Archive for muscovado sugar

Long time no see marmalade

Posted in condiments, fruit with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2014 by oskila

My last post was in March. I’ve got a backlog of stuff that I’ve photographed that would take very long time to get up on the blog, but I’m doing new stuff instead, because making it felt exciting. My daughter takes most of my time these days since I’m on paternity leave, but I’m slowly learning to get stuff done in the window between her and my bedtime.

I’ve never made marmalade with oranges or any other citrus but suddenly felt a need to preserve. (I’ve also discretely been pickling cucumbers. A 7 oz. jar of baby food holds one sliced pickling cucumber). I’ve also seldom followed any recipes (except for the sake of consistency) and didn’t want to this time either, so I read a dozen and then made my own up. The important part is really to use equal amounts of fruit and sugar.

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Pot, sieve, tea-strainers, jam funnel, juicer, fruits, potato peeler, scotch, preservatives, knife, preserving sugar, muscovado sugar, granulated sugar. Who knew marmalade was so equipment-intensive…

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Also, jars. Lots of baby food jars for obvious reasons, but anything with a tight lid is good.

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Take the fruit – in this case five oranges, a red grapefruit, four limes and three lemons – and peel the rind off with a potato peeler or contraption of choice. Some recipes says to take care to get as little pith as possible, while others simply peel the fruit and slice the whole peel, rind, pith and everything. I found some sort of middle ground. The pith contains pectin which is desirable for a good wobbly marmalade and also causes bitterness, which is desirable in my book.

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Next, we slice the rind. It’ll take forever but turn out nice. Or you can make like a barbarian and have at it with a food processor.

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Juice extracted and then strained into the pot with the rind. Collect pits and pulp and put in tea strainers.

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Juice, rind, a dash of whisky, a pint of water and a small heap of dark muscovado sugar combined in a pot. Tea strainers full of pulp, pith and pits (the three Ps of marmalade??). Simpler and more economic recipes for citrus marmalade make use of the pulp in the actual marmalade, but I felt like giving the juice and rind only-path a go, if, perhaps, only for the nice translucent effect. Simmer for some time to get the pectin release going.

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Mixture boiled for some time, then carefully skimmed, then mixed with lots of sugar and boiled for some more time. About half my sugar was preserving sugar, which is a mixture also containing pectin, citric acid and a bit of potassium benzoate. Note the difference in cloudiness and stuff. There’s a million recipes for citrus marmalades out there, so I don’t feel a need to explain the finer points to marmalade making or what the marmalade test is.

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After arriving at an agreeable texture, pour the marmalade into cans that until recently were huddling in the oven at 100 degrees (C) to sterilize. Lids were boiled. Take care not to spill marmalade on your or anyone else’s person since it’s like napalm – it sticks to anything and burns for a long time. Dishing the rind out evenly between the jars can be tricky, but I tried.

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Apparently, if the marmalade is poured when scalding and one manages to get the lid on properly, the container will be vacuum-sealed in the morning (central bit of lid won’t ‘click’) which is good because it means longer shelf-life. Also, baking cups make excellent lid covers. Also, I worked for quite some time on a full color label (complete with table of contents) only to discover that the printer was all out of cyan and yellow.

That’s it for today! It’s good to be back and I hope it won’t be six months until the next installment!

Pulled Some More Pork

Posted in american, condiments, leftovers, pork, potato with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by oskila

My brother came over the other day and since he hadn’t had dinner he went to the store for food to cook at our place. He returned with a piece of pork shoulder, shaped like a fillet, and marinated in orange and ginger and also some potatoes and a bottle of ready made red wine sauce. He only cooked and ate half of it, so I had the rest for lunch the next day.

Since both my previous attempts mainly involved an oven and nearly whole days of cooking, I knew I had to change method or have something else for lunch. The choice fell on the cast iron pot that’s been heavily featured recently. I tipped the rest of the red wine sauce in, along with a bit of water, pork stock, sugar and half an onion in slices. Simmered the meat, which wasn’t as large as the big chunks of pork neck I’ve used before, for about two hours

Both this step and the next would have had really nice pictures, if the camera hadn’t messed the files up. (My trusty DSLR does become a bit iffy from time to time.  It’s about 10 years old.)

Next step was to rub the cooked meat with a new batch of dust, basicall same as the old one but with muscovado sugar instead of regular and some Sichuan pepper and English mustard powder added to spice things up a bit. Then half an hour in the oven at 150 C (300 F) to get a bit of bark going.

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Pork pulled and camera working again.

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The remains of the simmering part.

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Meat reheated in a pan with a dollop of homemade barbecue sauce. It had time to go cold due to slightly poor planning with the garnish and all the fiddling with the camera.

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Comparatively quick pulled pork with refried potatoes and some onions and romaine lettuce

More Pulled Pork

Posted in american, beer, condiments, pork, sandwich, sauce with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2013 by oskila

Sometimes us food bloggers get a bit single-minded about something. I’ve done Japanese noodles, cabbage and bacon, to mention a few. Now it’s apparently pulled pork. In my defense I have to say that pulled pork is very modern and I’m only going with the times.

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Last time I simply roasted a pork neck at fairly low temp. This time it’s been allowed to wallow in its dry rub overnight and the cooking method will be a bit more elaborate.  A few years back I was given my parents’ spaghetti pot, because it didn’t work with their new induction stove. The pot comes with its own colander, which I’ve often thought should be usable for large scale steaming. And since the whole pulled pork thing has a bit of a macho air about it we’ll be using beer for steam (More specifically a pale ale from Denmark) Some kind of semi-moist pot roast I guess.

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Aforementioned meat (one of many pork neck chunks residing in the freezer) in colander/steamer thingy. Beer goes in pot, followed by colander. Lid applied and the whole thing goes into the oven. In my oven it’s a rather snug fit, so one could probably use the stove too, but oven temp is so much more exact. 212 F in this case.

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Meat after one hour. It’s showing signs of being cooked, but there’s not a lot of steam going on – more a faint smell of beer going flat.

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Meat after two and a half hours. Applied a sprinkle of rub just in case. The smell of simmering beer is becoming rather tangible.

We decided to go have barbecue dinner with my brother, so I left the beer steaming contraption to its own devices

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‘Flintstone roast’ – marinated slice of ham on the bone – is standard bbq fare for Swedes.

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Meat after seven hours. Opening the oven door revealed a considerable amount of steam and the meat has visibly shrunk and is really starting to lose its structural integrity. Satisfied with the level of tenderness I applied another sprinkle of rub and increased temp to 250 F and left the lid off for an hour to get a bit of a bark.

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Mission accomplished.

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I decided to try this batch of pork in hot dog buns, which works quite well.

It’s also worth mentioning that I took my ‘secret’ sauce from the last post and improved it with a bit more mustard, a darker treacle, plenty of dark muscovado sugar and a dash of liquid smoke.

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