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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 2

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#421 mdbasile

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 01:36 PM

Looks good, mdbasile! I too wondered about the soy protein -- but I figure that these are Polcyn's adjustments after many years of tweaking for flavor, texture, etc.


This is the 3rd time I have made them, and I liked the first ones the best -- with no Soy protien at all, but it has been awhile -- I need to try again and compare. I think it gives a little too much of a "bready" taste.

#422 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 03:24 PM

Way to go, mdbasile!! That picture is simply glorious. About how long did that take you? I'd love to run that many batches back to back but I don't know if I have the capacity to do so. Can you describe the process a bit? I'm in awe!

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#423 mdbasile

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 08:17 PM

Way to go, mdbasile!!  That picture is simply glorious.  About how long did that take you?  I'd love to run that many batches back to back but I don't know if I have the capacity to do so.  Can you describe the process a bit?  I'm in awe!

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Thanks Ronnie!!!

Just had mothers' day dinner(or in my case Muthas' Day) Cooked some of these babies up - here's the photos...

FWIW - took us - my wife maura and I - 4 hours prepping and grinding on Sat. and about 2 hours on Sunday stuffing. Had some good success - even made the tart cherry mustard to go with the duck sausage....


Here they are grilled w/ mustard same order left to right top to bottom:

Merguiez, Brat
Duck, Italian

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Cut - as you can see the Italian is a bit over cooked... I'll fix it next time - Hell I have 20 more...

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Served as a very nice Muthas' day hors d'oeuvres w/ various condiments...

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It was alot of fun and work!!!

Though my feet are a little sore.

Edited by mdbasile, 14 May 2006 - 08:29 PM.


#424 Abra

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 09:48 PM

That's a lovely sausage array, mdbasile!

Me, I'm still having problems with my Italian sausage. Today I tried roasting some, to see whether even heat all around would keep them from bursting out of the casings. Yes, it did. They remained whole, but got very, very small. Why? Because an incredible big-ass lake of fat melted out of them, right through the casings. And then they were dry.

So, did the fat need a coarser grind? Was it not bound properly? I'm at a loss, since no one else has reported on any problems. Can it be that I have bad sausage ju-ju?

#425 mdbasile

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:22 AM

That's a lovely sausage array, mdbasile!

Me, I'm still having problems with my Italian sausage.  Today I tried roasting some, to see whether even heat all around would keep them from bursting out of the casings.  Yes, it did.  They remained whole, but got very, very small.  Why?  Because an incredible big-ass lake of fat melted out of them, right through the casings.  And then they were dry.

So, did the fat need a coarser grind?  Was it not bound properly?  I'm at a loss, since no one else has reported on any problems.  Can it be that I have bad sausage ju-ju?

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Funny that you say this. This is my second batch of Italian and I have been having problems too. I am not so sure about the grind either. I used a small die for 3 of the 4 and only the large die for the Marguze, and that has a much better texture. So it could be the grind.

It is so odd how it is different though. I made all 4 batches at the same time - and the method is all the same - really only the seasoning and what kind of meat is different(well except for the brats - with all that cream and egg).

This sausage is much better than the last Italian I made and I am thinking 2 things made it different.

1) I didn't paddle the susages for more than about 30 seconds - just enough to get a mix.

2) No coriander seeds. I think the seeds have an effect as to how the sausage cooks - not sure how - but it seems to make a difference. The Marguze and duck are much more uniform and less tempermental and neither have anything real solid in them - the ad-ins are soft. The fennel is bad enough, but the coriander is like these little pebbles - maybe if we crushed them like in the tuscan salami - it would help.

Have you tried any other sausages?

#426 mdbasile

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:44 AM

Way to go, mdbasile!!  That picture is simply glorious.  About how long did that take you?  I'd love to run that many batches back to back but I don't know if I have the capacity to do so.  Can you describe the process a bit?  I'm in awe!

=R=

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I meant to add that the process was fairly simple - though took a long time.

I pre-ordered all my meat ahead of time, and then picked it up Sat mid day. I was able to get my butcher to bone the duck, which saved me a ton of time. BTW- nice thing about using the duck - is that you have bones and fat you can use to make stock and render the duck fat.

