Big farm to table dinner coming up. I'm showcasing the vegetables that are readily available this season. There is a beautiful spruce tree on the farm that I'd like to incorporate into a brisket. I have already kicked myself in the butt for not picking the spruce tips and or collecting the pollen. Timing is everything, I have to wait until next spring. But, there are still the needles. I understand the potency of flavor. Bitter is what I want. Plenty of fat to balance. I'm pairing with a black IPA that has piney and citrus notes.
So, my questions are:
- If I was to do a long cold smoke with the needles and or wood, how long and how "hot"?
- Should I just simply braise the brisket with the needles? Or both?
- What are your thoughts on cooking with spruce?