Monday, 28 November 2011

Baby Brendan

10 x 60kg deadlifts
5 ring push-ups

If my shoulders aren't messed up tomorrow  I'll be happy. Next time I want the rings up at least a foot higher so that I can focus on the position, elbow pits forwards, externally rotated shoulders, butt tight and not just struggle my way up and hope I'm holding the position.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Quick and easy Biltong making - aka " I just want to eat it and not pay a fortune"

I wrote this up a while ago as a fairly final version of how I go about making it now.

Since then I've made the change I suggested I would and the process is now:
  1. Sprinkle salt on both sides
  2. Stack it in a casserole dish.
  3. Leave overnight at least.
  4. Wash the salt off with vinegar.
  5. Apply spices, slice, dry in the dehydrator.
Both versions of the process should be read to get the full details.

I’m NOT representing this as an authentic process, it’s a way of achieving an equivalent result to the products made at various south African butchers around Auckland using ingredients I can find easily with a quick turn-around time.

  • Cider vinegar.
    I buy 2 litre bottles of DIY vinegar from the supermarket, so nothing fancy. 
  • Topside steak.
    Pre-packed, pre-cut in steaks from our local New World.
    I have found the quality of the meat varies from butcher to butcher and luckily the Papakura New World has the best I’ve found.
    I’ve tried silverside. Didn’t like it and I can get topside on special easily and often. Silverside isn’t as readily available to me. 
  • Spices.
    This is harder to list as what I’ve used varied enormously.
    The best I’ve made used a commercial spice mix from Crown Safari. I’ve discovered that the stuff contains sugar and MSG (, which explains why it was so good. That’s a potent combination.
    I’m trying to avoid using sugar and can’t get the crown spices without going out of my way so I’m developing my own equivalent.
    The latest version used:
  1. Soak the steak in the vinegar.
    Marinade is too flash for this and pickle is too long.
    I pour some vinegar in a casserole dish, slop the steak in it on both sides and build up layers, pouring a bit more in as I go.
    Any meat in contact with the vinegar will turn grey, you tend to get quite a bit of the stacked meat that doesn’t so a more free-flow bath would be better, but it takes up space.
    Duration: Variable. 2-3 hours at least although it often winds up being all day or overnight or both.
  2. Apply the spices.
    I sort of shake the vinegar off, lay the meat on a chopping board and sprinkle the spice mixture on.
    Pat them in.
    Flip it over.
    Cut into strips.

    This is the main deviation from the traditional process. I need to do this to get it to dry in the food dehydrator, traditionally you’d hang it in a fly proof box with good air circulation for several days.
    My way is faster.
  3. Dry it in the dehydrator.
    I prefer to dry it on the max heat for about 3 hours and then lower it until I need to take it out or until it’s done. That way the outside is leathery but the inside is a little moist, but that sweet spot is very hard to hit and I miss it often.

The vinegar flavour is sharper for a start and tends to mellow over time. After a couple of days it’s not noticeable as vinegar and instead forms a part of the overall taste.

I’ve also done it as.
  1. Sprinkle salt on both sides
  2. Stack it in a casserole dish.
  3. Leave overnight at least.
  4. Wash the salt off with vinegar.
  5. Apply spices, slice, dry in the dehydrator.

The salt draws out moisture and makes the meat tougher.
The vinegar still contributes surprisingly to the taste even if it’s just a wash.
I might go back to this method soon so I don’t have to add extra salt to the spice mix I’m developing.
It’s all a process of constant experimentation.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Ignoring the other workouts I did recently

Because I can't remember what they were.

10 x 25kg T-handle swings
10 x Abmat sit-ups

Monday, 14 November 2011

Getting there

I can breathe through both nostrils fairly consistently again, there's still noxious gunk running down the back of my throat, but I'm sleeping through the night and not waking up gagging and retching.
There for OK to train but not ready for a real metcon yet, so:

10 x 60kg deadlift
30 second plank hold