Chef Richard and Chef Katie

Charceuterie and Grapefruit

In At Home on January 29, 2013 at 7:34 pm

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Lately we seem to be getting the random urge to cook things out of nowhere. It used to be that we’d study our nerdy notebooks filled with things we wanted to try, study it and think about if for days before letting loose. I’ve had the urge to make Charceuterie for a while but never got around to it and knew I wanted to do it myself especially with all the harm fast food can cause. Maybe it was inspiration from Katz’s or I was just “in the mood” sort to speak, but after trying my hand at homemade Corned Beef, I knew I wanted to venture out a little further. Corned Beef and Pastrami are essentially the same thing with a few minor tweaks. Both are brined for a few days (so plan ahead) with similar ingredients, but the Pastrami is ultimately smoked then braised, whereas the corned beef is only braised until tender. We have an indoor smoker, which is a fantastic tool that we like to use for smoking salt, vanilla beans, potatoes and everything in between. The pastrami fit snugly in the smoker before we put it to the heat in a combination of Alder and Hickory woods. After an hour or so of our apartment starting to smell like a campfire (in the best way possible) it took a bath in water and more pickling spices for a couple of hours until it was barely tender. We let it sit in the braising liquid all week and happily sliced, diced and chopped the pastrami in every which way imaginable, finding its way into simple dinners, egg-based breakfast dishes and late night cravings with friends. Of course we had plenty of rye bread and spicy mustard at the ready too, you know, just in case.

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Not to be outdone was a very simple and delicious grapefruit curd that came from nowhere, which probably explains why we have random ingredients at all times in our fridge. Pastrami, grapefruit curd, pickled everything (recently shishito peppers) and homemade hot sauces and mustards are always on-hand, making for some interesting meals and snacks to say the least. We’ve happily been spooning the curd into our yogurt in the mornings with homemade granola, slathered onto breads and scones in the afternoon with our tea and some of us have been knows to eat it straight from the bowl, although I’m not naming any names. What’s next to make at home? Not sure, I bet some bacon (Canadian perhaps?) will sneak its way into our lives pretty soon, anything and everything we can smoke (olive oil we’re looking at you) and we’ve wanting to make tamales for a long time now. Stay tuned for all of our future projects!

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  1. Looks delicious! I’d love the recipe for your grapefruit curd 🙂

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