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Butt And Belly Fun


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Bought some Pork Belly and Ox Tail last night for some wintry comfort food this weekend.

Any suggested recipes floating around in Rockwell land (i'd love to here from Cathal !)?

Cookbook suggestions will work too.

"All About Braising" by Molly Stevens has recipes for both.
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Best. Subject Line. Ever.

Never done Oxtail, but I would also love to hear about the braising options. I actually braised a pork butt over the weekend -- stuffed garlic and rosemary into a few spots on the butt, seared it, then added in a bottle of Stout and a little apple cider, half a (small) can of chipotle en adobe and slow-cooked the thing for four or five hours. Removed the butt, poured off the top layer of oil, and took the tangy, spicy and just slightly sweet glaze at the bottom and poured it over the shredded butt. Worked like a charm.

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Try this thread for belly.

Mrs. B knows quite a bit about pork belly, as well, and may reveal wisdom if asked politely or bribed with gin.

For butts, we marinate a la Kellers short ribs, using Alsatian wine in the marinade, with leeks, carrots, onions, bay and whatever. A day or two later, we brown the fucker -- a pain -- and then throw it in a big put with the marinade; pork stock, apple cider, and Calvados. Cook low for four or six or eight hours, place on a cold back porch (fridge can get soooo crowded) under a lid heavy enough to keep the squirrels out, overnight or until the fat congeals and you can remove it. Strain the braising liquid and cook it down to whatever viscosity you fine rewarding, adding cider (to the sauce) and Clavados (to the cook) as desired.

Warm gently and serve to happy neighbors.

Two days later, make up some cole slaw and some barbecue sauce and serve the leftovers as a pulled pork sandwich, telling the curious that you were inspired to combine Calvados and French braising with 'cue and slaw by eating at the well-know Richmond restaurant, "The Frog and The Redneck" ("La Grenouille et Le Pluque")

Edited by Waitman
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This sounds GREAT. What'd you serve it with?

I actually braised a pork butt over the weekend -- stuffed garlic and rosemary into a few spots on the butt, seared it, then added in a bottle of Stout and a little apple cider, half a (small) can of chipotle en adobe and slow-cooked the thing for four or five hours.  Removed the butt, poured off the top layer of oil, and took the tangy, spicy and just slightly sweet glaze at the bottom and poured it over the shredded butt.  Worked like a charm.

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This sounds GREAT.  What'd you serve it with?

Nada. I put it in the oven too late for it to be on the dinner table, instead I just gobbled down a bunch before letting it cool and refrigerating it for sandwiches this week.

Edited to answer Heather's question: I think the butt was around five or six pounds, but I really don't remember -- picked it up at Harris Teeter. To be perfectly honest, this was my first time making butt and I am sure I did so in an unorthodox manner, but it worked for me. I seared the butt on the stovetop in the saucier, then added the liquids, covered and put it in the oven. It was my first weekend with my new pot and I went a little braise-crazy (Friday was braised beef).

Where can one get pork belly around here?

Edited by Capital Icebox
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I know that pork and apples are the natural combination but what else could I use besides apple cider or calvados?  I'm not a huge apple or sweet and savory fan.  Beer maybe? 

Mrs. B-I'm asking nicely and would bring you gin if I had any.  Wisdom please....

Beer, onions, and a nice spicy mustard would work really nicely. You could also add a nice head of cabbage (pork and kraut route).

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I know that pork and apples are the natural combination but what else could I use besides apple cider or calvados?  I'm not a huge apple or sweet and savory fan.  Beer maybe? 

Mrs. B-I'm asking nicely and would bring you gin if I had any.  Wisdom please....

I like to prepare the belly braised in the style that Mario Battali uses cited above for Oxtail alla Vaccinara. I think the fattiness of the meat has an affinity for the cinnamon but this stays away from the sweet savory aspect you don't care for. I also have had great success pairing this belly with lentils. We have a couple beautiful hunks obtained from the Wall O' Fish and I am trying to work on Waitman to allow me to prepare them based on this recipe http://www.iheartbacon.com/recipes/recipe.php?recID=146 This contains no apples but it still ends up with the sweet savory due to to sugar would that still be a problem?

May I have my gin now?

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I like to prepare the belly braised in the style that Mario Battali uses cited above for Oxtail alla Vaccinara.  I think the fattiness of the meat has an affinity for the cinnamon but this stays away from the sweet savory aspect you don't care for.  I also have had great success pairing this belly with lentils.  We have a couple beautiful hunks obtained from the Wall O' Fish and I am trying to work on Waitman to allow me to prepare them based on this recipe http://www.iheartbacon.com/recipes/recipe.php?recID=146  This contains no apples but it still ends up with the sweet savory due to to sugar would that still be a problem?

May I have my gin now?

Thanks for this recipe, I'm always on the hunt for new and interesting ways to braise pork. However, I'm confused. What is the purpose of simmering the meat in a flavored liquid and THEN steaming it over water? What's this supposed to achieve? (I'm sending you some gin telepathically :lol: )
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For pork butt, I usually stew it with five-spice to be served with steamed jasmine rice, poached Chinese broccoli and chili and garlic vinegar. Pictures below:

kamoo.jpg

If anybody is interested, pm me (just in case I forgot to check this thread) and I'll translate the recipe :)

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What grocery stores in DC have pork butt?  Like a whole 5-6 pound one.  The Safeway near me (Columbia Rd) only has shoulder (and only occasionally at that).

