12oz Kobe Bavette
Today’s breakfast was this rather wonderful 12oz Kobe Bavette. (And, you know, some eggs.) The Japanese don’t export Kobe/Wagyu higher than grade 5, so they just make their own in Idaho. I think this was a grade 7. Kind of a protein onslaught but the Gor-metabolism is well primed and ready to handle this kind of thing.
You know the drill for kids parties; Go there, *enjoy* a few hours of screaming, shouting, crying, more screaming and then let the kids enjoy themselves. Then it’s home time avec sugar rush. Worst still it’s your party and you are the caterer!? That happened to me this weekend. Admittedly we did a combined birthday party with two other kids, so the burden was a shared one. But I was given the task of doing some of the food. Aside from the Smoked tuna, pea and mint Penne with Ricotta and 48 strawberries and cream cupcakes I went a bit further…
I thought I’d experiment, just a little bit with a new idea I’ve had for a while. So here in the *little LittleChef kitchen* I put to work a new twist on an old friend; the Sausage Roll. Let me present :
The Sausage Roll with sage, apple and Mustard.
Yes, I said mustard. You see I like English Mustard with a piece of Pork pie and I’d quite like it with a sausage roll but then you’ve got that age old decision of; mustard on the plate, or keep dipping in to the pot? Yes, we’ve all had that issue, and I’ve gone down the lazy-ass avenue of Disney for this inspiration. You see when I was a teenager I went to Florida to meet Mickey (whose no funnier in real life) and I had a hotdog there that had the ketchup and mustard cooked in the bun with the sausage. Their multi-national, commercially produced piece of shit was: Nasty.
This recipe is easier than a fumble in the hay with Minnie Mouse, and will only take you about twenty minutes.
1 Egg (for egg wash)
Sage (handful) chopped
Put the contents of the sausage meat in to a big bowl.
Whilst you are doing this peel, core and cut one apple in half and then slice thinly. If you have a rice cooker with steam tray this is ideal for semi-steaming the apple slices, if not bring a sauce pan of water (only about 150ml) to the boil and place the sliced apple in a metal colander over the pan and cover with a lid for five minutes. (N.B. this helps to soften the apple, which is important later)
Peel and grate one apple into the mix. Chop the sage and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Then get your sleeves rolled up and get stuck in with your hands. Squeeze the mixture through your fingers making sure it is all nicely mixed in. Now to get your puff pastry ready.
Dust the work surface with a handful of flour, best to make this plain flour. place the sheet of puff pastry on the flour, dust the pastry with some more flour, turn over and make sure there is a light coating so as to avoid the bastard stuff sticking to anything. Place the pastry sheet horizontal (landscape) on the work surface.
Take a big handful of your sausage mix (there is enough here to make four of these so use your judgement) and spread across the middle of your pastry sheet so that you have a nice line of meat.
Then carefully remove your steaming apples from the pan (turn off the gas and discard the water). Place a line of apple slices over your meat.
Yes I know it looks a bit odd, but stick with me on this. Then you’ll need your mustard. Take a tablespoon and smear across the pastry on each side of your sausage mix.
Now beating an egg in a bowl/cup take the bottom edge and roll over the meat. Then, using a pastry brush, apply some egg wash to the top edge of the pastry:
Make sure that you fold the ends of the pastry in on itself as this will help the whole thing to keep its shape:
Then roll the top over the meat/pastry and press the top edge to make sure it is firmly attached. Seal with more egg wash all over – once baked this will give the whole thing a nice shiny, golden coated finish.
Using a sharp knife gentle score (careful not to cut, just score) the pastry with vertical lines about every inch. Bake for around 15-20mins on 180° or until the pastry is golden brown. If you need to check the meats progress take the tray out the oven and slice in the middle, the meat should have no pinkness to it – be warned though there will be alot of meat juice so take care.
Leave to cool for a few hours and slice only once cold. Or you can serve this immediately with mash and onion gravy. Get. In.
To top off this weekend’s flurry of blog activity, here’s an image for the week.
Just a quick hint and tip from our last Meat Club at Garufa (review is coming soon). The friendly staff at this excellent Argentinean Restaurant topped off the evening with this excellent desert wine, Malamado. Very good.
Here’s a review to tempt you further:
Jonathan Ray, Daily Telegraph, 21 March 2008
This wine is completely new to me and I think it’s an absolute belter, a real curiosity and exceptionally well made. It is smooth and supple, with buckets of ripe fruit and even subtle hints of chocolate.
Via the Gor: It’s written by some chap who seems keen on carrying out all of Fergus Henderson’s recipes and documenting them for our delectation. Worth a view.
Clearly a meat lover. Keep the faith. Eat quality meat.