I prep'd all the meat first so I could keep it cold -- cutting them all up while my wife (THANK YOU!!) put all the seasonings together. Then I seasoned and then ground each sausage and then paddled them.

I put each mix in a zip-loc bag and refrigerated for Sunday. This was the more time - consuming - the prep work.

We stuffed each sausage on Sunday - The Marguze was the easiest and the brats the hardest - it is soo gluey with all that soy-protien, egg and cheese. I will be using very little of that soy protein in the future... anyway... I stuffed each one right after the other - starting with the duck, then Italian - the Marguze - right in a row -- creating a couple of what my 14 yr calls "hybrids." The Brats I did separate because I wanted to chill everything before stuffing.

That was pretty much it. I am a little "sausaged out," primarily do to alot of cooking and tasting while making...

Mark

#427 mr.baconhead

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:41 AM

That's a lovely sausage array, mdbasile!

Me, I'm still having problems with my Italian sausage.  Today I tried roasting some, to see whether even heat all around would keep them from bursting out of the casings.  Yes, it did.  They remained whole, but got very, very small.  Why?  Because an incredible big-ass lake of fat melted out of them, right through the casings.  And then they were dry.

So, did the fat need a coarser grind?  Was it not bound properly?  I'm at a loss, since no one else has reported on any problems.  Can it be that I have bad sausage ju-ju?

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Abra -
I'd guess that they were overcooked - the fat renders at about 160+ deg. Next time try for internal finished temp of 150 deg.

#428 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:09 AM

That's a lovely sausage array, mdbasile!

Me, I'm still having problems with my Italian sausage.  Today I tried roasting some, to see whether even heat all around would keep them from bursting out of the casings.  Yes, it did.  They remained whole, but got very, very small.  Why?  Because an incredible big-ass lake of fat melted out of them, right through the casings.  And then they were dry.

So, did the fat need a coarser grind?  Was it not bound properly?  I'm at a loss, since no one else has reported on any problems.  Can it be that I have bad sausage ju-ju?

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Abra -
I'd guess that they were overcooked - the fat renders at about 160+ deg. Next time try for internal finished temp of 150 deg.

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Abra, I was going to suggest the same thing but knowing that you're a very experienced cook, I figured that you'd already thought about this aspect.

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#429 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:00 PM

I'd also check the temp of the meat before and during your paddling for the primary bind. It sounds to me like the emulsion broke....
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#430 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:40 PM

Abra -
I'd guess that they were overcooked - the fat renders at about 160+ deg. Next time try for internal finished temp of 150 deg.

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bingo. i cannot emphasize enough: as with any special cut of meat and there's nothing more special than a well made sausage, cook it carefully and to a precise internal temperature.

#431 Abra

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 02:58 PM

I think you all are right, as I didn't watch the temp. Store-bought Italian sausage can seemingly be roasted with impunity, but the fat chunks are a lot larger. I'll be more careful next time. And whereas I am a very experienced cook, (dare I say this?) my sausage experience is rather limited, so my sausage skills are not yet highly developed.

I'm not too sure about the bind, still. Does anyone have a good photo of how the bind on a non-emulsified sausage shold optimally look? I think it's one of those things I need to see,

#432 Bombdog

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 03:17 PM

I Does anyone have a good photo of how the bind on a non-emulsified sausage shold optimally look?  I think it's one of those things I need to see,

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Abra, I'm not sure if this will help. I looked through my pictures and only have one after paddling. This is my lamb sausage.
Posted Image
Still not sure it will help you.
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#433 mdbasile

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:33 PM

I Does anyone have a good photo of how the bind on a non-emulsified sausage shold optimally look?  I think it's one of those things I need to see,

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Abra, I'm not sure if this will help. I looked through my pictures and only have one after paddling. This is my lamb sausage.
Posted Image
Still not sure it will help you.

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That looks pretty much like what mine did. Actually I'd like to see one that had "broken."

