Sunday, April 2, 2017
Who doesn´t like some tasty Bacon ? I do for sure.
Pancetta is the cold cured type of Bacon. One of my favorites .
Smoked Bacon is for sure tasty but Pancetta I think having more nice flavors and no smoke taste sometimes taking over.They are both favorites for sure . Bacon always is .
This was a new Pancetta recipe I had to test. Seemed pretty simple and fast to make.
This was needed:
- A nice piece of pork belly . This was about 3 kg . Cut it in 2 pieces.
- Nitrite salt
- Mixed peppers 3-5 different. Not to hot for me this time..
- Mixed herbs. This time Crushed Juniper, Sage , Garlic, Ginger and Nutmeg . ( Experiment and test what u like )
I removed the skin from the belly this time.A little extra job but it makes it easy to handle when ready . I always keep it when smoking bacon.
Then I put the 1,5 kg pieces in plastic bags. Adding about 10% Nitrite salt in each.
A handful mixed pepper and a a few table spoons with herbs. Now I close the plastic bag and start mixing around the salt and herbs with my hands to make sure it covers the entire pork belly.
Now the bags are put in the refrigerator for a few days to make sure the salt, pepper and herb flavors gets in to the meat. The salt also makes sure water gets out from it and the meats gets dryer and firmer and ready to be hanged for some weeks.
After 4-5 days in the refrigerator the meat starts to get ready for the hanging.
You can feel the meat getting smaller and firmer compared from the start.
Now washing off the salt and herbs from the meat with cold fresh water.
Drying it off with a clean towel.
Then covering the meat again with some new fresh pepper and herbs. Same as before.
No salt this time. Use a plastic bag to mix and cover the meat in a simple way.
Now it´s time for the curing.
Hang the meat in the curing room. I have about +20 degrees Celcius , 50% humidity in the room.
Can differ but it works for me though.
After hanging for 3 weeks it was ready for a first test. Tasted just wonderful. Give it some more time and it will taste even better but gets dryer and more difficult to cut the longer it hangs. You just try what u prefer works for u.
The meat can last for months but never do. Have no idea why ?
Just love this meat !
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Had to test making some Duck Prosciutto
No good access today hunting my own ducks so had to buy some nice duck breasts from the grocery store this time.
The meat was covered in Nitrite salt and mixed spieces and peppers in a plastic bag for 3-4 days in the refrigerator to make sure salt penetrating the meat and some of the liquid disappearing from the meat.
I use 8-10 % salt compared to the meat weight. A ready mixed Nitrite salt.
After a few days I wash the meat with cold water to remove salt and spieces.
Dry off the meat with a clean towel and then cover the meat again with some new fresh spices and herbs.
Now I roll the breast tight with the fat layer covering the outside. This will prevent the meat from drying to fast . I tie the rolls with food cotton thread .
Now it´s ready to be hanged and cured for some time.
The room temperature I have is about 20 degrees Celsius and the Humidity is about 50%.
I hanged this January 13 , 2017.
March 27, 2017 I sliced it and tested. Very firm and nice. The color was red and beautiful.
Smelled good and tasted very nice. But I think this one will have to hang some more.
I think it can dry some more and get some more nice flavors if I give it some extra time.
Let´s say 1-2 more month and I think it will be perfect.
Very easy and very tasty. Try it out!
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Cooking in the oil:
This is a dish I always want to east when visiting Spain.
Gambas A Ajillo ( Shrimps, a lot of garlic and Chili pepper bathing in hot boiling oil )
Ingredients for 5 persons:
Shrimps In this case 30 big Tiger Shrimps
Garlic 15 garlic cloves fine sliced
Chili pepper 2 chili fruits cut in pieces
Parsley As garniture on top as green as u like it to be
Oil 5 dl In this case a virgin olive oilSalt a few pintches
Pepper 1 tbl spoon crushed black pepper
Bread Rustic bread to dip with
First make sure the shrimps are thawed ( Not froozen ).
Add the garlic, peppers and salt to the oil and start cook it.
After about 5-10 minutes u can see the garlic changing color to nice golden brown .
