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September 2013 Cookbook of the Month, SMOKE AND PICKLES: Lambs & Whistles, Cows & Clover and Pigs & Abattoirs

Please use this thread to report on the following chapters from the September Cookbook of the Month:

Lamb & Whistles pages 10 - 41
Cows & Clover pages 42 – 69
Pigs & Abattoirs pages 98 - 129

To post a review of any recipe, please select the appropriate thread below. If you are the first to report on a recipe, please reply to the original post. If a report already exists (please check before posting), please hit the reply box within the original report. This way all of the reports on the same dish will be together.

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  1. I'll get the month started with a report on the braised brisket with peach-bourbon glaze. Not sure of the page number - I don't have the book in front of me, and I actually used the version he published in Bon Appetit anyway (it's basically the same recipe as the book, but for a four lb brisket instead of an eight pounder). Here's a link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/brai...

    So, the recipe has you rub a brisket with salt, pepper, cinnamon and smoked paprika, then braise it with mirepoix, tomatoes (I used tomato paste), garlic, thyme, stout (Guinness), soy sauce, balsamic, bourbon and a bit of brown sugar. When the meat is tender, you remove it, strain and reduce the cooking liquid, mix a bit of the liquid with peach jam (I used Bonne Maman preserves) and some additional bourbon, then apply the glaze to the fat side and broil until crispy.

    This was simply amazing. I had a six pound brisket, and seven people devoured it in one sitting. The flavors mingled so beautifully - it was salty, sweet and smoky in perfect proportion. I made just a couple of changes based on the reviews on Epicurious - first, I tripled the cinnamon and paprika in the rub, but kept the salt as written despite having a larger brisket than called for, as many reviews said it was a bit salty. I also used just two cups of broth in the braising liquid - there was still plenty of liquid, even for my larger brisket. Finally, I braised at 300 degrees rather than 325 as written on the website - if I recall correctly, the book calls for an even higher temperature (like 400, I think), and I'm sure that must be a misprint, because that would incinerate your meat. My brisket was tender after about 3.5 hours, too, instead of 4.5. I followed the do-ahead instructions and reheated the brisket after a day in the fridge - just a quick, gentle simmer in the braising liquid and the glazing under the broiler and it was plenty hot and perfectly moist.

    Anyway, this was a huge hit and a definite do over. I also think it would be great with some pickled jalapeños added to the glaze for heat. If there had been leftovers, they would have made great sandwiches with something pickled or maybe some sliced green tomatoes for acidity.

    1. Brined Pork Chops with Peach-Ginger Glaze (page 110)

      Peach-Ginger Glaze AND Pistachio Gremolata. The chops are marinated for from 4 to 24 hours (I marinated mine for the full 24). He suggests making the glaze and the gremolata at the same time you make the marinade since both can keep in the fridge for up to a week and makes short work of cooking the chops.

      For the brine, a cup of gin is reduced to 1/4 cup. (Pay attention! I looked away and the gin was in flames.) Water, salt, sorgum (I couldn’t find it so substituted barley malt syrup), and brown sugar are stirred in until dissolved.

      For the Peach-Ginger Glaze, peeled, pitted peaches are cut into chunks; simmered with white wine, ginger, honey, and s&p; and whizzed in a blender until smooth.

      For the gremolata, pistachios, bread crumbs, lemon zest, parsely (I forgot to buy some so did without), garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and s&p are pulsed in a food processor until you have what he calls a “rough paste.” I think mine was a bit chunkier, but I liked it that way.

      The chops are browned in oil, spread with a dollop of glaze which is covered with the gremolata, and cooked, in the same pan, in a 400F oven for 12 to 14 minutes until the gremolata is lightly browned and crunchy. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

      The chops were very slightly pink, almost unbelievably moist, and very subtly flavored. The glaze, too, was more subtle than I expected, with only the barest hint of sweet. And the gremolata was just lovely. This wasn’t my favorite pork chop recipe, but it was very, very good, and certainly far more impressive looking on the plate than my usual braise. I would definitely keep this in mind for company.

