Saturday, September 29, 2012

Liver pâté and some pork neck bones.

I saw pork neck bones real cheap at the store so I bought some. I also thawed out several pounds of chicken livers with the plan to smoke both in the mini. I'll use the chicken livers for pâté and not sure what I'll do with the neck bones. (Probably make some kind of stock.)

Weather is pleasant at 67°, sunny and with light wind at about 8 mph.

I made a rub for the pork using the recipe for the previous rub except that I remembered the mustard, used fresh Rosemary and only made about 1/3 as much. Those will go on the bottom rack.

For the livers, I sliced a couple small onions and several cloves of garlic and added some fresh Thyme. (Oops, I was supposed to add some Bay leaf. I'll toss in a couple now.) The liver was smoked in a medium cast iron pan.

This is smoked on the mini-WSM using Grove lump. I selected some small chunks of hickory and mesquite for smoking wood. I also poured about half a gallon of hot tap water into the water bowl. The bottom vent was about 1/3 open and I left it there the whole time, not being overly concerned about temperature control.

Meat on!

13:05245°/122°/?Turned the livers over a bit for better smoke exposure. Temp spiked to 310° a few minutes after that.
14:00299°/155°/150°Stirred the livers again. They don't look done yet. (Time to add the Bay leaves. ;)
Lifted the middle section and stirred the coals a bit.
16:30217°/163°/160°Liver looks done - time to bring it in.
17:40210°/NA/?Time to take the neck bones off.

The pâté came out good. I put nearly a stick of butter in as I blended it. That seems like a lot but Pepin recommends a stick and a half for 1/2 lb. chicken livers and I had about 4 lb chicken livers. (This produced about 5 cups of pâté.) I like the flavor but I'm not sure I can pick out the smoke flavor. Against the liver it may be pretty subtle.

The neck bones weren't really done the way I'd want ribs or pulled pork done, but I planned on further cooking anyway. These were pretty bony so I covered them with water and simmered until the meat was falling off the bone. I'm going to use this stock to make lentils.

What to do differently next time.The only thing to do differently would involve the size of the pan I used for the livers. I didn't want something deep but a relatively small cast iron pan was all that would fit in the mini-WSM. Ideally I'd have a 12" cast iron pan with no handle. I used a pyrex casserole last time and the smoke left a relatively durable film on the outside which took a lot of scrubbing to remove.

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