Monday, October 4, 2010

Holy Smoke


Saturday I spent the whole damned day in front of the smoker. Which would have been nothing terribly out of the ordinary, but I had a strange feeling that I was channeling a past life. Seriously. Not a New Age Mystical intuition, but an odd ability to live in the bodies and minds of people who lived many years ago. I was a Baptist preacher, I'm guessing in the 17th century. Trust me, I can rant. Hence the name of this blog. But sometimes I wonder how a Brooklyn born Jewish boy came to be sitting in front of a smoking kettle, sipping his own moonshine, chewing on a plug of baccy. Listening to bluegrass.


Smoking everything I could get my hands on. So I am actually myself smoked. Unpictured are the pork shoulder which was simply roasted in wet smoke after all this was done. 6 hours maybe. Ate last night at Lisa's. OH, and a little eel. He's hard as a rock now and hanging in the wine fridge. No idea what to do with him. But see the beef jerky. Top sirloin. Round does not work as well. Then a pancetta. Cured and smoked. It's really just a rolled pork belly though. Went into a broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic and chili peppers. Swear I nearly fainted.

And best of all a little tongue. It's got to be a calf, much smaller than any I've seen before. Bought at the Asian grocery for a few bucks. Fresh. Cured for a week, then smoked over oak. Next steamed for several hours and peeled and sliced thin. I'm guessing.

You are coming over aren't you?

The sink is now unclogged after I made a rash decision to chuck some wayward brussels sprouts into the garbage disposal. We shall not do anything of the kind again. But now we are ready to go.

There are pickles in the cabinet going, fresh salame in the wine fridge. I am gearing up for a party of some kind folks. Let me know you'll be around.

9 comments:

lostpastremembered said...

As I have told you... I have never eaten tongue ( I know, my bad!). The little fellow you smoked looks divine... do let me know how it goes with the steaming afterward. I never would have thought to do it that way. May I ask why you didn't cook it the whole way on the grill? Texture? Inquiring minds... looks like you had an amazing day.

Ken Albala said...

Hey Deana, Yes, exactly. Tongue is a tough muscle, all that moo chatter, and hence very flavorful, but can't be cooked without time and moisture. It's the same procedure for pastrami made from brisket. But you can just long braise a fresh tongue too. Or throw it into a stew after it's peeled. And into a taco. Yum. But this baby must go on rye.

Jeremy said...

I spent much of Saturday in front of a smoker as well! Ten pounds of sweet peppers, which I peeled Sunday in preparation for canning up with a bit of olive oil. So much better than commercial fire-roasted peppers - these actually have flavor and bite.

Kristine said...

Duck duck goose...I might have a goose for next weekend.

Ken Albala said...

WILD GOOSE?!! HOW about a chase to go with that. Fingers crossed!

Jonny said...

smoking everything but tobacco, which you chewed, eh? fair enough. My grandmother used to serve smoked tongue sandwiches to us when we were kids, but she didn't smoke them herself (though she did chuff about forty gaspers a day, so it may well have had some extra domestic fumigation). Did you serve the non-errant brussels sprouts with the tongue? That sounds like a grand meal - warm, juicy smoked tongue with the nuttiness of roasted brussels. perfectly seasonal!

kryssie's daily photo said...

During my 12 year stint in the Deli world I would always sneak a piece of tongue when I would cut it. It wasn't smoked though. I would love the greasy corned beefy flavor. Roasted Brussel sprouts with olive oil, garlic and lemon juice is one of my favorite fall veggie dishes. Wish I was closer I would have come over asap.

Ken Albala said...

Oh man, now I'll have to go out and buy some Brussels Sprouts now. Thanks!

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