#434 Bombdog

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:15 PM

You'd think, with all my mistakes, I'd have a picture of one. I just looked though and can't find one. I think Susan posted one up thread of some chicken that crumbled on her.

I did take this one yesterday of the charcuterie plate I put out before dinner.

Posted Image

There is bresaola in the middle with some lemon, olive oil, ground pepper and shaved parmesan, and duck proscuito, tuscan salame, venison salame, and peperone around the outside.
Dave Valentin
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"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#435 Chris Amirault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:49 PM

Abra, I don't have a photo, but my bind looks more sticky than Dave's. Speaking of whom: that platter looks amazing, man!

The peperone are doing fine, apparently: no fuzz, 60F/90%+ for several days. There's a-floodin' all up and down the east coast, but my links are happy!
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#436 snowangel

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:56 PM

Abra, don't quote me on this, but I just make chicken sausages (again). Although I haven't cooked any of the stuffed sausages, one did burst during the twisting, so I had to suffer and cook it up for breakfast. It does not seem crumbly, but just as sausage should be.

This is what it looked like just after I paddled it.

Posted Image

The verdict will be in tomorrow night when I grill some of them.

But, although I was not careful at all to keep things frigid while I cut up the meat, the meat was very cold when I ground and bound it (like just about freezing).

And, it needed just over a minute to get to the point at which I photoed it. I also ended up adding a bit of water, even after the rest of the liquids.

Llike I said, the verdict will be in tomorrow night. I will, as I've been wont to do, keep a close eye on the internal temp of the sausages. It just makes a big difference.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#437 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:56 PM

Abra, here's a pic of mine from way back upthread. The sausages from this batch had a very tight definition, although I didn't tube them off, just cooked them bulk. I hope it helps you get to the bottom of it . . .


Posted Image

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#438 snowangel

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 07:37 PM

You'd think, with all my mistakes, I'd have a picture of one.  I just looked though and can't find one.  I think Susan posted one up thread of some chicken that crumbled on her.

I did take this one yesterday of the charcuterie plate I put out before dinner.

Posted Image

There is bresaola in the middle with some lemon, olive oil, ground pepper and shaved parmesan, and duck proscuito, tuscan salame, venison salame, and peperone around the outside.

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Absolutely stunning. I think I need to crank things up a notch so I can serve platters like this at the cabin and don't have to cook up there. Just call me a lightweight.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#439 Bombdog

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:08 PM

Thanks for the props folks...

I think Ron and Susan's pictures probably most acurately depict what we are striving for. Just my .02$ worth.

Chris, glad to hear the peperone are doing good...I'm keeping my fingers crossed still.
If it works you WON'T be disappointed.

md...that plate of sausages you served yesterday looked awesome!
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#440 Abra

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:24 PM

Dave, what a beautiful plate! Those are gorgeous. I really love the color of the peperone and the venison. And with any luck, Chris will soon be joining you on the peperone success front.

I think Ron's extreme close-up really shows what I was looking for - it's almost like, in the bread analogy, you can see the gluten strands beginning to form. So that's a more developed bind than I had, although I paddled for a minute and 15 seconds. I think the liquids didn't get completely bound, because there was drippiness in the bag where I stored the tubed sausages. And Susan, you've reminded me that I had the seasoned meat at cold fridge, rather than freezer, temp when we ground it.

So next time: colder, larger grind, better bind, and more gentle cooking with thermometer in hand. Whew, that's a lot of mistakes for one batch! I sure hope I've got that out of my system now.

Thanks, you guys. You're the best. I honestly think this thread has one of the most helpful bunch of devotees of any thread on eG.

#441 snowangel

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:36 PM

Abra, one of the reasons I like my big old ugly yellow/gold Tupperware bowls is that I can use plastic wrap and press the diced meat mixture (as well as the mixture once it's been ground) around the sides of the bowl, stick it in the freezer, so that the meat is uniformly cold without some of it being frozen and some of it being just a bit cold. My instant read indicated I was at about 32 when I bound the stuff, but it wasn't frozen. Just hand-numbingly cold.

