Archive for slow-cooking

Moose Peposo

Posted in cabbage, discount, italian, moose, stew with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2015 by oskila

For some reason our local shop has started offering comparatively cheap game meat relatively regularly. This time they sold stewing bits of moose cheaper than beef.

Foodstuffs I don’t normally buy, like game, come with enough sense of occasion to also provoke a blog post, which is why this is the third installment of game meat in a short amount of time. Also, game is a bit more friendly to the environment (if not to the individual moose) than domesticated and factory-farmed meats.

I’ve had my eyes on the classic Tuscan dish Peposo for a few years now, but never actually cooked it. Legend has it the dish was invented by furnace workers who made terra-cotta tiles for the Florence cathedral. Cheap beef cooked in local Chianti wine in terra-cotta pots for hours on end. In other words, high foodie fashion some 500 years later.

It’s always fun when there’s a schism regarding original recipes. Modern recipes contain lots of tomatoes, but the dish would have originated in pre-columbian times, when tomatoes were only found in South America. I decided for something in between – adding a small spoon of tomato paste for deeper umami flavor.

Personally I also wonder about the amount of pepper. As far as I know pepper was very very expensive during the renaissance. Would labourers (albeit skilled) really be able to afford that amount of pepper just for an everyday stew with cheap cuts of beef? Will have to look into that…

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The ingredient list is very short: Meat, Chianti, black pepper, garlic (and tomato paste). Peposo isn’t a subtle dish. For a pound of moose I used half a head of garlic, a pint of wine and ten grams of pepper (substituting half the amount for long pepper which has more spicy notes that go well with game). In an embarrassing fit of illiteracy I ground the pepper up instead of using it whole like the recipe I used for reference said. The result was quite hot, but still enjoyable.

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Top-left image: Everything combined in cast iron pot and brought to a boil while the oven heats to 150° C. Top-right: Pot after an hour in the oven. Bottom-left: the two hour mark. Bottom-right: Decided to declare dinner after three and a half hours.

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According to the interwebs common side dishes for peposo are sautéed spinach and beans. I decided on a slightly more Swedish option and creamed some savoy cabbage. Grilled bread is also an important part of the peposo experience.

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Moose peposo smeared on bread, with creamed savoy cabbage and what was left of the wine.

Final thoughts on this moose peposo: The meat was very lean. A fattier cut would probably have done favours for the flavours. To accompany the moose I went for a quite robust type of Chianti. A lighter wine would probably have been better. Even though there seems to be quite a lot of garlic in this dish, it disappeared completely. (might not have done so if the pepper wasn’t ground)

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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.

Midnight Pork

Posted in american, condiments, discount, pork, roast, sandwich, sauce with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2013 by oskila

With pulled pork being all the rage over here (probably because of American cooking shows) and me having recently eaten some in NY and also the pork necks at the neighborhood grocery being ridiculously cheap this little project more or less came together on its own.

I’m sure there are many established ways to cook pork for pulling, but I prefer to not look things up unless absolutely necessary. My cooking method of choice is the ordinary oven, set to 100 degrees C (212 F) with a dish of water sitting at the bottom to provide some steam.

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A two pound piece of pork neck, cut in half to reduce cooking time, brined and then covered in a dry rub consisting of mostly equal parts salt and sugar, half-parts smoked paprika and garlic powder and quarter-parts black pepper, onion powder, rosemary and ginger.

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With the pork in the oven it’s time to improvise some sauce. In NY I encountered two types of barbecue sauce; The sweet, gooey sort and the thinner vinegary sort. I liked both and went somewhere in between. The piece de resistance of my concoction, though, is the Danish æblegløgg. (Gløgg (or glögg in Swedish) is the Scandinavian type of mulled wine, in this case non-alcoholic and made from unfiltered apple juice, lemon, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves). For those bad at reading Swedish or guessing what stuff is, the other ingredients are ketchup, honey, smoked paprika, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, mango vinegar and treacle.

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Boiling the sauce down to a more syrupy texture.

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A sauce that sticks to the inside of a dispenser bottle is pretty sticky indeed…

The reason for the post title being ‘Midnight Pork’ is that that’s about the time when it was done, since I put it in the oven at around 7 PM. I raised the temp to 150 C (300 F) for the last 20 minutes to get a more defined crust.

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Let the pulling begin!

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Since I hadn’t planned on going out in search of suitable buns around midnight (and we just don’t get those namby-pamby…I mean delicate… buns they have in the US anyway) I put my pulled pork on toast and was very very happy.

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