Jimenez, who smokes briskets for 12 hours for tacos at El Rey—he also does a smoked turkey pastrami club for The Ranstead Room—says if he drastically increased the time over smoke, the brisket could last a few weeks outside of refrigeration, preferably wrapped up dry in a cool basement.
“You’d up the salt and the smoke to basically make jerky,” Ron Templeman of Pigheaded BBQ says.
But Jimenez would have to hurry (before the power went out) since he doesn’t have a wood based smoker like Magee—to smoke anything, he places a tricked out double hotel pan in an oven set to a low temp.
“We improvise,” he says. “We use a hotel pan with water with another pan inside it with chips and we light it every twenty minutes. With a smoker, the process is shorter,” he says.
Then there’s all the other meat you have lying around. The hunks of lamb shoulder, pork belly, rabbit saddle, and blade roast that you can’t let go to waste—because it literally could kill you….or maybe you’d just start eating people sooner. Meanwhile, a nauseating shade of purple is running up your barback’s arm from his bandaged hand and one of those dipshits—in addition to zombies, you’re calling them yelpers—outside just smashed a pane of glass by the front door. At least it isn’t a mob of Living Social assholes you think.
Maybe it’s day two and the power and gas could go any minute and you’re needed to help refortify that front picture window, or it’s simply your first day off in a week and you just want to sit at the bar.
So, you grab some salt, black pepper, brown sugar and you start making some brine. A lot of brine. Then you take one of the many white buckets lying around your kitchen and you submerge those larger cuts in a preserving salt & sugar solution that will pretty much keep them indefinitely (i.e. over a year without refrigeration).
“You want to keep it covered in a cool room, but other than having to scoop some mold off the top at some point you’re good for as long as you need to keep it,” Miller says.
Just think how happy everyone will be in 2015 during Christmas zombie apocalypse after you surprise everyone with that lamb shoulder and beef tongue you’ve been brining for 13 months!
The website for North Mountain Pastures recommended brining for CSA customers pre-hurricane Sandy in the event of a power outage. Brooks relates a true horror story in that post: a customer having to discard a sizable shipment of meat after a previous storm.
But what about cooking the brined meat or any other preserved meat that you couldn’t otherwise eat raw?
While Time doesn’t utilize a wood burning oven like Dock Street Brew or Brigantessa, they do have Japanese charcoal grills. Portable, Magee says they easily come on and off the line. As for uses, in the summer “it was damn near everything,” he says, like torching the skin of mackerel for texture contrast.
Lynn Rinaldi refers to the 5 butane heaters in her basement that she uses for offsite demos.
“We could cook pasta with them,” she says.
“But they wouldn’t last long,” Baver counters.
As a solution, he offers using wood from the garden atop Paradiso to fire grills formerly fuelled by gas.
“But the garden would disappear,” he says.
As for other long-term options for preserving meat, Magee points to his background in old world farmhouse cooking.
“As far as a zombie apocalypse goes, rillettes are amazing. They’re just cooked proteins stored in its own fat forever. As long as it has a fat cap, dude you’re good. It could be years. You could keep it at room temperature. Traditionally in France when all this shit was coming about, it was like they were living in the zombie apocalypse,” Magee says.
As with many points—his eyes hinting that he was living the scenario in his head—Magee took to the idea excitedly. “Dude, I have nothing. I just killed a pig. Let me rillettes this entire leg.” CONTINUE READING >