Alpaca neck in a Majorcan style.

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by moikel, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is a day or so away. My favourite TV chef type Rick Stein. In his Mediterranean TV series went to a little restaurant on the top of a pretty fair hill.It only served 1 dish,lamb cooked in a wood fired oven in a braise of beer & bits.Low & slow ,sold out every day.Only die hard foodies, german cycle tourists & locals ate there.The cook was somewhere between 60 & a 100,oven about twice that.

    Looked like a great meal.

    I have a bunch of Moari's coming over for lunch & a meeting on Sunday so this will be part of it.Alpacas have long necks ,crosscut,nice bit of marrow in the middle. So I  open the cookbook ,signed by him at the book launch recipe is not in it.

    Looks like I am winging it again[​IMG]

    Neck doesnt get used much ,shame its lovely meat when its lamb.I will just tell the Polynesians its like big lamb[​IMG].They already like my cooking.
     
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I always enjoy watching you play with the exotic stuff...JJ
     
  3. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Sounds terribly interesting!  Show us!!!!  [​IMG]
     
  4. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm looking forward to reading the details. I'm sure your dinner with the Maoris will be amazing!

    I love braising lamb neck during the winter. I've got a great recipe for lamb neck ragu that I love to make, otherwise I'll just braise it like lamb shanks.

    Have fun playing around in the kitchen!

    Clarissa
     
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I will get the photos up when I start cooking. Lamb neck was a braise cut,the "scrag end" where the head got cut off was for the dog,the rest went into Aussie versions of Lancashire hot pot or Irish stew where the meat flavoured the potatoes or other root veg . Not that different to oxtail really! Very nose to tail.
    Alpaca way leaner than lamb .Funny thing is one of my previous Alpaca posts I reworked a traditional Peruvian recipe using beer,lime,cilantro,chilli. I can't make this too spicy for this crowd. I will do a chicken dish as well, kumera( white sweet potato)very Polynesian & a wild greens dish.
     
  6. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I cook for the crowd that I have coming ,Polynesians have their own food culture,not a lot of spice. They got cheaper cuts of meat shipped to Tonga Samoa & Fiji. New Zealand a bit more up scale,like their pork,lamb,seafood & particular traditional things like pua(abalone) .kina,( sea urchin),mutton bird,& other stuff.
    All a bit SouthPacific I know but that's where I live.
     
  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I cook for the crowd that I have coming ,Polynesians have their own food culture,not a lot of spice. They got cheaper cuts of meat shipped to Tonga Samoa & Fiji. New Zealand a bit more up scale,like their pork,lamb,seafood & particular traditional things like pua(abalone) .kina,( sea urchin),mutton bird,& other stuff.
    All a bit SouthPacific I know but that's where I live.
     
  8. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    Mick - Thanks for the memory jolt. I've been to the restaurant in Majorca (Mallorca) your referring quite a few times, the last being a little over a year ago. It's known as Restaurante El Verger and it's in a very old farm house that sits about halfway up a mountain 4km above the village of Alaro. Whenever we're on Majorca, it's a required visit.

    They do offer a few other dishes, prawns being one, but just about everybody orders the lamb dish, which is far and away the best I've ever had. The preparation looks pretty simple and straightforward in that large pieces of lamb, along with some root vegetables, are braised in beer over low heat in an ancient large wood burning oven. The from the cans I've seen in the kitchen it appears that the beer used is San Miguel (Spanish version) and I've been told that the braising period is 24 hours. It's a simple dish consisting of the lamb, boiled potatoes, and a small salad.

    Looking forward to your preparation of the Alpaca neck for the meal with the Maoris.
     
  9. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am remembering it from the TV series because it made such an impression on Rick Stein.New Zealanders eat a lot of lamb its real sheep country especially the South Island. 

    I need to get this done without to much fuss so I can concentrate on the agenda for the meeting so this dish made sense. I do have a wood fired oven but not about to fire that up.Polynesians to that hot rocks pit cooking for their big occasions ,hangi to Moari,umu to Samoans although they struggle to get the right rocks in Sydney.

    I will get a photo up soon of these neck bits.
     
  10. There is a spice called "aji Peruano" that is used in dishes in many regions of Peru and Ecuador.  It's used in a dish called "Seco" made with many different meats such as chicken or goat. 

    It is a pepper, but not hot. The powder is a yellow to orange color.  The smell and flavor I cannot even try to describe,  OMG good

    If you can find it, one of the best spices I have come across
     
  11. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There are a couple of Peruvian restaurants here that use that powder &  as a paste.I have to go way over town to buy it but I know exactly the one you mean.Its a great thing.

