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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:33 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Peter Duggan wrote:
Did you see the video linked from my previous post?

I did indeed. I believe my jaw dropped.

And I did too. I thought they were worried about decreasing deer numbers up round your way? They seemed to be a few years ago. A few years back, when we were up there, Deb got a tick. Nasty things.

We'll be up round your way again this coming summer. I'll bring my deerstalker hat. :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:42 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
I thought they were worried about decreasing deer numbers up round your way?

Not that I've heard!

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A few years back, when we were up there, Deb got a tick. Nasty things.

Absolutely loathsome. Nastiest of all our nasty wee beasties (midges, clegs, ticks) because they're the dangerous hidden enemy where the more obviously visible others are just irritating without carrying quite the same threat. And hugely more prevalent than a few years back when I'd now sadly expect to be dealing with multiple ticks multiple times a year (you can hardly go anywhere without risk) and have even picked them up working in the garden!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:05 am 
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Actually, Peter, the clegs up there seem very tame compared with those in The Forest of Dean and Wales. Here, when I get bitten, an entire limb swells up. When I've been bitten by a Scottish cleg, it swells a bit and then goes. I haven't had a major problem with them yet. I can't say I'm fussed about the midgies, but they're liveable with.

But yes, the ticks are an absolute menace. They don't seem to like me. But they really seem to like Deb - she's picked them up other places than the Highlands as well. I've yet to have one. Hope I don't! Disgusting, as well as dangerous.


Meanwhile, I realise that I haven't answered one of chas's questions - I don't think we're going to use sulphite. We're thinking of using saltpetre - that is, potassium nitrate. We may try potassium nitrite. If anybody has any suggestions on this, we'd be grateful.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:18 am 
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Sauerkraut is dead easy to make and tastes so far superior stuff it's unbelievable. It's basically salt and cabbage.I usually add some black pepper and/or caraway seeds, maybe some garlic. Here in Maryland, I've also added a touch of Old Bay Seasoning, our state national sacrament. The sour comes from fermentation. There are a lot of recipes online. Try it now even if you're not making Ruben's and you'll be hooked. I always have some in the 'fridge.
If you want to go a step beyond the traditional Reuben, you can make it even better IMO with pastrami which you can also make. I've made it twice and it's fantastic. The first time I started with plain meat, turned it into corned beef, then on to the spicing and smoking. The second time I made it from post St. Patrick's Day corned beef which was on sale. This turned out nearly as good.
All is explained on amazingribs.com, the encyclopedic site for information on grilling of just about everything. Here's their recipe:

http://amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/clo ... trami.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:09 pm 
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brewerpaul wrote:
Sauerkraut is dead easy to make and tastes so far superior stuff it's unbelievable. It's basically salt and cabbage.I usually add some black pepper and/or caraway seeds, maybe some garlic. Here in Maryland, I've also added a touch of Old Bay Seasoning, our state national sacrament. The sour comes from fermentation. There are a lot of recipes online. Try it now even if you're not making Ruben's and you'll be hooked. I always have some in the 'fridge.
If you want to go a step beyond the traditional Reuben, you can make it even better IMO with pastrami which you can also make. I've made it twice and it's fantastic. The first time I started with plain meat, turned it into corned beef, then on to the spicing and smoking. The second time I made it from post St. Patrick's Day corned beef which was on sale. This turned out nearly as good.
All is explained on amazingribs.com, the encyclopedic site for information on grilling of just about everything. Here's their recipe:

http://amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/clo ... trami.html

Well well! Either I've been reading your mind, or you've been reading ours! :)

Firstly, Deb has indeed started our first batch of sauerkraut. And she's just used cabbage, salt and caraway seeds. We'll know if it's worked in about 4 weeks. :)

Secondly, the best recipe for corned beef that we've found is indeed on amazingribs.com. :)

Deb started the sauerkraut on Sunday and we haven't started the corned beef yet. We'll need the sauerkraut first. The recipe for the Reuben's that we like best is on allrecipes.com. I've just found the recipe for a Reuben sandwich on amazingribs - it looks pretty similar. I'm going to use my own recipe for the thousand island dressing though.

I'll report back on the sauerkraut as it develops. 4 weeks to mature I think ...

