Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants


Green Bacon

Adapted from American Charcuterie

2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Black Peppercorns, cracked
1 1/2  Tbsp.  Juniper Berries, crushed
3 Bay Leaves, crumbled
1/2 Tsp. Thyme Leaves
3 Cloves, crushed
1 lb. Sea Salt

5 lbs. Pork Belly, skin on

Blend first seven ingredients together.  Place 1/3 of the salt mixture in the bottom of a non-reactive container with a lid. Lay pork belly, skin side up, on top of salt blend. Rub remaining blend into and over the top and sides of pork belly.  Sprinkle any remaining salt on top of belly.  Cover with lid and refrigerate for six days, turning and rubbing belly with the rendered brine at least once a day.

After six days, remove bacon from brine and rinse well under fresh water.  If instead you allow to cure for another six days you will end up with salt pork.  Once salt has been washed off, bacon will keep for 10-14 days in refrigerator or may be frozen.  Bacon may be sliced as is and fried, or may be soaked in fresh water for up to 2 hours to remove excess salt and then may be fried or braised.  If bacon is soaked to remove salt, it should keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Vietnamese Braised Pork in Caramel Sauce
Serves 4

2 lbs. Pork Belly cut in 1 cubes, or Pork Jowl
3 Cloves Garlic, crushed
3 Star Anise
1 Tsp. Saigon Cinnamon
2 Tsp. Whole Black Peppercorns
1” knob Ginger, peeled and minced
4 Tbsp. Peanut oil
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Fish sauce
1 1/2 Cups water
Bunch of cilantro, chopped

For the Vietnamese caramel sauce

3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons water

In a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, combine the star anise, cinnamon and black peppercorns. Crush and or/grind the spices.  In a small heavy bottom pan, combine the sugar and water. Over medium heat, allow the sugar to melt. Stir occasionally to help sugar and water to combine evenly. Once the sugar melts completely, the mixture will slowly start to turn a golden brown color. Continue swirling the pan until the caramel becomes a light brown color. Immediately remove from heat and put aside.

Heat another, large heavy bottom pan over medium heat. (A Dutch oven works well)  After the pan warms, add the oil, minced ginger and garlic. Stir until garlic becomes light brown and fragrant.  Add the ground spice mixture and sauté for a minute.  Add the pork and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the fish sauce and salt.  Stir to incorporate.

Slowly add the Caramel.  You may have to heat the pan containing the caramel in order to loosen it from the pan.   Allow the pork to cook in the caramel for about five more minutes. Then add the water and reduce the heat to low.  Continue braising the pork for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.

Serve with warm rice or noodles and top with the chopped cilantro.

Apple Cider Cured Ham

(Adapted from An Obsession with Ham the Hindquarter)

This is a 3 Day recipe.

2 lb. Salt (Kosher or Sea)
12 Cups Cider (Not Hard)
4 Cups Water
1 1/2 Cups Honey
1 Cup Brown Sugar (Packed)
1/4 Cup Molasses
2 Tbsp. Allspice, crushed
3 Tbsp. Black Peppercorns, crushed
2 Tsp. Cloves, whole
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and chopped
1  10 – 12 lb. bone-in Fresh Ham, skin on

Add all ingredients except ham to a large pot and stir over medium heat until all sugar is dissolved and liquid comes to a simmer.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Immerse the ham in the cooled liquid and place in refrigerator for 48 – 60 hours.  If the ham is not completely submerged, turn it every 6 – 8 hours to ensure that the cure reaches all parts of the ham.

At the end of the curing period remove the ham from the brining liquid.  If you pat it dry it will keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  However, if you are going to cook it, you now must soak the ham in fresh water for 12 hours in the refrigerator to remove the excess salt.

After the 12 hours are up, preheat your oven to 350? F., remove the ham from the water, dry, and place in a large roasting pan.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hours.

Uncover the ham and continue baking until the ham is well browned and an instant-read thermometer registers 170? F, about another 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.  If it is browning too quickly, you can tent it with foil.

When ham is done cooking, transfer it to a cutting board and allow it to rest for at least 15 minutes before removing the rind and carving.

This is amazing. Enjoy with your favorite side dishes.

