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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 3

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#61 pedrissimo

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 09:09 AM

So here is what i was thinking on the wick- I sure don't want to put the fungicide that they sell for the thing in my fridge, but what about vinegar? Or Salt? I know that salt, when an aerosol, would kill the wiring... but across that wick, I can't see much salt moving (could be wishful thinking). So vinegar- ought to lower the pH enough to kill most bad bugs, maybe even fungus? Well, I will try it with some very fatty pork skin I have done the pancetta cure to. It was cheap. And easy.

#62 Expat Russ

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 09:10 AM

My maple cured bacon was smoked with apple in the Bradley last night. Of course, I had to sneak a small nibble (OK, big chunk) after it finally got to 150 at about 1140P (makes that 5am alarm all the more pleasurable).

OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH MY GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I made noises usually associated with other nightime activites. The bacon is incredible...we have a good butcher around here that makes his own, but this blew it away...I almost had to wake the wife up to try it (the bacon, not the other activities)

It is unbelievable and I can't wait to get home from work and have some for dinner...

It even looked beautiful, but I was too tired to take pics...and this with a belly that I got from a wholesale butcher in Detroit's Eastern Market (Kapp's)...can't imagine what a really good quality belly would produce.

all hail the might pig !!!
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#63 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 10:08 AM

The fennel salmon turned out fine. While the anise flavor is not over-powering, eaten alone the salmon is overly salty to me, but when eaten with anything else that is a non-issue.

Now I have been calling grocery stores around the city to get a pork belly. I talked to the meat manager at one of the Central Market stores, and he can get a Berkshire, but he said I want a "pork side" rather than a pork belly, because if I ask for the belly it will be mostly fat. He was quite clear that I wanted a "pork side" if I was going to make bacon. All their pork is Berkshire, but this will take about two weeks for him to get it in.

So pork side vs pork belly. Are we really talking about the same thing, or is he essentially getting me a leaner piece of belly?

#64 pedrissimo

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 10:27 AM

Richard- this is tangential, but are you in Austin going to central market? I am trying to find pork bellies in Austin, and have had no luck yet- CM wants $3.99/lb for 7-8 lb pork bellies in 2-3 weeks. Have you found pork anywhere else?
They didn't call them sides- just bellies.

Peter

#65 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 10:31 AM

. . . he said I want a "pork side" rather than a pork belly, because if I ask for the belly it will be mostly fat. He was quite clear that I wanted a "pork side" if I was going to make bacon. All their pork is Berkshire, but this will take about two weeks for him to get it in.

So pork side vs pork belly. Are we really talking about the same thing, or is he essentially getting me a leaner piece of belly?

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I'm not sure about the difference between a side and a belly but isn't it being 'mostly fat' the entire point? :smile:

I've always ordered and received belly. One time, it still had the ribs attached and they were also delicious (I brined and slow-roasted them separately).

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#66 Bombdog

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 10:35 AM

Perhaps this guy means side by keeping the ribs on? Beats me actually. I would just be very specific with him that you want a belly.
Dave Valentin
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#67 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 10:50 AM

Richard- this is tangential, but are you in Austin going to central market? I am trying to find pork bellies in Austin, and have had no luck yet- CM wants $3.99/lb for 7-8 lb pork bellies in 2-3 weeks. Have you found pork anywhere else?
They didn't call them sides- just bellies.

Peter

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pedrissimo - I am in Dallas. The $3.99/lb at CM is because they are Berkshire pigs. If you talk to a meat manager at other stores, they can get them but will have to special order them, and they will be the thinner commercial pork bellies, as far as I can tell. They may not know what you are asking for because it's not on their order list, but can call up the chain to take care of your request.

The CM meat manager here is checking on the belly/belly side and will call back before he starts the order. My best guess is that bombdog and Ron are onto what he was talking about -- probably means with the ribs attached.

#68 pedrissimo

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 12:53 PM

Mmm, lots of fat! I suppose that the thicker the belly, the longer the cure? Are there issues about speed of cure through fat vs. through meat? I take it from what you said and what I have heard about Berkshires that they tend to put on a bit more fat, and this is why the bellies would be heavier...

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[/quote]

they are Berkshire pigs. If you talk to a meat manager at other stores, they can get them but will have to special order them, and they will be the thinner commercial pork bellies, as far as I can tell. They may not know what you are asking for because it's not on their order list, but can call up the chain to take care of your request.


