Food thread

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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 03 Jan 2018, 00:37

hey
again on impulse I bought a bulk pack of skirt steak. 540gr. (for me that is BULK) :bgrin

Its cryo-vacced and I need to trim it up soon. I have only used it in slow cooks before, but have heard that it may be quite succulent on a BBQ or grill.

I have two flattish ( :roll ) pieces, roughly the same size, with the grain running lengthways. Some fat to trim, but not much. Any helpful suggestions??

I haven't opened it yet.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Jan 2018, 07:07

Have never cooked with skirt steak myself. I think tho that it is a cut that should be cooked slowly.

Why cut the fat off? Fat is where the flavor is!
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Jan 2018, 10:40

Got word by email that a book I had placed on hold was ready for me to collect. So grabbed the dog and we went for a walk.

The book? Allen Gilbert all about apples

Since the first cider apple trees will be planted a bit later this year it is a good book to read now.
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 03 Jan 2018, 21:39

HBS Guy wrote:Have never cooked with skirt steak myself. I think tho that it is a cut that should be cooked slowly.

Why cut the fat off? Fat is where the flavor is!


Well mainly to remove any sinews. Fat tends to follow . I umm have no real objection to beef fat. I love a finely cooked rump with salted sizzled fat rim.

I even trim eye fillets to improve tenderness. :bgrin
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 03 Jan 2018, 22:02

Love ribeye steaks or rib eye roast, hmmmm!

Nice having someone else so into food!
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Re: Food thread

Postby johnsmith » 03 Jan 2018, 22:16

pinkeye wrote:I even trim eye fillets to improve tenderness


you want it tender, age it. Put it in a container under olive oil for a few weeks, instead of the freezer.
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 03 Jan 2018, 22:47

johnsmith wrote:
pinkeye wrote:I even trim eye fillets to improve tenderness


you want it tender, age it. Put it in a container under olive oil for a few weeks, instead of the freezer.


No decent Eye Fillet needs such treatment.
I don't eat it straight from the butchers.
I usually age it out of the plastic, then lightly oil dust with freshly crushed salt and pepper and allow to come to room temp. Finally I squeeze a little lemon juice on it. When ready, cook in hot pan for 2 mins, turn and reduce heat, allow steak to finish cooking for 2 mins and turn off heat. Time depends on thickness of the cut.

I like steak rare to medium rare. Yummy. Works especially well with a nice cut of rump too. I never buy rib, or scotch fillet as we call it. Paying for fat and usually sinewy, unless cooked perfectly. Not to say I dont like it, I just prefer other cuts.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 14 Jan 2018, 08:23

Hmmmm got a yen for brewing an IPA again.

IPA—India Pale Ale. It was shipped all over the world but it was India that started it.

There was an opportunity: East India Company ships heading to India from England sailed there empty so freight charges very very low. Indian Civil Servants and British soldiers would love a beer! This was early 1800s.

Slight problem: sailing to India took time, months, to get to India and most beer would spoil—these were pre–Pasteur days! It was known that hops retarded spoilage of beer, it is why hopped beer won out over gruit ale in the sixteenth century despite the bitter opposition of the church. So India Pale Ale had to have a lot of hops!

Also, IPA was pale! The conversion of coal to coke to give towngas left coke as a fuel free of sap etc—a clean, neutral, smoke free fuel that allowed pale malt to be kilned. The century before wood or straw was used to kiln malt: inevitably brown malt with a smoky flavor was the result. The 18th century drink was porter.

So IPA was brewed from pale malt (I will use Golden Promise (really meant for whiskey making) or Maris Otter, the pale malt for craft brewers. IPA was brewed with a lot of hops as I said. It was also fermented out to be pretty dry—don’t want to leave sugars for bacteria to chew on. The barrels had to be filled completely full: if there was an air bubble in the barrel then any CO2 generated would accumulate in the bubble and the pressure would burst the barrel!

So, seven kilograms of high quality pale malt, will give an ale of about 7%—high alcohol was another factor acting to preserve the IPA. With all that—lots of barrels that arrived in Goa were emptied into the harbor—off!

The original hops used to make IPA are no longer available—Long Square Garlick and the like have long been supplanted by East kent Goldings and Fuggles. I will use 330g of Goldings flower—the cones, grown in Australia.

I will mash at a low temp, 66°C, and pitch an attenuative yeast, get the ale quite dry. After the primary ferment I will rack it to a cube, a 20L food grade plastic cubical container and pitch a packet of Nottingham ale yeast. This is very attenuative and drops out nicely leaving clear beer. Will clean up any sugars left without changing the flavors the main yeast put into the ale. (Beer doesn’t taste like wort just as wine doesn’t taste like grapes, yeast is what makes the difference.)

