Neeed Advices

dcarch7January 21, 2012

A good friend is asking me what cuts of meat she can send me.

1. Young deer.

2. Berkshire hogs from her own organic free-range farm.

"For over 300 years the Berkshire hogs have been recognized as producing the supreme quality gourmet pork. Known as "Kurobuta" or "black pig" in Japan, the superior taste of Berkshire pork is as prized as Kobe beef. The great US farmers have successfully raised "Kurobuta Berkshire" in this country and making it available the THE WORLD'S BEST PORK. It's intramuscular marbling ~ where the natural flavor and juiciness reside will definitely impress you."

Considering the fact that I have sous vide set up, which I don't always use for all my cooking, what cuts would you suggest I ask for? I don't want to be inconsiderate and ask for the best cuts.

Thanks in advance.

dcarch

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foodonastump

"Surprise me" is what I'd say. Put it in her hands to send you something she thinks you'll enjoy.

But if I were you, I'd also ask her to throw in something like the snout or the tail with which you can create a shocking presentation and then see how many of the resulting posts get pulled. Heck if tofu could get two pulled, a snout should earn at least a dozen! ;-)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:40AM
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johnliu_gw

Eyeballs. And tell her you want the good ones, not the cataract ones.

Seriously, I'd lean to the pork because if you like it, you can buy it regularly, unlike the deer. I'd ask for a cut that shows off the best aspect of the breed, which I'm guessing might be a cut with plenty of internal fat. Like shoulder? I'm not much of a butcher.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 10:42AM
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triciae

A local farm raises Berkshire hogs. This past fall, we ordered a dozen unsmoked hocks. Melt in your mouth tender. Gosh, they've been so good. Also, certainly not the best cut from the hog. Most of ours have gone into posole after a long braise with the standard suspects for aromatics & a bottle of beer then finished with chilis, spices, hominy, & lots of toppings.

/tricia

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:17AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

If you do want to ask for something/anything that is "best",
I would go for a fresh ham.
But as foas said, I'd let her surprise you.
I missed all the tofu excitement, what on earth now, other than the usual?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:22AM
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dcarch7

Posted by foodonastump "Surprise me" is what I'd say. Put it in her hands to send you something she thinks you'll enjoy. ------- which you can create a shocking presentation ------"

Not a bad suggestion actually. May be I will leave it up to her. Depends on what she sends me, perhaps I will have the balls to post a shocking presentation. LOL!

Posted by johnliu "Eyeballs. And tell her you want the good ones, not the cataract ones. Seriously, I'd lean to the pork because if you like it, you can buy it regularly, unlike the deer. I'd ask for a cut that shows off the best aspect of the breed, which I'm guessing might be a cut with plenty of internal fat. Like shoulder? I'm not much of a butcher."

Eye balls? No thanks. When I was a kid, I never won in staring contests. :-)

But I would enjoy all the other internal organs. I think I an going to ask for all the organs and some cuts of meat.

Posted by triciae "A local farm raises Berkshire hogs. This past fall, we ordered a dozen unsmoked hocks. Melt in your mouth tender. Gosh, they've been so good. Also, certainly not the best cut from the hog. Most of ours have gone into posole after a long braise with the standard suspects for aromatics & a bottle of beer then finished with chilis, spices, hominy, & lots of toppings. "

I was just lamenting the other day of how tasteless nowadays pork is from the supermarket. I am really looking forward to have a taste of this gourmet treat. Free-range organic young Berkshire hogs. Trouble is I may never buy regular pork again.

Posted by Bumblebeez "If you do want to ask for something/anything that is "best", I would go for a fresh ham. But as foas said, I'd let her surprise you.
I missed all the tofu excitement, what on earth now, other than the usual? "

I think that's what I will do. Let her pick what to send. She has 600 lbs from three hogs.

More tofu posts to come. :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:34AM
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jkom51

Just don't overcook it, which shouldn't be a problem with sous vide. Trust me, overcooked Berkshire pork isn't any better than any other chewy, overdone pig, LOL.

One suggestion: in Santa Fe we ate a superb French restaurant, called 315. They did a pork osso bucco that was absolutely superb. You might want to think about trying that if she sends along any shanks.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 11:54AM
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Rusty

My 'take' on this is exactly opposite of everyone else.
(As usual)

"Seriously, I'd lean to the pork because if you like it, you can buy it regularly, unlike the deer."