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[/quote]

#69 jmolinari

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 06:14 PM

Pedrissimo...i'm not sure about using vinegar...problem with that is that it is going to make the whole chamber smell, and it may permeate your cured meats.

#70 jmolinari

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 06:29 PM

Well, last weekend i finally put up in cure 2 more coppe, and took the opportunity to take pictures of the butchery. I figured people would be interested in how to "harvest" the coppa from the shoulder.

This is a boneless shoulder from costco. You can see the bone was removed on the left of the picture. The coppa is circled in blue on the right. Notice the characteristic fat striations. This is the part that is at the top of the shoulder, right above/behind the head on the back.

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This picture has the shoulder flipped over, and the coppa is in my hand. It is just the backside of hte piece in the above picture in my left hand.

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This is the coppa removed. How you remove it and how much meat you leave around it and shape it is not super critical..it is pretty hard to see exactly where it begins and where it ends.
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This is the coppa again, just showing the fat striations. They are very evident and quite large in the middle of hte coppa.
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Another picture of the coppa
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If you can make bresaola, you can make coppa, it is MUCH easier than salame, as there is no acidification needed. Just salt cure, then put in casing, then hang.

good luck!

jason

#71 Bombdog

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 06:29 PM

I have to agree with Jason. I've just used a liberal amount of salt in the water, as Michael suggested in the book, and it's seemed to work just fine.
Dave Valentin
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"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#72 Bombdog

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 06:31 PM

Thanks for the pictorial Jason. I've wanted to do this, but was a bit reticent without the pictures.

What size casing do you need for this?
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.


#73 jmolinari

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 07:11 PM

Dave, i use 100mm collagen casings i bought from butcher packer.

glad i could help with pics

#74 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 08:21 PM

Dave, i use 100mm collagen casings i bought from butcher packer.

glad i could help with pics

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You definitely did. Thanks, Jason, for the pics and the information.

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#75 Abra

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 09:12 PM

Yikes, are we supposed to be wearing gloves??? I'm an obsessive hand washer in the kitchen, but I almost never wear gloves. I like to touch food. Is this a Bad Thing?

#76 jmolinari

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 04:19 AM

Abra, i usually don't wear gloves...i was seeing if i could cut down the hand washing if i did.

#77 mdbasile

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 07:33 AM

White mold question

I have collected my Chirizo and Tuscan Salami - will post once I charge my camera battery...

I have question about the white mold. I have some pretty heavy white mold on the Tuscan - do I wash it or brush it off?

#78 Bombdog

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 07:46 AM

I've been feeling like a slacker lately, with nothing new to post about current projects. Checked my notes this morning and found out it was time to do weights on the guanciale and the sopressata. Both have lost 35-40%, so I did a test slice of each.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Both have excellent flavor, but I'm thinking the sopressata looks a bit fatty.
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.


#79 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 08:42 AM

Nice work, Dave. The guanciale looks perfect. As for the sopressata. I can understand that it looks a bit fatty but how is the mouthfeel. Refresh my memory, did you cut that by hand? In either case, I'll bet it tastes great.

=R=
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#80 Bombdog

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 09:43 AM

Nice work, Dave.  The guanciale looks perfect.  As for the sopressata.  I can understand that it looks a bit fatty but how is the mouthfeel.  Refresh my memory, did you cut that by hand?  In either case, I'll bet it tastes great.

=R=

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Thanks Ron. The mouthfeel is WONDERFUL...I mean, after all, it IS pork fat! Even though it does look fatty, the fat doesn't seem to be out of proportion to the meat in taste.

Yes, I did cut that by hand...my trusty Jacques Pepin Henkels 12 inch chef's knife again.
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.


#81 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 12:34 PM

Pork Belly question:

In my search for great pork belly here mentioned up thread, I talked to Central Market about geting a Berkshire pork belly. Today I looked at the bershire site and they list only a pork belly with skin off. Michael and Brian call for a skin-on pork belly. So should I avoid the Berkshire and have a grocery store source a commercial skin-on belly, or look for a local farm-raised skin-on belly?

#82 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 12:41 PM

Pork Belly question:

In my search for great pork belly here mentioned up thread, I talked to Central Market about geting a Berkshire pork belly. Today I looked at the bershire site and they list only a pork belly with skin off. Michael and Brian call for a skin-on pork belly. So should I avoid the Berkshire and have a grocery store source a commercial skin-on belly, or look for a local farm-raised skin-on belly?

