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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 3

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#511 Bombdog

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 05:33 PM

Hi Dave V. and Dave W,

The Lomo and the Country Pate both look excellent, making my mouth water just looking at them!

Regards,
Richard

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Absolutly, both look great!

For the lomo, is that just a regular pork loin? It looks more sinewy and fatty than the one you typically find at the store. Details for this successful try would be greatly appreciated.

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Elie, you probably have better pork at the grocery than I. It was just a loin that I spied one day. The fat appeared to be good so I snapped it up. Spices are just fennel, sugar, salt ,garlic, and paprika. I'll check on my notes and post again later. But if memory serves I used something from the book as a model.

Now that it's done I guess I'd liken it to a mini proscuitto.
Dave Valentin
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#512 FoodMan

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 09:19 AM

Since I am running low on my smoked bacon, I gave the butcher at my local HEB a call and asked for a couple of pieces of pork belly. While I was at it I also asked for a piece of untrimmed-right-off-the-hog-with-skin-and-fat loin. He was more than happy to oblige and actually left a whole half hog un-butchered till I got there. So I ended up with:

11 lbs of nice thick pork belly
3lbs or so of untrimmed loin

With these I started the following:

- 6lb piece of bacon is being cured and will be smoked next weekend
- about a 1.5-2.0 lb piece of belly is curing in the style of Lardo like the book instructs. I actually used Turbinado sugar here, because I like how it tastes and wanted to see if it carries through. I will update you of success/failure of this curing/aging attempt
- about 2.5 lbs belly are cut up and curing/brining in preparation for making pork belly confit. Also recipe in the book
- 1.5 lbs of the pork loin is curing to make lomo curado. I basically used the ratios from the Bresaola recipe but added no juniper and added a good dose of cayenne and paprika. If this works out I'll post my proportions.
- Brined and roasted the rest of the loin on the grill yesterday till the skin got nice and crispy. Damn these people (HEB by Beechnut and the beltway for you Houston folks) sell some good pork with great thick milky white fat and excellent porky good flavor. Not sure it is better than the Neiman stuff, but for essentially a supermarket butcher, they are way more than fine.

I really really hope and look forward for my Lardo and Lomo to workout.

E. Nassar
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#513 ojisan

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 12:33 PM

Bacon Rind:

I believe bacon is always smoked with the rind on, and removed afterwards. I've always assumed this was because the bacon was hung vertically and the hooks need something to grab onto. When I smoke bacon, it's always on racks, so I'm wondering why I need the rind. Are there other reasons why I should leave the rind on?

Phil

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#514 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 01:07 PM

. . .Are there other reasons why I should leave the rind on?

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I believe Michael posted somewhere upthread that doing so keeps the belly from curling while it smokes.

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#515 muttbarker

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 02:31 PM

Freezing Pork Back Fat:

Hi, I have just joined eGullet and found this thread. I am about to take my first baby steps in charcuterie and have a couple of questions that I hope can be answered by the gurus here.

I work at a cooking school and so can leverage our relationship with various suppliers and this allows me to buy at a better price than the local stores. BUT! I must buy in quantity - so for example to aquire pork back fat I need to buy 40 lbs at a time. I can't imagine that there would be any issues with cryovacing it and freezing it but wondered if anyone has done so and if there is any feeling as to how long it could be stored frozen.

Also has anyone had any experience with storing hog casings for longer periods of time? I can't remember how much I had to buy length wise but it was not small :)

Thanks and I look forward to someday being able to share my experiences with smoking, curing, etc. I just need to make room in the wine cellar for the salami I want to hang.

Kevin Barker

#516 ojisan

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 03:10 PM

. . .Are there other reasons why I should leave the rind on?

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I believe Michael posted somewhere upthread that doing so keeps the belly from curling while it smokes.

=R=

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I suppose I could live with curly bacon....

If there's no rind, would the bacon have a smokier flavor, or is it only the meat that absorbs smoke?

