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Charcuterie 101 - The Silence you hear is the meat deliciousifying...



  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    SmallLady wrote: »
    Dear Great Cow,

    I'm thinking of cooking the turkey this year wrapped in bacon (or at least bacon over the breast.

    Edit: OR bacon under the breast skin?



    (aka Tzarina)

    For the most part, you want to tuck the bacon under the breast skin if you can. The skin is actually quite repellent in letting moisture in and out, so just draping bacon over the whole turkey (whilst delicious) won't be quite as effective as if you tucked the strips directly between the meat and the skin.

    Just make sure your dinner group loves bacon though, the flavor will infuse pretty headily into the upper layer of the meat so you may get some severe bac-urky going on there.

    Thegreatcow on
  • SmallLadySmallLady Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    what if i just did a few strips between the meat and the skin on each side? would that still give me bac-urky?

    or Turkcon?

    SmallLady on
    "we're just doing what smalllady told us to do" - @Heels
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Aye just a few strips should be fine, you'll get additional moisture and a nice "essence" of bacon taste in the upper turkey layers.

    Thegreatcow on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    I did bacon wrapped turkey last year. This is what I did:

    I prepped the turkey in the normal fashion, stuffed it with good stuffing (immediately before putting it in the oven, no sooner or it's a massive food poisoning risk), rubbed it down with good olive oil, and cooked it with the cover on. I like to do it covered style.

    Half an hour before it was finished, I pulled it from the oven, and wrapped the entire breast area with butcher's bacon. I'm going to guess I had close to a pound worth of bacon on there. Then I put it back in the oven, uncovered. The bacon cooked just enough to begin to crisp up, but without blackening or anything. The oil from the bacon permeated the outer white meat, and left almost all of the white meat with a delectable smoky flavour, and a juiciness that I'd never experienced outside of deep fryer turkey.

    It takes very little extra effort, costs next to nothing, and so long as nobody with bacon related dietary concerns is going to be eating it, I think it's absolutely the right thing to do. I would suggest that you'd be a fool not to do it, so long as you don't have any friends or family with bacon related dietary concerns.

    Pheezer on
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2009
    Oh, after I bacon wrapped I put it back in for a half hour, and before I pulled it, I verified the internal temperature of the turkey and just relied on visual assessment of the bacon to determine that it was safe. If it wasn't ready, I would have left it in longer. If the bacon is over done and the turkey still isn't, just use tongs to remove the bacon and keep cooking the turkey. The juice is in there anyhow, and that's what really counts.

    Pheezer on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited December 2013


    Noooooo not that kind of Carnival…..

    Ahoy folks! It has indeed been a while since we last convened and for that I do apologize. I also seemed to have completely missed the holidays with this post...ah well you can blame me doing the whole 1st time homebuyer's shuffle there during December, but still, the recipes here should provide a good deal of variety for both holiday and non-holiday fare.

    Hope you enjoy! Here is the original post as I started writing it back in November:

    For my next update to this fine guide, I thought I’d take a different tack and focus more on the recipes from my accumulated meaty knowledge and some of the cook books I’ve cobbled together over the years. With the holidays in our proverbial roasting pans at the moment and our wish to escape the doldrums of the economy and the neighbors down the lane, it’s time to bust out the things that we were always told we couldn’t have but our tummies demanded!

    With this section, I’m going to try to post recipes and techniques for holiday entertaining to cover almost every section of meals, from appetizers, main courses, and soups to even salads! (Yep, having a good Salad is actually a great idea to pair with even the greasiest steak you can muster!)

    Since I actually will delve a bit into the non-meat areas here with this section of the guide, I’ll also provide some basic menu-planning advice. For some having a delicious bacon wrapped roast or meat loaf is enough, but if you’re entertaining or having friends over, you’re probably going to want something a bit more than a slab of delicious meat, some plates and a declaration of “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub!” to complete your meal.

    Then again, knowing some of the wackos I know, providing more than a simple slab of meat for a meal would be a considered an insult as well…so…yeah…ymmv….

    Anyhow, what I ultimately want to get across is that when planning your holiday meals, meat often forms an integral part of the meal, but it doesn’t have to be in EVERY dish. In fact, putting too many meat options in all stages of the meal can overwhelm most diners and have each subsequent dish lose the unique characteristics that make it special.

    In other words, if you eat 4 bars of chocolate right in a row, by the time you get to the 4th bar, you’re going to be pretty darn sick of chocolate and won’t appreciate it as much as the first.

    So mix and match! This section is mainly intended to get your creativity up and running on what can be a great time to cut loose and gorge yourself on that roast you’ve been pining for the whole month!

    Bacon and Shrimp Fingers
    Guacamole and Bacon Canapes
    Hot Bacon and Blue Cheese Dip
    Spicy Sweet & Sour Cocktail Franks
    Barbecued Meatballs

    Slow Cooker Beef Stew
    Mushroom Beef Stew
    Chicken Corn and Bacon Chowder
    Maytag Beef and Bacon Stew
    Beef, Barley & Onion Soup

    Cucumber and Cabbage Salads (They go great with grilled meats...honest!

