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26 September 2011

Rosh Hashanah 2011

The cooking fest appears to have come out of nowhere this year.  Things are made a bit more complicated - or rather cooking intensive - because the two days of Rosh Hashanah are immediately followed by Shabbat.  This requires an awful lot of planning, preparation, cooking and refrigerating in the run-up to Wednesday night, when the festival starts.

I have decided to try my hand at salting beef again.  After my earlier over-salted flop, I've decided to go with the St John's recipe of 150g of salt per litre.  I'm going to be curing it for 5 days.  I'll report back.  

I've also got some new green cucumbers pickling in the fridge.  I've been playing with my recipe, if this one works I'll write it up.

With 15 people to feed for one of the meals I am going to go with bollito misto yet again.  I can't get enough of it, I hope they feel the same.

At some point I'm going to do some roast lamb.  I've been trying to figure out if it's possible to weave in two of the key foods of Rosh Hashanah, apple and honey - perhaps a cider and honey glaze?  It may end up all a bit too sickly. Or, perhaps, a sharp cider might just work with the sweet honey and slightly fatty lamb.

I've been trying to figure out what veg and salads to do.  I'm quite tempted by radish and schmaltz, which is a traditional ashkenazi recipe.  I've never eaten it and it sounds a bit horrific, so I'm gruesomely curious.

I've been delving back into some of the classics and have come out inspired.  So I'm planning on making Sally Clarke's baked beans (or lentils) and honey roasted endives and parsnips, Stephen Bull's red cabbage salad, the St John's Bread & Wine salad and Orbs of Joy (onions roasted in chicken stock). Although I know I want to make them, I don't yet know which meal they'll be deployed at.

If I can pull my finger out in time, I might try my hand at baking cholla.

You can be sure that my new favourite dessert will make an appearance, as will some apple and honey sorbet, fresh figs and pomegranate.  And some dates.  Oh and I'd better not forget the Bendicks, the ne pas ultra of after-dinner indulgence if you keep kosher and therefore don't eat dairy products immediately after eating meat.


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Hi Anthony

15% cure is too much salt for a 5 day cure, in my opinion.

I have great results with a 5-7.5% cure, e.g. http://nickloman.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/dont-stop-til-you-brine-enough/

I don't soak after brining.


Thanks Nick, Unfortunately it's a bit late now. I will definitely rinse it though and report back how it is. 

You can easily fix it even if you are deeply into your cure. Simply dilute down to the required amount. I find this is much more reliable than rinsing.

I do this with half-sours - I start with a strong brine (say 5%) to ensure I don't get nasties growing, then dilute down to a more palatable 3% brine near when I want to serve them.

Thanks I'm going to try my luck this time around as am following the St John's recipe. Will see....

Thanks Nick, Unfortunately it's a bit late now. I will definitely rinse it though and report back how it is.

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