Monterey Bay area


#517 Bombdog

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 03:36 PM

Freezing Pork Back Fat:

Also has anyone had any experience with storing hog casings for longer periods of time? I can't remember how much I had to buy length wise but it was not small :)

Kevin Barker

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Kevin

I've frozen fat back with no adverse affects. I can't tall you how long it will last, as it doesn't take long to use it up around here. I'm thinking I've had some in the freezer for a month or so before use.

I buy my casings from Butcher Packer.com. They come salted and will last quite some time in the refrigerator. I forget the length, but it's fairly substantial.
Dave Valentin
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"Got what backwards?" I ask.
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#518 jmolinari

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 03:46 PM

Fatback keeps almost forever frozen. I've had some for about a year, and it is perfect once defrosted and used.
jason

#519 muttbarker

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 06:20 PM

Thanks Bombdog and JMolinari for your input!

Kevin

#520 Abra

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 08:14 PM

I have my backfat in 1 lb portions in the freezer, and next time I might make that 1/2 lb portions. It's a lot easier to deal a smaller amount with when you're ready to make somehting. Forty pounds is going to last you a long time!

Elie, that's a wonderful assortment of stuff you got started all at once. I'll look forward to your lardo reports. I haven't tried again since mine turned green, and next time I think I'm going to try the brine method.

#521 tristar

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 10:32 PM

Also has anyone had any experience with storing hog casings for longer periods of time?
Kevin Barker

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Welcome Kevin,

I don't use pork so cannot tell you about the storage of hog casings, but sheep casings will last indefinitely as long as they are occassionally resalted and stored in the refigerator. I live in a very humid climate and the inside of my storage container (an old icecream tub) when opened becomes somewhat damp, I just sprinkle some additional coarse salt on top of the remaining casings replace the lid on the container and return them to the fridge. My present batch of casings have been in use for 15 months with no sign of deterioration whatsoever.

Regards,
Richard
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#522 Bombdog

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 04:39 AM

Just a time saving tip. When I freeze fat back I cut it into pieces just large enough for the grinder. Like Abra, I usually store in 1 lb packages. When it's time to use it I only have to thaw a slight amount before grinding.
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.


#523 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 04:51 AM

i don't know why for sure why bacon is smoked rind on, but i suspect it is indeed because of the hook. It's easier to remove when the belly is cooked. the skin can then be used like a ham hock for flavoring. It can be removed half way through smoking. or remove it raw and use it in stocks purely for its gelatin.

#524 FoodMan

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:51 AM

I have my backfat in 1 lb portions in the freezer, and next time I might make that 1/2 lb portions.  It's a lot easier to deal a smaller amount with when you're ready to make somehting.  Forty pounds is going to last you a long time!

Elie, that's a wonderful assortment of stuff you got started all at once.  I'll look forward to your lardo reports.  I haven't tried again since mine turned green, and next time I think I'm going to try the brine method.

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Speaking of green pork, your comment reminded me of something. Well, I planned on cooking a large piece of bone in pork butt a week or so ago. I removed it from the freezer to defrost and placed it in the fridge. When I was ready to cook it, I removed the plastic wrap and one side, the one with most of the fat had distinct greenish edges and color like the ones we've seen here. This pork was NOT cured, aged or in any way treated as charcuterie. I bought a large butt, portioned it and froze it. That's all. This leads me to think that whatever you guys did to your pork product (cure, age,...) had nothing to do with the discoloration of the fat, and that it was indeed perfectly safe to eat, but not very good looking. I just shaved off the greenish part and cooked the pork as usual BTW.

E. Nassar
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contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#525 Bombdog

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 05:38 PM

Am I stoked or what!

My son works on the line at a local restaurant. He calls me today and says his chef wants to meet with me on Thursday to try a variety of my products, as he is interested in putting an antipasto plate on the menu.

I have sopressato, Tuscan salame, pepperone, chorizo and lomo curado right now. I guess I'll take some of all and see what he is interested in.

I'm fresh out of bresaola and duck breast proscuitto at the moment, but can certainly make some up for him in a fairly short time.

I'll post back on Thursday when I find out how it goes.
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.


#526 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 05:53 PM

Congrats, Dave! I can't wait to read about how it goes. What a thrilling prospect.

