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List of Errors in Charcuterie by M. Ruhlman

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#31 Lisa Shock

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:18 PM


Like I said, his seemingly lackadaisical attitude towards really critical, potentially harmful recipe deviations or errors demonstrates that he either doesn't know, and therefore shouldn't be considered the expert he purports to be, or just doesn't care...which is possibly worse.


My sense is that he is partially trained and thinks that he knows more than he does. When one goes around speaking at South Beach, having adoring fans of one's website, and hob-nobbing with hotshot chefs, one might begin to think that their words have some authority. As Rumsfeld said, you have to know what you don't know (paraphrase).


Agreed. I have seen him be cavalier about food safety issues in his blog and not understand the difference between foodborne infection vs. foodborne intoxication.

#32 dougal

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:38 AM

Put me down as one of those who simply doesn't understand the Ruhlman-hate so much in evidence in this thread.


I think its a VERY good book indeed.
Not flawless.
I certainly don't know of a better book to introduce the techniques to a home (non-pro) kitchen enthusiast.
And I certainly do know of many that are worse. First nomination HFW's River Cottage Meat book - there you'll find brine recipes where the quantity of salt physically will not dissolve, and the universal experience that the recipes turn out inedibly salty. Oh, and lets not forget his *dried* 'Chorizo' that does not use either starter culture OR any curing salt (nitrate/nitrite) whatsoever -- which I consider to be a downright irresponsiblly dangerous suggestion.

The strength of 'Charcuterie' is the descriptive, tutorial writing.
Its weaknesses (such as they are) are generally down to the recipes - and, actually, as with The French Laundry Cookbook, the formula part of the recipes cannot be blamed on Ruhlman!

I simply do not understand the vilification of Ruhlman because Polcyn's recipe uses a non-authentic cut of pork for Coppa.
The provenance of the recipes is clearly stated in the last paragraph of page 26 (you all did read Chapter One, didn't you?) - "The recipes in this book, with a handful of exceptions, reflect Brian's work .. While some are wholly his own, most are standard preparations that he has molded over the years to satisfy his own tastes and spirit. ... "
And Jason, shame on you - have you forgotten that Ruhlman personally replied in 2006 to your specific quibble regarding 'authentic' Coppa - and explained that this was "Brian's" recipe? See http://egullet.org/p1132680
Why hate the Wordsmith because you disagree with the Cook's recipe?
"Authenticity" does not seem to bother Polcyn much, if at all. Real Merguez wouldn't be made with pork!
And I could generally do without the flavouring additive "Fermento", and much less starter culture ...

The book is frankly weak on 'authenticity' - but viewed as a technique tutorial with illustrative examples, that hardly matters.
If anyone was expecting more authenticity than than they got, blame Polcyn for his recipes, not Ruhlman for explaining them.
For authenticity on French recipes, look to Jane Grigson, but marvel at the way Nitrate (saltpetre) used to be used!



And specifically regarding Nitrite (and Nitrate) levels, I have done the maths for the corned beef recipe that concerned dls, and its not far (if at all) over the US limit, while his own variation produces only about half the minimum required level for a US commercial product.
The description on the packet isn't always the best recipe - just as with yeast!

Before working through the Maths, I'd like to make a few things clear -

- firstly the US regulations are arbitrary and inconsistent
--- they don't concern themselves with the amount actually in the product, just whether or not it complies with the codified process
--- if 201 ppm Nitrite (plus no Nitrate) is not allowed, and 751 ppm of Nitrate (with no Nitrite) is not allowed, then why is it permissible to have both 200 ppm Nitrite AND 750 ppm Nitrate together in the same product? That simply doesn't make sense, because Nitrate turns into Nitrite, over time.
--- since there is actually a different amount of actual Nitrite in 200 ppm Sodium Nitrite and 200 ppm Potassium Nitrite, (because of the different weights of Sodium and Potassium), wtf do the regulations set the same limit for both Sodium and Potassium Nitrites? Yes - they really are controlling the input of the whole curing salt, rather than the amount of active Nitrite! Except of course for bacon curing, (did I say it was inconsistent?) where the limits do take account of this, and are 23% higher for the potassium salt!
--- if 201 ppm nitrite is excessive in a brine-cured product, why is it permitted to sell a dry-cured product with 625 ppm nitrite?

