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Thread: Y'all want me to...

  1. #71
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Well, to be fair, they are magically delicious.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  2. #72
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    It occurs to me that I neglected to post about the other...and more interesting...meat-aging project I have going in the fridge. A month ago I had a hankering to make some Irish Stew in the pressure cooker. So I wandered into the Costco by my office to see if they had any lamb shanks. They were fresh out, so I had to make do with a boneless lamb leg instead (which turned out excellent anyway). But on the way out of the meat section I spotted some whole vac-packed USDA Prime ribeye subprimals going for a very reasonable $10.69/lb. I've long been wanting to try my hand at doing my own dry-aged steaks at home, which is best done using a whole subprimal rather than individual steaks so as to significantly reduce waste. The process produces a hard "rind" on the surface that is generally trimmed off, and a whole subprimal exposes a lot less surface area than one that's been cut into individual steaks...so less waste. This seemed like an ideal opportunity to give dry aging a whirl, so I grabbed one of the smaller packages and headed for the check-out lines:

    (Full sized: https://i.imgur.com/SxtWPcp.jpg)

    Yeah, that's a lot of money for a hunk of cow. But I can freeze the steaks once the meat is done aging and eat them over the course of the next 1-2 years (though I doubt they'll last anywhere close to that long). And individually-cut Prime ribeyes...when you can find them...generally go for anywhere from $18-$24/lb around here, so this really isn't a bad expenditure at all. Of course my per-lb cost will go up significantly once the weight reductions due to moisture loss and trimming are taken into account. Everything I read leads me to expect a final total weight loss in the neighborhood of 30%-33%. So the worst case is that I'll end up with about 11.5 lbs of finished product, for a per-lb cost of just over $16/lb. That sounds high at first, but bear in mind that's for dry-aged Prime ribeye...which goes for obscene prices at high-end steakhouses...and it's still below the retail cost of even non-dry-aged individual Prime ribeye steaks. So still a good deal, IMHO.

    There are multiple methods for dry aging beef, most involving expensive equipment, as well as elaborate and space-consuming setups to control temperature and humidity, as well as ensure food-safety. But for the home kitchen, which tends to lack such facilities, there are large dry-aging bags made by the same company (Umai Dry) that makes the bag I'm using for my Capicola project (which still has about another month left to go before it's ready). These bags cling to the surface of the meat and form a semi-permeable membrane that allows moisture to escape, while keeping bacteria and other nastiness off the pricey meat. It also prevents the transfer of odors in/out, which is a plus when it's sitting in your fridge for 30 days...or possibly longer. Here's the whole shebang bagged up and ready to begin it's journey to beefy Nirvana:

    (Full sized: https://i.imgur.com/EsaM3kY.jpg)

    It's been sitting on a rack on the bottom shelf of the fridge for 26 days now, and has already lost just a hair under 20% of its original weight due to shedding of moisture, and exhibits a pronounced darkening of the surface color (I'll try to snap a pic of what it looks like now when I get home tonight). My original plan was to shoot for 45 days of aging, but I'm not certain I have the discipline to wait that long. And some further reading I've done since then suggests that I might want to start with a 28 or 30-day age for my first project, see how I and the wife like it, then maybe shoot for something longer (for even more intense flavors) after I finish this one. We'll see if I can make it through the weekend.
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  3. #73
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Oh, and...nothing says Easter like big pots full of boiling crustaceans....

    Full sized: https://i.imgur.com/IBmut4I.jpg)
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  4. #74
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Are you an Easter worshipper? Just had to ask...lol.
    Zombie Response Team

    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

  5. #75
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    You'll be singing a different tune when the machines take over and I'm spared a life of slavery in the copper mines because one of our overlords is sweet on me. But, in the meantime...

