Sunday, March 4, 2012

Registered Open Athletes, please don’t forget to input your score for 12.2 by 5pm today.  YEAH!

Keg drill, 2 min

40 Double unders
10 second Ring support
10 Push-ups
30 Double unders
10 Bar taps
10 Kettlebell swings
20 Double unders
10 Ring dips
30 second Samson stretch

Workout of the day:
Start a running clock.  During the first minute, complete the following:
3 Ring dips
1 Kettlebell swing (1.5 pood/1 pood)
Every subsequent minute, add 1 kettlebell swing.  Score is total swings in last round completed.

Cool down:
Walking lunge 100 meters forward
Walking lunge 100 meters backward




My aim in the long term is to make you all into fearless warriors in the kitchen, by arming you with the knowledge to cook any animal or vegetable to come in your path. In my previous post, Bovine Guideline, I glossed over basic cooking methods, as well as posted demo videos on slicing, searing and blanching.

Confit (pronounced “con-fee”) is a cooking and preserving method first recorded in the early 17th century by the French. This method of salting meat, slowing cooking in it’s natural juices and then storing in its fat ensured that the meat didn’t go bad. Salt curing tenderizes and flavors the meat. The slowing cooking (low temperature/long duration) in fat ensures a moist and juicy end product, and encapsulating it in fat seals it from air exposure, keeping the meat fresh for weeks. With the advent of modern refrigeration, there is no need to keep our morsels of meat in fat tombs for protection, so the method of confit is strictly for the pleasures of the palate. 

Today, anything can be cooked in it’s own juice (think fruit confit, tomato confit) but when we use the the term as an adjective, it is assumed it is meat; usually dark, fattier cuts of meat such as duck, beef shank, chicken thighs, pork belly, etc., etc. Leaner cuts of meat can be confit but don’t survive the long cooking times as well (think overcooked chicken breast=DRY!)  



 Chicken legs ‘a curin’! 

To start your confit, we must first dry or wet cure you meat of choice. It can be simply the single ingredient of salt for the cure, but I suggest you let your imagination wild and use as many fresh and dry spices and herbs as you desire. I enjoy garlic, onion, thyme, mint, and bay. Or give it an Southeast Asian flare with lemon grass, ginger, anise, birds eye chili and sesame paste. The flavor combinations are endless. You should cure your meat for no less than 24 hours, no more than 3 days. 

While your meat is curing in the ‘fridge, covered, you must acquire enough fat to cover the meat to poach in. Traditionally it should be the fat of the animal that it is, but it is not unusual to use another animal fat in combination to get the volume you’ll need. Duck fat can be purchased at Sur la Table in Culver City in 2# tubs, I believe; beef tallow is readily available for order through US Wellness Meats and at any hispanic market. Pork lard is a little more difficult to find in LA, as you need leaf lard to extract the fat from, in a process called rendering. I did find  a website that sells rendered pork lard called Prairie Pride Farm. I’ve never used their product, so I can’t vouch for their quality. 


 Pork belly fully submerged in lard in the mightiest of cooking vessels, the cast-iron DUTCH OVEN!


When you’re ready to cook your meat, make sure you wipe off any excess curing spices and herbs, as to not burn them during the long cooking process. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Melt your lard on the stove top in a dutch oven with a heavy lid, cast iron preferred, until liquified. Submerge meat completely in the liquid fat. Cover. Put into oven. Cook overnight. There is no such thing as over cooking, so don’t worry. I’ve seen some confit recipes that call for 12-14 hours of cooking, but I think 8-10 hours is sufficient. 


 These confit turkey legs are ready for your fridge! 


Remove from the oven and let the entire pot come to room temperature. At that point it is ready to be stored in the fridge, as is, for up to several weeks. When you’re ready to consume, just dig in for the amount you want to serve and reheat in a saute pan in the fat that clings to it. 

I would also re- use the flavorful poaching fat to saute vegetables and sear meats in. Mmmm. 

Here is a simple lamb confit recipe that could translate to other animals as well.


1 deboned shoulder of lamb

1 cup coarse sea salt, or more

2 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of rosemary

1 quart (1 liter) duck or goose fat

Sprinkle salt and herbs liberally over the lamb. Cover and let cure for at least 24 hours. 

Continue by using the cooking method as described above. 


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