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Friday 27 May 2016

Experiment / Recipe: Squid Ink Charcoal

I was doing a little flavour profiling the other day - aka dicking about in the kitchen -  I’d been trying out an idea with black ribs for a course called “rack and black 2.0”. Still needs work, but one of the elements uses squid ink to introduce the black element.

rack of rose veal w/ black ribs

black ribs w/ pa amb tomàquet

Anyway, the result were OK but nothing to write home about so I settled into a glass of wine and catching up with Masterchef. It was the heat where the contestants had to cook for Michael O'Hare (The Man Behind the Curtain).  The task: to make a dish from his restaurant (obviously). A dish that caught my eye (mostly because I had most of the ingredients in the kitchen) was a dish with Iberian pork (two ways), an edible eggshell filled with egg yolk (Onsen tamago style) topped with squid charcoal.  It looked unusual, really tasty I’m sure & the pork looked spectacular!

Anyhow, I’ve never made and edible egg shell or squid charcoal, and since I had the ingredients for for the squid charcoal I had a stab at it! 

Here's the recipe and the results . . .  

for the veal stock (makes 250 - 400g)
2 sides veal ribs (sliced into ribs, browned)
1 onion (quartered & charred)
2 star anise
20g ginger (sliced & charred)
1L water
Brown off the veal ribs.
Char the ginger & onion.
Put all the ingredients on to boil then turn down to a simmer.
Simmer for 90 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and reduce for another 90 minutes.
Keep going until it coats the back of a spoon.
Remove the ribs, and store for later use.
Remove ginger and star anise, then blend the onion in with an immersion (stick) blender.

for the squid ink stock (makes 440g)
90g squid ink
350g veal stock (or a good gelatinous or white stock)
Add the ink to the boiling veal stock, mix well and put aside until needed.

for the squid ink charcoal (makes ~180g)
155g old bread
170g squid ink stock
200ml milk (semi skimmed)
6g salt (will depend on how salty your stock was)
Blitz the bread and the squid ink stock until it’s homogenous. It will be thick enough to roll into balls.
Loosen the mix with milk, and season. 
Spread a layer 2mm thick onto a silpat / heatproof baking sheet, and bake 100C / 3hrs. 
(145g for a 24x18cm baking sheet - 1g/ 3cm2 - made 50g)
It’s more of a dehydration process than baking.
Once it’s brittle, it’s ready!

I kinda forgot I had the first batch in the oven and ended up with a sheet of actual charcoal . . . oops!
Best to check it every hour!

A quick re-run gave me a very passable result:

Next week . . . prince party nougat (beetroot, orange & pistachio. . . delish)

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