Having lived in Lower Marsh for a couple of years in 2001 and 2002, I loved the fact that it had almost everything you could ask for in a street – market stalls, boozers, restaurants, cash machines, chemists, bakers, even a scooter repair shop – with the notable exception of a decent butcher. This is a recurrent theme in London these days, with the unending onslaught of the supermarkets rendering butchers of any sort, let alone decent ones, rarities.
The Ginger Pig seem to be trying to remedy that, having opened a branch in Victoria Park Village some time ago, and now they’ve made my previous location even more desirable (to me at least) by opening up, as part of Greensmiths “local supermarket”, in Lower Marsh itself, starting around December last year. It took me till now to try it out, but I’ve now sampled their Old Spot sausage, streaky bacon, black pudding
and some fantastic ribeye steak
and it goes almost without saying that it lived up to the high standards that Meat Club have come to expect from this outstanding purveyor of fine meats.
The Greensmiths co-habititation is a welcome addition, with fresh bakery goods and a whole organic grocery under the same roof. Only problem is that it’s making me think I need to move back to Waterloo. C’est la vie.
Further to last post by our newly crowned President, MixedGill, hereth follows the recipe of our savoured Sweet MeatMince Pies.
So introducing one beautiful, organic duck, bought from Well Hung Meat weighing in at 2.2kg. You can buy legs/wings but in this instance I’ve used a whole duck so that I can feed the family on Sunday and use the wings and legs for our SweetMeatMince Pies.
After admiring, stroking and generally loving the site of such a well grown bird start by cutting the legs and wings off. To do this, get a sharp boning knife pull the leg from the body and cut around the joint area.
Try not to cut too much skin off with the leg, that will be needed later when roasting the duck. Cut around the leg shape – you should be able to feel the bone joint.
There you can see it. Cut in to it to severe the tendons.
Seal the holes with the duck skin by using cocktail sticks. Then remove the wings with the same method.
Apply the cocktail sticks by removing from the joint to save minimal loss of skin for roasting the whole duck afterwards. More skin equals more flavorsome fat that can be saved and refrigerated for roasting next weeks potatoes.
Don’t drop the cocktail sticks on the floor not least because fitting them up with your sticky, duck-bloodied fingers is quite hard. Better still, employ your two and a half year old son to pick them up instead.
Now, always use the Giblets. You can do this by using them as the base of a good stock, or (in the this case) in the bottom of the roasting tray – neck, lungs and liver, get it all in – the juices will come in handy later, not to mention adding to the flavour of your gravy!
Pinch the fatty skin areas of the duck to allow the fat to escape and crisp the skin.
Stab that fucking bird.
Chop one large chopped onion, six or seven garlic cloves. You can also add carrots, celery, anything that will add to the flavour of your gravy stock at the end.
He’s almost ready. I glazed this bad-boy with and honey glaze. To do that pour a good glug (three tablespoons) of olive oil in to a bowl, with two tablespoons of honey, and a pinch of salt. Brush over the skin thoroughly. Then put this in the fridge to chill overnight, or have your oven pre-heated to maximum temperature, place the duck in and reduce the heat immediately to 180°. Cook for 40 mins per kilo.
Back to the SweetMeatMince Pies. For the Wings and Legs you’ll need a large plastic, zip-locked sandwich bag. Place inside the wings and legs. Add to the bag a chopped, de-seeded red Chilli, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and Dark Soy Sauce, one crushed cinnamon stick, six-12 plums, five star anise and soy sauce.
Having eaten the whole duck yesterday (the gravy… you missed it), place the contents of the bag in to a roasting tray. Cook for around two hours on 180°.
In a large frying pan add 50g of butter, and sweat two banana shallots with two teaspoons of Demerara sugar for around ten minutes on a moderate heat. Don’t let it boil, otherwise you’ll have the makings of a syrupy caramel – nice, but not right for our dish. Once the onions have become translucent add some of your duck gravy/stock from the roast you had yesterday. Let this simmer for five minutes.
While the sauce is cooking pull the duck from the bone (resist the temptation to eat it all).
Add it to your frying mixture.
Add a good glug/glass of port. You could also add (as I did) some (, homemade) cranberry sauce and/or plum sauce.
Turn of the heat and add knob of butter to give your sauce that demi-jus glaze.
Now for the sweet-flakey pastry for the Mince Pie cases. Sieve 250g of fine (ideally double “OO”) plain flour, 50g icing sugar, and 125g of unsalted butter. Mix the all together with your hands by rubbing you fingers and thumbs through the mixture.
When it is the consistency of small crumbles make a volcano shape and crack and egg and a splash of milk. Mix this in until you end up with a dough-like mixture. Don’t need too much or you will encourage the butter to melt and ruin the pastry.
Roll the fucker out until you have a thick pizza-base looking thing. Wrap in cling-film and put it in the fridge for 30minutes. Then roll the pastry until its about 4-5mm thick. Use anything you can to cut the shape you need to fill the pie base (cup-cake tray). I used the base of a large tin of chestnuts – I said use anything. Push each pastry base in to the allotted cups.
