the grill), the traditional smoke-only version wins. For the next family BBQ, I'll probably do it the traditional way for the convenience and theatre.

Side notes:

MC's 3 Carolina BBQ sauces, baked beans, coleslaw and cornbread were an excellent accompaniment and are highly recommended!

Also -- I've frozen the leftovers from both batches, so it will be interesting to see which version reheats better.

Pork shoulder 1 (smoked for 14H to 190F internal):

IMG_2106.jpg

Pork shoulder 2 (smoked for 7H at 225F, then SV for 60H at 65C):

IMG_2112.jpg

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I've been making Ruhlman and Polcyn's savory bacon since 2007. Pancetta cured bacon 07232009_22.JPG

I'd been having trouble sourcing local pork bellies (my local butcher would only order by the case), so have ordered from Niman Ranch and other online sources. I found a small belly to try the MC house bacon.

5864733154_5989e0bff2_z.jpg

I've used a WSM bullet in the past, but bought myself a Bradley Digital for my upcoming birthday.

5864731502_2cc010b9ef_z.jpg

(Thanks Honey! Guess what you got me for my birthday! [Now that I think of it, MC was probably my early, early birthday present, but he's forgotten that by now :wink: ). Oh my goodness - the convenience - the ease of clean-up! At 7 hours with minimal attention the belly was at 150o. I used to only be able to get about 3-4 hours of smoke in the WSM before reaching final temp. My husband thought to slice off four 1/4" slices (to make it fit on our slicer) before slicing and packaging that we fried and ate on Jewish seeded rye bread with just mayo - Heaven. I thought someone should have recorded a porn soundtrack while we were eating it.

To illustrate why one should always mention one's bacon at work, a coworker recently told me they had seen pork belly at our Whole Foods. When I spoke to the butcher, he said I could get one or several whole bellies with just a couple of days notice. I now have two 14 lb. bellies curing in the fridge; one MC house, and one R&P savory (really the pancetta cure).

5864733836_d560943e56_z.jpg

I can hardly wait to do a side-by-side comparison. Nothing gives you that warm, fuzzy glow like 28 lbs. of bacon curing in your fridge (except, maybe, an Old Fashioned).

Inventing the Universe

Here in the South, we don't hide crazy. We parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail.

The devil is in the details but God is in the fat.

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Borgstrom, thanks for doing the comparison.

I've only done pulled pork using the traditional method, albiet in a Bradley smoker. My observations so far (nad please forgive the yankee heresy or blesphemy) is that I found the bark to be tough and somewhat difficult to chew. The other problem I had was timing a meal. Granted, it will take longer using the MC method, but at least you can plan for it.

I'm glad the cola brine worked. It sounds like I have another cooking project.

Thanks again for your effort.

Larry

Larry Lofthouse

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I tried the pasta again (00 flour + xanthan gum) this time a double batch following the recipe ratios exactly. Same problem as before, even after 10 minutes of kneading the dough is really really crumbly/brittle and impossible to work with.

When I try rolling it out it splits and forms really strange shapes with jagged edges, when I try to put it in the pasta machine it's almost impossible to get it to feed, and when it does it goes in unevenly, tears and gets jagged edges.

Has anyone else tried it or know what I might be doing wrong? I kind of want to try the same recipe without the xanthan gum and see what the consistency is then.

It's getting kind of disheartening throwing out batches of dough after all that kneading though..

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I tried the pasta again (00 flour + xanthan gum) this time a double batch following the recipe ratios exactly. Same problem as before, even after 10 minutes of kneading the dough is really really crumbly/brittle and impossible to work with.

When I try rolling it out it splits and forms really strange shapes with jagged edges, when I try to put it in the pasta machine it's almost impossible to get it to feed, and when it does it goes in unevenly, tears and gets jagged edges.

Has anyone else tried it or know what I might be doing wrong? I kind of want to try the same recipe without the xanthan gum and see what the consistency is then.

It's getting kind of disheartening throwing out batches of dough after all that kneading though..

It needs more liquid and you shouldn't be kneading it anywhere near that amount of time. For conventional dough you bring it together, put it in the refrigerator for an hour. Then put it through the machine which is where the only kneading it needs will be done as you form the pasta. If you overwork it and form too much gluten and be too tough when you cook it.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I tried the pasta again (00 flour + xanthan gum) this time a double batch following the recipe ratios exactly. Same problem as before, even after 10 minutes of kneading the dough is really really crumbly/brittle and impossible to work with.

When I try rolling it out it splits and forms really strange shapes with jagged edges, when I try to put it in the pasta machine it's almost impossible to get it to feed, and when it does it goes in unevenly, tears and gets jagged edges.

Has anyone else tried it or know what I might be doing wrong? I kind of want to try the same recipe without the xanthan gum and see what the consistency is then.

It's getting kind of disheartening throwing out batches of dough after all that kneading though..

It needs more liquid and you shouldn't be kneading it anywhere near that amount of time. For conventional dough you bring it together, put it in the refrigerator for an hour. Then put it through the machine which is where the only kneading it needs will be done as you form the pasta. If you overwork it and form too much gluten and be too tough when you cook it.

With this dough i found it impossible to knead using the rollers as i've done with other doughs. Once flattened, and folded to roll again, the dough does not want to stick to itself and you and up with a mess and torn sheets.

Chris H. above did say he increased the hydration and that helped the rolling....

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It needs more liquid and you shouldn't be kneading it anywhere near that amount of time. For conventional dough you bring it together, put it in the refrigerator for an hour. Then put it through the machine which is where the only kneading it needs will be done as you form the pasta. If you overwork it and form too much gluten and be too tough when you cook it.

I did that kneading time based on what's recomended in the book (5-10 minutes). During that entire period though the dough had that crumbly texture.

It's interesting that it would need more liquid since the MC recipes are so precise. I don't remember seeing a correction for that page though so I'd assume the recipe is correct.

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It's interesting that it would need more liquid since the MC recipes are so precise. I don't remember seeing a correction for that page though so I'd assume the recipe is correct.

There are always factors that can't be taken into consideration in recipes, mostly because they're just too hard to measure. Initial moisture content of your flour would be one example.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I'd say that considering how many of us have encountered the exact same issue, it's pretty clear that there's something up. Can all of our disparate flours really be so different from the MC team's? The pasta was great once the dough was brought up to the proper consistency with water.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'd say that considering how many of us have encountered the exact same issue, it's pretty clear that there's something up. Can all of our disparate flours really be so different from the MC team's? The pasta was great once the dough was brought up to the proper consistency with water.

About how much extra water was needed? Do you just keep adding until it doesn't tear?

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I have a couple projects in the works right now. I have 12lbs of pork belly halfway through curing for bacon. I picked up 15lbs of pork shoulder Monday and have half in the SVS that was smoked for pulled pork and the other half got turned into the pressure cooked carnitas yesterday. The carnitas went over really well, even by my co-worker who's dad owns a mexican restaurant. I also did the ribeye with cherry mustard marmalade and porcini at dinner Sunday for 8 people. It was declared one of the best steaks they'd ever had. The CMM didn't get made exactly right, especially with my over zealous assistant adding twice the red wine called for. I wasn't convinced from just tasting it on its own but it paired perfectly with the beef.

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I've made the pasta twice and definitely had to add a lot more water. I didn't measure, just kept working more in until the dough felt right. I had the problem with tearing when I tried to run the pasta through the rollers the first time. Using the technique from Marcella Hazan, with the folding in thirds and passing through for the thickest, the pasta became unmanageable. Once I skipped this step, the pasta worked fine. It was also the best pasta I ever made.

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