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Archive for November, 2013

Taking Stock

Roasted turkey wings

Roasted turkey wings

Simmering turkey stock

Simmering turkey stock

In the next week or so we will be purchasing turkey parts and cooking them down into glaze to flavor various dishes on the Thanksgiving table. We’d like to use mostly necks, but they are not widely available. This pot used wings. Roasting the bones and mirepoix brings a nice dark color and flavor to the glaze. Good Stuff

2 pounds turkey parts
2 medium onions or leeks
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery and their greens
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Roast the turkey parts very well in a 400 degree oven, likely 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the parts to a stock pot and toss the chopped vegetables in the turkey fat and roast them in the hot oven for 10 to 20 minutes. Add vegetables to stock pot and cover with water. Add bay and pepper, bring to a boil and then simmer for two hours or so. Strain the stock and discard the solids. Return the stock to the stove in a slightly smaller pot and reduce to a thick glaze. Carefully skim the fat during the reduction. Cool and add sparingly to your dishes for a spike of turkey flavor. We add a large dollop to the roasting pan when finishing the gravy. Good Stuff!

 

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Cook up a sample to confirm the seasoning

Cook up a sample to confirm the seasoning

Seasoned diced pork and fat

Seasoned diced pork and fat

One of the first tasks of our Thanksgiving is the preparation of the country sausage for the stuffing. While this is readily available and usually cheap, we like to be able to season the sausage exactly how  we like. As long as you have a sturdy meat grinder and a little elbow grease there really is not much to this chore. Make plenty and frreeze, this stuff is, of course, unbelievable with breakfast. Good Stuff!

 

Country Sausage

3 pounds lean pork
2/3 pound pork fat
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
 

Place meat grinder and all attachments into the fridge or cold working area for at least one hour before grinding the meat, we worked outside on a frigid day. Finely chop the pork and fat into fingernail size chunks. Toss with remaining ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate for at least one hour before grinding. It is imperative that the meat, grinder, and all attachments be extremely cold during the grinding process. Grind all the meat. Cook a one or two tablespoon dollop to taste the seasoning, re-season if necessary. Wrap into 1 1/2 inch logs and freeze until needed. God Stuff!

Meat grinder set up on back porch on a frigid day

Meat grinder set up on back porch on a frigid day

Wrap very tightly and freeze until use

Wrap very tightly and freeze until use

 

 

 

 

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Pork belly with honey mustard greens

Pork belly with honey mustard greens

Hot and sour vinaigrette reducing

Hot and sour vinaigrette reducing

Sometimes the very first flavor in a  meal is the dressing on the salad. They are the strength of this course. We’ve recently been having crisp pork belly salads around the house. Here are two simple and very different preparations.

Hot and sour vinaigrette– this is a hearty and versatile dressing. Use as a condiment with the pork belly as an entree or as a dressing on a salad course. Leftovers can be used with crisp calamari or shrimp.

1 cup braising liquid from the pork belly
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon sliced garlic
1 teaspoon diced fresh very hot pepper or crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
2 Tablespoons vinegar( we use black vinegar, try using a hearty one yourselves, balsamic is probably not appropriate)
1/4 cup mirin
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 bunch scallions, chiffonade

Lightly sautee the garlic, ginger, and hot pepper in a few drops of oil. Add the pork stock and reduce by 1/2. Add remaining liquid ingredients save the sesame oil and reduce for some time until thickened. Finish with sesame oil, scallion and salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely before using. Good Stuff!

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette– This, also, is a very versatile dressing. The garlic and shallot make it hearty and capable of holding up to game flavors.

1 teaspoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon fine mustard
1/2 teaspoon parsley chiffonade
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
 

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve cold and often. Good Stuff!

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