Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Suckling Pig Summer Sausage

We've never used suckling pig in a salami before but when we had some extra pieces we didn't have any particular use for we thought why not? It has such a distinctive flavour and since we had the hay from the farm it comes from we decided to smoke it with its own hay.
Summer sausage is a pretty quick process. Grind and mix your meat. Ferment for several days (in this case, only 1 day so we didn't over sour its delicate flavour). Smoke slowly till you reach the optimum internal temperature.
We tasted it already, you can definately taste the hay, we vac packed it and id like to let it rest a little before i give my final thoughts.

Recycled Salami

We go through a lot of cured meats at the Black Hoof and now the cafe. We only use so much of these cured bits of flavor in soups, sauces, ragu's etc.... so we need to find another use for them.
A couple months ago i diced up some prosciutto ends and folded them into a genoa salami and not only did it turn out extremely well, it also gave it an amazing richness that you can only get from a cured ham.
So, the idea here with this "recycled salami" is to use everything from duck ends, pancetta, summer sausage, pepperoni, etc.... everythings fair game. i will only add enough raw meat to bind it plus a little, as for salt, i will minimize the typical 2-3 % by a little and assume the already cured meats may give off a bit. I will not be adding any seasoning other then salt and hope that the flavor from the pre cured meat will be flavourful enough. We'll see......

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smoked Plantain

My newest addiction! We made plantain for the Haitian fundraiser. The concept of the smoking was very last minute. Everything in the kitchen should always have the chance to see a smoker and this time we stumbled upon something great! Not sure it has been done before but it is fantastic! We finish it with a little chili lime salt/sugar mixture. Depending on how smoky you want it you can score the plantains skin or smoke it peeled.

Making Blood Sausage

Blood sausage is a messy job, And can get even messier in a cramped kitchen with four guys prepping around you, but despite what many people might think, its actually very easy to make once you have all the key ingredients. The basic ingredients are blood, cream, bread, onions, back fat, and spices. We have made it numerous times and we have always had an issue of the diced back fat (which gets blanched before adding to the blood) setting uneven in the casing due to gravity and the fact that the blood is so thin. Basically, as we filled the casing, all the back fat and onions would fall to the bottom half and set when we poached it so that when you sliced into the sausage 1/2 was pure blood, the other 1/2 had all the fat.
We couldn't find any information on how to fix this so we put our heads together and figured that if we slowly warmed the blood there would be a point where it thickened but didn't fully coagulate.
Here's Branden wisking away, keeping the blood moving as we applied the heat. We found that at 146/147 degree's F the blood began to thicken without seizing .
It's pretty important to move quickly at this stage, make sure you have an ice bowl to chill down the blood as quickly as possible. Strain it out as there will be a bit of coagulated blood bits that will just not look pretty in the final product.
We begin whisking it over ice to bring the temp down as quick as possible.
We also tried making blood foam as a joke and it tasted like crap. Actually, it tasted like blood. We figured that wouldn't be something one would want to taste on a dish at the hoof or anywhere for that matter.
Thoshon got to stuff the casing. One thing you must do is check your casings for any holes by tying one end and filling them with water. Thoshon forgot this step, hence why we had to tape up this link. This is a messy part of the recipe any way you try so give yourself some space to get messy. We use our sausage stuffer instead of the traditional funnel to fill the casing.
Cook the sausage at 80 degrees for about 18 to 20 minutes. Longer if your not pre-thickening the blood. immediately take it out carefully and shock it. Let the sausage rest for a day before slicing. Sear and enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Gave Up Pimpin' for This?

A new present. Now Everytime Thoshon is in the juice and discouraged, he can look at this magnet and say to himself "I gave up pimpin' for this?"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Shots of the Curing Facility

Went up to the facility today to drop some stuff off and pick up a few new things that were ready, as you can see with all the pictures lately, i gotmyself a new camera!
Here's just some various salami.
A whole wack load of little guys
This is Alfredo Santangelo standing in front of a few of his proscuits!
Some Capicollo's and soprassatta

Bison Blueberry, ive been out for a while and im sure this batch wont last long either.
Caraway and dill salami, almost ready, perfect mold right now.

This is Tony's original prosciutto press he sold 25 years ago (pictured below). Alfredo bought it back from this guy to try and get it working again. This is a piece of history. They dont make em like this anymore!
Prosciutto's salting
These ones are Tony's.
And here's Tony, the italian old schooler still banging out prosciutto!

Alas, all the boys who make this possible.

Current State of the Fridge

Just a few random shots in the fridge. Busloads of slaw, marinating pork, brining chicken legs, beans,......Better have this all cleared out by tomorrow or else Geoff's gonna have a fit!!!!

Haitian Fundraiser

I dont really know Hatian food, infact no one in the kitchen today knew Haitian food. But were throwing a big fundraiser for the victims of the earthquake tomorrow and the BH's always ready to work hard on our days off for a good cause. Colin's leading the brigade. He was up early getting 80 lbs of chicken, tons of cabbage for slaw, 2 cases of plantain, and we just had a shipment of beautiful Tamworth pork from Rory come in so we got lots of product to play with.
This is Mike making sticky toffee pudding. Perhaps not the most Hatian inspired dessert, but he put a lot of rum and ginger in the toffee so it should make people happy.

This is Roland, jen's Haitian boyfriend. He showed up late and immediately began giving orders.
Doesn't he look right at home cooking in the Hoof cafe kitchen?
Rolands an artist, clearly acknowledging his masterpiece.

Perhaps i didn't care as a child when i use to douse my chicken noodle soup with this stuff, but Maggie is intense.

Wondering how the hell im going to make this national dish of Haiti they call Griot.

Second guessing myself, back to to double check a few things.
Mike spiking the ginger rum sauce
Way too many scotch bonnets ..
Bitter orange juice, apparently the key to this recipe, second to the maggie ofcourse.
The first taste of the griot marinate, damn those bonnets!!
Colin, intense. Like a younger gangsterer version of Thomas Keller.
Intensely peeling a load of garlic.

And jen picking through our homemade Haitian pikliz removing all the cloves and peppercorns.
Round two , the big day tomorrow!!