Massive Mangalitsa Bacon

These guys are getting big! These mangalitsa are coming in around 300lbs and the slabs of belly we are getting from Torm barely fit in our smoker. We hung out with this blondie along with the rest of Torm's swallow bellies and reds recently on our farm trip.

We had these two bellies in a dry box cure(basic 1:1:.25 ratio of dextrose, salt, and cure 1) for 13 days then I spent the last two days running to the smoker every 2 hours to check on them. The first day they got some cold mesquite smoke for 12 hours. Today we ran them another 12 hours with some hickory since the mesquite ran out.

I was walking out to the smoker which is in a public area of the hotel by the pool and had people coming up to me every time I went out to check on it to see what we were doing. I had guys coming up asking me all kinds of questions from how to do this at home to where they needed to go tonight to get a taste. BBQ and smokers seem to bring everyone together, I had guys from Montana, England and Germany all standing there admiring the bacon. We talked about the pigs, their recipes, and what we had in store for all of this. With the volcano in Iceland and a big issue with getting flights home for the people overseas we have had a lot of repeat guests and the Pasture Prime Pork is selling! Most people see us as just a fish restaurant which we primarily are but we do meat! I like to think that if you only have 1 beef option, 1 chicken option and 1 pork option that your will do them well.

More bacon just went into a brine of soy, molasses, honey, sugar, salt, and cure 1. In 10 days we will be smoking another round of bacon. Our Lardo d'Arnad is working as well. We used Jason Molinari's base formula of salt, water and cure 1 but changed some components with the hope that we will end up with a truly unique product. We took his ratios and added black garlic for that fermented molasses flavor and our herbs of choice instead of going traditional with sage and rosemary. Hopefully this will carry through and provide us with a more southern theme for our lardo. Funny how we end up using a japanese product to achieve a "southern" flavor profile.

I didn't have my phone with me today or you would have seen a lot more twitpics of the pepperoni Baxter and Cody put together. They got the smoke treatment as well. We also have some going into the chamber for a longer cure. We have lots of pig floating around and we are getting slammed everyday with business but these guys still find a way to keep our charcuterie going. The dedication is amazing and it doesn't just stop at bacon. There are endless elements being worked on constantly. This site is called bluechefs, not bluechef, everyone brings something to the table. I just don't want everyone who visits this site to think that it's what I do, it's what we do.

Scallion Noodle

We had a chef's table dinner upstairs last night and one of the components was scallion noodle. We did the shock, blanch, shock in heavily salted\sugar water, then squeezed the scallion tops, puree with a little H2O, then strain. We used a standard ratio for agar(.8%). We served them on our tasting menu last night as well with wagyu tenderloin, short rib, pickled beat puree, and a sourdough-horseradish sauce.

scallion noodle
-860g scallion puree
-400g water
-45g house creme fraiche
-10.4g agar

mix agar with water and bring to a boil, put in the blender while still hot, add the scallion puree while the blender is running, add the creme fraiche, season with fleur de sel, hot hold this while quickly filling tubes submerged in ice. Use a syringe full of air to pump out the noodles into a pan. Done.


Our Little Field Trip

We all met early at the restaurant and took off over to Summerfield, Fl and Pasture Prime Wagyu. We were met by Torm and his father who welcomed us and gave us a little introduction and background on the farm. It was a dairy farm until the government regulations forced them to make a choice of rebuild and go into enormous debt or close the dairy. At that point Torm explained that it had already become a soulless production, pumping milk 24\7 just to keep up with the bills. He ended up hating it and what it had become.
Torm left for a while then returned to the farm to start Pasture Prime Wagyu. He began with a high ratio wagyu, a 15/16 breed where as most are 50/50 wagyu and black angus. This high ratio breed of wagyu has a better temperament than the BA mix, almost no issues when calving, high fat ratio, and has a very different long legged look from the BA mix. He raises them on grass alone until they reach around 30 months.

Here is some of the wagyu he brought up by the house for us to look at.

Here is Torm telling us all the benefits of raising these guys on grass alone, no antibiotics, no hormones, nothing.