That is exactly why,
If it had to be one or the other,
I'd chose the deer!
I'd opt for something different,
something I probably wouldn't normally
Have an opportunity to try.

Unless, of course,
You are a hunter,
Or have avid hunter friends.

Rusty

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 12:14PM
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Teresa_MN

Deer chops - YUM! Served with some of the wild rice I sent you. You can't possibly have used all of it up yet!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 12:41PM
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dcarch7

Rusty, I am getting both deer and hog, not one or the other.

Teresa, of course wild rice.

Here is what I will be having:

Free pork from my friend.
Free Wild rice from Teresa.
Free Pizzelles from Lou for dessert.

Now that's a meal!!!!

Oh wait! wait!wait!!!! My friend also has an apiary. She is sending me a bottle of her meade to go with the meal.

And I like FOAS' suggestion of shock value. So I will put everything in the blender, and make a pork, wild rice, pizzelle and meade smoothie. That will shock everyone! LOL

And I challenge FOAS to come up with an even more shocking recipe with his wild rice. :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 2:43PM
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dcarch7

Posted by jkom51 "Just don't overcook it, which shouldn't be a problem with sous vide. Trust me, overcooked Berkshire pork isn't any better than any other chewy, overdone pig, LOL.
One suggestion: in Santa Fe we ate a superb French restaurant, called 315. They did a pork osso bucco that was absolutely superb. You might want to think about trying that if she sends along any shanks."

Very important not to overcook. That would be a crime. Same crime as well done Kobe beef.

I was visiting Santa Fe American Indian Museum, and I was taken to a French restaurant. Great food. I don't remember the name of that restarant, could have been 315.

I don't normally order pork or chicken when I go out. I mostly orderseafood, beef, or lamb.

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:12PM
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foodonastump

And I challenge FOAS to come up with an even more shocking recipe with his wild rice. :-)

dcarch - You're on! I've already got a few ideas. This is fun. Of course I can't make maggots because you already did that. And I also have to make something I'd actually eat, because unlike you I have to pay for my MN "wild" wild rice these days. (BTW for anyone wondering, it's totally worth the expense IMO.)

Might be a few days... stay tuned.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 4:20PM
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annie1992

dcarch,I think that's the best suggestion, just tell your friend to surprise you. Hopefully you'll get a bit of everything.

Actually, if you want the "best" on a deer, ask for what we call the "backstrap", which is the tenderloin. Lovely, mild, melt in your mouth tender. It's prime meat, though, and there's not much of it.

Truthfully, I'd just as soon go for any of the steaks. Here when deer is processed it's usually only packaged as steaks, chops and ground, along with the tenderloin, deer aren't really all that big and by the time the thing is dressed and cut up, we might get 60-80 pounds, less if they remove the bone.

And, like anything else, don't cook the venison too long, it's extremely lean and becomes jerky quickly. Plus, it seems to get that "liver-y" texture if not cooked correctly.

Pork, well you already know about that.

I don't suppose you have a friend who raises the wild tofutti beast, do you? (grin) I think lpinkmountain knows how to cook that.

Annie

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:46PM
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salix

Hi, dcarch - don't know what cut precisely, but try to get some nice fatty pork so that you can render out some GOOD lard. And I think I would like to try a bit of that lean venison "sous vided"...

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 3:35AM
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ruthanna_gw

That sounds like fun - a surprise package of animal parts! I'd think sous viding the venison would produce great results. If you get the pig stomach, I bet wild rice would be an interesting substitution for the traditional potatoes in the filling.

Please keep us up to date with your creations.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 9:35AM
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dcarch7

Annie, I was hoping that you would weight in. You know about this kind of stuff more than anyone else.

With the deer, I was told it is a young deer. I don't know how young. So I don't think there is a lot of meat. I definitely would ask for the toughest cut and sous vide it to fork tender.

For pork, since she has more than 600 lbs, I can ask for a variety of cuts and some organ meats.

Salix, as a matter of fact, I am going to ask for some fat to make leaf lard. I don't use fat much in my cooking, but leaf lard from a Berkshire hog is a different story.