Crack an egg in to a bowl with a tea spoon of caster sugar. Whisk and the brush the edge and top of the pie generously. Then cook the fuckers for 12-15 minutes or until the pastry has turned golden brown.
Allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar. Take to MeatClub and let all the cunts eat them with a glass of port and a good cheese – goats or a mature cheddar.
Paul points us to this rather delicious looking Meat Martini recipe with handy visual instruction.
Make sure the Suckling Pig is defrosted throughout. Clean it thoroughly inside and out. Then add the stuffing – in this instance sage, onion and black pudding (see Stuffing below). Close the pigs belly back up – I used cocktail sticks, but you could stitch it if you can be bothered. Line a roasting tray with foil and a meat rack and lay the pig on top. Rub some olive oil, sea salt and pepper in to the skin and loosely cover the whole pig with the foil (take care the cover the ears, feet and legs as these are prone to burning).
Cook for forty minutes per Kilo (this pig was 6kg – so foru hours cooking time) at 180°. Using the juices baste the pig every forty minutes. Then 30mins before cooking time is up remove all the foil, and ‘fluff’ the skin by sieving some seasoned flour over the pig, then seal the flour with more juices from the tray. Place back in the over and cook for another 30mins – or until the skin is crispy (crackling).
Carve and separate the shoulders from body then remove legs. Cut along backbone to remove chops from rib and loin area. Eat the Skin!
I cheated, but someone has to. I bought a packet of Paxo’s Sage & Onion stuffing, but I crumbled 500g of Black Pudding in to the mix and stirred in well. This was left over night covered and in the fridge.
Invite some friends over, maybe ‘Meat Club’ friends and scoff the lot.
(N.B Meatclub friends were not present during the making or eating of this suckling pig – the utter bastards)
Superb – please read the whole article – the Pork Crackling Margarita, the perfect aperitif for a Meat Club evening.
Cut and pasted in it’s entirety here as you have to login to see on the NY Times site.
By JONATHAN MILES
Published: November 19, 2006
BACK in August, a man identifying himself as Andrew Fenton of Philadelphia stumped, thrilled and mildly sickened the cocktail wing of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts and Letters, an online forum, by posting news of a creation he called Weeniecello. The concoction, he said, results from soaking Hebrew National hot dogs in 100-proof vodka for five weeks, yielding an infused vodka with, according to Mr. Fenton, “a fine beefy taste, with a hint of salt and gentle spiciness.”
His inspiration, he said, came at a barbecue, when he realized that the only thing detracting from the experience was that he was continually forced to put his cocktail down in order to eat. “You can see the dilemma,” he wrote.
Perhaps, though Mr. Fenton offered photos as proof. As one typical comment went: “It is either brilliant or insane.”
The line between brilliance and insanity, history shows us, is fragile; the line between meat and liquor, less so. But that may be changing.
At the Double Down Saloon on Avenue A, off Houston, a proud dive bar devoted to punkish excess, bacon-infused vodka goes into bloody marys, martinis and shot glasses, staving off protein deficiencies during the bar’s seven-hour happy hour.
Far less anarchic — in fact, downright refined — is the pork-rimmed margarita that made its debut at Porchetta, a five-month-old restaurant on Smith Street in Brooklyn.
Inside the glass is a familiar margarita made with smoky añejo tequila, Cointreau and lime and tangerine juices. Clinging to the outside, however, is a rim of crushed pork cracklings spiced with ground chiles de árbol.
You don’t taste the pork, at first, sensing instead an indecipherable richness, a pleasantly fatty edge. Every now and again, though, you encounter a salty speck of pork that demands to be chewed, providing a weird but wonderful shock to the system: Hey, I’m eating my drink.
If this seems like the realization of a fantasy conjured up by undergrads in a pungent smoke-filled dorm room, think again. Porchetta’s chef, Jason Neroni, late of 71 Clinton Fresh Food, explained the drink’s origins: “We had a ton of skin left over from the pork bellies we serve, a huge batch that everyone was snacking on.”
Since pork fat had infiltrated the dessert menu (in the crust of a lemon-curd tart), why not the drink list?
On a recent Saturday night, more than a third of Porchetta’s patrons ordered this union of aperitif and appetizer, happily straddling the border between the brilliant and the insane.
Adapted from Porchetta
Dried chiles de árbol
2oz. añejo tequila
2Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
Splash of Cointreau
Splash of freshly squeezed tangerine juice
Pickled green chili pepper, for garnish (optional)
1. Use a food processor to grind store-bought unflavored pork cracklings and dried chiles de árbol to taste until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
2. In a shaker filled with ice, shake the tequila, lime juice, Cointreau and tangerine juice. Rub the edge of a chilled cocktail glass with a lime, then dip the glass into the pork cracklings. Strain the liquids into the glass and garnish with the chili pepper if desired.
Yield: 1 serving