       
      12 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        Brined Pork Chops w/Peach-Ginger Glaze, p. 110

        Wow, Joan, great minds . . .

        If not my absolute favorite pork chop recipe, darned close--and definitely company-worthy. And I never make pork chops for guests as I'm never sure they won't be tough. Even these weren't as moist as I'd like, but that was my fault: my chops were very thick, and I cooked them a tad too long. But they were still delicious.

        I made the brine, glaze, and gremolata the day before I used them so the whole recipe was a snap to put together at the end of a busy workday. I put the meat into the brine in the morning and removed it in time for dinner, about 12 hours later.

        For the glaze: I took a few liberties because I’d just made a big pot of peach butter so wanted to use some of that. To make ½ recipe of glaze, I put about 3/4 c of the peach butter, 2 T of (white) vermouth (instead of white wine), 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, a pinch of salt and several grindings of black pepper into a small pot and simmered it for 5-6 minutes. (I omitted the honey as the peach butter had sugar in it.)

        For the gremolata: whizzed everything (1/2 recipe’s worth; Joan has covered the ingredients) in a FP. We really liked this touch. I had plenty of gremolata leftover, but not to worry--excellent tossed with beets (and probably any number of other things).

         
        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          Making these tonight with a fairly large, 1lb., chop--any advice on the timing? When it comes to pork chops we don't mind pink, but dislike raw, and live in fear of dry...

          1. re: qianning

            I wouldn't worry too much about it. Mine weren't quite as large yours, but they were larger than the eleven ounces called for. You may just want to bake them for the longer amount of time. Mine were more toward the medium side of medium-rare when baked for 12 instead of 14 minutes. They were so unbelievably moist, I just can't imagine them drying out.

            1. re: qianning

              Am just seeing this and curious about how you timed them and how they came out. My chops weighed in at almost a pound too, and I left them in about 5-6 minutes longer than Lee suggests for the smaller chops, but that was just a tad too long.

              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                It's been a while since I made them and I didn't make a note about my timing, but my recollection is that I cooked them for 12 minutes, checked them with my Thermapen, and they were just barely over 140F which was about where I wanted them. The new USDA guidelines recommend cooking pork to 145, and I figured that's about where it would be by the time I started eating it.

                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  OK, so, first of all, this was delicious. We loved it. Thanks to JN & NCW for pointing it out--when I initially flipped through the book I thought it would be too sweet; not at all, it is really well balanced and flavorful, with a great contrast of both flavors textures.

                  As for cooking time I cooked them exactly 15 minutes in the oven. And the "done-ness" results were good, but just a teeny tad underdone. No worries, as we were sharing the chop and Mr. QN doesn't mind pork slightly rarer, so he took those pieces that were a bit too pink.

                  However this brings up another point....do you think Lee intends for the chops to be bone-in or boneless? I've re-read the recipe several times, and no idea on the answer. Mine were bone-in, and they were center cut with both the loin & tenderloin attached. The minor underdone portion was the meat close to the bone on the loin side. If I were cooking the same size & type of meat again, I'd go 16 minutes.

                  But, the caveat is, I was also cooking the kale spoon bread in the same oven, and it had just gone in 3 minutes earlier than the chops, so it is possible my problem was temp drop from having opened the door so soon before adding the chops to the oven. In other words, ymmv.

                   
                   
                  1. re: qianning

                    I'm 99% certain he means for them to be bone-in. I think he would have said boneless if he meant otherwise. Also, unless you're cutting them yourself, isn't 1" considerably thicker than boneless chops usually are?

                    Happy to see such positive reports on this. Not that I question my own judgment, you understand. But it is nice to have the confirmation.

            2. re: JoanN

              That sounds good. You could sub. molasses for the sorghum. I do the opposite with Dorie Greenspan's Molasses Spice Cookies and use sorghum in them instead.

              I order sorghum from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville. They age the stuff in bourbon barrels and BTW their vanilla is wonderful.