Then it´s time to add the shrimps.After 2-3 minutes the dish is ready to be enjoyed.
Now serv it still bubbling on the plates. Add some Parsley as garnish on top.
Serv with some nice rustic bread like painriche to dip in the hot garlic oil .
This is one of the best dishes I know.
Cutting Breasola video:
Moose Breasola worked out just perfect. Just wonderful !
Same process as for the Beef Breasola I usually make.
For this I used a nice 1,5 kg rump-steak (Fransyska) piece from a moose.
Clean the meat from any blood, fat and membranes etc.
Then time for the curing process.
For the cure I used:
Nitrite salt 1,5 dl
Black pepper 1 dl
Mixed herbs/spices 0,5 dl
Garlic Powder 2 tbl spoons
Smoked Paprika powder 2 tbl spoons
Now I let the meat cure in this mix in a plastic bag for about 4 days in the refrigerator. Turn it around once in a while. Make sure the meat is covered in this orgy of flavors.
After 4 days I take out the meat from the refrigerator. You now have a lot of liquid in the plastic bag and the meat feels much firmer/harder.
I now clean the meat with cold water and dry it in a clean towel.
If the meat having a nice shape u let it be but if not you can tie it up and make a nicer shape before the next step in the process.
These days I cover the meat again with with a nice layer of good spices before I hang it to cure . In the beginning I didn´t. You choose what u like but this is what I use today and it tastes wonderful.
Pepper mix with different peppers depening how strong u like it 1 dl
Mustad seed crushed 1 tbl spoon
Garlic powder 1 tbl spoon
Juniper crushed 1 tbl spoon
Onion powder 1 tbl spoon
Smoked paprika powder 1 tbl spoon
Use the spices u like and dare to test !
Now it should hang for about 3 weeks before ready to eat and loose about 30% of the weight.
I hang this piece next to my Prosciutto in the cellar room. About 20 degrees Celcius and 50% humidity right now. It changes a little during the seasons.
You can touch the meat after 3 weeks and if if feels pretty stiff it most probably read. Don´t want it to be rock hard either. When u slice it is should be firm but soft in the middle . If it doesn´t smell bad it should be ready to taste.
You won´t regret it and it won´t be the last time u make it I promise.
Good luck !
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Vilma The Hero this night
Late Monday evening.
I just closed my eyes and was about to sleep when the phone rang.
What´s happening ? Somebody dying or what? The clock was around 23:30 in the evening/night.
I jumped up and answered the phone. It was my friend Mike. He sounded very calm and relaxed so that was good I thought. Then he said he needed a dog now to track a wounded wild boar. His brother just shot a pig running in to the woods. A lot of blood in the beginning but it started to get difficult so they needed a dog for this job.
Yes sure what could I say. I had to wake up 06:00 in the morning to go to work next day but so what.
They always help any time and this was a good opportunity for me and my dog also. In 10 minutes we were in the car heading for the job. A 20 minute car drive from home.
Now I arrived at the crime scene. Mike his son and brother was ready waiting for me.
I covered my Wachtel dog Vilma with a protection dress for dogs to avoid bad wounds if boar attacking her. I also attached a tracking line on her to make sure she didn´t run away from us following the tracks or maybe wrong pigs.
The report from Fredrik shooting on the pig was that it was 5 wildboars out in the field.
One Mother pig and 4 smaller most likely her piglets . He shot one of the smaller and it felt like a good shot. All pigs running away after the shot . The shot pig also run as they do even with a good shot sometimes. He could see a lot of light colored blood where he hit the pig and it was blood in the tracks moving towards the thick wood. He was pretty sure it was a good shot where it should be in the shoulder where u penetrate the lungs at least or maybe the heart. This is a good and safe shot to make sure the pig falls dead on the spot or within a close distance.
But when he came to the wood and the blood tracks started to fade it was time to call in a dog he felt.
A very wise decision this time.
Now it was time to find this poor animal. We headed for the tracks and in to the woods we walked.
My dog Vilma is not used to this kind of work. She use to go out with me or my friends when we have shot a pig and it´s dead laying close by and give her a chance track training towards the dead pig.
I more or less thought so this time also. But I was so wrong.