And, as I've saud somewhere uptopic, the advice about 150 (for red meat) or 160 (for poultry) sausage temp when cooked is worth the price of the book alone.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#442 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:37 PM

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I want this!!

I must take my first shot at the peperone this weekend . . . nothing can stand in my way! :biggrin:

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#443 mdbasile

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:13 AM

You'd think, with all my mistakes, I'd have a picture of one.  I just looked though and can't find one.  I think Susan posted one up thread of some chicken that crumbled on her.

I did take this one yesterday of the charcuterie plate I put out before dinner.

Posted Image

There is bresaola in the middle with some lemon, olive oil, ground pepper and shaved parmesan, and duck proscuito, tuscan salame, venison salame, and peperone around the outside.

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Very nice Dave - that is mighty tasty looking...

...and thanks

Edited by mdbasile, 16 May 2006 - 08:34 AM.


#444 mdbasile

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:41 AM

Hey Dave -- I made the Tuscan a few weeks ago (sorry no photos) and they looked preety much like yours. They had a slightly sweet taste -- do yours? I ask because I couldn't find dextrose and used fructose instead - (1/2 the amount as instructed).....

Edited by mdbasile, 16 May 2006 - 09:48 AM.


#445 Bombdog

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 08:48 AM

Hey Dave -- I made the Tuscan a few weeks ago (sorry no photos) and they looked preety much like yours. They had a slightly sweet taste -- do yours? I ask because I couldn't find dextrose and used fructose instead - (1/2 the amount as instructed)...

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Since you asked, I had to go cut off a piece and really examine the flavor components.

Tough job, I know. Anyone have any questions that would cause me to taste the peperone too?

The answer is no sweetness that I can detect. I might be wrong here, but I think the main use of the sugar is for the fermentation process and there shouldn't be much in the way of residual sweetness if it is consumed.
Dave Valentin
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"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#446 mdbasile

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:12 AM

Hey Dave -- I made the Tuscan a few weeks ago (sorry no photos) and they looked preety much like yours. They had a slightly sweet taste -- do yours? I ask because I couldn't find dextrose and used fructose instead - (1/2 the amount as instructed)...

View Post


Since you asked, I had to go cut off a piece and really examine the flavor components.

Tough job, I know. Anyone have any questions that would cause me to taste the peperone too?

The answer is no sweetness that I can detect. I might be wrong here, but I think the main use of the sugar is for the fermentation process and there shouldn't be much in the way of residual sweetness if it is consumed.

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Hmm soo how spicey are those peperone?

I am planning to make Tuscan and Chirizo this weekend - and I am ordering some dextrose - I think this other stuff actually added a slight sweetness to them.

#447 mdbasile

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 10:15 AM

While am here....

I have storage question. What is the best way to store the sausages? How long before I should freeze them.... and what will that do to the texture?

... not like I am going to be able eat all of those puppies in a week, a it would be nice to have them around when I need 'em.

Thanks all!!

Mark

#448 Bombdog

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:03 PM

I have storage question. What is the best way to store the sausages? How long before I should freeze them.... and what will that do to the texture?

... not like I am going to be able eat all of those puppies in a week, a it would be nice to have them around when I need 'em.

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I've kept some pork sausages in the refrigerator about a week before grilling. I have a bunch in the freezer as we speak.

I don't seem to have much of a problem figuring out storage, as everything seems to go pretty fast. That said, it's extremely gratifying to put a plate, like I posted earlier, in front of your guests and listen to them moan.

Oh yeah...the peperone...I don't think it's too spicy at all...just perfect. Of all the dry cured products I've made, it seems to get the most compliments.
Dave Valentin
Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler
"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#449 Chris Amirault

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:05 PM

I've been freezing most of each batch of sausages using my Kenmore vacuum-sealer, and they have been perfect after thawing (which happens quickly in a bowl of ice water, btw).
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#450 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:11 PM

I too have a vacuum sealer and using it most of the stuff I've turned out has lasted at least a month under refrigeration. It probably would keep even longer but that's as long as any of it has lasted.

I'll bet that with vacuum sealing and frozen storage, you could probably go up to at least 2 months without too much deterioration.

=R=
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