We had a marvelous December here at the Smokehaus – but neglected our
blog in the flurry. No longer: check back to catch news, special
limited-quantity gift boxes, and recipes galore.
For February, we’ve put together a sweet little gift box in honor of a dwindling cold snap, Valentine’s Day, and a terrific crop of Pepperoni. Click here to get a closer look.
Thanks for a wonderful holiday season, everybody. We plan to keep the good times rolling!
We have officially become fancy. After years of cardboard and stickers, we have made a great leap forward and now offer beautiful wood-burned wooden crates, which come standard with our Salami Gift Box and are straight-up for sale in the Duluth storefront.
The crates are hinged; perfect for that cassette tape collection, spare socks, or, as one of our regular customers announced, “shotgun shells.”
We like them for smoked fish and salami. I bet you all will, too.
All of our delightful platters and bites on our new catering menu will include one of these cute little keepsakes, as well!
Crispy, sweet, soft, and savory – if you treat a sweet potato right, you get results. And by “right,” I mean adding Smokehaus bacon and fried sage. April came up with this recipe recently in what can only be considered a fit of genius. Try it on Thanksgiving, on Christmas, or on any given weekend with a couple of poached eggs.
Aprils Sweet Potato Hash
3 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, small-diced
¼ lb bacon, cut into small cubes
1 bunch of fresh sage
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Once boiling, add the sweet potatoes and cook until just fork-tender, but not soft. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy skillet on medium. Add the sage and fry, gently flipping over, until it is crisp (this won’t take long – about 3-5 minutes). Remove the crispy sage to a plate and, while still warm, sprinkle with a little salt.
In the same skillet, add the bacon and onion and cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove mixture and drain off most of the bacon fat, but leave a teaspoon or so to flavor the potatoes. Add the butter, and once melted, add the sweet potatoes in an even layer.
Allow the sweet potatoes to brown on one side and then re-incorporate the onions and bacon. Cook all the ingredients until desired crispiness is reached with the potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with the fried sage.
We use Duluth maple syrup in this pumpkin pie recipe – it is harvested right up the hill by one of our salmon fisherman, Dave Rogotzke, and his wife and children. The addition of maple syrup gives the pie a mellow sweetness, and the fresh ginger and black pepper really make it sing.
Duluth Maple Pumpkin Pie
1 9” Flaky Pie crust
2 large eggs
15 ounces pumpkin puree
2 cups of heavy cream
½ cup of locally-made maple syrup
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp grated fresh ginger
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of fresh-ground black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, adjusting an oven rack to the lowest position.
Whisk together all the ingredients with 1 cup of the cream. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake on the lowest oven rack, on a baking sheet, for 60-70 minutes or until the center is set.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving – overnight is optimal. To serve, whip the remaining cup of cream (add sugar, if desired) and give the slices a dollop.
The Smokehaus loves a good party. As long as there is a fire and a beasty to throw on it, we will be there.
Warmth and pork – with the occasional vegetable thrown in – November (and December, and January) seems built for celebrating. The abbreviation of daylight seems to hasten midnight behavior: gluttony, affection, caterwalling, wrestling, and dreaming of strawberries.
It is perhaps this season, when summer is abruptly yanked off the stage by winter’s frosty cane, that we begin to fully grasp the importance of friends, a fire, a meal, and once again utilize the mysteries of a long darkness.
Happy November, dear readers. It’s gonna be a great winter.
This recipe has been known to convert the pickiest of vegetable-phobes; as usual, the incorporation of meat is just the thing to do the trick.
Adapted from Saveur, our Chorizo really makes it sing.
Smokehaus Brussels Sprouts
2 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts
1/4 lb Chorizo, small-diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
3-4 shallots, small-diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Trim and halve the sprouts. When the water comes to a boil, drop in the sprouts and cook until just tender, 7-10 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy skillet on medium-high. Add the Chorizo and brown. Add the shallots and cook until soft, then add the garlic and cook until soft; about 2 more minutes. Remove this mixture to a bowl.
Turn up the heat on the skillet and add remaining 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until browned and tender. Incorporate the Chorizo mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
Today was a great day for the Smokehaus. We received two local hogs and were able to butcher them ourselves: this means we could perform special cuts in order to create special meats, such as the Austrian Speck and Germanic head cheese.
Eric’s brand-new soul brother Mike Phillips was on hand, teaching us technique and getting a pig of his own. Mike comes from Minneapolis by way of Iowa, in a town a stone’s throw away from Eric’s hometown. Amid fascinated stares from the Smokehaus crew and more bone-saws than a splatter-porn, the first hog was beheaded, de-jowled, and made into a facsimile of “meat” before most butchers could have their cleavers sharpened. Mike sure does know his way around a carcass.
Although this task was (ahem) a little graphic, this blogger believes that it is the duty of any chaircutier to understand the animal, in all its stages – guts and all. In the abstract, the flesh is profoundly beautiful – with elegant pink muscle stretched against the skeletal architecture, filigreed with snowy white fat – the animal on the butcher’s table is the proverbial sculptor’s granite, just waiting for the craftsman to reveal the hidden, intrinsic masterpiece.
We plan on doing this a lot more in the future, but for now we plan on smoking, curing, rolling, tying, braising, and savoring every part of this glorious animal. And that is sublime.
October is mildly slow at the Smokehaus, so we spend time regrouping, re-organizing, and creatively spazzing-out like only we Smokehaus lifers know how. Any lack of customer activity will be amply compensated with an unaltered productive pace – demand be damned. Last week, we took some photos on the eighth floor of the Dewitt Seitz building, where the light is always good, even on grey Autumn afternoons.
Our Berkshire Ham was the supermodel of the afternoon, showing off its jewel-tone pinks and snowy-white fat like Harry Winston diamonds. We shot dozens of pictures before we realized that they ALL were gorgeous (and therefore website appropriate), and forced ourselves to move on to smoked pork loin.
This week, we plan on giving equal affection to our in-development catering menu, so get ready for some sexy shots of antipasti, cheeseboards, and salumi …
Mary & April
“Egg Bake” is a general term here in the Midwest for a large baked egg casserole, with infinite room for variations – some include lining the pan with buttered toast, fried potatoes, polenta, or even pancakes. Here is a great recipe for a smoked salmon egg bake which cuts out the starch to make room for flavor.
Northern Waters Smokehaus Egg Bake with Smoked Salmon
Preheat Oven at 350 degrees
Butter a 13×9 casserole dish
2 Tbsp butter
12 eggs – We use the unbeatable Locally Laid, a Duluth egg concern
3/4 cup of shredded cheese, such as Gruyere, Prairie Breeze, or Manchego
1 medium red onion, thin-sliced
1/2 lb smoked salmon with Dill, skinned and flaked
2-3 Tbsp capers, to taste
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano
Salt and Pepper to taste
Saute the onion in a medium saucepan until translucent. Remove from heat. Whisk the eggs, shredded cheese, capers, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Scatter the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/2 of the sauteed onion. Evenly pour the egg mixture over them. Next, scatter the smoked salmon over the egg mixture and top with the remaining onion. Finally, sprinkle with the Parmigiano.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the egg has set in the center. Let cool 10-15 minutes before devouring.