    The one constant at breakfast in Ireland at the B&B we stayed at...apart from everything being delicious...was the fresh-baked brown soda bread (aka simply "brown bread") that our hostess put on the table every morning. I grew quite fond of it, as well as the full Irish breakfast, and have been craving some ever since we came back. Since our local eateries have thus far ignored my pleas to begin serving fresh-baked brown bread I resolved to make my own. Working 4 day weeks leaves me with most Fridays to putter around the house by myself when I don't have chores that need tending to, so I used this morning to scratch this particular gustatory itch. Although brown bread is like Ireland's version of gumbo in that if you ask 50 different little old Irish ladies how to make it, you'll get 100 slightly different answers. Plus, there's nearly endless possibilities for tweaks and texture/flavor enhancing add-ons.

    But at it's most basic it's ridiculously simple, consisting of coarse wholemeal (that's "whole wheat" in Yank-speak) flour, some all-purpose flour (or not...that's one of the variants), baking soda, buttermilk, salt, butter (or oil) and maybe an egg or two. There's no kneading or proofing, as it's a no-yeast bread that uses the carbon dioxide produced by the combination of baking soda and the acidic buttermilk as a rising agent. Everything just gets mixed together in a bowl which, depending on your flour-to-liquid ratios, produced either a very loose and wet dough that's poured into a loaf pan, or a tighter, drier one that is formed into a circular blob on a baking sheet. I went with a 2:1 ratio of whole wheat to all-purpose flours, went with olive oil instead of butter, opted to use an egg, added a little wheat germ for extra fiber and texture and, since I didn't have any buttermilk on hand, mixed some yogurt (also homemade) into some milk to produce the same effect. I also added 1 Tbsp of honey. The amounts of stuff I used resulted in a dough that was nearer the wet-and-loose end of the spectrum, so I went the loaf pan route.

    Extra coarse whole wheat flour proved a challenge to find locally, so for added authenticity I had Jeff Bezos send me a bag of actual Irish wholemeal (delivered in 1 day....living near 2 Amazon fulfillment centers rocks):



    It went into a 400F oven for 45 minutes and then spent another 30 minutes cooling on a rack. This was the result:




    Slathered in some Kerrygold butter it's pretty much exactly as I remember it. I lightly toasted a couple slices and substituted them for the whole wheat toast that usually accompanies my weekend bacon-and-eggs. The result was not a full Irish breakfast (more like a half-assed one), but it's a start. Next, I think I'll try making some Irish bacon, which is cured and smoked pork loin rather than belly. Beans, tomatoes and mushrooms will be easy, but the black and white puddings might prove to be a challenge. Oh well, one step at a time.
    Dang, somehow I missed all this.
    Zombie Response Team

    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

  6. #76
    Senior Member DParker's Avatar
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    Sorry all, I keep forgetting to use smaller versions of my pics when I post rather than the full-sized originals. I've gone back and corrected those, with accompanying links to the originals if you want to expand them.

    Here's the ribeye on day 27. The glare from the bag makes it difficult to see clearly, but you can see how much darker the surface of the meat is compared with when it first went in.

    (Full size: https://i.imgur.com/R1UnWSX.jpg)
    Don't go ninja-in' nobody don't need ninja-in'.
    - Diemon Dave

  7. #77
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    Dang, somehow I missed all this.

    They say when you first take up tap-dancing, it's easy to let other things in your life slip ... It's how you know you really have a passion for the art, though ...

    Stick with it. I'm sure the lessons will pay off.

  8. #78
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DParker View Post
    Oh, and...nothing says Easter like big pots full of boiling crustaceans....

    Full sized: https://i.imgur.com/IBmut4I.jpg)


    [Note to self: Place ad for sales reps, chocolate crawfish (solid), Easter 2020. Call Nestle.]



  9. #79
    Senior Member Swamp Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluecat View Post
    Are you an Easter worshipper? Just had to ask...lol.


    I see what you did there.



  10. #80
    Senior Member bluecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Fox View Post
    [Note to self: Place ad for sales reps, chocolate crawfish (solid), Easter 2020. Call Nestle.]


    + 10!
    Zombie Response Team

    I write English not so well, but this thin string for sewing or fabric-making my funny wheel getickles. Baron von Schtupp

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