    Main Courses
    Homemade Meatballs with Roasted Tomatoes/Peppers Sauce
    Norwegian Bacon-Wrapped Broiled Salmon
    Mexican Style Shredded Beef (Crockpot Style)
    Greatcow’s Damn good Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Rice
    Pork Confit
    Balsmic Beef

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010

    Appetizers play kind of an odd role in modern cooking. For the most part they’ve been completely foregone, or been replaced with standard chips/salsa/dip fare. This has its own appeal I suppose; why fill up on something when the main course is really what you’re jonesing for?

    Still, having a really nice appetizer often separates what is considered just a normal dinner into a real event. Letting folks eat something that really sets them up for a great dinner is an art unto itself. That said there are several things to focus on when deciding what appetizer to offer for your dinner.

    Portion Size: This is particularly important. If you’re aiming more for a “cocktail” party dinner, then your appetizers are going to be more of your centerpiece. They are basically the food that your guests will be filling up primarily alongside salads and dips. If you’ve got more courses planned, or if it’s going to be a standard sit-down dinner, then try to restrict the portions to “finger-food” or smaller portions.

    Main Ingredient: If you’re using meat as your main ingredient for appetizers, then be careful with the rest of your dinner. As I mentioned earlier, having every course contain meat, or worse, the same kind of meat, will make folks pretty sick of it by the time they hit dessert.

    Alrighty then, let’s get some recipes going! As an aside, I’m cribbing recipes from various cookbooks (which I’ll note with each one) and some from personal experience.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Bacon and Shrimp Fingers

    9 slices lean peppered bacon, cut in half
    ½ pound fresh shrimp
    ¼ cup tomato juice
    1 large egg
    ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
    1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    Fresh ground pepper to taste

    In a large skillet, fry the bacon till half-cooked and drain on paper towels

    Place the shrimp in a saucepan with enough water to cover, bring to a boil, remove from the heat and let stand 2 minutes. Drain the shrimp, peel and devein and chop finely.

    Pre-heat the oven broiler.

    In a mixing bowl whisk together the tomato juice and egg till well blended , add the chopped adding a few more bread crumbs if necessary. Roll equal parts of the mixture into 18 fingers, wrap each finger with a piece of bacon and secure with toothpicks soaked in water. Place on the rack of a broiling pan and broil at high heat 4 inches from the heating element for about 5-6 minutes turning about once through. Serve hot.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Guacamole and Bacon Canapés

    1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
    ½ small ripe tomato, chopped
    3 tablespoons minced scallions (whites only)
    1 tablespoon minced fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
    1 small chile pepper, minced
    1tablespoon fresh lime juice
    Salt and Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    8 slices lean slab bacon.
    12 thin slices pumpernickel bread or some similar appetizer sized bread slices, crusts removed.
    Softened butter for spreading.

    In a small bowl, mash the avocado with a wooden spoon till lumpy, add the tomato, scallions, coriander, chile pepper, lime juice, and salt/pepper, and mix till well blended. Cover the guacamole in plastic wrap, chill for about 20 minutes.

    In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and crumble. Fold and mix well into the Guacamole.

    Spread the butter on the bread slices. Top with about a tablespoon of Guacamole. Serve or portion as you see fit.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Hot Bacon Blue-Cheese Dip

    6 Slices lean smoked bacon
    1 small onion, minced
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    ½ cup whole milk
    ½ cup lager beer
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    Cayenne Pepper to taste
    ½ pound blue cheese, crumbled
    Bread Sticks/Chips/Dipping implement of your choice.

    Inn a large skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat till crips, drain on paper towels and crumble
    Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings from the skillet, add the onion and stir 3 minutes on medium high heat. Add the flour and stir 3minutes longer on med low heat. Whisking, add the milk and beer, then add the Worcestershire and the bacon and the blue cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.

    Transfer the dip to a bowl and serve with whatever dipping food you like.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Spicy Sweet & Sour Cocktail Franks

    2 Packages (8 ounces each) cocktail franks
    ½ cup ketchup or chili sauce
    ½ cup apricot preserves
    1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

    Combine all ingredients in a 1 ½ quart slow cooker, mix well. Cover, cook on the cooker’s LOW setting for 2-3 hours.

    Serve warm with Toothpicks.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Barbecued Meatballs (Note, to save time, you can use frozen meatballs and just prepare the sauce, it’s up to you)

    2 pounds 95% lean ground beef
    1 1/3 cups ketchup divided
    3 tablespoons seasoned dry bread crumbs
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
    ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
    ½ teaspoon black pepper
    1 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
    ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
    ¼ cup cider vinegar
    1 ½ teaspoons hot pepper sauce

    Preheat oven to 350 deg F Combine ground beef, 1/3 cup ketchup, bread crumbs, egg, onion flakes, garlic salt and black pepper in medium bowl. Mix lightly but thoroughly; shape into –inch meatballs. Place meatballs in two shallow roasting pans. Bake 18 minutes or until browned. Transfer to slow cooker.

