Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Kitchen Stuff

Yesterday evening saw me pricking a pound of sloes with a cocktail stick before throwing in enough sugar to kill a diabetic and the best part of a litre of cheap gin.

All of this was carefully placed in a Kilner type preserving jar and will be shaken every day for the next week or so and then left for at least three months, preferably more. The end result is a sweet liqueur that tempts even the most ardent Gin Hater. I have a bottle left over from last year's harvest and can confirm that,although great from the start, continues to improve with age. It looses some of the sweetness and subtle undertones of other hedgerow flavours appear.

I also topped up the Blackberry Vodka  - this is a similar preparation but involves Brown Sugar, Cloves and Cinnamon Sticks. I've never made it before so haven't a clue what it will be like. I love blackberries and am hoping that I will end up with a sweet, fruity yet slightly spiced liqueur. I started a batch off with some of the first blackberries back in the middle of August. That will be ready for straining and bottling in mid November, so only a couple of months to go before judgment can be passed.

30% had been to Tesco and returned home with a bag full of things that don't, on first impression, appear to make a meal. I then discovered that Pork Loins were this week's "special" so I ended up making a batch of cure* and rubbing it in to a large boned loin joint. Each day over the next 5 or 6 days it will be rubbed with more cure and put back in a cool place. At the end of the week it will be unsmoked or "green" bacon. The loin produces back bacon and for a little effort great rewards can be reaped.

At the end of the curing process it is soaked for an hour and dried. I then tend to wrap it and hang it out in the garage for about a week before either eating, freezing or smoking it.

Dad gave us a bag of shallots from his garden so these will be soaked in brine overnight and then washed and pickled in vinegar. I think 30% plans to kick that off this evening.

TP and I have Dog Training this evening so I will have limited time for things culinary.

Right - now it's time for a quick coffee and work.

For anyone interested the cure is 3 parts salt to one part brown sugar plus cracked black peppercorns, crushed bay leaves and ground coriander

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