We stared to walk and showing Vilma the tracks with blood in. She got very excited and showed great interest in the tracks and followed it very nice. You could see that she also tracked in the air and not only the tracks on the ground. Sometimes she started to go to another direction and we thought she wasn´t concentrated enough. But she felt the smell and didn´t need to follow the ground tracks all the time. Very good and flexible but we for sure didn´t want to miss the blood tracks on the ground.
It was still snow on the most of the ground making it pretty simple but not everywhere.
After just a few hundred metres Vilma started to get very excited and barking and pulling very hard.
Now we thought we were going to find the dead pig. Very good we thought. But no.
We could see that the pig had layed down for a while and the started to walk again. We were probably very close to the pig and when it felt our presence it had to move on again the poor creature.
We walked through some rough stony and bushy terrain but also some open fields and crossed some muddy creeks with soft ice on top . It was very moist and wet this night and we all got kind of very wet when this was all over.
We think we got very close to the pig a few times during this tracking when the dog started to get excited from time to time. She did a very nice work all the way.
We pretty soon started to understand this wasn´t the perfect deadly hit we hoped for.
We should have found the pig much earlier by now. The tracks showed that the pig might have lost a leg though. The shot seemed to have missed any vital organs killing it fast enough.
After tracking for about 1,5 hour , less blood and the pig tracks seemed longer as it speeded away from us we started to get frustrated and thinking what to do.
We also ended outside the hunting ground where we are allowed to hunt and in to the neighboring grounds. Not feeling good about that but they new the neighbors well though. I hoped. The clock was 02:00 in the morning and we didn´t want to call and wake anybody for this if we didn´t need.
Anyway we decided to move on as long as it takes. It was tough and we started to get tired but now we started to see signs that the pig started to move in circles more and more and looking for shelter under the vegetation. Now we had been out for about 2,5 hour tracking the pig.
Vilma started to get excited again. We were now out on a half opened field with bushes and tree islands with dens fir trees giving good shelter for the pig.
The track was moving towards the dens fir island. You couldn´t see anything.
Then Vilma started to bark very wild and loud . We understood then that the pig was there.
Two seconds later the pig run out from there and to the next dens tree island.
You could really feel the heart beating hard now and gasping for air. You didn´t know where the pig would show up and if it was going to attack.
After a wild circus for a few minutes we new where the pig ended up. I kept Vilma in leash a little bit away from the pig. We all pointed flash lights against where the pig was and tried to spot it. Mike moved towards the hiding and finally got a chance for the final kill shot. Success !
The pig was finally dead . The pain and suffering was over.
We had now been out for 3 hours. We started at midnight and now it was 03:00.
We now could see that the poor animal had been shot in one of the front legs. The hit leg was only hanging in a few threads by now. The shot was only a few inches away from a perfect shot but not unfortunately . This happens sometimes but not often and when it does u need to make sure finishing the job one way or the other and we did. Very happy and proud we did.
For sure we gave Vilma a little time with her price . She barked very excited and didn´t want to move away from the pig. I hope she felt she did a very good job this night.
She got a lot of encouragement from all of us. I know she understood and I think this experience made her a much better and dedicated wild boar tracker and hunter for the future.
Now it was the fun job left to get the pig back home from the woods.
Only a 40 minutes walk back dragging the 40 kg pig. Lucky it was .
It was a sad start with the shot and the injured pig but we all did a great work finishing it the best possible way.
Thanks to the guys hard work and Vilma the hero of the night.
Without her help we wouldn´t have made it.
1,5 hour sleep this night only but it was worth it for sure !!
Thursday, February 23, 2017
This is the favorite jerky everybody I know wants to have. My own mix.
Used to be a secret until now..... Try it u won´t regret it.
There are plenty of different jerky recipes out there for sure. Some good some not so good.
This is sooo good I can assure u . U get the perfect mix of sweetness, saltiness, heat , acidity and the fantastic umami(meat taste).
The tastes exploding and sings nicely in your mouth and last for a very long time.
Perfect snack with a cold beer but also perfect when u start getting hungry. Kills all hunger feeling and u can last for a few more hours after just a little piece of it.