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:48 am 
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SWMBO has made the sauerkraut. :)

I have a burning question, since neither of us have ever made it before and I really need your help with this, folks. When do we eat it? (I mean, I also have a subsidiary question, which is what do we eat it with, other than a Reuben sandwich, but that can wait.) At the moment, the jar still burps when you open it. This must mean that it's still fermenting. Do we have to wait until it stops burping?

I have to say that, although it looks fine, it smells absolutely disgusting in that second immediately after opening the jar when it lets out it's waste gases ... :o

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:06 pm 
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And the next thing is ... I've bought some brisket and persuaded the butchers to give me some curing salts, which they say contain saltpetre, so I'm hoping for the best.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:22 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
?......which they say contain saltpetre, so I'm hoping for the best.

A few years ago I played the uilleann pipes at a local nursing home
where I was introduced to a woman in her mid 90's who was born
in Ireland. During the conversation she said that her father fought
in the british army in world war 1. At one point in our chat she told
me of her father complaining about the food and that he didn't
like how some things tasted, one of the reasons being that saltpetre
was added to the food to, "Keep their nature down."
Good luck with yer project and please do keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 12:35 am 
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oleorezinator wrote:
saltpetrewas added to the food to, "Keep their nature down."

I thought that was bromide? I haven't come across anyone mentioning that effect with saltpetre ...

Anyway, thanks for the good wishes. Here's where we are so far - all of it what I would think of as 'practice' for the moment:

* Deb has made sauerkraut. It looks OK. It smells and tastes very sour, but we have no experience with sauerkraut at all, so we don't know what it's supposed to taste like.
* Deb has the beef soaking in a mixture of brine, containing, salt, curing salts from the butcher (which we're treating as if it's Prague mixture) and spices.
* I have practiced making home-made mayonnaise, and I'm really happy with the results. Not sure we'll go back to buying mayonnaise at all from now on. :)
* Deb has made lovely, home-made rye bread. It's gorgeous.
* We have home-grown chillis.

So, next weekend, we're planning to have a practice sandwich. It won't be exactly as we want - we still have tomatoes to grow and ketchup to make (October, I reckon), and we'd like to try and make sauerkraut with home-grown cabbage. But apart from having to substitute for those, we have the ingredients. :)

I'll update after our practice sandwich ...

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:16 pm 
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Today was the day! :D

Well, practice day, at least. We've made a Reuben sandwich! :)

I do have one question. It's about the beef. It's supposed to be "fork tender". Now, don't get me wrong, it was lovely, but it wasn't "fork tender". What could we have done better in its preparation? More salt? Longer steeping? Longer cooking? Hotter cooking?

Anyway, next post, pictures. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:24 pm 
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The beef:
Image
Thousand Island dressing:
Image
All ingredients:
Image
In the pan:
Image
Nearly ready:
Image
Dinner is served!
Image
Dinner in closeup:
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:12 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
* Deb has made sauerkraut. It looks OK. It smells and tastes very sour, but we have no experience with sauerkraut at all, so we don't know what it's supposed to taste like.

I'm guessing it turned out as it should. If you follow directions properly, it's hard to get sauerkraut wrong; it pretty much takes care of itself. I'm not a huge fan, myself, so I prefer mine rinsed it to make it milder.

As to the beef, common wisdom says "low and slow" if you want the tenderest results, especially for tough cuts with a lot of collagen (like brisket); 135C for around 4 to 5 hours, say.

But for a first try, what wonderful results you have, there! Reubens almost completely from the ground up. I was particularly struck by the beauty of the bread. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:14 pm 
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How long did you cook the corned beef? I think I usually do about 3 hours. I've never had a brisket that wasn't fork-tender. I've always slow-cooked them -- pot roasting corned beef or barbecuing/smoking uncured.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:17 pm 
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chas wrote:
I've never had a brisket that wasn't fork-tender.

Oh, I have. Scarred me for life, it did.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:21 pm 
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chas wrote:
How long did you cook the corned beef? I think I usually do about 3 hours. I've never had a brisket that wasn't fork-tender. I've always slow-cooked them -- pot roasting corned beef or barbecuing/smoking uncured.

We cooked the brisket for at least 3 hours. However, we cooked it in the simmering oven of an Aga. It's pretty cool in there, and I think maybe it should have been simmering a bit more. I.E. it should actually have been bubbling - properly simmering. I think that might have been our error.

The salting was for about 6 and a half days, so hopefully that wasn't to blame.

I mean, don't get me wrong, the beef was still delicious, just not "fork tender".

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