- and the regulations are based on flawed science
--- for equilibrium brine curing, they assume that the nitrite (or nitrate) will all remain present, and will divide itself so that its concentration (by weight) is equal between meat and brine. Actually, the nitrite (or nitrate) gets used up in the meat (as Ruhlman's response to dls indicates) ...
--- for shorter (non-equilibrium) cures, they assume that the nitrite (or nitrate) is absorbed by the meat in the same proportion as it has picked up water. I have no idea where they got that idea, but it does produce a process code that can be checked without sophisticated equipment.

So, unless you are a US commercial producer, you should take these regulation limits as guidelines rather than life-or-death critical thresholds. They indicate the right ballpark, not extensively-researched medical threshold criteria.

Download link for the PDF of official US limits and calculation methodology http://www.fsis.usda...ives/7620-3.pdf


OK, those regs say for long (equilibrium, no further weight gain) curing, the limit is 200 ppm with at least 120 ppm being required, even for products that require refrigeration.
5 days is actually a bit short for equilibrium, but without knowing the weight gain, equilibrium is the only calc we can do - but if we calculate the equilibrium result, we could suppose that the 5-day result would be slightly lower than what we calculate, if it hasn't yet reached equilibrium.


Lets do the maths. (Metric for simplicity)
Polcyn says to use
4 litres water, 2.25 kg meat and 25 g of 'pink salt'
So 2.25/(2.25+4) or 0.36 of the pink salt end up in the meat.
Which is 9 g of pink salt into the meat.
Pink salt is 6.25% nitrite, so the "ingoing nitrite" is 0.5265 g

As a proportion of the starting meat weight, that is 0.5265/2250 or 0.000250 which would be 250 ppm.
As noted, if this were an equilibrium cure that would be over the US limit - but only by 25% too much.
I wouldn't worry about that - its not equilibrium and I don't believe its anything like dangerous. (Compared to a possible 'legal' addition of an extra 625 ppm of nitrate!)

However, using 1/5 the quantity of pink salt (as dls did) would mean 1/5 of the ingoing Nitrite, ie just 50 ppm. Sadly this is less than 42% of the mimimum level (of 120 ppm) that the US code requires.

Nutshell upsum : If Polcyn went down from 25 to 20 g of Pink Salt, it would meet the US commercial code, with no dispute. As it is, the question is 'how close to equilibrium did it get?'


I'm not sure why Jason (jmolinari) should be concerned that the moderate salting that Polcyn proposes would be "downright dangerous" and "really critical, potentially harmful".
Wouldn't it be the case that too little salt (and I'm not sure Polcyn is exceptionally light on salt) would increase the risk of obvious product spoilage, rather than sneaky C. bot poisoning.



Charcuterie is a very good (but not perfect) book.
Its the best tutorial intro that I know of.
Ruhlman has done much better than most authors to make himself available (not least on these forums) to continue to enthusiastically offer "product support" for this book.
I am astonished at the level of personal vitriol expressed against this author - and doubly surprised to see such a 'hate' thread on the august eGullet.

Edited by dougal, 16 May 2011 - 10:40 AM.

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#33 jmolinari

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:30 AM

Put me down as one of those who simply doesn't understand the Ruhlman-hate so much in evidence in this thread.


I've personally been irked with Ruhlman's postings and positions on food safety for a while now, but i've kept them to myself. What has prompted me to post stuff here detailing the shortcomings of his book was his tweet on the errata Modernist Cuisine issued where he basically said "good thing i waited for MC so i don't have to look at an errata". The way i read that is as a putdown that such an expensive book has to issue an errata list and corrections. As though his book were perfect. Not only is it not perfect, it has gross errors, and some which could lead to someone getting sick. Let's call a spade a spade.

I certainly don't know of a better book to introduce the techniques to a home (non-pro) kitchen enthusiast.