We moved on to Torms newest acquisition, naked neck chickens. Here the chicks are about 2 weeks, they will require some extra growing time as it takes them a little longer to mature. Instead of 8 weeks these little guys are looking at being around for the next 15 weeks to get them up to weight.


Along with the naked necks Torm picked up some red bourbon turkeys just in time to get them ready by thanksgiving. In the end these guys should be around 12-13lbs.

ok now on to the pigs. Here is a big blondie, this guy probably comes in around 300lbs and will hang around 220lbs when dressed.

With a simple "here pig" call they all came running. We started pulling up all the grass on our side and feeding them. These mangalitsa are awesome.

Torm continued educating the group and answering all our questions.

We all got in with the pigs and hung out for a while until they all decided to make a run for the mud hole and chase everyone around after they got out.

Here is one of the chase scenes.

The bluezoo crew with Torm on the far right. We can't thank Torm enough for the hospitality and the experience. Everyone is looking at our products differently now. The level of respect for the ingredients just went up ten fold around here. I reccomend taking your crew on similar excursions, it's the best thing we could have done.

Afterward Torm cooked us up some fine wagyu burgers, we had lunch and then broke out the firearms. What's a trip to the farm with out a little target practice.

This one is not mine, just letting everyone know that.

Our marine was up first, you can tell this guy has done this a couple times before.

Everyone had a good time, nothin' like letting off a few rounds to relieve stress.

A good day for the zoo. Come see us and get some of Torm's mangalitsa that is now featured on our menu. We are also curing lots of lardo and gonna get some hams going for the fall.


some pics

View from our room in the bahamas.

I wish it would of been warmer but the water was still pretty cold when we were there so no diving this time around.

nice sunset at the wedding we attended, The Cove Atlantis is a sick hotel.

Have to eat from a food truck, 4 bucks for conch fritters, can't beat that.

can't go wrong with some chefs garden ramps. Tonight we used them on our first course of the tasting menu which was mero seabass from honolulu fish co., celery root puree, and then the prestine ramps from our friends at chefs garden. By the way, thanks to chefs garden for the nod in the "visit these chefs blogs" section of their spring menu planner.

We just put a new round of bacon in the cure, this time we are going with Kutas' dry box cure ratio of 1c powdered dextrose, 1c salt and 1/4c cure 1 for every 25lbs. it will be intersting to see the difference from our previous cures.

our little mangalitsa friends are coming in on the regular.

Guanciale is curing, we cured and smoked the rest of the head and have been cooking our sea island red peas with generous chunks of smoked face, manga fat back and Col. Bill Newsome ham bones.

Baxter is dreaming of some 18 month country ham here. He's staging at McCrady's right now with Sean. hopefully he had a chance to pick Travis' brain for future charcuterie projects.

The manga belly is ridiculous. So much flavorful fat. It's almost too much to use as fresh belly so we have moved on to curing and smoking our own bacon. I had the best blt of my life with some comte, truffle aioli, manga bacon, tomato, arugula, and some super crusty sourdough.

After curing I smoked it at 130F for 12 hours. It's awesome.

Here is the first manga loin we recieved, you have to cook it with the fat. For an animal with so much fat on it the loin is not very well marbled so it must be treated with care. We do a honey based brine that really helps. The flavor of the meat itself is really earthy. Sous vide works well on tough cuts but a trial run on a loin wrapped in fat back was a failure. Good old high heat and served medium is the way to go for the loin and tenders.

Here is the cooked loin. The fat is super flavorful and very light. It makes me sad when I see plates come back with luscious fat left carved away from the meat. EMBRACE THE FAT PEOPLE! It does take some education in terms of our guests, we let them know what to expect but we have been so conditioned to believe that fat is bad that it's a slow process. Mass consumption pork in America has had the fat bred out of it for the last 40 years and now we are throwing fat in their face so yes it may take a while.

our poussin from palmetto farms in S.C., a great product, 28 days old. we bone the whole bird and stuff a nice chunk of comte in the center. I activa the edges so there is no cheese blowout and we keep a nice creamy center after then are seared between two cast iron pans. We have added leek to our macaire potatoes which has become a staple starch for our chicken dishes and then finish with whatever veg is on hand from chefs garden to hammock hollows. A little english pea puree and jus finish the dish.