Tourtiere (Pork Pie)

Image result for Tourtiere (Pork Pie)

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 pound ground Gryffon Ridge Pork
  • 1 pound ground Eastern River Veal
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 4 teaspoons Cognac
  • 2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoon dry bread crumbs

Two-Crust Pie

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons lard
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time.

For Crust:

  1. Toss all ingredients with a fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl.
  2. (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary)

For Pie:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400F.
  2. Roll the pastry dough into 2 equal-sized circles to fit a 9-inch pie pan.
  3. Line the bottom of the pie pan with 1 circle and set aside the prepared pie pan and remaining pastry for later.
  4. Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the pork, beef, onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until the vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through.
  5. Drain any excess fat from the pan.
  6. Add the beef stock, Cognac, herbs, and spices to the meat and vegetables; simmer the mixture over low-medium heat, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the dry breadcrumbs into the mixture.
  8. Allow the meat filling to sit for 3 minutes. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie pan and top with the remaining pastry dough.
  9. Crimp the dough shut, flute the edges, cut vents in the top, and bake the pie for 12 minutes.
  10. Reduce the oven heat to 350F and continue baking the pie for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

Beef Tagine with Ras el Hanout
Serves 6 – 8

For the spice rub

1 Tbsp. Ras el Hanout
1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
1 Tbsp. Cassia cinnamon
1 Tbsp. Ground ginger
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tsp. Freshly ground Black pepper

1 1/2 lbs. Stewing Beef
Olive oil
1 Large Onion, peeled and finely chopped
A small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves picked and stalks reserved
1 14 oz. Can Chickpeas, drained
1 14 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes
4 Cups Stock, Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable
1 1/2 lbs. Winter Squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 oz. prunes, roughly torn
2 Tbsp. Sliced Almonds, toasted

To make the spice rub:

Mix the Ras el Hanout, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, salt, and black pepper together in a small bowl.

Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover and place into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a several tablespoons of olive oil in a tagine or Dutch oven and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped onion and coriander (cilantro) stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, and 2 cups of the stock and stir. Bring to a boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

At this point add your squash, the prunes and the remainder of the stock. Give everything a stir, place the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on it and add a bit of water if it looks too dry.

Once the time has passed, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with salt if necessary. Scatter the cilantro leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds and serve with couscous and pita.

Tomatillo Stew with Hominy and Smoked Pork

Serves 8

1 1/2 lbs. Tomatillos, husked and halved
1 Large Onion, quartered
2 Tbsp. Ancho Chile Powder
1 Tsp. Jalapeno Chile Powder
4 Large Garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 Cup Cilantro
2 Tbsp. Oregano leaves
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
8 Cups Chicken Stock
Three 15-ounce cans of hominy, drained
1 lb. Smoked Pork Shoulder
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Finely shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced radishes, chopped green onion, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges, for serving.

In a blender, combine the tomatillos, onion, chile powders, garlic, cilantro and oregano.  Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the side.  Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and puree until smooth.  In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the tomatillo puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce loses some of its raw aroma, about 15 minutes. Add the remainder of the chicken stock and the hominy and bring to a simmer over moderate heat.  Add the shredded pork to the stew, season with salt and pepper and cook just until heated through.

Serve the stew in in deep bowls, passing the lettuce, radishes, onion, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime wedges at the table.

Sopa a la Criolla (Creole Soup)

Serves 6-8

1 lb. Beef cut into bite-sized pieces
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Garlic ~ Minced
2 Large Onions ~ Finely chopped
2 Tomatoes ~ Peeled and diced (or 1 14 oz. Can)
2 Tbsp. Ají Panca Chile Powder
2 Bay Leaves
2 1/2 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
1 Tsp. Rocoto Paste or Hot Chili Sauce
10 Cups Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable Stock (or water)
8 Oz. Angel Hair or Spaghetti ~ broken into 3-inch pieces
2 Cans Evaporated milk
3 Eggs ~ Beaten
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Season the beef with salt, pepper and garlic.  Heat the oil in a large soup pot over high heat and pan-fry the beef. Add the Ají Panca, onion, tomato, chili sauce, oregano, and bay leaves.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until the onion is transparent.  Add the stock, bring to a boil and add the angel hair pasta.  Cook until almost al-dente.  Add the evaporated milk and then the beaten eggs after tempering. Stir to incorporate, correct the seasoning and remove from heat.  Serve and enjoy.