    Mix remaining 1 cup ketchup, sugar, tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar and hot pepper sauce in medium bowl. Pour over meatballs. Cover; cook on LOW 4 hours. Serve with cocktail picks.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010

    Soups often serve a nice dual role in holiday cooking. If you’re going full bore with a multi course dinner, then these will provide a great launch pad for your diner’s appetites. Ideally you want to get them interested in your main course so make sure to follow my aforementioned advice with regards to choosing your soups’ ingredients.

    Alternatively, if you’re planning a smaller get-together for a lunch or something, then pairing a soup with a salad will suffice completely as a meal.

    With that said, here are some recipes that I like in particular. :D

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Slow Cooker Beef Stew

    5 potatoes cut into chunks
    5 carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
    3 pounds beef for stew (1 ½ inch cubes)
    4 onions chopped roughly
    2 stalks celery chopped
    1 can (28oz ish) diced tomatoes, with juice
    1 ½ cups water
    1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons salt
    1 ½ teaspoons paprika
    1 ½ Worcestershire sauce
    ¾ teaspoon black pepper
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 bay leaf

    Place all ingredients together into 5 quart slow cooker. Mix well. Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Mushroom Beef Stew

    1 pound beef for stew, chopped into bite sized chunks.
    1 can (10 ¾ oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
    2 cans (4 oz each) sliced mushrooms, drained
    1 package (about 1 oz) dry French Onion Soup/Dip mix

    Combine all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. Serve over rice or egg noodles

    (Optional) – In the last 20 minutes, add 1 cup sour cream to the soup to make a nice imitation stroganoff.

    Thegreatcow on
    PA Dallas
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Chicken Corn and Bacon Chowder (Great recipe to make use of leftover poultry from the holidays)

    2 thick slices heavy smoked bacon cut into small pieces
    1 small onion, chopped
    2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    4-5 cups whole milk
    2 cups shredded leftover cooked chicken/turkey
    1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
    1 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels, thawed
    salt and pepper to taste
    Cayenne pepper to taste

    In a large heavy saucepan, fry the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Add the onion and celery to the fat in the pan and stir till the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir steadily 1 minute longer. Add the milk and bring almost to a boil, stirring gently.

    Add the chicken, potatoes, corn, bacon, salt and pepper, cayenne; reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the potatoes are tender, or about 10 minutes.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Maytag Beef and Bacon Stew – This one is really one of my favorites, the combination of the beef and blue cheese just really bounce off each other.

    5 slices lean smoked peppered bacon (stronger the better)
    3 large oonions, coarsely chopped
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 ½ pounds beef shoulder trimmed of fat and cut into cubes.
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 cup ale or full-bodied beer
    Pinch of dried Thyme, crumbled
    Pinch of dried Rosemary, crumbled
    2 bay leaves
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    2 cubs beef broth
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1 cup crumbled Maytag blue cheese

    In a large heavy pot, fry the bacon over moderate heat until almost crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble the bacon.

    Add the onions to the bacon fat, reduce the heat to very low and cook them slowly, stirring constantly until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate add the vegetable oil to the remaining fat in the pot and increase the heat to moderately high.

    On a large plate dust the beef in the flour tapping off any excess. Add to the pot and brown on all sides. Add the ale and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the crumbled bacon and onions to the pot and add the thyme rosemary, bay leaves, salt and pepper, broth and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook till the beef is very tender, about 2 hours.
    Serve the stew in bowls with the blue cheese crumbled on the top.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Beef, Barley & Onion Soup

    2 pounds beef stew meat (cut into ½ inch cubes)
    3 large carrots, cut into ½ inch thick slices
    2 large ribs celery cut into ½ inch thick slices
    4 cans (14 ½ ounces each) beef broth
    ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
    ½ cup barley
    2 Cups French fried onions

    Combine beef, carrots, celery broth and seasonings in the slow cooker. Cover, cook on LOW for 7 hours (or on HIGH for 3 ½ hours) until meat and veggies are tender

    Stir in Barley. Cover and continue to cook on LOW for 1 Hour (or on HIGH for ½ hour) until barley is tender. Stir in 1 cup French Fried Onions. Spoon soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with remaining onions.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010


    Yeah yeah, what the fnord are salads doing in mah meats? Well, for the holidays, you’re most likely going to be entertaining folks who are not keen on dining on 5 different types of meat as their entire meal. These two salads I have found, beyond the usual lettuce and tomato staple, are exceptionally good at being paired with roasted and grilled meats.

    Salads mainly serve as a way to sort of “cleanse” the palate and make the next bite of meat taste better than just eating chunks of meat one after another. In particular, the cucumber one that I’m about to post, excels particularly with grilled meat.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Cool Cucumber Yogurt Salad

    6 Medium Cucumbers, Peeled, Seeds scooped out, chopped into bite sized pieces
    1 Quart Non-Fat Plain yogurt
    2 Sprigs Fresh dill, Minced
    2 Cloves Garlic, minced
    Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

    Take the chopped cucumbers and place into a large salad bowl. Sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons of salt over the cucumbers and massage it throughout them. Cover with plastic wrap and place in your fridge for about 30 min-1 hour.