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I think the primary advantage of retaining the skin is that it helps protect the belly from getting dried out and hard during the (hot) smoking process. My guess is that you can turn out successful bacon from a skinless belly with just a bit more manipulation during the smoking process.

What does everyone else think about this?

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#83 Bombdog

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 01:05 PM

[
What does everyone else think about this?

=R=

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I think I agree Ron. I'm sure you could could smoke without the skin, but not sure I'd want to mess with it.

Then again, maybe we're wrong and Richard could try it and let us know.
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.


#84 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 01:27 PM

[
What does everyone else think about this?

=R=

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I think I agree Ron. I'm sure you could could smoke without the skin, but not sure I'd want to mess with it.

Then again, maybe we're wrong and Richard could try it and let us know.

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I'm not sure I want to mess with it either. I think I'll run over to my nearest carneceria and see if they will save a 3-5 lb belly from the next pig they butcher. They'll be commercial ones, but fresh.

#85 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 03:20 PM

So happy to report that my peperone -- and my first-ever batch of dry-cured sausage -- turned out great. Unless I drop dead from some odd foodboure illness :wink:, I'd have to say that my inaugural run was a complete success.

I weighed the entire batch on Friday morning and knew that it was pretty near ready. This morning when I checked them, they felt different -- much harder on the outside. I weighed them and they had lost exactly 30% of their weight.

Here are a few pics . . .


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Net weight 63.7 ounces.


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A closer look. You can see a slight streak of fat which has run down the outside of the casing. That wasn't there until today.


Posted Image
Interior shot . . . really, I couldn't have hoped for better definition.

It's tangy, softly-dense and wonderfully chewy. Just like with good bread, the flavor is in the chew, not just the initial bite. The hot/mild hit of paprika at the finish -- I used some Hungarian half-sharp -- lasts a long time thanks to the slow melt of the fat on the tongue.

Most of successful sausage-making is technical. So much so that at times how a project ends up tasting isn't even the most important detail. Once you understand and can execute a set of processes, the flavors are relatively easy to tweak. However, I doubt I'd change a thing next time out. This is a case where the book nails it on both counts. The recipe is perfectly delicious and totally satisfies the "peperoni" craving. And, from a technical standpoint, I acheived nearly optimal results on my first attempt. The says a lot for the instruction the book provides.

Folks, we have peperone! :smile:

=R=
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#86 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 03:23 PM

That did the trick. I don't know why I did not think of this first. A 60 second discussion in Spanish and English with the two butchers at Latino Market and I walked out with 3.3 pounds of pork belly at $1.99/lb.

There are many asian and hispanic markets that butcher pigs on site, so if you're having trouble getting a belly, this is an alternative. I would still like to get some kind of farm-raised pork belly, but at least this will be a start.

#87 Chris Amirault

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 04:09 PM

Ron, those look fantastic!! Was that beef or pork? Forgive me if you've said that somewhere waaaaaaaaaay up topic.
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#88 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 04:11 PM

Ron, those look fantastic!! Was that beef or pork? Forgive me if you've said that somewhere waaaaaaaaaay up topic.

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'Twas pork, unfrozen . . . but I think I'll be okay. :wink:

=R=
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#89 Bombdog

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 05:26 PM

Ron
What can I say? That stuff looks FABULOUS! Congratulations! I was wondering about the color difference between yours and mine, but I suppose the pork vs beef is the difference. Whatever...it tastes as good as it looks, and I WANT some!
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.


#90 pedrissimo

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Posted 04 June 2006 - 05:41 PM

Richard, what was the name in Spanish for the pork belly? I went to both Mexican and Asian markets today, and found some to start at the Asian place- it was called pork belly there. I like the feel (smell) of the Carniceria better, though. I know we are making semi-rotten food, but I like to control the rot!

Peter
btw, the photos in this thread are AMAZING, and inspirational, too! The glistening fat in the last two photo posts......

That did the trick. I don't know why I did not think of this first. A 60 second discussion in Spanish and English with the two butchers at Latino Market and I walked out with 3.3 pounds of pork belly at $1.99/lb.

There are many asian and hispanic markets that butcher pigs on site, so if you're having trouble getting a belly, this is an alternative. I would still like to get some kind of farm-raised pork belly, but at least this will be a start.

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