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 Post subject: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:30 am
Posts: 170
Hope everyone is doing well!

So I'm up to sous vide pork belly and I'm using Kenji's porchetta recipe - which is just pork belly and no pork loin. The fact that it's prepared sous vide and then fried sounds great!

Any help with any of the following questions would be much appreciated.

First, Kenji's water bath temperature is 155 degrees. Doesn't this seem a bit on the high side? I guess the question is whether you think this is his personal preference or whether this type of roast, with a substantial skin covering, doesn't require a bit more heat.

Second, I have two vacuum sealers - a portable one that is good when using those ready made vacuum seal pouches with a permeable membrane and a larger clamp style one (made by sous vide supreme) - which I can use for custom making bags for whatever I'm cooking.

The roast I have is close to 7 lbs so the whole roast won't fit into the ready made pouches. But I do have the option of cutting the roast in half and sealing it into two of these pouches. If that is the case - given that the thickness is the same - I'm assuming that cooking time for two 3.5 lb roasts is the same as cooking 1 7 lb roast. Kenji's recommending 36 hours. Do you think this (cooking time) assumption is correct?[/b]

I just sealed the entire seasoned roast using the clamp style sealer and it looks good although it clearly has a little wiggle room. The sealed roast now needs to sit in the refrigerator for 1-2 days before cooking.

Out of curiosity, I just put the roast in the water bath and it floated - exposing the top part of the roast. Does this mean that too much air is in the bag and that I am increasing the health risk? Would using the water displacement method be a better way to seal such a large bag? Or, should I just use the bag that I've got and keep it submerged in the water bath by weighing it or tying it down, putting the lid on, and weighing down the lid?

As always, thanks for your help!

Best,
Gerard


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:37 pm
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Location: Telluride, CO
Hi Gerard,

I've not done pork belly, but I just looked at Keller's Under Pressure, and he does it at 180 degrees for 12 hours. Modernist Cuisine calls for 144 degrees for 40 hours.

Generally speaking, I find Keller's times/temps not to be ideal. I'd go more with the latter.

Don't worry too much about the floating. I've got a true vacuum chamber, and still find things can float a bit after a bit of cooking. I can't remember if you've got the Sous Vide Supreme, but if you do, it's got a cover, so that helps with the heat loss. Just flip the bags every once in a while.

Amy


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:30 am
Posts: 170
Thanks Amy!

I think I'm going to do 150-155 - since there is a picture of it and it looks fine. I've done pork at 138-140 and it is indeed pink, actually rosey. I'm thinking that a few of my guests will have a problem eating pork that looks so underdone.

I guess I have to do some more reading because I always thought that the cooking temperature was the temperature of the done protein - particularly if it was in the water bath for a long time.

Oh - I wanted to ask about my prep schedule. So I'm probably going to take the roast out of the water bath on Saturday, refrigerate it overnight and serve it on Sunday. I assume that on Sunday, that the water temperature will be the same as before (lets say 150 degrees) .... I was thinking that I'd put it back in the water bath around 4 p.m. and finish it at 7 p.m. Do you think that is a sufficient amount of time for it to reheat?

Best,
Gerard


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:37 pm
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Location: Telluride, CO
Gerard,

If you're going to cook it before, make sure you shock it well in ice water when it comes out of the SV (for health reasons). And, I'd put it back in the SV at a lower temperature, because you're not looking to cook it more, only reheat it. Maybe like 140. And, I don't think it will take three hours. Maybe only an hour or so.

Amy


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:48 am 
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Posts: 170
Thanks again Amy!

As it turns out, the seasoned roast can sit in the refrigerator for up to 3 days so that works fine for my schedule (seasoned, rolled, and tied last night, will start cooking Thursday night, serve on Sunday night). I took your advice and cut the roast in two (one large, one small), sealing each in a large bag. My inexpensive vacuum sealer did a much better job than the clamp sealer, which I disposed of!