    Remove the bowl from the fridge and drain the juice that has now leeched from the cucumbers. Rinse the chopped cucumbers under running water for a few minutes until the salt is fully washed from the cucumbers.

    Add the yogurt, dill, garlic and ground pepper to taste. Mix well and serve.

    Simple Chopped Cabbage Salad

    1 Head of Cabbage (Purple/Green)
    Olive Oil

    Take the head of cabbage and rinse it. Peel away the outer layer of cabbage and begin to shred the cabbage on a mandoline or food processor.

    Take the shredded cabbage and place in a bowl. Using the same technique as in the cucumber salad, sprinkle about two tablespoons of salt into the bowl and massage it into the cabbage. Cover in saran wrap and let sit in the fridge for about 30 min-1 hour. Remove from the fridge and rinse well until all the salt is removed.

    Add oil and vinegar to suit your taste. Sprinkle cracked pepper to taste

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Main Courses

    Ahhh yesh, here we are, this is where the magic happens.

    Thankfully with the holidays, this is more or less an opportunity to cut loose and go nuts with meat dishes we normally don’t get a chance to experience during the holidays. You have access to a variety of delicious dishes.

    Here are several in no particular order that I have found make great dishes during the holidays or any time of the year!

    Also before I get to the recipes, here are some quick tips you can use to dress up the usual standbys for the dinner table:

    Turkey: Wrap it in bacon, taking care to cover the breast in particular, or alternatively you can tuck strips directly between the skin and the meat, though this will headily infuse the meat with a bacon essence, you’ll want to ensure that your diners like bacon before deciding to do this.

    Alternatively, you can also coat the turkey as well as the inner skin folds with a nice compound butter. If you’ve never made some it’s pretty easy and allows a great deal of versatility in how you want to flavor your dish. Basically take a stick of butter and soften it to room temperature. Toss it into a food processor along with whatever fresh herbs you like (parsley/basil/oregano/sage/pepper/garlic/onion etc) and blend until well mixed. Scoop out of processor and place and slather it all over the turkey.

    Ham: The compound butter technique works here as well. Alternatively prepare one cup of honey, dash in some hot sauce, ½ cup of brown sugar, some ground cloves and cinnamon. Warm up in the microwave (10-20 seconds) and baste over the ham as it cooks.

    Pork Loin – See the Confit Recipe further down the line.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Homemade Meatballs with Roasted Tomatoes/Peppers Sauce

    Pasta of your choice, usually 1 package will do.

    For the Meat Balls

    3 lbs Lean ground beef (about 10-15% fat)
    ½ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
    ¼ Teaspoon Paprika
    ¼ Teaspoon Dried Basil
    ¼ Teaspoon Dried Oregano
    1 Tablespoon Mrs. Dash seasoning of your choice
    3 Cloves Garlic Minced
    ½ Cup Onion, finely minced, or ¼ cup dried minced onion
    1 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded or grated
    1 cup Gouda Cheese (smoked preferably) finely shredded
    2 Eggs Beaten

    (Note: Aside from the the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion, basil, oregano and paprika, the seasonings are really up to you, I just used Mrs. Dash since it provides a nice boost of flavor with no salt)

    Combine all the herbs and spices in a bowl with the beaten eggs and fold into the meat. Using your hands or a large spoon, mix the meat thoroughly until the spices and eggs have been folded evenly throughout the meat.

    In a separate Bowl, combine the shredded gouda and parmesan cheese and mix well. Set aside.

    Take the meat and begin to form them in balls. What I find usually works is to take a large cutting board with a small bowl of flour nearby. Sprinkle a thin layer of flour on the board and begin to roll and massage the meat until you form the meat into a ball. Since we’re going to be stuffing these balls with cheese, we’re going to need to make them bigger than normal; they should be slightly larger than a golf ball but not bigger than a tennis ball, somewhere in-between.

    Once the ball has been formed, take a pinch of the cheese mixture, and using your thumb, press the cheese into the center of the ball. Roll the ball around in your hands or around the board until the indentation is sealed once again. Repeat with the rest of the meat.

    The Sauce

    Spaghetti/Pasta sauce of your choosing.
    4-5 Medium-Large Tomatoes (Roma work best)
    3-4 Medium Bell Peppers (Red/Yellow work best)
    Oregano to Taste
    Basil to taste
    Salt/Pepper to taste
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    2-4 cloves of garlic minced finely
    Olive oil

    Preheat your oven and set to “Broil”, alternatively, if you have a grill, you can do this by using that instead. Make sure to remove the stems/seeds from the peppers. This is usually accomplished by cutting open the pepper by the stem area and scoop out the stem and seed cluster. Rinse them well. Rub down the peppers and tomatoes with light coating of olive oil, and place in the broiler or grill.

    Grill/Broil for about 7-10 minutes, turning them as each side chars. The skin should almost completely blacken and begin to peel away from the flesh, turn them frequently so that you cook each side evenly.

