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Everything posted by Alekto

  1. I work as a butcher and we dry age beef on site up to 45 days. Our DA cabinet is set to 0 C with a target humidity of ~80%. If the humidity gets too high you end up with excessive mould growth. Also, if you are aging at home, remember to check your meat thoroughly before starting to age it for any splits or punctures as mould/bacteria will be able to gain access to the centre of the meat. External mould can be fairly easily trimmed away. Excising an area of mould from within a joint *can* be done but generally damages the presentation.
  2. A friend gave me a huge bag of quinces from her garden a few days back, so I decided to have a go at making Quince Jelly which I've often enjoyed as part of a cheese platter but never attempted myself. Once it's cooled and set (assuming it does!), I'm looking forward to seeing how it's turned out.
  3. The only other thing I would suggest - previous posters have covered pretty much everything else! - is to make sure you've got a decent knife or two that are comfortable to use. You'll get a lot of mileage out of them in the kitchen but you'll probably also get as much use from them in prepping meat etc for the kamado.
  4. I've worked as a butcher for nearly 15 years and the boning knives we use at work cost ~£10 each (about ~$13 I guess) from a catering supplier. They're not any particularly high grade steel, but they take a good edge easily (though need to be honed and re-sharpened on a regular basis). As other people have already said it's important to keep the knife sharp. We have to replace them every six months or so as the blade profile wears down. They also have to be sturdy enough to go through a commercial dishwasher (it's the easiest way to meet food hygiene requirements, though not something I'd ever do with one of my own knives at home.) The handle is as important as the blade. You need to make sure it's comfortable in your grip. One of the things I look for in a boning knife is decently grippy handle with a substantial bolster to stop your hand accidentally sliding down on the blade. (When you're working on a joint for any length of time out of refrigeration, contact with the fat can make your grip greasy and slick.)
  5. I grow jalapenos in my greenhouse (along with other chilli varieties) - the summer in the UK has been known to be un-cooperative with regards to growing chillies outdoors! As jalapenos tend to be quite thick skinned I cut them in half before putting them in my dehydrator. Once they're dried I'll periodically blitz them into powder for a rub which has been my default routine for several years. On a couple of occasions last year I tried to smoke them on my kamado to get chipotles but each time ended up with dried chillies where any heat or fragrance has been entirely overwhelmed by smoke, so as this year's chilli crop start to ripen I'd be very glad to hear from other people what's worked for them.
  6. Last summer I had a major (and waaay overdue) kitchen clear-out. I found a 4lb joint of Aberdeen Angus Fore-rib at the bottom of the chest freezer with a sales ticket dated 2012! Defrosted it and checked it over thoroughly before deciding to cook it - It was still good.
  7. Got my first shot of AZ about 3 weeks back - before the current panic about blood clots. I felt pretty miserable for 48 hrs with pseudo-flu but that was all. A lot of the people I know who have had AZ seem to have had a similar experience.
  8. There's a vendor on eBay in the UK who fabricates steel deflectors and griddles - might be worth a look. I got a split griddle/plancha from him for a KJ jr. littlearthur0 on eBay
  9. It depends a bit on how big the squid is, but I'd recommend a very fast high temperature cook. Overcooking makes squid rubbery. The most straightforward way would be to clean the squid (or ask the fishmonger to do it for you), separate the tentacles and open up the hood. With small squid I'd cut the hood into half, with bigger squid go for large, bite-size portions. (If you want you can score the inside of the hood in a criss-cross pattern with large squid - makes it prettier and helps it hold a marinade/sauce better) I like to toss the squid portions in oil with crushed garlic and finely diced chillies, then cook at high temperature for just a minute or two on a griddle top or in a basket. Fresh squid will curl up as it cooks. Dress with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'm not going to stop cooking a brisket joint just because we're in lockdown, so having a variety of ways for us to enjoy it afterwards is really useful,
  11. I ended up taking the leftovers into work for my colleagues to try - the tray was emptied in less than 30 minutes!
  12. Happy New Year everyone! My first outdoors cook of the year as my day off has finally managed to be bright and dry - and brisket has just gone onto a 25% off promotion at work! London's in lockdown so even though I grabbed the smallest brisket in the delivery, I'm still going to have a *lot* of leftovers as there's just the two of us. As you can imagine, I'm looking for inspiration as to what I can do with those leftovers beyond the ubiquitous sandwiches and chili...