=R=
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#527 Abra

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 06:19 PM

Cool, Dave! Just be sure you talk to him about a place to prepare and cure your meats. Unless you live in someplace really lax, you won't be allowed to prepare food at home for service in a restaurant.

#528 Bombdog

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:09 PM

Cool, Dave!  Just be sure you talk to him about a place to prepare and cure your meats.  Unless you live in someplace really lax, you won't be allowed to prepare food at home for service in a restaurant.

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Point noted. But, I'm in South Carolina...people run entire eating establishments out of their house in these parts. I'll explore that point with the chef though. Thanks for the heads up.
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.


#529 jmolinari

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:10 PM

I've thought of doing this for shops and restaurants. The requirements are insane. Basically everything the meat touches has to be stainless steel, and properly inspected. Basically you need a commericial kitchen.

Good luck Dave. I've had a few people sample my stuff, and all have been interested. I'm sure your friend will be too!

#530 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:20 PM

I'm working on a couple of projects which I'm planning to serve this weekend. The first is a Duck and Cured Ham Pate from Tapas by Penelope Casas, which I've made a few times in the past. However, this time I decided to apply the method conveyed in Charcuterie to it and I'm thrilled with the results. The assembly and cooking are described in much greater detail in Charcuterie and because of that, I was able to take a lot of guesswork out of the process and, I think, improve the final product (keeping in mind that what is shown below is actually the 'little buddy' terrine I made with the extra pate filling I had and some bacon I'd made a few weeks ago, which I had sliced pretty thick). . .


Posted Image
Casas' Duck and Cured Ham Pate a la Ruhlman and Polcyn. Instead of cooking at 350 F for 2 hours, I cooked it for 90 minutes at 300 F. The results are noticeably superior.


Posted Image
You can see the chunks of prosciutto in the pate and some pistachios which I added because, well, I had them on hand. The bacon here is a little thick but again, I was using a vacuum-sealed package I already had on-hand. I think the proportions on the actual terrine will be just about perfect. Since it is deeper, the prosciutto chunk-size will make more sense and I sliced the bacon for its exterior 'to order' on my slicer, so it'll be a bit thinner.



I'm also in the final stages of making my first Pastrami. For this I used an 11-pound Wagyu brisket, which my butcher ordered for me . . .


Posted Image
Cured whole Wagyu brisket which was smoked to an internal temp of 150 F over hickory wood (took about 6 hours at 215 F).

A few pieces 'fell off' during the smoking and they tasted fantastic. The brisket is now steaming/braising gently in the oven. I hope to post some internal pics by later tonight or tomorrow at the latest.

=R=
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#531 maggiethecat

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 07:24 PM

Holy jumping catfish, ronnie, that brisket is superb. I won't trade away my firstborn but anything else is negotiable.

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#532 Bueno

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 08:10 PM

Holy jumping catfish, ronnie, that brisket is supurb. I won't trade away my firstborn but anything else is negotiable.

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You can have my firstborn! Just gimmie some of that brisket, ronnie! He was a good kid, but he's no brisket.

#533 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 09:00 PM

I have to say that the pastrami is absolutely phenomenal. I cannot believe I made this from scratch. It's just sensational. Michael and Brian, this is, without a doubt, my favorite recipe in the book.


Anyway, for all those requesting brisket . . . :wink:

Posted Image
After about 4 hours braising at 250 F, the pastrami is, at last, ready.


Posted Image
You can see the melted fat and the soft connective tissue in the flesh of the meat. I'm guessing that this brisket's 'Wagyu-ness' had some part in that. It's very soft, essentially fork-tender but because of its beautiful elasticity, it holds together very well upon slicing.

Again, I'm just stunned by how well this turned out. And really, it's a very, very simple thing to do, culinarily-speaking. As long as you have the time, the rest of the process is very clearly set forth in the book. Considering this was my first attempt, I'm blown away. And, I cannot wait to try it again.

=R=
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#534 snowangel

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 10:26 PM

Ron, your pastrami makes me weak at the knees. Positively wobbly. Over here you talk about your corned beef and pastrami sandwich at Shapiro's in Indiana. Yours looks better. Comments?