    Once the tomatoes and peppers are thoroughly cooked, peel away the excess blackened skin from the peppers. (You can leave most of the charred skin on the tomatoes, they’re not as waxy as the peppers are, and thus, taste a helluva lot better.) Chop off the tops of the tomatoes. Place the roasted peppers and tomatoes together in a blender or food processor and chop for about 5-7 seconds so you’re left with a semi-chunky mush. Alternatively, if you prefer your pasta sauce chunkier or are lacking a large enough food processor/blender, you can simply hand chop them into bite sized chunks and set aside. I generally prefer the 2nd option, but ymmv.

    Prepare a heavy sauce pan. Add a good measure of olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Bring the pan to medium-high heat. Prepare the meatballs. Take about 4-6 of them depending on the size and place them in the pan. Brown them evenly until browned all over and you can see the cheese begin to leak out of the balls. (This should take about 6-8 minutes give or take, you’ll have to experiment)

    As you cook the meatballs, remove them to a paper towel lined plate to drain a bit until you’ve finished cooking them all. Once all of them are done cooking, try to spoon off the burned crud that will have inevitably collected in the pan. Leave as much of the drippings as possible.

    Bring the pan back to medium high heat if you have not already done so. Add the minced onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the pepper/tomato mixture and sauté for another minute or so. Fold the meatballs back into the saucepan, followed by as much spaghetti sauce as you need to cover the balls evenly and provide enough sauce for covering the pasta that you’ll serve with the meat sauce.

    Top with any remaining parmesan cheese and enjoy! :D

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Norwegian Bacon-Wrapped Broiled Salmon

    ¼ cup grainy mustard (Think Deli-Style Mustard)
    2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
    Salt to taste
    2 tablespoons crushed peppercorns
    4 6-ounce skinless fresh salmon fillets
    4 Slices thick cut streaky bacon

    Preheat the oven broiler

    In a small bowl combine the mustard, dill, salt and peppercorns and mix until well blended. Smear the mixture evenly on the sides of the fillets.
    Taking a slice of bacon, lay it lengthwise across the fillet and tuck both ends under each end. Using a metal skewer, thread through the fillet, ensuring that both ends are attached to the fillet. Repeat with the rest of the fillets.

    Place the fillets in a broiler pan, bacon side down. Broil for about 4 minutes, 4 inches from the heat. Remove from the broiler and flip over. Broil for about another 3-4 minutes or until the fish is done and the bacon is crispy.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Mexican Style Shredded Beef (Crockpot Style)

    1 boneless beef chuck shoulder roast (about 3 pounds)
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground red pepper
    1 cup salsa or picante sauce
    2 tablespoons water
    1 tablespoon cornstarch

    Cut roast in half, combine cumin coriander, chil powder, salt, and red pepper in small bowl. Rub over roast, place ¼ cup salsa in slow cooker, top with one piece of roast, layer ¼ cup of salsa over roast, and the rest around it. Cover, cook 8-10 hours or until tender

    Remove roast from cooking liquid, cool slightly, trim and discard excess fat from beef. Shred meat with two forks

    Let cooking liquid stand 5 minutes to allow fat to rise. Skim off fat. Blend water with cornstarch until smooth. Whisk into the liquid in the slow cooker. Add beef to liquid and cook on high for about 15-20 minutes or until hot. Adjust seasonings if desired. Serve as a meat filling for dishes of your choice.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Greatcow’s Damn good Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Rice :mrgreen:

    4 1lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
    8 slices thick cut bacon of your choice, but peppered/smoked preferred
    2 cups cooked rice (Calrose/Basmati varieties preferred)
    24oz Cream of Mushroom Soup, Condensed
    Red Wine to Taste
    Salt/Pepper to taste

    Mozzarella Cheese shredded for topping.

    Take a 13”x9” baking pan and grease it well either with cooking spray or with butter.

    Take each boneless skinless chicken breast and wrap 2 slices of bacon around them. Repeat with each breast and set aside.

    Prepare a bowl and add the cooked rice. Prepare the condensed soup according to the package directions but use only about half the milk/water. Add the resulting mixture to the bowl with the rice and add a dash of red/white cooking wine. Mix well. Add some salt/pepper to taste if you like.

    Pour about ½ of the mixture on the bottom of the baking pan, or at least enough to cover the entire bottom. Lay the bacon wrapped chicken breasts down on the soup mixture, then fill the rest of the soup/rice mixture. Ideally the bacon strips should be above the soup mixture. Place the baking pan covered for about 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven, or until the chicken registers cooked at 160 degrees.

    For the last 10 minutes remove the aluminum foil and allow it to be cooked uncovered to crisp the tops. Top with Mozzarella cheese if you wish.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Pork Confit – (Or oh god my arteries!)

    2 tablespoons /30 grams Kosher Salt
    3 bay leaves
    4 garlic cloves
    ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
    2 tablespoons/20 black peppercorns
    1 bunch fresh sage
    3 tablespoons/3 grams chopped shallots
    ½ teaspoon/3 grams pink salt
    5 pounds/2.25 kilograms boneless pork shoulder butt, cut into 2-inch/5 centimeter chunks. Or one 3-pound /1.5 kilogram boneless pork loin
    2-4 cups/500-1000 milliliters rendered duck fat or lard or combination thereof.