    When I did some alpaca before I did a Peruvian recipe that used a very "hoppy" beer,lots of lime,cilantro & a few other bits including a dried chilli that was dark & long.Have thrown out packaging but it had an Inca symbol on it.

    When I  get my next alpaca shipment I will bust it out again.

    This time round I am going to make it like its lamb.Thinking beer ,oregano,parsley ,root veg,garlic really slow in the oven.
     
  12. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Thats my tray of neck .The farmer gave me 2 trays,the first one I just did it like it was osso bucco.You can see it is pretty lean.
     
  13. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That is some nice deep red-colored meat, and looks like great connective tissue in there. Makes sense, thinking about how an alpaca is built.  Looks like a great braise.

    Can't wait to see the cooking and finished pics.  Have a great weekend!

    Clarissa 
     
  14. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Browned in EVO,oregano,garlic,onions,beer,veal stock. The white veg is parsnip.Covered with foil into oven 4 hours.
     
  15. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Thats it done.The spinal cord threw a lot of fat gave a fairly silky texture. Neck chops were good but I think another cut might be a better fit.Not that much meat per piece.Big hit with the Moari's. It went 4+ hours in oven ,could have gone a tad more . Got leftovers.
     
  16. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Plate shot.Tasty,can't fault the process. 
     
  17. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great, I'm a huge fan of braising. I see questions on the forum from time to time about people wanting to know if they can smoke a cut of meat that just screams out for braising. Some cuts are just meant to be braised, IMO.

    I love parsnips, I use them all winter in lamb or beef stew, and mash them up with carrots and rutabaga as a topping for shepherd's pie.  Fun to see them in your dish.

    Question about the spinal cord. Do you eat that?  I shy away from it because of the potential risk of prions and CJD, so whenever I braise lamb neck I always pull the meat off the bones before serving.  What is your opinion?

    Love your pictures, thanks for sharing!  Hope your meeting went well, and have a great week!
    Clarissa
     
  18. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just ate spinal cord without thinking[​IMG]. Way down here on a big island we dont have a lot things that troubled livestock in Europe like mad cow,foot & mouth, bird flue. Hope that holds for Alpaca.

    Parsnips are a winter thing here,I like them roasted normally. Moari people like that white kumera ( sweet potato )that turns purple when cooked .

    I like braises for the set & forget feature.They are also easy to reheat so I am not cooking meals from scratch on week nights. Some cuts are just meant for it ,shanks & cheeks just for starters.Went to a french bistro on friday & sure enough beef cheeks on the menu.As well as a lamb shoulder braised.

    If I  had enough people to feed I would be doing pulled pork in the MES but its just me & the butchers daughter & I  hate waste.

    My Moari friends are getting married in Rotarua New Zealand in december.It will be the full Moari experience with people from the various tribes attending including people from the Cook Islands( think more Hawaii much warmer) .Think its doable should be one hell of a time[​IMG]Expecting some serious underground cooking.

    Did some beef tongue in the smoker,going to bust out a little country style french dish with white beans & toulouse sausage soon.

    Have a great week .MICK
     
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The result looks great. Like Giant Oxtails, I'd venture a similar taste and texture. Nice job a s usual Mick.

    Clarissa, While there are cuts that are quickly braised, <4 hours full on braised, the Smoker with a water pan will get the meat fall apart tender in a similar manner. The meat will take a lot longer, 15-20 Briskets as an example and without all the great flavor the braising liquid gives and has. There are even some ways around this like my Smokey Au Jus. But I full on agree that there is just something magical about a long braised collagen loaded Beef or Game cut with root veg on a cold winters night...No Smoke Needed!...JJ
     
  20. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Chef JJ,

    Thanks for your info about using a water pan to help make a moister environment in the smoker. I remember seeing your post on Smokey Au Jus, and now I'm going to go search for it and bookmark it. 

    I have been shying away from smoking the really good braising cuts (shanks, oxtail, cheeks, neck, beef short ribs) for fear of drying out the meat and screwing up a perfectly excellent cut of meat. However, you've got me thinking about this now. So now I'm thinking that hot smoking some oxtails for an hour or two, then throwing them in my braising dish and braising until tender like I normally do, would probably be really tasty.  I may have to try that this weekend.  Brown the oxtails after smoking, or not? 

    Thanks!  And hope you have a great day!

    Clarissa
     

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