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Oct 19, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘schmaltz’

By the Book: Cooking from the Heart by John Besh

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

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James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh’s Cooking from the Heart is chock-full of recipes inspired by his native Louisiana, with whole chapters dedicated to types of seafood and wild game. Despite those more unfamiliar territories, the book was approachable and dishes were straightforward. I decided to try something from the wild game section. Since Kenrick’s doesn’t sell wild boar heads (yes, seriously), I went with something tamer: schmaltz with apples and rosemary.

Schmaltz usually refers to chicken fat, but here it’s made with good old-fashioned pork belly. The process is fairly simple: simmer all the ingredients in a large pot to render the fat, then let it cool and solidify in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, after nearly two hours of simmering and an overnight chill, my infused fat was still more liquid than solid. Only the top layer was hard enough to spread atop bread.

While the rosemary notes were pronounced, the apple wasn’t strong enough to power through the intense porky flavor. Slathering cold animal fat on a piece of bread was an odd way to consume it, too. Instead of eating it like butter, we brainstormed other possibilities for the remaining schmaltz: adding it to mashed potatoes, using it in place butter or lard for biscuits or tossing with root veggies for a decadent side.

Skill level: Recipes run the gamut from beginner to advanced.
Other recipes to try: Fried kale salad, cote de boeuf with red wine and porcini mushrooms, milk chocolate and hazelnut clafoutis
The verdict: Bourdain’s meatballs take the W this week.

 

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Schmaltz with Apples & Rosemary
Makes 1 small bowl

3 lbs. pork belly, cut into small chunks
2 onions, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 apples, cored and quartered
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

• Combine the pork belly, onions, garlic, apples, and 4 cups water in a large heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and slowly simmer for 45 minutes. Add the rosemary and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the water has evaporated and the rendered fat is clear and slightly bubbly, about 1 hour.
• Strain the rendered fat through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Chill. Serve on warm, crusty bread.

 

Reprinted with permission from Andrews McNeal Publishing 

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