    Combine all the ingredients except the pork and fat into a spice grinder and pulverize into a powder.

    Rub the mixture evenly all over the meat. Place it in a nonreactive container, cover and fridgerate it for 24 hours if you’re using pork shoulder pieces, 48 hours if you’re using a whole Pork Loin

    Preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees.

    Rinse the pork under warm water, wiping all of the seasonings off and dry thoroughly. Prepare the fat. Place all the fat in an oven safe pot or dutch oven. Submerge the meat in the fat. Ensure that the meat is completely submerged in the fat. Bring the fat to a gentle simmer on the stove, then immediately transfer to the pot or dutch oven to the stove uncovered and cook for 4-6 hours or 3 hours for the pork loin.

    Here you can decide actually what to do with the meat. First cool the pot for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator, ensuring that the meat remains totally submerged in the fat. After this point you can either proceed to the next step or it can remain refrigerated for up to 3 weeks or frozen for up to 4 months.

    If you wish to prepare it and serve, bring the pork/fat mixture up to room temperature, remove the meat from the fat and sauté over medium heat or roast at 425 degrees until all the meat is fully heated.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    And there we go! That should give you a good launching board for some of the various states of a dinner. Hopefully they should serve you well or inspire you to try out some new ideas as well. :D

    Thegreatcow on
  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Welp, I know what I'm making for the next few months...

    Arikado on
    BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | LoL: Anzen
  • ZsetrekZsetrek Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    re. meatballs - it's sooooo much easier to roast them in a hot (~220 deg C) oven, on a cooling rack over a pan to catch the drippings. That way, you can do them in bulk. Be sure not to over-cook them, and let them rest once you take them out of the oven.

    I like to make a big batch of meatballs & then freeze any I don't eat. They're super-easy to defrost and dump in some pasta sauce or put on a sandwich.

    Zsetrek on
  • MoryMory Registered User
    edited April 2010
    man this all sounds delicious..

    Mory on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Thank you for the re-sticky! If folks have any questions I'll do my best to answer them regarding food prep in general! :)

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    @Thegreatcow anyway you can fix the links in your OP to comply with vanilla's new format?

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    @Thegreatcow anyway you can fix the links in your OP to comply with vanilla's new format?

    Sure what do I have to do? I have to admit it has been a while and I'm not sure what is needed.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Ah Ok I see what you mean, the change over broke all the jump-to links. I'll get right on it.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    Ok links are fixed! They should now properly point to the poasts.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You're the best.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    D'aww Shucks. And just because I posted it in the crockpot thread, here is the link to the Balsmic Beef Recipe that's super easy and quick for delicious Roast Beef without roasting in an oven.

  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Hokay! time to finally update this glorious symposium on derricious meatydoms. This covers a rather popular topic in the last couple of years.

    Tactical Turkey: Nearly everything you wanted to learn about deep frying turkey but were too afraid to ask...

    I'm sure you've seen many a news report about the inherent dangers of frying a turkey, especially when you have folks that have no business operating said equipment in the first place

    And it's no joke either. Here's an example of what potentially can go wrong when you don't do things right:

    So! Why deep fry a turkey then, especially with the inherent dangers involved?

    The same reason we fry chicken and cheese! It's freaking delicious! And it can be done safely and easily if you follow some basic tips and have the proper setup.

    Now when starting out you have several options on how you can accomplish this, specifically if you want to fry one indoors or outdoors.

    Did you say indoors??

    Indoor Fryers
    I sure did! There are several models of indoor turkey fryers that are basically countertop deep fryers on steroids. The more popular model line comes from Butterball and aren't too pricey, usually falling between 100-200 bucks depending on sales.

    The advantages are fairly obvious, you have a fairly compact appliance that depending on the model can fry a turkey from anywhere from 14-18lbs, and usually have built in doohickeys like modular temperature control and oil draining accessories.

    The downside is, as anyone who has ever deep fried things inside can attest, is that unless you've got a great hood vent, your whole house will smell of burning grease pretty damn quick. More often than not I've seen folks set these outside anyway to deal with the fumes. In addition because of their size limitations if you've got a large group to feed, making only a 14-18lb turkey may not cut it necessitating multiple fry jobs if you're cooking for a large group of folks. Still overall the benefits outweigh the downsides imo.

    Outdoor Fryers
    The more common rig you'll see are the outside setups. These will usually consist of a large aluminum pot you see on clam bakes or crab boils, a propane burner and a turkey hook and/or basket.

    The major advantage over indoor fryers is the obvious larger capacity for larger turkeys. If you have a propane grill then hookup is a snap, you pretty much just transfer your propane tank over to the fryer and you're good to go, assuming of course you have a modern propane tank connector.

    Of course the potential for disaster is much higher with an outdoor fryer as you are essentially perching a large pot of scalding hot oil over an open flame. If you don't feel comfortable handling something like this I'd recommend using an indoor fryer or forgoing deep frying a turkey altogether.

