Friday, April 10, 2009

Ant Elope



I have finally begun experiments and writing the last section of the antiquated cookbook on curing meats. I was hell bent on making my own saltpeter, and may yet if I have the pluck to scrape crystals from a pile of manure and use them for food. Then I thought of buying pure potassium nitrate, which is sold both by chemical companies and witchcraft websites. Seriously, for use in spells to calm the ardor of an errant male lover. For the moment I think it should be instacure so maybe readers will be able to follow. My first pastrami we ate this week and it was heavenly - cured, smoked and steamed - but brownish for the lack of nitrates. I'll try it again, though why it has to be red, I'm not sure.

What you see here is not cured, but first a filet of antelope brought to me from out of the blue by the goddess of game. Apparently from Wyoming and fed upon wheat gleanings. They were just lightly browned in butter with a dash of maderia for a pan sauce. And antelope meatballs made from an unidentifiable cut, below. I still have another hunk and was considering corning it following Hank's directions, but I don't think it's anything even vaguely brisketish. Nor have I gotten my package of instacure yet. So who knows? Maybe a fresh sausage.




In the meantime, Happy Pesach. And to close, my recipe for matzoh brie as I only I make it.
Take 2 pieces of egg matzoh and break up into small pieces. Soak in milk for about 5 minutes and drain. Add two eggs, some roughly torn turkey - I told you no one makes it this way - some capers, whole grain mustard, tarragon and bits of cheese (either mozarella or something like swiss). Then scramble in a pan with butter. Who ever tells you it should be a solid pancake shape is an unredeemable heathen. You want to cook it so each piece is separate, and dry and the cheese melted and browned. Then put it in a bowl and eat with chopsticks. I dare you, it is fabulous!

11 comments:

Betty Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty Blogger said...

Hey Ken,

I’ve been buying curing salt (6.25% sodium nitrite, 93.73% sodium chloride) from Allied Kenco Sales (800/356-5189) for $4.25 per pound. One pound goes a long way. Before that, I was bringing back the French equivalent, which is 0.625% sodium nitrite, from the restaurant I was working in in Europe. In France, it’s referred to as “yellow salt” because it has to sold in bright yellow bags.

I've also built a brine calculator on my website. One of these days I'll do a similar calculator for fixing color in sausages, although that’s very simple at 1 gram of 6.25% curing salt per 1.6 kilo of meat.

Regards,

Peter Hertzmann

Ken Albala said...

Thanks Peter, This is very helpful. I saw something about this exact difference between US and French curing salts in Edward Behr, but didn't quite figure it all out. I'll definitely use your brine calculator too!

But the name Betty?

Betty Blogger said...

When I was building my presentation for an IACP teleforum on blogging in early 2008, I had to create a dummy blog in order to illustrate the whole process of setting up a blog on Blogger. I chose the name Betty Blogger as a generic sounding name, and now that name is associated with my Google username. I haven't found a way to remove it. (I guess it could sort of work as an alter ego?)

Lauren said...

interesting matza brie...too bad i cant try it, it has milk and turkey in it lol. i keep kosher.

cook eat FRET said...

now that's quite the matzoh brie... meat and cheese. hilarious. i think it needs bacon. just for that final touch of anti-kosher.

well, being a heathen of jewish origin i'd eat that and be very, very happy...

very

Lo said...

I think I'm happy just reading about it. And eating it would be even better.

I take it you're not planning to "calm the ardor of an errant male lover" anytime soon...

Judith Klinger said...

You must give proper homage to the game goddess, antelope is divine, and antelope sausage sounds like a fine idea.
antelope bolognese
antelope chili
antelope kababs
antelope stew with a really beery broth
mmmmmmm......
If you are really good, maybe you'll get some elk.

Jeremy said...

The antiquated cookbook on curing meats sounds intriguing. Any information about it that you can/are willing to share?

Ken Albala said...

Hi Jeremy, Sure. I'm writing a cookbook with a friend, as yet untitled, on antiquated recipes in general. Basically everything you see on this blog with details on how to prepare. My coauthor, Rosanna, aka Paprikahead - who also has her own blog, does more of the pies, baked goods, jams and such. I'm doing bread, pickles, cheese and meats. With some overlap. Not sure when it will be published, hopefully next year, with Penguin/Perigee.

Jeremy said...

Neat! I'll be sure to look for it.

Terence Scully's translation of Scappi's Opera appears to document lardo:
"The slab of bacon fat should have been salted for two months..."
Modern lardo is generally salted for about two weeks, but hey.