322 N. Main Street
Moscow, PA 18444
As you may already know, I frequent an online meat delivery service (samsbutchershop.com) based out of Northeastern PA and every once in a while, Sam the butcher hooks me up with some new products to try out.
This holiday season, he's got whole smoked ducks, smoked hams (bone-in), smoked salmon, smoked kielbasa rings, smoked breakfast sausage links and rendered duck fat by the pound. I received my package neatly wrapped just in time for my post-Thanksgiving turkey hangover blues.
The extra bonus was seeing the duck fat right on top, a nice surprise to get the unpacking started. Since the duck was number one coming out of the box, it was to be my first victim on my smoked meat journey last week.
Weighing in at just under 3 lbs. after its smoking, this beautiful bird was ready for some serious slicing and pulling. At this size, the meat could probably feed 3-4 people as a main course, but for me, it fed just 2 of us for one meal. I shouldn't have to explain my oversize appetite by now...
Slicing into the breast was like slicing through butter. Just look at the color and the tender meat encased in the glossy layer of fat just beneath the golden skin. A perfectly smoked specimen.
I couldn't help my craving for Peking duck when I began the breakdown and so I proceeded with my plans for a high heat dry fry on the pulled meat and I'd glaze it with my homemade orange-soy-ginger sauce. (I know it's not "Peking" in the traditional sense, but for my purposes, it works.)
After hitting the wok with some grapeseed oil for a bit of crisping up, I added my mixture of fresh squeezed orange juice (& microplaned peel), soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sriracha and hoisin to coat and let it caramelize on the shredded duck for a few minutes before serving over rice and stir-fried veggies.
It was incredible. The texture of the duck held up through my secondary cooking process and its flavor was an amazing blend of smoky, sweet and spicy with the most delicious bits of crisped ends for added complexity.
Second out of the box was the smoked ham, and this was another thing of beauty right off the bat.
It had the perfectly smoked finish, with the deep pink interior and the penetrating outer glaze. It smelled so good, I couldn't wait to try it and was eating every other slice while preparing for my grilled ham & cheese sandwiches.
It was smooth, silky and melted like butter in my mouth; sweet and salty with a smack of smoke.
It was incredible on white bread with yellow Cooper Sharp melting through the layers. One of my more simple indulgences.
With most of the leftover meat, I had planned on making split pea & ham soup (jumping off of Ina Garten's recipe) so I chopped it up into smaller, spoon size pieces. I used the bone to flavor my stock while the dry peas simmered for about 60 minutes, pulled it out and then added the ham to warm up in the soup for another 20 minutes.
I recommend letting the soup cool for at least an hour and then warming up again, the flavors improve ten-fold if you give it the extra time. The ham is crucial to a split pea soup recipe in my mind and Sam's ham is some of the best I've had. Even after my soup was full of ham, I still had a pile left and decided to make ham salad for my lunches.
I minced it up (just over 2 cups) and mixed it with 2 chopped hard boiled eggs; 3 diced celery stalks; 1/4 of a sweet onion, minced; 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley; 2-3 heaping tbsp. mayo; 1 tbsp. dijon; 1 tbsp. sweet relish; 1 tsp. hoagie spread; and salt & pepper.
Crisp, delicious and refreshing. Well, as refreshing as ham can be. The ham is well worth it, considering I made 3 very diverse meals that lasted me nearly a whole week! And when I ran out, I decided to have breakfast for dinner with Sam's b-fast sausages.
They were like smoked mini kielbasas with some early morning flavor. I sliced them in half lengthwise and got a good sear in some butter and served them over crispy hash browns and topped with cheesy scramble. What a delight.
Breakfast for dinner is too often forgotten, so my parting advice is do it more than you should and you will be happier for it. And hit Sam's Butcher Shop up for all of your BFD needs.