Disagree. Paul Bertolli's book has 1 chapter on cured meats, and it is better written and explained, IMHO, than Charcuterie. Charcuterie has more recipes and formulas and other stuff Bertolli's book doesn't (brines, fish more about sausages).


And I certainly do know of many that are worse. First nomination HFW's River Cottage Meat book - there you'll find brine recipes where the quantity of salt physically will not dissolve, and the universal experience that the recipes turn out inedibly salty. Oh, and lets not forget his *dried* 'Chorizo' that does not use either starter culture OR any curing salt (nitrate/nitrite) whatsoever -- which I consider to be a downright irresponsiblly dangerous suggestion.


I agree. There are worse books, so what?. But comparing something to something which is worse is no way to judge.


The strength of 'Charcuterie' is the descriptive, tutorial writing.
Its weaknesses (such as they are) are generally down to the recipes - and, actually, as with The French Laundry Cookbook, the formula part of the recipes cannot be blamed on Ruhlman!


Ruhlman, like it or not is the public face of this book and pushes it constantly (as he should, he's one author and it's his job to sell it). He put himself in that position. If you put yourself in that position you better be sure you can defend the recipes and methods. You can't stand there and take all the accolades and then point to someone else when there are questions.

I simply do not understand the vilification of Ruhlman because Polcyn's recipe uses a non-authentic cut of pork for Coppa.


I vilify whomever recipe it was/is. Here we can get into a debate on what "authentic" means and go on for weeks, but in my mind coppa is one specific thing. Call something a coppa and it has to be that thing. Want to make it with cubes? No problem, but don't call it a coppa. Dishes and salumi have names associated with a specific understanding of that name, it needs to be used appropriately. Just because you call something a coppa doesn't make it a coppa.

The provenance of the recipes is clearly stated in the last paragraph of page 26 (you all did read Chapter One, didn't you?) - "The recipes in this book, with a handful of exceptions, reflect Brian's work .. While some are wholly his own, most are standard preparations that he has molded over the years to satisfy his own tastes and spirit. ... "


Do you not feel a co-author, one who will be so public with his persona and selling of "everyone should cure at home" (and i think they should too!) has at least some responsibility in the main content of a book? Maybe i'm the only one here who feels this way. Seems like a cop-out to say "well, the contents of these things aren't mine...i'm just here too write, so don't blame me if this doesn't work" from someone who claims to be a trained chef. That may work for a ghost writer or a co-author hired for readability and clarity...but i'm quite sure that's not what Ruhlman was chosen.

And Jason, shame on you - have you forgotten that Ruhlman personally replied in 2006 to your specific quibble regarding 'authentic' Coppa - and explained that this was "Brian's" recipe? See http://egullet.org/p1132680


Not at all. And i haven't yet seen an "errata" or a correction , or even a mention on his blog about the fact that the book's coppa isn't actually coppa.

Why hate the Wordsmith because you disagree with the Cook's recipe?
"Authenticity" does not seem to bother Polcyn much, if at all. Real Merguez wouldn't be made with pork!
And I could generally do without the flavouring additive "Fermento", and much less starter culture ...


If Ruhlman is only a wordsmith, he sure SEEMS TO ME to take a lot of credit for the contents of the book. If Ruhlman had been chosen as a wordsmith i'd be surprised.

I'm not sure why Jason (jmolinari) should be concerned that the moderate salting that Polcyn proposes would be "downright dangerous" and "really critical, potentially harmful".
Wouldn't it be the case that too little salt (and I'm not sure Polcyn is exceptionally light on salt) would increase the risk of obvious product spoilage, rather than sneaky C. bot poisoning.


Are you saying that it's ok to specify a lower than safe level of salt because it would be obvious that the product went bad? First of all, i'm not sure that's true. Do you know for sure that all bacteria that can reproduce at lower salt levels will produce "obvious spoilage"? And it's potentially harmful because you have no idea what the outcome will be of someone who gets severe foodborn illness. Severe dehydration from listeria or salmonella can easily land someone in the hospital. I'd call that pretty critical.

I am astonished at the level of personal vitriol expressed against this author - and doubly surprised to see such a 'hate' thread on the august eGullet.