  13. Try mashing the black garlic then stirring it into mayo or creme fraiche - makes a great dip or condiment to accompany steak, burgers, baked potato etc.
  14. I've done a 2lb-3lb joint of Cornercut Topside (which I think is the UK version of that cut) a few times on the kamado and it's worked out really well. I got the kamado stabilised as low as I could (about 175F) and cooked the meat really slowly until the core temperature reached 125-130F. After that I took it off, opened the vents to bring up the temperature, and put the joint back on for just a few minutes - enough to get some good colour on it - then let it rest for about 45 mins before carving.
  15. We sell both Short Ribs and Back Ribs - the Short Ribs are nearly twice the price, but are much meatier so those are the ones I always recommend when people ask for beef ribs for BBQ. The Back Ribs can be BBQ'd but when we do the butchery, we're aiming to take them off cleanly so there's seldom much meat left on them. They're great as a component in beef stock - I typically use a mixture of back ribs, ox tail and lean trim when I'm making stock.
  16. The fermented red beancurd is available either as chunks or as a sauce - I use the sauce as it's easier! (But the chunks have a stronger flavour.)
  17. For Chinese BBQ I tend to use honey powder (I get mine from a Korean grocery) rather than liquid honey as I have found it more convenient for marinades as it seems to adhere to the meat better (but YMMV). Also a lot of traditional Chinese BBQ tends to use Maltose as the sweetener in the marinade, so if you can get hold of that, the taste tends to get closer to what you'd buy from a Chinese BBQ shop. Another unusual ingredient that's usually difficult to find outside of a specialist Asian grocer is fermented red beancurd. Used in limited quantities it adds an umami funk to BBQ as well as combining with soy sauce in helping develop a mahogany red colour - a long way from the vivid red you get from food colouring!
  18. It did taste pretty good! The sweetness from the Hoi Sin, Sugar and Honey was offset by the funkiness of the Fermented Beancurd. I did add a single chunk of oak for a bit of background smokiness. I primarily cooked it to cut and freeze in about 2oz portions - it's a good standby to have available to add to fried rice or noodles.
  19. The debut cook for my KJ jr. 2'' thick slices of trimmed pork shoulder marinated for 36 hours in a mixture of Shao Xing, Dark Soy, Sugar, Honey Powder, Hoi Sin, Garlic, Five Spice and Fermented Red Beancurd, then cooked low and slow over a water bath for about 4 hours until it reached 170F.
  20. Zdrastvootye from London! I use a Monolith kamado and have found it very efficient, so hopefully it will cope with your cold winters. Haven't had the chance yet to visit any of the 'stans, but I've travelled a lot around the Middle-east and Northern India where very simple grills produce some amazing street food.
  21. Unfortunately my parasol has become somewhat saggy since my cats have decided that it makes a great summer sun hammock. Rain + Sagging Parasol + Wind = Overhead water reservoirs that overspill, usually on me!
  22. I was in a similar quandary to the OP - since March every time I've had people over to visit I've been cooking in the back garden and have usually ended up cooking low and slow: pork shoulder, ribs, the occasional brisket. To give me a bit more flexibility I decided it would be a good idea to get a second grill to complement my main grill (Monolith Pro) and ended up getting a KJ jr (which was delivered yesterday!) I would have loved to start using it today, but being Britain in the autumn we are expecting several days of heavy rain so it looks like I'm going to have to wait for the weekend...
  23. Hi @CurlyTron3000, I work in Balham, south London - if you're in the area, drop in! Now I'm part-time I'm working for Waitrose so am limited to ordering in what shows up as available through our suppliers. OTOH we are one of the few Waitrose branches who do the full range of Dry Aged beef - up to 48 days - which we break down on site.
  24. I had the chance earlier this year to buy an ex-display Everdure 4K through work for £650 (UK RRP is £1799) - great condition apart from the usual scuffs from being a display model - but decided against it and bought a new Monolith Pro instead. For me the tech in the 4K seemed superfluous, especially if you already have thermometers etc, and I felt the lid was heavy to lift compared with other kamados.
  25. I've had a look through it, thanks. Reading through it was one of the things that firmed up my decision to buy a kamado! And I confess that I have at times taken shameless advantage of my job by looking at the primals that have been delivered and letting what looks best out of the delivery guide what I'm going to cook!
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