              1. re: JoanN

                These were very good and I don't have much to add to what has already been stated. Want to thank JoanN and Nomadchowwoman for their reviews or I probably would not have tried these. I rarely make pork chops and your reviews encouraged me to give these a try.

                I made all three components the night before and liked how easily they came together for dinner. I made a full recipe of marinade, peach glaze, and gremolata, but only cooked two pork chops so just used half of each. I have the remainder in the fridge and expect to use it up this week.

                1. re: JoanN

                  I was also very satisfied with this tasty recipe after making it this past weekend. I used a lighter hand with the gremolata so I also had quite a bit left over, but tonight I sprinkled some over sauteed green beans and the combination was delicious.

                  1. re: lesliej

                    green beans with pistachio gremolata--brilliant idea!

                    1. re: qianning

                      Oh - much thanks, qianning; they just seemed to call out for each other!

                2. T-Bone Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade (page 67)

                  Whizz together garlic, lemongrass, habanero peppers, juice of one lemon (forgot I was out of lemons and substituted lime) and one orange, sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt (which I omitted since the steak was going to be generously salted anyway) in a blender, pour over steak (I had a prime porterhouse), and marinate for 20 minutes.

                  There’s a mistake in the book. He says to pour half the marinade over the steak, but there are no directions about what to do with the remaining marinade. I wrote to the publisher and received a reply saying: "The other half of the marinade should be reserved. It should be spooned onto the cooked steak along with the pan juices before serving.")

                  He uses an unusual method to cook the steak. You heat butter and peanut oil over high heat until just barely smoking, add the steak, cover and cook for three minutes, turn, and cook uncovered for about 2 minutes. My steak was a bit thicker than the 3/4” called for and took an extra minute or two to cook to medium rare.

                  He says in the headnote that he likes to add “a bright acidic marinade for a contrast with all that meatiness” and also says that the acid “accentuates the umami element in the steak and gives it a punch that is quite addictive.” The steak was indeed superb, but how much of that was attributable to damn fine piece of meat and how much to the marinade is beyond my discernibility level. The flavors were very subtle with just the barest hint of hot.

                  I served this, as he suggests, with the Collards and Kimchi on page 200 ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9152... ). Damned fine meal.

                   
                   
                  5 Replies
                    1. re: JoanN

                      T-Bone Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade, p. 67

                      I needed something very quick tonight, and since I had all the ingredients for the marinade, I picked up a T-bone and came home and made the marinade in about 5 minutes (Joan has covered this so no need to repeat), poured some over the steak and let it sit for about 30 minutes. We opted for outdoor grilling, which worked great. The steak, along with Lee's spinach salad (p. 34), was dinner.

                      We both liked the spicy kick on the outside of the steak, but I tried pouring a little of the reserved marinade on a slice of meat and was glad I tested it as it was almost unbearably hot (habaneros!). My husband would never have eaten it. I could stand it but much preferred the steak without saucing it with the additional marinade.

                      I might try the marinade on a lesser cut of meat, but I'm not sure I'd bother with it for a really good steak (though it wasn't much of a bother--really easy recipe).

                       
                        1. re: JoanN

                          T-Bone Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade, page 67.

                          JoanN does a bang-up job of describing the dish above, so I won't go further into that, except to say, that, like nomadchowwoman, we opted to grill outdoors. We had a big, thick, T-bone, which four of us shared (with leftovers). I am still of the opinion that marinades absorb better into smaller cuts of meat. Or maybe the larger cuts need more marinating time. Either way, most of the taste was on the outside of the meat, not too much absorbed. It was still very nice; I'd like to try it on a thinner cut of meat.

                          NOW for the really interesting part…
                          One of our guests brought big, fat, white peaches for dessert. I had the (brilliant, if I do say so myself) idea of putting them in the lemongrass-habanero marinade. They absorbed the marinade deeply in a matter of seconds, and we tossed them on the grill. This was the absolute best, most intriguing, most complexly flavored dessert I've had in a long time. I'll make this marinade just for grilling peaches as long as we can get them!