I don't think there is personal vitriol. No one is calling him "stupid" or "an idiot" or anything like that. People are questioning his knowledge and understanding of food safety as it relates to cured meats where it is a very important issue. Any time you are such a public figure you open yourself up to criticism, and i don't think it's fair to say we shouldn't be questioning him.

Please show me where the personal vitriol is. If i exhibited it, i apologize. I can't have much personally against someone i've never met. What i question is the true understanding of food safety by someone who is touted by many as an expert.


Edit to add:
Just so you know. Reading Modernist's recipe for Cotechino, my head almost exploded.

Edited by jmolinari, 16 May 2011 - 11:35 AM.


#34 AAQuesada

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:23 PM

Where does Ruhlman claim to be a chef. He may be trained, but just because you go to culinary school does not make you a chef. IMO he is a well trained home cook and a big voice for cooking at home its their benefits. The point is if there are problems with the book BOTH authors should be blamed and BP more so, because he really IS the chef, even if he hasn't annoyed you yet.

Read Dougal's post again. The salt level was HIGH by 5 grams NOT low.

#35 jmolinari

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:39 PM

Where does Ruhlman claim to be a chef. He may be trained, but just because you go to culinary school does not make you a chef. IMO he is a well trained home cook and a big voice for cooking at home its their benefits. The point is if there are problems with the book BOTH authors should be blamed and BP more so, because he really IS the chef, even if he hasn't annoyed you yet.

Read Dougal's post again. The salt level was HIGH by 5 grams NOT low.


I agree. Ruhlman isn't a chef, he's trained as one, and as such should also have received formal training in food safety, no?. I equally blame Polcyn for the errors, but Ruhlman is the "PR" person behind the duo, so that's who will get the brunt of it.

And read my post again. I said the salt level of soppressata is low. Dougal discusses the nitrite level for brines.

#36 lancastermike

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 12:49 PM

[/quote]

I've personally been irked with Ruhlman's postings and positions on food safety for a while now, but i've kept them to myself. What has prompted me to post stuff here detailing the shortcomings of his book was his tweet on the errata Modernist Cuisine issued where he basically said "good thing i waited for MC so i don't have to look at an errata". The way i read that is as a putdown that such an expensive book has to issue an errata list and corrections. As though his book were perfect. Not only is it not perfect, it has gross errors, and some which could lead to someone getting sick. Let's call a spade a spade.

[/quote]


So, had Ruhlman fallen down on his knees and kissed the ground Myhrvold walked on in his review and comments on the greatest book ever written you would not have posted this attack on him?

Seems sort of strange to me. I just do not understand the hatred here for him. I just don't get it.

#37 gfweb

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:07 PM

Hatred is a strong word. I don't read that in any of the posts. I read people who are disagree with positions that he takes and are saying "hold on a second if those are the standards that you use for criticism of others, then you ought to be held to them yourself"

It also isn't a Myrvold vs Ruhlman thing. I at least have no horse in that race.

#38 jmolinari

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:22 PM

So, had Ruhlman fallen down on his knees and kissed the ground Myhrvold walked on in his review and comments on the greatest book ever written you would not have posted this attack on him?

Seems sort of strange to me. I just do not understand the hatred here for him. I just don't get it.



First of all, it's a challenge of his knowledge. I didn't start this thread, i added my challenges of the recipes to it, to point out to people that there are issues, which lead me to question his understanding. No one here is saying they "hate" the guy. Why do people keep saying that?

Please tell me where i said i "hate" him. How can i hate someone i don't know.

Second, regarding me posting b/c of his critique of MC. Even if he had no made the MC comment, and i had seen this thread, i PROBABLY would have posted my thoughts because i feel pretty strongly about cured meats and food safety, so really saying that those comments triggered me to write here are not accurate. When i read his comment I thought "glass houses, stones, etc", and then someone mentioned this thread so i decided to comment.