Then the ale will be racked to a 20L postmix keg and matured for 6 months. Probably add 30g Goldings or Fuggles flowers, get some lovely hop aroma. Then rack to another keg or to a bottling bucket to bottle (no priming sugar added, will still be some sugar for the yeast to chew on slowly.)

IPAs taste very bitter, unbearably bitter when fresh but with time the isoalpha acids from the hops change to flavonoids, flavor compounds. When this has proceeded far enough to the right bitter-flavor balance you have the perfect IPA.

There has been a craft brewing revival of IPA but it is very hard to find a real IPA—none have the flavonoids. Nice ales with nice hop aroma etc just not an IPA.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 14 Jan 2018, 09:31

After the IPA I might brew a mild.

Mild ale—mildly hopped. More about the malt than the hops.

Reckon again Maris Otter malt but add some Viena Malt I think—Vienna malt is kilned at a slightly higher temperature so finishes with a hint of color and enhanced maltiness in the finished beer. Light amber sort of color, putting a bit of depth of color in the ale. Probably add 50g of Goldings, no late addition. Or I might toast say 3kg of the malt in my oven. Beautiful smell of baking biscuits, wonderful maltiness in the ale, hmmm yeah, toasted Light Amber malt. It is the maltiness I am after much more than the color.

Mashing needs to be on the high side, 70°C I think—create body by making plenty of dextrines.

Maybe half a kilo flaked barley, add a bit of grainyness and a nice head to the beer.

Ferment with a low attenuative yeast, keep some sugars in the ale. Rack to a cube, ket stand a couple of weeks, keg or bottle. Hmmm keg or bottle, feel another post coming on. Not leaving this to rest for too long, drink it fresh.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 14 Jan 2018, 09:39

To keg—or to bottle, that is the question.

No doubt about it, kegging is easier by far! One keg to clean and sanitise, fill, fit lid, put the CO2 on, ready to drink in 3 days!

Great—so why bottle? Well, wouldn’t bottle if it was for a big party. If it is just one of several kegs for home consumption then kegs have one big disadvantage: a keg half full, 1/3 full has a lot of empty space, CO2 over the remaining beer. A lot of space for malt and hop volatiles to errrr volatile too. There is no doubt that a keg half to 1/3 full has less character (remember taste is 65% aroma) that when the keg was first tapped. This is the big drawback with kegs. (A keg of megaswill has no malt or hop character so doesn’t suffer from this!)

Bottling. Bit of a pain in the butt. 30 bottles—or 60 stubbies—and a bottling bucket to clean and sanitise, priming sugar to mix with the beer then fill and cap all the damn bottles. But for beers, big beers or spiced beers or spiced big beers, beers that need maturation and that are sipping beers—nothing beats bottling.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 14 Jan 2018, 10:03

Spiced beers are lovely. Malt and hop and spice, what isn’t to like? Good malt, good hops but no need to be too fussy.

To “fix” the spice flavor you need to add spices when there are 15 minutes left in the boil and again when turning the heat off.

Almost any kind of spice can be used bar two: cinnamon or cassia—the flavor overpowers all the other spices. Ginger puts a very coarse flavor in a beer, can be used but you have to really know the spice.

Cloves are lovely as is cardamom, nutmeg (bit of a nut) and mace. I will happily add star anise stars to the beer (can be ale or lager) and pepper corns can be added. Raid your spice rack!

I have seen a garlic beer—sort of oily, definite garlic taste, take out the weird beer section of a state–wide brewing competition. Not a spice tho.

Cilantro, nettles, marijuana make—toothpaste beer! Any sort of green leafy herb—toothpaste beer. You may like it :bgrin

Spiced beers need to be aged to let the spice flavors mellow and mingle. In the shop I only made up the Christmass Ale pack in March. It was a partmash pack, 3Kg of grain plus some dark grains and caramalts, 3.6kg of grain with one 1.5Kg can of Coopers light liquid malt extract topped up to 18L (I did suggest 15L on the pack label for a stronger beer but dunno if anybody did that.) Hops were some nice American hops to give a citrusy flavor: the ale was a liquid version of a Christmass Pud, strong, dark, fruity and powerful.

I did relent and made a smaller pack to make a smaller beer more lightly spiced to be brewed in early spring—less time for the alcohol heat and spice harshness to mellow so less of each you see.

I did not make a pack with just extract—extract–only beers need to be drunk pretty fresh else a nasty taste developed as the extract aged.
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 17 Jan 2018, 01:48

well re the skirt steak... I tried marinating then frying.
It was tasty, BUT tough. No good for me with my dodgy teeth, so I have frozen the balance and imagine once I've done the Beef Cheek, next cab off the rank will be a brown stew. Very trad.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Jan 2018, 06:31

It is for stewing or curry.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Jan 2018, 19:04

Well well well

While apples only contain malic acid pears contain citric acid as well. Interesting!
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 17 Jan 2018, 20:44

HBS Guy wrote:It is for stewing or curry.


speaking about which, I have taken the frozen goat curry and with a bit of a twist, am having it for dinner tonight.