    Additional Equipment You'll Need

    If your kit doesn't include it, you'll need a few extra accessories:

    Oil – Obviously as we’re going to be frying things here! The most commonly used oil for deep frying is either vegetable or peanut oil as they both have a fairly high smoke point and can be reused if filtered properly.

    Deep Fry Thermometer - Absolutely essential for maintaining proper temperature control. Oil can't fall below 325 degrees due to overabsorbtion of oil into the meat, but musn't go above 375-400 degrees or it'll start smoking and catch fire.

    Marinade Injector - If you don't brine your turkey like I describe earlier in this thread, you can make use of a marinade "injector" to inject marinade directly into the meat. This is pretty much the only way you can season a turkey when deep frying as I'll explain later.

    Heavy Gloves - You can use heavy leather gardening gloves in a pinch, but you'll want the best heat rating gloves you can get your hands on when handling the turkey hook, especially when lowering and pulling the turkey out of the fryer. Stuff like barbecue gloves or anything that will resist moisture and heat will be essential.

    Eye Protection – Another good thing to have handy, mainly for the initial dip into the hot oil. This part is the most likely point you’ll get oil splattering about so it’s a good idea you have your eyes covered.

    Heavy Apron – Another good thing to have handy for the initial dip and removing the turkey, mainly to guard against flying oil.

    Meat Thermometer - An electric version is probably best for this job as it will give the most accurate readout.

    Oil Filter, Funnel and Oil Container - If you're planning to re-use the oil, having this handy will make cleanup significantly easier. A good funnel with a filter and a container to hold the used oil will allow you to save money on oil costs and usually the oil can be re-used 2-3 times without any adverse effects on taste.

    Ok so we’ve got our equipment and our turkey, what next? Now we prep!

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited December 2014
    Prepping for the Fry

    Prepping the Turkey

    Perhaps the most important aspect to ensure a fry goes well is making sure the bird is properly prepared. Unlike prepping the bird for say, a roast in the oven, prepping the turkey is quite a bit different when planning to do a deep fry.

    Your enemy will be quite simply be: Moisture

    You’ve seen how deep fryers react when food is initially placed in them. You hear that loud practically explosive “hissss” when the food makes contact with the oil. This explosion is the trapped moisture present in the food rapidly (and rather violently) phase-changing from liquid to gas. And since water and oil can’t mix, it has nowhere to go but up and out in the form of steam bubbles rapidly charging to the surface. The more moisture present in the food, the more violent the reaction will be as demonstrated in the videos I linked earlier.

    So what can we do to ensure that effect is minimized?

    Firstly, make sure your bird is COMPLETELY defrosted. Then, especially if it was a commercially raised turkey, make sure all of the extras that are usually packed in the body cavity (giblets, neck etc) are removed.
    (Note: If you're using an outdoor fryer at this point you may want to stop and look at the prepping section of the outdoor fryer area below. You'll need your turkey to safely gauge how much oil you can put into the pot and using the turkey and water is the fastest way to measure.)

    Next, you'll probably want to trim off the edge of the flappy meat/skin near the butt of the bird (where you usually stuff the bird) if it's sticking out noticeably from the breast. Also, if there's a noticeable flap of skin near where the head used to be that should be trimmed as well. This part of the turkey is usually in the bottom of the turkey pot closest to the burner and has a tendency to burn before the turkey is fully cooked.
    Finally, you'll want to poke holes in the flaps of skin between the legs and wings. Oil has a tendency to get trapped here and can make removing the turkey from the pot once done kind of a pain.
    (Essentially you want your turkey to look like this pic and the pic below before you drop it in the fryer)

    Once that's done, pat the turkey dry COMPLETELY with paper towels. This includes both the outside skin, between the skin and inside the cavity. This is critical to ensure that you minimize the reaction of the moisture and oil when you place the turkey in the oil.

    At this point, if you wish to "season" the turkey, here is where the marinade injector I talked about earlier will come in handy. Pretty much you have to "inject' the marinade into the meat, taking care that it doesn't leak out. I usually recommend 1-2 oz of marinade per breast and about 1 oz per drumstick. (This may vary depending on the type of marinade you use, so follow the mfg instructions on the label). This will propagate the marinade through the meat as it cooks ensuring a good dose of flavor in addition to the flavor imparted by the fry.
    And that's pretty much it as far as the turkey goes. Next, we'll examine what you'll need to do in preparation for your turkey fryer.

    Prepping the fryer

    If you're using an indoor fryer, the prep is a bit more straightforward. Mainly you'll want to select a location that has adequate ventilation and is a stable platform to hold your fryer once it's full of meat and oil. As I mentioned earlier, if you have a good hood vent for your stove then setting up your fryer directly under the vent is probably your best bet. If weather permits I would also open any windows in the general cooking area to improve ventilation as well. Otherwise, you pretty much just follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to set up the fryer and you should be good to go!

    Outdoor fryers (or if you place your indoor fryer outside) will require a bit more prep. Primarily your frying location is critical. Select a hard flat surface, like a driveway or extremely hard packed ground that has no flammable material around. Pretty much you'll be selecting a location as if you were putting the wobbliest of charcoal grills on only with more care.

