Incongruously given our voting patterns, we Pricks can be just a little bit hippy-dippy when it comes to our food. As such we have all the “right” attitudes about the big supermarket chains (for dog food and paper towels only, thanks), want our eggs laid by chooks who have plenty of activities and enrichment programs to fill their days, and firmly believe Saturday mornings are for sleeping in and growers’ markets, not sport. Thank Christ the Little Pricks agree.
But despite all that we also know our place on the food chain. This includes the Little Pricks:
Thus the happy confluence of a long weekend, the discovery of our newest, favourite-ist meat market of the moment Feather & Bone, and a few recipes we’d been meaning to try got the better of us, turning the Queen’s Birthday into a festival of carnivorousness.
On the Sunday, for a bit of a family barbeque we knocked up some chicken wings from David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook: It’s a helluva long recipe that involves brining, cold-smoking, confiting, and finally pan-frying. Good, possibly not quite worth the effort, but really just fun if stacking up a lot of techniques for a plate of bar food is your bag (it is). Next time we’ll deep-fry, and have more of a sauce on the side.
Speaking of sauces, the tare (mirin, light soy, a few other bits and bobs) that went with the wings turned out to be just the thing to dip these guys into:
Suon nuong, or Vietnamese pork ribs. I never got to take a picture of the finished platter because three kilos were gone in two minutes. Make this recipe for your next family gathering, picnic, wedding, funeral, bar mitzvah. Well, maybe not bar mitzvah. But it’s still one of the easiest crowd-pleasers you’ll find.
The main event was a couple of slabs of brisket – about three kilos worth – which I got going in the smoker at around 6 that morning and let cruise up to 95 degrees C in an applewood haze for about eight hours:
The idea came from a recipe sighted in Meat & Co, a little freebie magazine given away in butcher shops by Meat & Livestock Australia and contributed by fellow New Yorker (albeit upstater!) Gregory Llewellyn of Hartsyard. Kingsley Amis wrote that one should never distrust even the little recipe tags on booze bottles as mere advertising tatt because the men who write them know what they are talking about and will hear about it if they don’t; I’d argue the same goes for meat-related promotional goodies.
Certainly it was hard to argue with the result:
Meanwhile a stack of short ribs had been doing their thing in the sous-vide at 60 degrees for the following night’s meal (they’d go for 48 hours, all up).
These were, again, being done according to a Chang recipe, and happily I’d managed to more-or-less lick the problem of sealing the poaching liquid, a combination of sake and mirin and soy and assorted other goodies into the bags with only a vacuum sealer (short answer to how it was done? Carefully.)
Add a bit of blanched spring onion and some kombu-poached daikon, et voila – family dinner, Prick-style.
Yes, there should have been a strip of pickled carrot, and yes, I should have worked the sauce harder to make it cleaner. But the ribs – finished by cubing and frying in oil at 185C – were the best ribs ever to come out of the kitchen at Stately Prick Manor.