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Kosher Coq au vin Aroma of cooking with(beef) bacon is really hard to adjust to

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AdinaA Dec 20, 2013 06:53 AM

I'm off work today. Cooking Julia Child's coq au vin. 1st course: green salad topped with bacon. Then Coq au vin served with basmati rice, green peas, and mujadara (for the vegan in the bunch) Finishing with bosc pears poached in spiced wine.

I'm posting here to share my solutions. Grow and Behold bacon, they sell chunk bacon that is easily cut for lardons. I'm using rendered chicken fat everywhere Julia used butter.

But I am also compelled to post this because I want to say that filling my home with the aroma of browning bacon lardons is really, truly weird. Does anyone else feel this way? will I get used to it?

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    ahuva Dec 21, 2013 08:06 PM

    I don't mean to sound cooking-challenged, but is grown and behold bacon the same thing as beef fry?

    2 Replies
    1. re: ahuva
      a
      AdinaA Dec 22, 2013 04:21 AM

      Yes, I suppose it is. I know you're not cooking-challenged, though it is possible that I am irrationally optimistic. Thing is, I have been served restaurant lamb bacon that is nothing wonderful, and restaurant lamb bacon that is incredibly wonderful. So I have had this hope that beef bacon might be just a matter of finding the right butcher. As far as I can tell, it's not. I have also tried Jack's Facon Bacon. I am coming to the conclusin that the fat in beef simply doesn't make wonderful bacon.

      1. re: AdinaA
        bagelman01 Dec 22, 2013 05:54 AM

        Adina,
        The beef products don't make great 'bacon.' The fat doesn't have the right consistency and breaks down (Liquifies) too quickly, which is why it was used for years to make French Fries,
        Lamb Bellies make the best kosher bacon. The best commercial ones are out of Baltimore (Hickory & Mulberry smoked lamb belly). Our friend who does the pop up BBQs around NYC says he is bringing 100 of these to the pop up today in Brooklyn.
        If I didn't smoke my own meats, I'd make the trek to get some.

        That said, I also like curing goose thighs for 'bacon' just as 40 years ago we'd get goose pastrami at Bernstein's on Essex. I know that this is not economically viable for those who buy in the conventional manner, but for those us us out of town who can buy the live animal and have the local shochet take care of it...................delicious. I always serve roast goose for Chanukkah and when I placed my order at the local poultry farmer I also got a couple extra birds to section and smoke.

    2. c
      cheesecake17 Dec 20, 2013 08:40 AM

      No experience cooking with bacon/lardons. But I would love to know how the recipe turns out. Also..how's the "bacon"? Planning an order with grow and behold.

      4 Replies
      1. re: cheesecake17
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        AdinaA Dec 20, 2013 08:55 AM

        Delicious. Only caveat, I prefer a higher fat-to-meat ratio which - I believe - can be better produced by lamb bellies. It's that crunch of crisped fat that I'm going for. But the Grow and Behold beef bacon is crunchy and delicious.

        1. re: AdinaA
          c
          cheesecake17 Dec 21, 2013 03:08 PM

          Thanks. I'm going to try it!

          1. re: cheesecake17
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            AdinaA Dec 21, 2013 03:23 PM

            I want ot amend that statement. The Grow and Behold bacon is delicious, but it isn't quite bacon. That is, the strips of cooked bacon have a consistency more like beef jerky, only occassionally obtaining the crunch that "real" bacon has. With they (or someone) would offer a lamb-belly bacon. Gribenes has the crunch, albeit not the smokiness.

            The lardons worked were excellent, I will use the Grow and Behold chunk bacon again in cooked dishes.

            I made an ample amount of coq au vin - but there were NO leftovers. My guests literally spooned the last mushroom out of the dish. It was that good.

            Photo of flaming the brandy in the pan with the chicken.

             
            1. re: AdinaA
              c
              cheesecake17 Dec 23, 2013 07:01 AM

              Looks delicious, and thanks for the clarification.

              Don't you love it when a dish finishes?!

      2. weinstein5 Dec 20, 2013 08:23 AM

        Like bagelman I too grew up eating Beef Fry Lettuce and tomato sandwiches - so you can become used to it -

        1. bagelman01 Dec 20, 2013 07:56 AM

          If you just think of it as browning cured meat, as opposed to the 'B' word, you should break the mental block.

          Growing up in the 50s and 60s mom always used beef frye for BLT sandwiches. I use pastrami, which I also cube and render for lardons.

          Just keep the kitchen exhaust fan on, or in the future when you know you are going to do this, light a highly scented candle to giove an aroma you like.

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