If you hurry you may be in luck. I bought a 4-pound shoulder there last night for $1.29 a pound, really great marbling. Sale ends today.

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This was gone over somewhere else on here.  You're right, butt is shoulder, but it's the lower, fattier shoulder.  The upper shoulder is picnic shoulder or just plain shoulder.  (I think I've got this right, finally)

Check my corrected link above. The butt is the top part of the shoulder and the picnic is the bottom hear the leg.

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So I just got my hands on a couple oxtails. I'm thinking consomme. Anybody have a good recipe?

this looks good but calls for veal stock. I could buy veal stock, but I'd love to make a version that didn't require adding stock, and rather relies mostly on the oxtail (and the protein raft) for flavor. Is this a bad idea? Should I just buy some veal stock? Or turn this into an all-out project and make my own before making the consomme?

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this looks good but calls for veal stock. I could buy veal stock, but I'd love to make a version that didn't require adding stock, and rather relies mostly on the oxtail (and the protein raft) for flavor. Is this a bad idea? Should I just buy some veal stock? Or turn this into an all-out project and make my own before making the consomme?

I ended up doing an approximation, and it turned out ok. I started the stock with normal beef bones (which take longer to cook) and augmented with the oxtails after 2 hours of simmering. Strained, chilled, removed the fat layer (a solid fat layer!) to reveal delightfully jiggly (gelatin!) stock underneath. This was a first for me: both of my attempts at chicken stock have yielded liquids without solid fat layers on top.

With the cooled jiggly stock, I then tried the protein raft thing: used 1/2lb ground beef, 4 egg whites, and some chopped onion and celery. I blended that in the food processor, then stirred it into the cool stock and put it on low heat. Even after it got to a simmer and stayed that way for a good 20 minutes, it never really solidified into the expected solid raft of protein. I ended up just straining it through some cheesecloth and a sieve. It wasn't as clear as I'd hoped, but it still tasted real good.

The meal I ended up cooking was the following:

Canapé of reserved oxtail meat, guanciale

Oxtail Consommé and dumplings

Braised pork shoulder, shaved brussels sprouts, Consommé jelly

For the canapés, I made a roux-based sauce with some of the consommé, mixed that with the reserved oxtail, blended the combination with some homemade mustard. The layers went 1) bread 2) oxtail meat paste and 3) guanciale. The flavor was great, but could've used some more mustard, or maybe something else to balance out...these were very rich. Could've used some color too (shades of brown were running amok)

The consomme didn't start clear, and cooking dumplings in it didn't help. Also, I pulled the dumplings from a chicken/dumplings recipe and they weren't very good. This dish was not great. Would probably try filled dumplings next time, and maybe cooking the dumplings outside the stock, and dropping them in at the last second to keep the consommé from clouding. Still, the consommé itself was pretty tasty.

The pork shoulder was rubbed with leftover pastrami rub 24 hours in advance, then cooked in some citrus juice (1 orange, 1 grapefruit, 1 lemon) and some water. Brussels sprouts were blanched, then run through a mandolin, and pan-fried in butter. The consommé jelly was a whim: I just added one gelatin packet to some of the consommé, let it chill in the fridge for a few hours before dinner, and cut it into little cubes for plate garnish. It looked awesome but didn't taste very good: I hadn't added salt to the consommé yet, and in general I think it needed some other/more flavor to make it appetizing. The rest of the plate was a hit.

A couple pictures:

canapés:

p008.jpg

shoulder, brussels, jelly:

p010.jpg

Wow, this post was way longer than I anticipated it being. Thanks for listening :mellow:

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I like the consomme jelly concept and am wondering if any of my 1950s-60s cookbooks might have tips on seasoning that to make it more than just a garnish.

Plenty of aromatics--veg and herbs, wine, salt, a little acid for balance. Reduce enough to concentrate the flavors. Strain through muslin towel. Then add the gelatin.

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Plenty of aromatics--veg and herbs, wine, salt, a little acid for balance. Reduce enough to concentrate the flavors. Strain through muslin towel. Then add the gelatin.
Thank you. I'm intrigued by this concept.
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With the cooled jiggly stock, I then tried the protein raft thing: used 1/2lb ground beef, 4 egg whites, and some chopped onion and celery. I blended that in the food processor, then stirred it into the cool stock and put it on low heat. Even after it got to a simmer and stayed that way for a good 20 minutes, it never really solidified into the expected solid raft of protein. I ended up just straining it through some cheesecloth and a sieve. It wasn't as clear as I'd hoped, but it still tasted real good.
How much stuff you use in the consomme clarification is a function of the volume of the stock you want to clarify. For a gallon, you want a pound of mirepoix, three pounds meat, TEN egg whites, and acid (tomato or whatever). I don't know how much you made, but four egg whites sounds pretty light. The whites probably coagulated, but there just weren't enough of them to capture everything else. The acid really helps, too. The meat is mostly for flavor (which is also why you tend to simmer for an hour. The protein in the raft coagulates and rises 30 degrees before the stock reaches a simmer), since you're filtering out most of the flavorful bits in the soup. It's also possible that the pot you used was too wide. I love consomme, it's so technical!

Fun Fact: For garnish-strength gelatin/aspic, use 0.5 oz by weight of powdered gelatin (or 3.5 sheets!) per pint of liquid to gel.

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