                           
                           
                          1. re: JoanN

                            I made this Lemongrass-Habanero marinade tonight, to use on flank steak. Unfortunately, I couldn't find habanero peppers in my neighborhood, so I subbed a jalapeno, a cayenne pepper and an ajicito. The marinade had a nice kick to it, but it faded over time (I made it this morning and didn't use it till tonight), so I added some cayenne powder to it before serving to spice it up a bit further.

                            The result? Delicious! The lemongrass flavor was subtle but added a lovely sort of herbal/floral element to the mix. I grilled my steak, so I didn't have the extra fat from the butter/oil mixture called for in the recipe, and I think it would have benefited from that, especially since flank is so lean. Still good, though. I definitely preferred it with the extra marinade used as a sauce rather than dry, but I tend to like sauce in general. Even with the extra cayenne, it was not particularly hot - I really need to hunt down some habaneros next time!

                          2. Vietnamese Lamb Chops (page 28)

                            Loin chops are marinated for from 4 hours to overnight in a marinade of honey, fish sauce, grapeseed oil, bourbon, soy sauce, garlic, ground coriander, white pepper, and fresh lime juice. Room temperature chops are roasted @425F for 15 minutes, flipped, and cooked for 5 minutes more. Chops are served with a garnish of cilantro, fried shallots, and lime wedges. He recommends serving the chops with Edamame Hummus on page 199 and I did.

                            I made half a recipe, marinated the chops for about 9 hours, and used fried shallots I still had left from “Burma,” although his recipe is essentially the same. While roasting, the marinade nearly bubbled out of my shallow roasting pan and became almost shockingly dark, although not burned. His timing was perfect for medium-rare chops, but it should be noted that if chops are left in the pan once it’s removed from the oven they will continue to cook to medium.

                            I loved the flavors here. So unusual for lamb, yet wonderfully complementary. Beginning to think of Lee as comparable to Ottolenghi in that his flavor combinations are so unusual but work brilliantly. The pairing with the Edamame Hummus ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9152... ) was completely unexpected and a very pleasant surprise.

                             
                            9 Replies
                            1. re: JoanN

                              We don't really eat lamb at our house. I hate to mess with genius but do you think this would work with pork or anything else? It sounds so good.

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Not Joan, but I'll chime in with a big YES. I thought about pork chops myself.

                              2. re: JoanN

                                Vietnamese Lamb Chops, p. 28

                                I followed the marinade recipe to a tee though I made a double recipe as I had guests and thus prepared 14 lamb loin chops. But I opted for grilling them outside rather than cooking them in the oven. I served them with the suggested garnishes: Fried shallots (which, like Joan, I had on hand, courtesy of “Burma.”), lime wedges, and cilantro.

                                I really enjoyed these (though I actually preferred Cindy Pawlcyn’s Mongolian Barbecued Lamb Chops), but my husband thought fish sauce was the dominant flavor and thus didn’t care much for them. One of my guests, however, ate several quite enthusiastically.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  Vietnamese Lamb Chops (page 28)

                                  I loved this. I also thought it was an interesting cooking technique, cooking the lamb inside the marinade instead of removing it from the marinade and cooking it from there. But, the chops came out perfect medium rare and super tender. I used a combo of lamb loin chops and lamb rib chops.

                                  I thought the flavor was very addicting. But, C was a bit reticent. He first said that the lamb was perfectly cooked but later admitted that the flavor wasn't to his taste. He said that there was something a bit offputting in the marinade and kept asking me what was in it. It's odd because there is nothing in the marinade that we haven't eaten in the past, maybe it's the combo.

                                  Regardless, I enjoyed it (a lot).

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    I'd love to make these tonight or tomorrow, but the online recipe appears to be gone (unless I'm blind, which is certainly possible). Would anyone be willing to paraphrase? Given that it's 95 degrees here, I will grill rather than roast, so no need to give those cooking instructions. Thanks in advance!

                                    1. re: mebby

                                      Try the "Look Inside the Book" feature on Amazon. I found it there.