BTW, tomorrow's my birthday, and you could get a belated dry-ice packed Fed Ex package out tomorrow...PM me for my address.
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#535 tristar

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 10:26 PM

I have to say that the pastrami is absolutely phenomenal.  I cannot believe I made this from scratch.  It's just sensational.  Michael and Brian, this is, without a doubt, my favorite recipe in the book.


Anyway, for all those requesting brisket . . . :wink:

Posted Image
After about 4 hours braising at 250 F, the pastrami is, at last, ready.


Posted Image
You can see the melted fat and the soft connective tissue in the flesh of the meat.  I'm guessing that this brisket's 'Wagyu-ness' had some part in that.  It's very soft, essentially fork-tender but because of its beautiful elasticity, it holds together very well upon slicing.

Again, I'm just stunned by how well this turned out.  And really, it's a very, very simple thing to do, culinarily-speaking.  As long as you have the time, the rest of the process is very clearly set forth in the book.  Considering this was my first attempt, I'm blown away.  And, I cannot wait to try it again.

=R=

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Looks real good Ron, why don't we have a drooling smiley! :rolleyes:
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Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

#536 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 08:23 AM

Ron, your pastrami makes me weak at the knees.  Positively wobbly.  Over here you talk about your corned beef and pastrami sandwich at Shapiro's in Indiana.  Yours looks better.  Comments?

BTW, tomorrow's my birthday, and you could get a belated dry-ice packed Fed Ex package out tomorrow...PM me for my address.

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I think "mine" (I hesitate to call it "mine" because all I did was follow Michael and Brian's recipe) was better. Of course, it had just come out of the oven, had perfumed my entire house with pastrami essence and had my mouth watering for hours before I finally got to sample it. And, I was much more familiar with the crabby person who served me (that being me), than I was with the crabby person who served me at Shapiro's! :biggrin:

BTW, happy birthday, Susan! I'm sorry I can't overnight you any pastrami (this time around) but I am planning on bringing a good portion of it here, so at least a few other eGS members will get to sample it.

=R=
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#537 FoodMan

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 09:17 AM

Ronniw, great looking food. Absolutly stunning pate as well. IT is amazing what one can do when he or she knows the basics. In this case making an ok pate much much better. I mean it looks perfect, French-bistro-in-Paris-picture-perfect. I have to admit, I've had this Tapas book for almost two years and never cooked anything from it. This might nudge me to give something a try.

I really have to make some pastrami after seeing those pictures. Again, just perfect. I'll make some onion rye and serve it as is....(Homer Simpson: drooooolllll)

E. Nassar
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contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#538 sandercohan

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 09:30 AM

So,

I've really enjoyed reading parts of this thread, and there are a lot of great tips in here....but man, 57 pages and counting? It's getting a bit hard to suss out the knowledge, especially for the beginner stuff (i.e. the trials an tribulations of Pancetta).

Has anybody thought of putting together a Carcuterie FAQ? Is there a way to print out the entire thread, or get it into a format to be, er, sliced and diced into categories?

sander

#539 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:04 AM

. . . I have to admit, I've had this Tapas book for almost two years and never cooked anything from it. This might nudge me to give something a try.

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Elie, without taking this thread too far OT, I cannot recommend the Tapas book highly enough. It's a great cookbook and Casas definitely knows her stuff. The recipes -- I've made about a dozen of them -- are fantastic. There are times when I wish for a bit more detail about the methodology but that's the book's only shortcoming, if any. And even then, for a semi-experienced hack cook like myself, there has always been enough info to get the recipes completed successfully. It's just that I tend to benefit from the additional hand-holding that single-subject cookbooks like Charcuterie provide.

=R=
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#540 Abra

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:04 AM

Oh my goddess, Ron, those take the cake. That pate is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Is that bacon actually cooked?

I'm guessing that you're right about the Wagyu-ness. I've had the pastrami from the book done with regular beef (by a guest, so I don't know exactly what meat was used) and although the flavor was excellent, it was chewier than I'd like to see it. Your's looks meltingly tender. COme to think of it, I don't think she did the braiseing part, in my recollection we ate it almost straight off the smoker. That too might account for the texture.





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