#39 jmolinari

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:24 PM

Hatred is a strong word. I don't read that in any of the posts. I read people who are disagree with positions that he takes and are saying "hold on a second if those are the standards that you use for criticism of others, then you ought to be held to them yourself"

It also isn't a Myrvold vs Ruhlman thing. I at least have no horse in that race.


Exactly. The Myrvold vs. Ruhlman thing came up b/c the tweet where Ruhlman last exhibited this standards was in relation to MC.

#40 ojisan

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 06:10 PM

The following is the review I left on Amazon, when the book came out. I hope his next book is edited for content and continuity before it goes to press.
--------------------------------------------------------------

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful:
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs work., January 17, 2006
By santacruztacean (Monterey Bay area) - See all my reviews

This review is from: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Hardcover)
Note: This review is based on my specific interests for buying this book, and may not be relevant to all readers. I was looking for information about making cured and smoked products such as bacon, smoked pork hocks, corned beef etc - foods that require sodium nitrites. Little has been published for the home cook regarding this topic - specifically, the minimum amounts needed for a given recipe without risking botulism.

If you're concerned about nitrite intake and are a kitchen novice, I wouldn't recommend this book. Although I feel it contains worthy information to rate 5 stars, accessing and interpreting that information can be confusing:

Information is illogically laid out and confusing, such as:
- the informative chapter on salt, starts on page 30, then on page 35 suddenly discusses buying a whole pig, then returns back to salt on page 38.
- The recipe for Cured Salmon (pp. 50-52) is illustrated with a page for preparing Smoked Salmon, but that recipe is on pg. 96.

There is contradictory and confusing information, such as:
- a reference to Bruce Aidell's procedure for Canadian Bacon, suggesting adding 2 teaspoons of cure (nitrite mix) to an All Purpose Brine recipe found on pg. 60. But on page 88, the recipe actually calls for 8 teaspoons - a 4x difference. [Note: Aidell's recipe in Complete Book of Pork calls for 2 1/2 tablespoons.]
- The recipes call for cooking pork to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. But the Recommended Temperatures (pg. 62) states "130-140 degrees... for a finished temp. of 140-145." And the 150 degrees doesn't refer to stop-cooking temp or finished temp.

The recipes tend to be overly generic: Do ham hocks (almost all bone) really require the same amount of nitrites as boneless pork loin (all meat and with water content which dilutes the nitrites)? If yes, why?

While I would not hesitate to buy this book again, I would recommend reading it completely, taking notes as you go, and compiling the information that you need. In other words, you become the book editor. My own copy is littered with post-its.

If you do buy this book, I would also recommend: Paul Bertolli's "Cooking by Hand", which contains a specific how-and-why discussion on using nitrites; and Aidell's "Complete Book of Pork", so that you can make your own conclusions.

Monterey Bay area


#41 FoodMan

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:35 AM


Put me down as one of those who simply doesn't understand the Ruhlman-hate so much in evidence in this thread.


What has prompted me to post stuff here detailing the shortcomings of his book was his tweet on the errata Modernist Cuisine issued where he basically said "good thing i waited for MC so i don't have to look at an errata". The way i read that is as a putdown that such an expensive book has to issue an errata list and corrections. As though his book were perfect. Not only is it not perfect, it has gross errors, and some which could lead to someone getting sick. Let's call a spade a spade.


I do not really mean to single Jason out but whether many here admit to it or not, this is what this thread boils down to. It might not spell the words "Hate Ruhlman" anywhere but the message is clear. 4, 3 or maybe even a year ago this thread would have had a much different tone. It would have actually been concerned with actual errata and would've been a constructive and supportive thread for the book that spawned a few hundred -mostly postive- posts on eGullet! Are we going to be bashing Myhrvold in a few years too? Oh how quickly we forget...

I love the MC books and I barely scratched the surface of the knowledge in them. However, Ruhlman's comment about the errata is being so misinterpreted that is it is really making a mountain out of an ant hill ;). His tweet was fair and anyone who is having to wait till July to get MC is probably saying the same thing. Nothing wrong with that and Ruhlman did not take the cheap shot many here seem to think he took for who the hell knows what reason.