The roast looks totally sinful. It already feels and cuts like butter and it hasn't been cooked yet!

As a side dish, I'm going to prepare some type of winter salad, which will have winter vegetables and maybe some fruit (apples, oranges or some variation thereof).

But I'm thinking I need an additional side - nothing too rich obviously. I know some of my guests are not cabbage lovers so that's off the table.

FWIW, I'm making a potato and leek soup, primarily because I'm starting to go through Hestor Blumenthal's book and want to make his white chicken stock, which is made in a pressure cooker.

Should I just make roasted vegetables as a side and be done with it or is there something else that you can suggest?

Thanks!
Gerard


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:35 am
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Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Gerard - please post your opinion of the chicken stock. I made 4 stocks (including the pressure cooker one) and served all of them plus 1 commercial grade (Pacific organic) blind to 4 tasters with no clear winner. OUCH! Furthermore, there was no discernable difference in the resulting finished product - a stew, a sauce, and a soup. I found that it is such a mild stock in any of those scenarios that the other ingredients take over.


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:45 pm
Posts: 1522
Location: Ottawa, ON
One of the biggest differences I found with the last pressure cooker stock I made was the very high gelatin content. This would make a pretty big difference in a finished dish, especially one which was served only moderately warm, such as a sauce.

Also, in stock testing, it is generally important to salt your homemade stock to put it on fair footing with the commercial stock.

I will say, outside of gelatin content, my normal commercial stock (reduced sodium cambells chicken) is pretty decent. I've not blind tasted; it would be interesting .


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:32 am 
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Gerard -- CK has a recipe in The Yellow Farmhouse (I think) for Ten-Minute Root Vegetables. It's basically matchsticks of turnips, parsnips, and carrots sautéed in a little butter. I think that would be great with a salad with roasted pears (they are so hard this time of year - great for roasting) and roasted beets.

If you think you'd like the recipe for the root veggies, let me know.


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:30 am
Posts: 170
Thanks for all the responses!

Wino and Paul: I just made Blumenthal's brown chicken stock last night and tried it today. Definitely more gelatinous than my usual (CI's Quick Chicken Stock). Don't know if it's the pressure cooker, the browning of the chicken wings, or both. Hard to compare because they use different chicken parts and different vegetables:

CI (for 4 lbs chicken legs/backs/wingtips): 1 medium onion, 2 bay leaves
HB (for 5.5 lbs chicken wings): 5 oz onions, 2.5 oz carrot, 3.5 oz mushrooms, and a couple of cloves of garlic.

Will make the white chicken stock over the weekend (and for 3.8 lbs chicken wings), this includes 5 oz onions, 5 oz. carrots, 3.5 oz mushrooms, 2 oz celery, 1.75 oz leek, 6 sprigs of thyme, some peppercorns, and some parsley). I'll keep you posted.

JesBelle - I have the Yellow Farmbook Cookbook but can only find roasting times for individual root vegetables. Can't locate what you were referring to but it sounds perfect so please pass along if possible.

Best,
Gerard


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 Post subject: Re: Kenji's Porchetta
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:30 am
Posts: 170
Made Blumenthal's white chicken stock... This took quite awhile as you first cook the chicken wings, let it cool with the lid on (which takes awhile), then cook the vegetables, let it cool (which takes another while), and then infuse it with the herbs, and of course let it cool before it can be put in the refrigerator.

The results are good but not radically different from other recipes - other than it's a bit more flavored because of the vegetables. I don't think it is as gelatinous as Blumenthal's brown chicken stock. I'll probably continue to use CI's quick chicken stock recipe - if for no other reason than it's quicker.

Interestingly, the very first step is to bring the chicken wings and a couple kg of water (which I think is the weight of two liters) to boil - and remove it immediatley - all the while skimming the scum that rises to the top (then removing the chicken wings and rinising them). I suspect that these steps account for the very little fat that I found after the cooled stock spent the night in the fridge.

Gerard


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