Maraq (Yemeni Chicken Soup)

Serves 6 to 8

As in a pot-au-feu, the broth of this soup is served separately from the meat and vegetables. But unlike the French dish, this Yemenite one is given a brilliant turmeric hue from the spice mixture Hawayij.

6 Whole Chicken legs (about 3‚ lb), drumsticks and thighs split
3 Medium Russet (baking) Potatoes
1 Large Onion, quartered
4 Medium Carrots
1 Bunch Cilantro, tied into a bundle with kitchen string
2 1/2 Tbsp. Hawayij or to taste

Accompaniments: Hilbeh and Zhug

Put chicken and 1 tablespoon salt in a 6- to 8-quart stockpot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, skimming foam, 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and halve potatoes.  Stir potatoes into broth along with onion, carrots, cilantro, 2‚ tablespoons Hawayij, and enough water to cover if necessary, then simmer, covered, until vegetables are very tender but not falling apart, about 1 hour.  Transfer chicken and vegetables to a platter and keep warm, covered. Discard cilantro and season broth with additional Hawayij and salt.  Serve each bowl of broth with a dollop of Hilbeh and with chicken, vegetables, and Zhug on the side.

Zhug (Yemenite Chile Garlic Sauce)

A homemade staple in the Yemeni household, this hot chile and garlic sauce becomes an ingredient itself—and may very well play a recurring role on your table.

6 oz. Fresh Jalapeño Chiles (about 6 medium), coarsely chopped
12 Garlic Cloves
1/4 Cup Water
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
10 Black Peppercorns
1/4 Tsp. Cardamom Seeds (from a green cardamom pod)
1 Tsp. Sea Salt

Purée all ingredients in a blender, scraping down side, until smooth.

Hilbeh (Yemeni Fenugreek Condiment)

After soaking for two days, the fenugreek seeds release gelatinous properties that—when beaten—give the Hilbeh a billowy texture as delicate as whipped cream.

2 Tbsp. plus 2 Tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 Cup Packed Cilantro
1 1/4 Cups very cold Water, divided
1/2 Tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tsp. Zhug
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt

Soak fenugreek seeds in water to cover, replacing water every few hours for the first day and then just once or twice a day, at least 2 days total.  Drain fenugreek and blend with cilantro and 1/4 cup cold water in a blender until ground to a foamy pale-green paste, scraping down side if necessary, 1 to 2 minutes (add more water if needed).   Transfer paste to a stand mixer with 1/4 cup cold water and beat at high speed until mixture is doubled and holds soft peaks (like whipped cream), about 10 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup cold water and beat 5 minutes more.  Repeat 2 times.  At low speed, beat in lemon juice, Zhug, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until just incorporated.

Persian Beef Stew

1/4 Cup Olive oil
2 Large Onions, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 lbs. Lean Beef (or lamb), Cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Large Tomatoes, seeded and chopped (22 oz. Can)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Cups Beef Stock
1 lb. Green Beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. Persian Blend
1 Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Ground Coriander
1/4 Tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are tender. Add beef and cook until beef is brown on all sides.  Add tomatoes, cilantro, salt and Persian Blend.  Cook and stir 1 minute.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 hours.  Add green beans and cook another 15 minutes.  Garnish with additional fresh cilantro and serve over hot Basmati rice.

Pork with Lemongrass

Serves 4

1/4 Cup of Peanut Oil
1 lb. of Boneless Pork Loin ~ Cut into 1 inch pieces
1 stalk of Lemongrass ~ Bottom part only, outer layers peeled, inner part minced
2 Cloves of Garlic ~ Minced
1 Red or Green Chile ~ De-seeded and minced
1 Tsp. Curry Powder
1 Tbsp. Fish sauce
1/2 Tsp. Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Freshly ground White Pepper
1/4 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Green Onions ~ minced to garnish
Oil for deep frying

Heat the oil in a wok or heavy pan over medium heat until very hot. Deep fry the meat for about three minutes until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Drain off all but 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil in the wok. Reheat the oil over medium heat, add the lemongrass, garlic, chili and deep fried meat, and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the curry powder, fish sauce, sugar and pepper, followed by the chicken stock. Mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes, and remove from the heat.  If you would like to make a glazed sauce mix 1 Tsp. of corn starch with a 1/4 Cup of water and add to wok.  Stir until sauce begins to thicken and pork is glazed.  Serve with fragrant rice.

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