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#42 jmolinari

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:46 AM

I do not really mean to single Jason out but whether many here admit to it or not, this is what this thread boils down to. It might not spell the words "Hate Ruhlman" anywhere but the message is clear. 4, 3 or maybe even a year ago this thread would have had a much different tone. It would have actually been concerned with actual errata and would've been a constructive and supportive thread for the book that spawned a few hundred -mostly postive- posts on eGullet! Are we going to be bashing Myhrvold in a few years too? Oh how quickly we forget...


I don't mind being singled out, i'm a big boy i can defend my arguments :)
I also agree with you that that comment was probably was put me "over the edge" to actually boil over and say what i said, but clearly, rightly or wrongly, i've had something simmering for a while that i've kept to myself, and rightly or wrongly it came out in this thread.

I stand by my statements. Maybe my delivery was wrong, but what i said remains uncontested i believe.

Edit: The book does remain a good book for beginners to read, i don't argue that. I even put it on my short recommended list on my blog, and intentionally left others off. And the hobby is bettered by having that book. BUT i wouldn't mind seeing some kind of errata or clarifications on his very popular blog. And as far as i know, no corrections were made in the 2nd printing (i could be wrong). As GFWeb said, i would just like to see him hold himself to the same standards as he holds others.

Edited by jmolinari, 17 May 2011 - 07:51 AM.


#43 FoodMan

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:06 AM


I do not really mean to single Jason out but whether many here admit to it or not, this is what this thread boils down to. It might not spell the words "Hate Ruhlman" anywhere but the message is clear. 4, 3 or maybe even a year ago this thread would have had a much different tone. It would have actually been concerned with actual errata and would've been a constructive and supportive thread for the book that spawned a few hundred -mostly postive- posts on eGullet! Are we going to be bashing Myhrvold in a few years too? Oh how quickly we forget...


I don't mind being singled out, i'm a big boy i can defend my arguments :)
I also agree with you that that comment was probably was put me "over the edge" to actually boil over and say what i said, but clearly, rightly or wrongly, i've had something simmering for a while that i've kept to myself, and rightly or wrongly it came out in this thread.

I stand by my statements. Maybe my delivery was wrong, but what i said remains uncontested i believe.

Edit: The book does remain a good book for beginners to read, i don't argue that. I even put it on my short recommended list on my blog, and intentionally left others off. And the hobby is bettered by having that book. BUT i wouldn't mind seeing some kind of errata or clarifications on his very popular blog. And as far as i know, no corrections were made in the 2nd printing (i could be wrong). As GFWeb said, i would just like to see him hold himself to the same standards as he holds others.


Fair enough Jason. We'll have to disagree about the percieved intentions of his MC errata comment then.


Ok, so to steer this back into an actual useful thread and to cut through all the other stuff. Here is what I could gather from these posts as actual (in some cases possible) errata:

- 9th line down: "adding 1/4 cup/30 grams of dry cure" should read "adding 1/4 cup/50 grams of dry cure"

- The recipe for Russian dressing contains no tomato or ketchup despite describing it as a mayonnaise and tomato-ey dressing.

- the salt levels in Ruhlman's Charcuterie for Soppressata is downright dangerous? 1.7%? That is well below any and ALL accepted minimums of 2.5-3% for cured meats.

- He calls chunks of shoulder meat Coppa. That is not Coppa, more like "cured shoulder pieces in the style of Coppa".

- The book uses 1/4 pack of starter culture for a 5 lb batch of salame, where it would be more than enough for 50 or 75 lbs of meat.

- The recipe for Bread and Butter pickles is clearly wrong. I forget why since I do not have the book with me, but if you read it you can tell. I think he does not use one or two things from the ingredient list. I emailed him about it a long time ago and he said it will be corrected in subsequent printings.

Did I miss anything that is not subjective? (like how much sage to use)

Personally I think he uses too much salt in the fresh sausage preparations and a long time ago I resorted to using what works for me. ...another example of a subjective issue with the book.

Edited by FoodMan, 17 May 2011 - 08:06 AM.

