With the weather warming up, I thought I’d share a simple summer idea. This is a perfect BBQ side salad. Cucumber, a fresh creamy dressing, a hit of dill, and ready in minutes! Oh and did I mention that it’s keto friendly?
If you haven’t had sous vide scrambled eggs, you don’t know what you’re missing. Put your beaten eggs in a zip lock bag, add a touch of butter put it in your water. Pull it out, scramble the eggs while in the bag with your hand, cut a corner off and pipe it onto your plate. Delicious, and mess free!
When I’m hungry and feeling really carnivorous, I like to do some really weird stuff. Here’s an idea for a breadless (and keto) burger, for when you’re up for something epic. It’s basically pork three ways: belly, patty, and bacon.
The point behind this post isn’t really a recipe for a burger. Burgers are basic. Ground meat, salt and pepper. This is all about the belly.
So, I’ve stuffed my pork crackle up. Oh sh*t.
We’ve all been there. Cooking a pork roast, trying to impress some guests, you open the oven and the crackle just isn’t crackle. Its soft, rubbery, everything that delicious pork skin shouldn’t be. Maybe only one small part of it has puffed up nicely. How can you share that amongst your guests? They’re going to get angry. People get seriously judgemental when they’re served rubber.
What do I do?
This will be the most amazing thing you’ve ever done. Go out and get yourself an electric heat gun from the hardware store. Put it in your kitchen. It’s now your crackle redeemer. Turn it on and move it slowly over your roast. Watch in amazement as your rubbery unappealing skin turns into something that will leave your guests wondering how the hell you got it so right. Just don’t tell them you cheated. Check it out:
Being a Japanese food lover, I certainly had a difficult time adjusting to the ketogenic lifestyle. Especially when it came to things like rice, katsu, and teriyaki sauce! I set out through trial and error, to create a sugar free teriyaki sauce, which is keto friendly. This is it.
What is Teriyaki Sauce?
The meaning of the word teriyaki, comes in two parts. Firstly the noun teri (照り), which is the shine that is given by heating the mixture of soy sauce, mirin and sugar, which is tare (タレ), and yaki (焼き), which refers to grilling. The traditional ingredients generally include the tare, along with garlic and ginger. Teriyaki sauce has come to mean a dark sweet sauce, with lots of umami and a heap of flavour, and is the perfect marinade for Japanese inspired grilled meat and vegetables.
This recipe uses tamari instead of soy sauce, as well as stevia as a sweetener to bring it together.
All it takes is to mix all ingredients together and heat on a medium heat until thickened. At this point you can either strain the garlic and ginger out of the sauce, or leave it in, according to your taste. That’s it. Simple right?
So, you’ve wanted to have a go at curing your own meat? Not sure where to start? This should hopefully answer some questions. Equilibrium curing is the most accurate way to cure meat. It involves adding a calculated amount of salt/spices, and allowing enough time for all of the salt to distribute evenly throughout the meat. The benefit is, you can never over salt using this method no matter how long you leave it in the cure (sometimes months or even longer).
The salt levels are calculated based on a percentage of the weight of what you’re curing. This ranges somewhere between 1.8%-3.5% (ie for every kg of meat, use between 18-35g of salt). When using cure #1/2 (nitrite/nitrate), this is added to your mix at 0.25%. Worth reading up about different types of cure in relation to safety etc. Note that this counts as part of your salt (ie if you’re wanting 3% total salt, you would add 2.75% salt plus 0.25% cure).
Salt and cure need to be weighed accurately (no measuring volumes such as teaspoons – doing this in the best case scenario would leave you with in inaccurately salted product, worst case scenario you may not have safe levels of salt and cure in your product). I use a jewellery scale bought for a few dollars on eBay.
Spices can also be weighed out at this point according to your recipe. They can also be added after curing depending on what it is that you’re making.
The time that the meat has to be left in the cure all depends on what it is, thickness, fat content etc. To give you an idea, pork belly requires a minimum of 7 days, pork loin requires 14 days, and something like a lamb leg would also require 14-21 days. I can’t stress this enough:
You can’t leave it in for too long, but not long enough will result in a product that hasn’t reached equilibrium and isn’t cured properly.
Now. Once you’ve weighed out the correct amount of salt, cure and spices, you’re ready to apply it to the meat. Take your curing mix and spread it evenly across the surfaces of the meat. Then, place it either in a ziplock bag or vacuum seal it. After which it can sit happily in your fridge until it’s ready for drying, smoking or cooking.
After the allotted curing time, the meat is removed from the cure and dried, smoked, cooked etc. There’s no need to rinse it, but you can if you choose to. Don’t go soaking it in water, wine etc after curing. This will only alter your salt levels which you calculated accurately at the start.