A good snack when u are working, training, fishing, hunting or whenever.
I use to bring some when out hunting for many hours. Don´t need much to feel satisfied and happy.
The kids love it. Good snack for them in school and a good back up when the lunch sucks and candy can be easy at hands. It´s healthy also.
Let´s talk about the process now.
I usually use beef but sometimes wild boar meat like this time. I think u can use all kind of meat more or less.The meat I used this time was small casserole parts. A little bit more work then cutting the slices as they get small and all different sizes.
U can also use a bigger piece of meat as I normally do to work with and making bigger slices.
If u let the meat get frozen first it´s much easier to slice thinner slices while the meat starts to get warm again.
I normally work with about 1 kg meat . Usually fits perfect to the dryer machine I use.
A machine supposed to be used to dry mushrooms or fruits etc. Not meat but it works well though.
U can also dry it in the oven at 70 degrees Celcius with the hatch slightly open to make sure the moist disappears out from the oven. The dryer machines are found on most bigger home electronic retailers and costs about +- EUR 50,- .
When the meat is sliced u need to marinade it for some time.
I use to keep the meat in the marinade for about 48 houres before I start the drying process.
This is the marinade recipe for 1 kg sliced meat:
White wine vinegar 1/2 dl
Liquid Hickory smoke 2 table spoons
Light Syrup 3 table spoons
Muskovado sugar 2 table spoons
Chipotle chili powder 1 tea spoon
Garlic powder 5 tea spoons
Black pepper 2 table spoons
Salt 1 table spoon
Anise powder 1 tea spoon
Cayenne pepper 1 tea spoon
I use a plastic bag . Adding the marinade and meat and closing the bag.
Then I start squeezing and rubbing the plastic bag gently making sure everything in it gets well blended.
When ready the bag is placed in the refrigerator for 48 hours.Turning it around once in a while when remembering.
48 hours is no law but it´s always good if the meat gets a few hours to get married with all the flavors.
Now it´s time for the drying process. Open up the plastic bag and start digging for slices .
The slices are then placed on the dryers different layers. This one I use have 5 layers.
Keep some space between them to make sure the warm air in the machine can move around through the different layers.
When a layer is ready u do the last step before the final drying.
Now it´s time to sprinkle the meat slices with a tasty spice mix.
This is my tasty sprinkle mix:
Salt flakes 1 table spoon
Muskovado sugar 3 tea spoons
Black pepper 2 table spoons
Anise 1 tea spoon
Garlic powder 1 table spoon
Chilli powder medium strong 3 tea spoons
Ginger powder 1 tea spoon
Pretty similar to the basic marinade recipe.
All the spices are grained/mixed to a nice powder. This lasts for a few batches and can be kept in a spice jar.
When ready I sprinkle very gently on top of each meat slice. Not to much. This gives the little extra touch to it.
Then it´s time to start the drying process. The cover is closed and then I start the machine.
It should keep temperature around 70 degrees Celsius.
Depending how thick u have sliced the meat the longer u might need to keep it in the dryer.
I think 2-3 mm thick slices is good. It differs a lot for sure sometimes.
Now it´s just waiting time. It can take from 6-10 hours . You can start checking after about 6 hours.
Then u might find some smaller thin pieces that might start feeling dry. You can pick them out and wait for the thicker pieces to get ready.
I´m not afraid to let the pieces stay a little bit longer in the dryer to make sure they are really dry.
Pretty simple to remove the dry prices.
Now they are ready to be enjoyed.
You can keep them in a glass jar och plastic bag. The good thing with jerky is that it lasts for a very long time if kept away from moist .
But it never last that long. Not a problem.
I hope u enjoy this!
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Had to try making some deep fried Tiger Shrimps.
Found some nice big shrimps in a local Chinese store close to my office.
Have to go there more times. A lot of interesting food there for sure.
This is the ingredients u need for this:
Shrimps 1 kg, about 50 big shrimps
Rapeseed oil in this case or other , 1 litre
Flour 4 dl ( Gluten free works good )
Salt 5 tbsp
Baking soda 1 tbsp
Corn flour 2 dl
Sour milk / yogurt 5 dl
Paprika powder 5 tbsp
Garlic powder 3 tbsp
Onion powder 3 tbsp
Blackpepper crushed 2 tbsp
Cayenne pepper 2 tsp
Make sure the shrimps are unfrozen.