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contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#44 jmolinari

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:07 AM

Ok, so to steer this back into an actual useful thread and to cut through all the other stuff. Here is what I could gather from these posts as actual (in some cases possible) errata:

- 9th line down: "adding 1/4 cup/30 grams of dry cure" should read "adding 1/4 cup/50 grams of dry cure"

- The recipe for Russian dressing contains no tomato or ketchup despite describing it as a mayonnaise and tomato-ey dressing.

- the salt levels in Ruhlman's Charcuterie for Soppressata is downright dangerous? 1.7%? That is well below any and ALL accepted minimums of 2.5-3% for cured meats.

- He calls chunks of shoulder meat Coppa. That is not Coppa, more like "cured shoulder pieces in the style of Coppa".

- The book uses 1/4 pack of starter culture for a 5 lb batch of salame, where it would be more than enough for 50 or 75 lbs of meat.

- The recipe for Bread and Butter pickles is clearly wrong. I forget why since I do not have the book with me, but if you read it you can tell. I think he does not use one or two things from the ingredient list. I emailed him about it a long time ago and he said it will be corrected in subsequent printings.

Did I miss anything that is not subjective? (like how much sage to use)

Personally I think he uses too much salt in the fresh sausage preparations and a long time ago I resorted to using what works for me. ...another example of a subjective issue with the book.


Seems like a fair recap. Feel free to delete all the crapola i appear to have generated.

#45 Okanagancook

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:27 AM

Thank you. This was my original intent of starting the subject. We have used the book quite a bit and find it very useful but I don't like wasting food; time and effort so I thought a list of errors that those more experienced in the craft have noticed would be very useful to all.

#46 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 10:23 AM

There also seems to be a significant discrepancy between the volume and weight measures throughout the recipes, specifically when dealing with fresh herbs and garlic. Especially the garlic. Now I like garlic a lot, so I typically go with the weight measure in most instances, but it is often pretty easily 2-3x the volume given as equivalent. Anybody else ever notice this? Is it possible it is a difference in available ingredients?
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#47 BadRabbit

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 10:48 AM

There also seems to be a significant discrepancy between the volume and weight measures throughout the recipes, specifically when dealing with fresh herbs and garlic. Especially the garlic. Now I like garlic a lot, so I typically go with the weight measure in most instances, but it is often pretty easily 2-3x the volume given as equivalent. Anybody else ever notice this? Is it possible it is a difference in available ingredients?



I noticed this too but found that they were pretty close if you packed the garlic into the spoons. That's not how people usually use volumetric measures unless told to (e.g. 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar) but that seems to be their usage in the book.

Edited by BadRabbit, 17 May 2011 - 10:48 AM.


#48 dougal

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 02:25 AM

There also seems to be a significant discrepancy between the volume and weight measures throughout the recipes, specifically when dealing with fresh herbs and garlic. ... I typically go with the weight measure in most instances, but it is often pretty easily 2-3x the volume given as equivalent. Anybody else ever notice this? Is it possible it is a difference in available ingredients?



You would be absolutely correct to go with the weight measures.
See Page 28 "... So we cannot recommend strongly enough measuring dry ingredients by weight rather than by volume."

Personally, I'd always suggest also using weights for liquid ingredients, when accuracy is required!
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#49 FoodMan

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:05 AM


There also seems to be a significant discrepancy between the volume and weight measures throughout the recipes, specifically when dealing with fresh herbs and garlic. ... I typically go with the weight measure in most instances, but it is often pretty easily 2-3x the volume given as equivalent. Anybody else ever notice this? Is it possible it is a difference in available ingredients?



You would be absolutely correct to go with the weight measures.
See Page 28 "... So we cannot recommend strongly enough measuring dry ingredients by weight rather than by volume."

Personally, I'd always suggest also using weights for liquid ingredients, when accuracy is required!

Same here. I do not think I ever used anything but weight measurments when making any recipe from Charcuterie. So I would not have noticed the issue. OTOH it does not surprise me at all that volume measures for dry stuff (esp. stuff like garlic and herbs) would vary a lot.

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#50 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:14 AM

I've actually gotten to the point where I'm eyeballing stuff like garlic or onion...I like living on the edge.
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