The new Samsung Food Showcase is every smallholders dream fridge freezer!
Last week we collected our pig from the abattoir and spent a full day butchering, curing and freezing the meat. Being the first time we’ve done all the butchery at home I was pretty nervous, but we were lucky enough to enlist the help of our good friend Derek who really knows his stuff.
The other thing that helped massively was our Samsung Food Showcase, the mother of all fridge freezers. I’m pretty sure Samsung didn’t design it specifically for smallholders, but it was perfect for our home butchery day and it made my life so much easier. Actually, I’m not sure how we’d have managed without it.
It is a huge unit (please measure your kitchen & doorways first if you’re thinking of buying one!) which meant we had tonnes of room for bags, trays and joints of meat.
If you haven’t come across this fridge before, go take a peek at the Samsung website. It’s a top of the range model that certainly isn’t cheap, but is a brilliant piece of engineering with some unique design elements that looks stunning to boot.
Derek started by cutting the back legs into lovely joints to make ham. I sprinkled one of these joints with curing salt inside a large food grade plastic bag and popped it in the inner fridge where it will get a nice massage every day until it is fully cured. Then on Christmas eve it’ll be ready to turn into ham.
Will ham have ever tasted better I wonder?
All the offal was cleaned, bagged and popped in the freezer. By pressing and holding the Power Freeze button for 3 seconds, it ensured the freezer temperature stayed consistent and the meat was flash frozen which not only keeps it safe, but also beautifully fresh when we come to defrost it.
When we stopped for lunch I just grabbed the entire door drawer that I’d already filled up with everything we could need – ham, beef and egg mayo along with the butter for the baguettes. Normally this drawer is Jonny’s and as I’m lactose intolerant he keeps all his cheesey milky things in there out of my way. For families with serious allergies this could be a great way to prevent cross contamination.
The great thing about the dual door system of the Showcase is that by opening the first door, you don’t interfere with the temperature of the inner fridge. Particularly useful when you’re looking to the contents of your fridge to inspire you for dinner time.
After lunch, Derek cut everything up to our requirements, with any odd bits of meat going onto the sausage tray. Everything needs to stay as cold as possible not only to keep it safe, but also to ensure that the pork you want to turn into sausages will mince properly. If it’s not cool enough, it’ll mush up in your mincer and be a real pain to work with.
We opted for 3 different flavours of sausages, they all had plenty of white pepper and cooking salt (the grains of cooking salt are finer than in table salt so are more easily blended) and then were flavoured with various herbs – the oregano ones are my absolute favourite. We fried off a little of each mixture to make sure the flavouring were OK before stuffing the sausage skins. If you’ve never made sausages, you really must – it’s hilarious!
Once the sausages are made they needed to rest for 2 or 3 days and the Showcase is the next best thing to a butchers walk in fridge. During that resting time the rusk (we used a gluten free variety so my nephew can help us polish them off) swells and will fill any air gaps and the flavours will marry together perfectly.
When they are all finished they can be frozen, and having an upright freezer is ideal for this stage as the sausages can go in large freezer bags and be frozen flat. When you want to defrost a few, just drop the bag onto a clean floor or work surface and they’ll break apart allowing you to take out as many as you need.
The Showcase freezer is really well designed, and although it’s not as spacious as the fridge it’s all very well thought through. It’s really well lit, and has handy little pockets on the inside of the door which are great to prevent smaller items getting lost.
If you choose to plumb the Showcase in, you can have chilled, filtered water on tap and an endless supply of ice on hand too. However, if that doesn’t appeal, you can easily remove the inner section of the ice maker and replace it with the supplied shelving section thereby giving you even more freezer storage.
And just to prove we didn’t waste a morsel of our pig, I simmered the head and trotters for 4 hours, picked the meat off and made this delicious brawn. Soft, tender meat and well flavoured stock made this a real treat that costs pennies and is bursting with nutrients.
Next week, when all the pork is safely frozen and we’ve had a few days peace and quiet, we’ll be butchering a bunch of our Muscovy ducks so no doubt the Showcase will come into its own again!
Huge thanks to Derek & his wife Wendy for all their help, and to Samsung for the chance to review the Showcase. It’s a great product and has been a real life saver for us.