                                      http://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Pickles-R...

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        Thanks for the reminder...knew I'd seen it somewhere. Still waiting on my book...

                                    2. re: JoanN

                                      Vietnamese Lamb Chops

                                      Made these for lunch today. Like NCW, I chose to grill rather than roast (over 100 degrees here today!). Marinated for about 20 hours. Used rib chops rather than loin chops and used peanut oil in place of both grapeseed and corn oils. Other than that, no subs.

                                      Delicious! I will happily make again following the actual cooking instructions, which I am intrigued by, but these made for a very savory lunch and one that would pair well with a variety of flavors. I served with brown rice and watermelon slices and drizzled some of the hotted up marinade over rice/lamb. My kids really like them too and are happily going off to school tomorrow with leftovers mixed in with rice and some of the sauce.

                                      Despite these being called "Vietnamese," for my tastes the flavor profile could go a lot of directions and was just a delicious blend of flavors, so you could pair it a lot of ways.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        For anyone reading along who doesn't have the book, I noticed that Chow now has the recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30858-vie...

                                      2. Pulled Pork Shoulder in Black BBQ Sauce (page 116)

                                        Not sure why he instructs you to make the BBQ sauce first, since it can easily be made while the pork is either curing in the fridge or cooking in the oven, but he does. And I’m not even going to list the ingredients, because it’s as long as my forearm, although every single item was something that was in my pantry or fridge. Let’s just say it’s a mashup (in a good way) of regular BBQ sauce with Asian ingredients. I made the recipe as written, but left out the jalapeños and cayenne because one of the guests for whom I was making this can’t abide anything that has the least bit of heat. Oh, and I used half the amount of raisins called for because I only had golden raisins and they’re a lot sweeter than the dark ones.

                                        The pork is supposed to be 5 pounds, bone in skin on, but mine was a 5-pound boneless roast from Costco with no skin. It’s is cured for at least two hours in a mixture of salt, cumin, smoked paprika and lots of pepper then wrapped loosely in foil. A half cup of water is poured into the package, and it’s roasted for two-and-a-half hours. Mine took closer to three-and-a-half before it was really pull-apart tender.

                                        I was making this to have on hand for sandwich fixings for guests who were going to need to take something with them while they were setting up for a trade show. The report was that they loved the sandwiches and were fighting over the last one. I made more sandwiches for my godson for lunch and he added some of the hot sauce still in the fridge from the roast duck recipe and loved it that way. He had the sandwiches with a side of store-bought kimchi and was a very happy puppy. Although my guests and I were very pleased with result, it isn't going to replace the Bo Ssam in this household.

                                         
                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          Pulled Pork Shoulder in Black BBQ Sauce, page 116.

                                          JoanN is making my work here easier. I'm just following her around and appending her posts.

                                          The long list of ingredients, and the recipes, are here on the Chicago Tribune site:
                                          http://articles.chicagotribune.com/20...

                                          We made the black BBQ sauce a day ahead. I also don't know if there is any advantage to making it in advance. As far ahead as we made it, perhaps the flavors have a chance to mature a bit. We did the recipe as written, but with a mix of chile peppers instead of just jalapeño. Full disclosure, I'm not a barbecue sauce fan, but this one had some interesting elements.

                                          The big detour we took from the recipe was to cook it in a smoker. For a book with smoke in the title, it's surprising there aren't more recipes for the smoker, or even for the grill. Our pork was also a boneless, skinless shoulder. It's a pretty dry cook in the smoker, which surely affects the final product. Ours was really more like a pork roast than pulled pork. It was medium rare, and not falling apart. I liked the rub a quite a bit, but Mr. NS didn't feel it added a lot, or maybe that it didn't penetrate the meat enough in the smoker. He also thought it was too salty, I thought the seasonings were fine.

                                          We made sandwiches with the pork and the (probably too much) sauce, which were fine. I actually liked the leftover pork without the sauce. After serving four for dinner, we had plenty left over. It's gone into the freezer to come out some time for bahn mi.