    Next, you'll have to measure how much oil you can safely put into the pot. Sadly a lot of those aluminum pots included in outdoor frying kits are usually very basic without any markings on where to fill the oil. In addition, take note of the manufacturers instructions on how big a turkey you can safely fry in this pot. The best way to test if your pot is capable of frying your bird is during the initial turkey prep before you inject your marinade. Take your turkey and place it vertically head first into the cooking pot. Next, take water and fill the pot until the bird is completely submerged. For safety reasons you want to have at least 3-5 inches of clearance between the top of the pot and the water line. This will ensure your oil won't boil over.

    Remove the turkey and let the water completely drain from it. Take note of the line either by notching or marking the water line. This will tell you exactly how much oil you'll need. Usually the manufacturer will indicate how much oil you'll need depending on the size of the bird, but in general you'll probably need between 1-3 gallons of cooking oil depending on bird and pot size.

    With the oil position marked, drain the water from the pot and make sure it is completely dry like the turkey. Once fully dry fill the pot with oil. We are almost ready to fry!

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Washington State - It's Wet up here innit? Registered User regular
    edited December 2013
    Frying the Turkey

    Ok we're on the home stretch! As I mentioned earlier, by this point you have should have a place picked out for your fryer, the pot dried and filled to the mark you made with oil, and your turkey injected with marinade if you're going that route.

    For the outdoor fryer (or indoor if you're bring the appliance outdoors) make sure it's in an out-of-the way spot that doesn't get much foot traffic. One of the most common accidents with turkey fryers is someone bumping into the pot or tripping over the propane line to the burner. Make sure you have enough room to move about when operating the fryer as you'll often have to position yourself multiple times when placing and removing the turkey from the oil.

    Carefully place the pot filled with oil on the propane burner. By this point you should also be wearing your apron, gloves and eye protection. I think it also goes without saying that you should also be wearing long pants and closed toed shoes before proceeding as well.

    Regarding the turkey, by this point it should be already mounted in the fryers basket or hook (depending on the model) and positioned nearby or where someone can easily retrieve it while you watch the fryer.

    Before lighting make sure the connection between the tank and the burner are solid and light the burner. Carefully observe initial operation and adjust the gas dial according the fryer's directions to ensure the most even flame. You'll need to bring the oil up to 375 degrees in order to begin the fry. While the oil is heating check on the turkey and make sure that the marinade you injected isn't leaking too much around as the marinade will scorch rather badly if it gets outside on the skin in the fryer.

    Once the temperature reaches around 375, turn off the burner. This is where things can get a bit hairy so make sure to take this SLOWLY and carefully. Making sure you have your protective gear on and that you have a sure grip on the turkey hook/basket, SLOWLY(sensing a pattern here?) lower the turkey into the oil. If you've properly dried the turkey the reaction won't be too bad but it's still a lot of moisture coming in contact with a lot of oil, so you're still going to get some boil-up from the oil, hence lowering the turkey in as slowly as possible to mitigate the effect. Once the turkey is fully submerged in the oil and the boil-up is stabilized, re-ignite the burner and begin the cook. You'll pretty much have to Shepard the fryer the whole time to adjust temperature and ensure no one bumps into the fryer whilst it's working. You want to keep your oil temp in the sweet spot of 350-375 degrees to ensure even cooking and not too much oil absorption.

    On average frying a turkey will take about 3-4 minutes per pound. Generally it's closer to 4 the bigger the turkey but it can vary depending on the ambient temperature and the size of the bird.

    To test the temperature you'll want to use a meat thermometer. Temps you'll want to look for are roughly 175 for dark meat and 165 for white meat. Most fryers have a hook on the basket or mounting hook that allow you to hang whatever you're frying above the oil to drain. Carefully remove the turkey from the oil and securely mount it on the side of the pot to take your temperature. If the temps are good, turn off the burner and let the turkey drain for about a couple of minutes.

    Next carefully remove the turkey and using a large metal or glass pan, carry the turkey to the kitchen and let it rest for about 10-20 minutes. You're now ready to carve and experience the taste and joy of deep fried turkey bird!



    Cleanup can be a bit involved with the fryer, but usually the hardest part is dealing with the cooking oil. The basket/hook that the turkey was mounted on can be soaked in warm soapy water for 5-10 minutes and scrubbed and it should be good to go. For the pot of oil you're pretty much going to have to let that thing cool overnight in my experience to really cool it down to a safe temp, the oil retains its heat like crazy. If you're going to let the pot sit somewhere, make sure you follow the same arrangements you had when you were frying. Keep the pot somewhere secure and away from flammable items and foot traffic. Once the oil is cooled you can re-use it if you run it through a filter, or if not, carefully pour it through a funnel back in the container you got the oil from. Check around to see if there are any disposal services for oil in your neighborhood, there usually are some around the area specifically catering to foodservice industries and more often than not the turkey fryer itself will have instructions on how to properly dispose of the oil.

    Thegreatcow on
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