I was bored early this am and decided to proceed. I had already taken out the goat from the freezer earlier.

Am having it with plain white rice, and a dash of lemon juice and some fresh mint to finish. Am just at the mo waiting for the rice. It can sit and steam away. Still haven't put on the curry. That is the beauty of it. It's in a pyrex dish, so I'll shortly heat up the oven and heat the curry.

I realise I am in temporal fugue not to worry you get the idea.
So ,to continue, .. wee hrs I 'm smelling this cooking. Yum.

It was so rich I took 3 tomatoes, a small stick of celery, and diced them, half a small brown shallot salt and pepper, and created a tomato base for the remaining curry. I allowed it to really stew down on low heat.
I added the curry to the tomato mix and raised to a simmer. Added about 500 ml of water which I had used to clean out the pans, ie stock. Nothing else needed adding, and it smelled divine simmering away.

I couldn't resist. After about half an hour I judged it done. Got a small bowl and proceeded to sup up at least three small bowls of gorgeous rich broth. Oh yummy. 3 am ..content and stuffed.
Sleep.

So now.. rice is done.
Oven on to heat.

:bgrin :bgrin :bgrin
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Jan 2018, 21:57

Nice to see someone love their food. I would try the aging under olive oil tho.

Boring dinner here today: had mince so made meatballs and sliced some tomatoes, dressed with s&p and some vinegar. Nice thing—some cold meatballs for lunch tomorrow. Too bloody hot to be creative.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Jan 2018, 22:03

Been busy working out eating, cooking and cider dwarf apple varieties and dwarf perry pears too, and the planting pattern tho that will take more work {sigh} Still, getting there.
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 17 Jan 2018, 22:35

HBS Guy wrote:Been busy working out eating, cooking and cider dwarf apple varieties and dwarf perry pears too, and the planting pattern tho that will take more work {sigh} Still, getting there.


Yeah I know its been hot down there. Even here we have about 9' above ave.

Sounds like by the time you get there you will have thought of everything. :bgrin
Just be prepared , 'cos you'll find out you aren't. :bgrin

As for Tas.? They've had some hotter than ave days too.
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 17 Jan 2018, 22:39

Umm .. so content I forgot to mention dinner. It was just delish. :giggle :clap

Bed of plain rice, smothered with goat curry, topped with lashings of lemon juice and freshly picked mint and Perennial coriander.

I ate it all, except for enough for the dog to lick out the remainder. Couldn't eat another mouthful.
Has gone down really well, evidence my posting here. :bgrin
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 17 Jan 2018, 22:41

umm now I think I'll mellow. :bgrin
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 17 Jan 2018, 22:50

You pigged out and now will just sit there and bloat :bgrin

Yes, even Tassie has some hotter than normal days—the globe is warming up.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 18 Jan 2018, 17:21

ahahahaha Lefty!

You said there is nothing pigs will eat, well, there is one thing they don’t: perry pears! Perry pears are used to make perry, the pear equivalent of apple cider! So tough, so astringent nothing will eat it! I read of a squirrel observed eating a perry pear: all the skin and flesh were spat out and the squirrel only ate the seeds! THAT is the definition of inedible! Yet perry is a far finer drink than cider!

So I am glad I listened to a brewbuddy and made space for a good number of perry pears.

My main supplier of trees and vines only has three perry pear varieties but there is another variety (Green Horse) available somewhere in Tassie and by crikey I intend to get 2 or 3.

Gin—makes medium sharp, vintage quality perry
Yellow Huffcap—prized for excellent, fullbodied perry
Moorcroft—moderate acid, doesn’t seem that prized. 1 or 2 for pollination maybe
Beurre Bosc is counted as a perry pear, dunno why, info on perry is a bit scarce. Helps pollinate. Nice to eat too.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 20 Jan 2018, 19:06

Yet more research. . .Moorcroft starts rotting (from the inside, like all pears) shortly after ripening, no good if you only have a dwarf tree or two, making teacup sized batches of perry daily.

The other two varieties can be stored for some weeks, so can ripen fully, process the whole harvest in one go.
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Re: Food thread

Postby HBS Guy » 20 Jan 2018, 19:08

Nice bit of kingfish for entree. You mean I had to cook it?

Lovely sashimi with seaweed salad, soy and wassabi.
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Re: Food thread

Postby pinkeye » 21 Jan 2018, 01:21

HBS Guy wrote:Nice bit of kingfish for entree. You mean I had to cook it?

Lovely sashimi with seaweed salad, soy and wassabi.


Ever had Samphire? I admit to being fascinated but have never had any.
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