Ruthanna, yes, this will be a lot of fun. In addition, this is going to be a very special eating experience. Beyond a tasty food experience, my friend is truly a very special person. A single mom home-schools her two children, raising pigs, chickens, eggs, bees, fish in a pond, grows her own food, grinds her own grains to make bread, makes her own soap, candles, wine, beer, ---a great cook. Then she goes out every spare second she has to do charity work, feeding homeless people, rescuing animals ------ she is a fulltime nice person, not some of the part-time nice people we all know many.

Annie, she is five states away from you, otherwise I would introduce her to you. Oh, she is very beautiful on the outside as well and just like you with a great sense of humor.

The three pigs she slaughtered were named: Que (as in BBQ), bubba (the fat one) and sandwich (the cutest one). :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:36AM
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annie1992

dcarch, I think I'd like her very much, she does seem like a genuinely nice person and someone I'd get along with famously, since we seem to have much in common.

As for the toughest part of a deer, here they don't get cut into traditional cuts like beef do. My processor even removes all the bones and silverskin, as the silverskin and hair can give an extremely strong flavor. Some of the "steaks" are tougher than the "chops" though, and other than the tenderloin they aren't differentiated. If it's whitetail deer, the type I'm accustomed to, a 230 pound animal is a monster, here they tend to run about 125 pounds, so it's not like they have much brisket or flank, and the legs are different than cattle or pigs, so there aren't really good shanks either.

I'll bet it will be very good sous vide style. Add some sauteed onions and mushrooms and you've got something that I'd take over most beef cuts, although I think I like the onions better than the meat!

Enjoy it all, you're going to have a bounty of good eating thanks to your very nice friend.

Annie

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 11:59AM
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dcarch7

Annie, thanks for the info. I knew I could count on you.

I will introduce this wonderful person to you sometime in the future.

It is her intention to get a few cows sometime. She can use your help for sure.

She is also very good in gethering mushrooms on her property.

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 2:56PM
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annie1992

dcarch, I think I would like that very much, I'd love to talk cattle and farming and heritage pigs and foraging for morels!

Annie

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 10:20PM
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dcarch7

Annie, she is an expert in tomato growing. She grows about a 100 varieties every year.

She does not sell anything she makes or grows, she just gives things away.

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 8:20AM
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OklaMoni

What a nice friend to have. I would go with the deer as a first choice as well, but overall, find the thought of take what ever she sends. You will have such fun to prepare it... and post the pics here.

100 varieties of tomatoes... wow, she must have a good sized spread.

Moni

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 8:37AM
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annie1992

100 varieties of tomatoes? Wow, I guess she must have a spread! I think I do well to get a dozen or so varieties each year.

I'm sure not an expert, I just stick 'em in the ground and they grow, just like I've been doing for 50 years or so. It's the same with the cows and the pigs and the chickens, I just keep doing what I've always done and what has worked and it just keeps on working.

Annie

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 11:29AM
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dcarch7

I am lucky to know two Superwomen. Annie and my friend.

Yes, she has a good size spread. 200 acres?

The spring fed pond is about 4 to 6 acres, depending on season, in which she stocks channel cat, grass carp, bass and shellcracker.

dcarch

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 4:44PM
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dcarch7

First package arrived!!! :-)

dcarch

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 10:04PM
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Zinnia1

Just saw your post today, and the first thing I thought of was the pork shoulder and back strap - nice to see you got some!! You will have to let us know how it all tastes. Were the pigs fed a diet or did they forage for their own food? If they foraged on their own, then the meat from two different pigs should taste different. Can't wait to here an update!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 10:50PM
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annie1992

And what is that on the top left? Liver?

Annie

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 12:40AM
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dcarch7

Zinnia1, The pigs were not caged. They were also fed lots of apples, greens, rape(from wine making) and some grains.

Annie, She is an extraordinary baker who grinds her own flour. That's her wonderful pumpkin bread.

dcarch

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:41AM
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dcarch7

Second package arrived:

Hand made soaps

Honey from her own apiary

5 kinds of marvelous wine she makes.

What an amazing and inspiring woman! I am a very lucky guy!

dcarch

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:35PM
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