Start preparing the batter.
In one bowl u mix together the Sour milk/yogurt with the eggs.
In the other bowl you mix the flours salt and spieces and mix it well .
You also prepare the oil in a pan and heat it up on the stove top. Should be around 180 degrees Celsius when ready. You can test with a toothpick to see if it bubbles around it.
Make sure not to use the fan when working with oil and have lid prepared for the pot if any flames. Also a fire blanket prepared in worst case. No water on oil !!
Now it´s time for the fun.
You start dipping the shrimps in the dry flour mix . Then in the wet milk/egg mix.
Then another dipp in the flour mix again.
Prepare a few shrimps and then u drop them slowly in the hot batter. You drop a handful of shrimps and let them deep fry for maybe 2 minutes. Not to many at the same time as they will glue together then in the oil.
They start pooping up to the surface pretty quick. Let them get a little gold brownish color before they are removed from the oil. Use a big spoon with holes in to avoid to much oil.
Drop the shrimps on a plate with paper towel on to dry away all the extra oil from the shrimps.
This frying process takes about 20-30 minutes.
During this time u might have prepared some rice and a goods dip sauce for the shrimps.
You just need to enjoy the fried shrimps as they are.
Now you have a very delicious and crunchy dish to enjoy.
Monday, January 9, 2017
Making a Pancetta roll seems to be very popular . I don´t use to roll my Pancetta but why not making a try for it.
The nice 3 kg pork belly have been inbedded with Nitrite salt and spieces for a week.
I used about 8% salt compared to the pork weight. Then a mix of herbs and peppers and a lot of garlic . The meat was turned a few times during this week.
After this week u get a much firmer piece of meat and a lot of juices from the meat.
Now u clean the meat in fresh cold water removing all salt and herbs on the outside. When the meat is dry enough it´s time for the rolling process, Very interesting process for the handy man....
I read u should start rolling it from the thicker side. Makes the roll easier.
Then u need some food cotton thread to start binding the meat and make sure the roll is compact all the way. I started from one side to the other. Some experts can do this very nice and easy but I made it somehow. An extra hand can always be helpful for sure.
When the roll looks ready I sprinkled it with peppers herbs and garlic powder.
Then time to hang it in the curing room . My room right now 20 degrees Celcius and humidty 50%.
In a few weeks from now it should be ready to try. In a month from now I will have a first check.
Will get back with result and pictures when ready.
Now beginning of March after hanging for about 2 month the Pancetta is ready to be enjoyed.
Tasted fantastic! Probably the best so far. The wonderful taste and saltiness last forever in your mouth and u won´t be sorry for sure. Below some new result pictures.
They say confit meat is tender and tasty so I needed to try it out.
Had a few wildboar hams ready for the smoker but couldn´t fit them all in it.
So why not try to confit one of them.
The hams had already been marinated in 8% salt water for a few days and was ready.
If 8% works for the smoker it will work well for the confit process also I thought and it did.
I know duck fat is good when u confit but more expensive and difficult to get. Other oils works well also. In this case Rape oil was used.
I used a casserole big enough for the ham. Filled it up with Rape oil until the meat was covered.
Added some mixed herbs,black pepper , garlic cloves, carrots and some leek I found in the refrigerator. Taking what I found at home more or less.
Now the casserole was put in to the oven at 90-100 degrees Celcius . Just close to boiling but not.
There it stayed for 7-8 hours. I tested once in a while with a knife to see if the meat started to loosen up from the bones. It finally did .The bones got cleaned from every little piece of meat when I started to remove it. Just perfect.
The meat was removed from the oil. So tender and tasty. The oil makes sure u don´t get any dry meat at all. Then u serve this meat with something u prefer . It´s similar to pulled pork.
The oil was filtered and can be used a few more times before thrown away. The more u use it the more good flavors u get for the next meal.
We will for sure try this again. No meat waste at all and very tasty !