Live Fire Cooking: Pork Shoulder

This latest adventure in live fire cooking came about rather innocently. I needed a way to get a bigger fire out of this (double-sided) fireplace.

Bigger Fire

The grate was too low to keep larger stacks of logs from rolling out so I set upon building a cage to hold the logs in (see above). It’s made from steel and bolts I picked up at a local hardware store and measures 36″ wide x 18″ deep x 18″ tall. Continue reading

Neck to Tail…Spatchcocked, Not Half-Cocked

Most glorious spousal unit and I were walking the aisles of our local Amish Market seeking turkey. Sadly, all the gobblers had flown the coop and there wouldn’t be any returning until Tuesday. We found duck. And goose. And turkey parts: breasts, legs, thighs, and necks. Forgive me, but I wanted an assembled bird.
Spatchcocking!
Okay, well mostly assembled. This one is missing a lot of what it was hatched with.
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Sous Vide NY Strips and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

And so it came to pass that most glorious spousal unit actually asked for a sous vide steak. We’re making some progress!
Steak and Cheezy Potatoes!
She’s a meat and potatoes sort, so I asked her how she wanted the taters.

“Mashed. With cheese.” says she.
“Hmmm. Well, that’s different. What kind of cheese?” I asked stupidly.
“Cream cheese and Cheez Whiz®.”

Whatever. If that’s the price I pay to get her to buy into sous vide rather than just indulging my experiments, so be it.
Getting Ready for a Bath!
The steaks are on the left. Italian sausage in two-packs, then an 8 lb pork shoulder. In all, fourteen pounds of flesh.

She just rolls her eyes realizing this monster sous vide rig will now be on the counter (again) for days.
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Labor Day Sous Vide St. Louis Cut Ribs

It seems like the summer of 2015 has zipped by in a flash. Where does the time go? I moved to Maryland just a few weeks ago, didn’t I? In nine days, it will be three years.

I thought I’d celebrate Summer’s end in high style.
St. Louis Cut Ribs
I’ve become a huge fan of St. Louis cut ribs for various reasons, but that’s another post. Actually, it’s a previous post. I don’t recall the link, so just search for it. Continue reading

Sous Vide Pan-Seared Salmon

For many years I happily considered sous vide as just another cooking method fully ignoring that it is also, and perhaps primarily, a food preservation method. Properly pasteurized — and remaining sealed in the bag — food can keep in a 35°F fridge for several weeks. Freezing extends this keep time to months.
Sous Vide Salmon
More recently, I’ve taken advantage of the preservation side of things and experimenting with various proteins has yielded some interesting results, especially with fish. Continue reading

Bacon Lattice and Tomato Sandwich

For me, there’s a serious problem with conventional BLT’s; not enough bacon. Sure, you can add more slices — or use thickly cut bacon — but after the first bite, they tend to move around and you wind up wrestling the sandwich into your mouth.

Given that, I am very truly sad that I didn’t think of this: the bacon lattice.
Raw Bacon Lattice
Fry it!
Delicious Bacon Lattice
Eat it!
BLT Time!
It adds a whole new dimension to a BLT.

Sous Vide Flounder with Browned Butter Fettuccine

Being able to take advantage of good prices on fresh fish is one of my favorite things. Keeping good quality fish from getting funky is always a challenge.

Enter sous vide.
Sous Vide Flounder with Browned Butter Fettuccine
This flounder was pasteurized, frozen then reheated in a stovetop water bath. The gating factor on dinner prep was the 11 minutes of hydration time for the fettuccine. Dinner was ready in less than 20 minutes.
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