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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 4

Charcuterie Cookbook

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599 replies to this topic

#271 dansch

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 05:34 PM

Has anyone on the board played around with brining bellies for bacon?

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I bet brining would 'work' with pork belly too, although I'd be curious about the texture of the finished product.

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That was my thought as well, that brining might introduce too much moisture and leave you with bacon that doesn't crisp right and splatters a lot when you cook it. Once I make it through this batch (which tastes fine if I pre-salt the slices a bit before frying), I'll try brining.

If you're already baconizing 3 bellies at a time, there's no reason not to experiment, right? :smile:

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Well, I've simply found that once I give away a little bit to a handful of friends, I'm suddenly out.

I will say that between the bacon and pastrami, the Hobart slicer I got off of eBay is paying off... slicing all that bacon by hand was always a huge pain....

Cheers,
-Dan

#272 Chris Amirault

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:21 AM

I just returned from Barcelona yesterday and had an experience that prompts the following question. While I was checking out the back room of a local charcutier who was taking care of the hams and sausages, I saw him grab a link of the dry-cured sobresada that was covered with the infamous green mold, grease up his hands with some olive oil, and rub the thing down with the oil. He then wiped it off a bit with a paper towel and put the sausage back in the display case. He proceded to do the same thing to the other sausages, most of which were just white-mold-y. When I asked the only person there who was fluent in English what was up, he shrugged and said, basically, that that's what's done. No muss, no fuss.

Thoughts?
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#273 jmolinari

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 10:23 AM

don't buy from him ?:)

#274 mdbasile

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 11:30 AM

Dave - how long have you had your soppressetta hanging? Did you incubate for long?

I just checked mine and hard outside, but soft and not very red inside.... I am at 3 weeks - beef middles.

#275 Bombdog

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:06 PM

Dave - how long have you had your soppressetta hanging? Did you incubate for long?

I just checked mine and hard outside, but soft and not very red inside.... I am at 3 weeks - beef middles.

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Me?

I took mine down late last week...perfect!
Dave Valentin
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#276 mdbasile

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:20 PM

Dave - how long have you had your soppressetta hanging? Did you incubate for long?

I just checked mine and hard outside, but soft and not very red inside.... I am at 3 weeks - beef middles.

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Me?

I took mine down late last week...perfect!

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Yes - you - sorry. How long did you hang it. Any photos? This is my first larger salami and I would like to be sure of color etc...

Also how long did you incubate? If you recal?

Edited by mdbasile, 17 October 2006 - 12:20 PM.


#277 Bombdog

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:30 PM

Dave - how long have you had your soppressetta hanging? Did you incubate for long?

I just checked mine and hard outside, but soft and not very red inside.... I am at 3 weeks - beef middles.

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Me?

I took mine down late last week...perfect!

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Yes - you - sorry. How long did you hang it. Any photos? This is my first larger salami and I would like to be sure of color etc...

Also how long did you incubate? If you recal?

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It hung for about 3.5 weeks. I don't have any pics of this batch, but here is one of the last

Posted Image

and it looks just like this one
Dave Valentin
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"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.
"Got what backwards?" I ask.
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#278 mdbasile

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:39 PM

Ok great - that color is the same -- I guess I thought it would be redder... flavor is great though....

You have seriously larger fat hunks -- very nice!!

Thanks for the help.

#279 jmolinari

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:45 PM

Dave, those aren't beef middles are they? If so those are some huge fat chunks!

#280 Bombdog

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 12:48 PM

Dave, those aren't beef middles are they? If so those are some huge fat chunks!

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I'm sorry I didn't specify, yes those are beef middles

I hand dice the sopressata and try not get the fat too large...but some of it is. I still like it!

Edited by Bombdog, 17 October 2006 - 12:50 PM.

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.


#281 Wurst Case

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 11:36 PM

I've been reading along in this thread; you guys are doing beautiful things.

Does the book, by any chance, have instructions for mojama--the cured tuna from Spain? I've only read about it, but it sounds wonderful, and at this time of year where I live, I often have access to beautiful loins of tuna fresh off the boat. Anyone have any experience or references?

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Welcome Catherine,

There is no recipe in the book for mojama. However, I did a bit of Googling and it appears to be a fairly straight forward concept. EVERY description I found called for the loins to be layered in salt for 2 days, rinsed in fresh running water for 12 hours then hung to cure for 2 weeks.

I agree with Mark. With what we know now, from the book and our experiences, we can cure just about anything. I'm game for this one. As soon as I can locate a suitable loin I'm going to give it a try.

I've got my second attempt at lomo curado in the chamber now. This time I used a loin instead of a tenderloin.

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Hi Catherine,

I too researched making mojama. Fortunately, I bought a miniscule piece of the stuff at the Spanish Table, found it very hard and VERY salty, and so now won't have to mess up a large piece of tuna attempting to replicate it.

#282 Wurst Case

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Posted 17 October 2006 - 11:36 PM

EVERY description I found called for the loins to be layered in salt for 2 days, rinsed in fresh running water for 12 hours then hung to cure for 2 weeks.

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Running water for twelve hours? Wouldn't it work just as well to soak with periodic changes of water?

The mojama sounds intriguing. Anyone know what it tastes like?

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Tastes yucky! Try ordering it from Spanish Table.

#283 dansch

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 05:18 AM

So, about 36 hours ago I applied M-EK-4 (from Butcher-Packer) to the outside of my peperone by dunking them in to the innoculate solution (as-directed). As expected, I've now got mold... only, it's not quite what I though it'd be. I expected dusty/chalky mold (as so many on the forum here have posted) not this white fuzzy stuff.

For those of you that have used M-EK-4, could you take a look at these pictures and let me know what you think? Does it seem odd that it's not even coverage?

Posted Image

I'm a little worried not just by the texture, but also by the tiny black dots at the end of the fuzz (sorry for the bad close-up shot):

Posted Image

Thanks for the advice. I knew that intentionally growing mold on raw meat would feel odd, I just didn't expect to be this concerned over the texture and color of the mold...

Cheers,
-Dan

(assuming the sun ever comes out again, I can also take some better pics)

#284 jmolinari

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 05:54 AM

I havn't used the MEK4, but when i spray my salame with mold solution i also get unenven coverage of mold...don't know why
I tihnk your mold looks OK, from the top picture at least..what is the humidity in your chamber?

#285 Bombdog

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 06:28 AM

I haven't sprayed mine either. I put some old Parmesan rinds in the door a couple of months ago and just this last time finally got some white mold.

I don't know about that bottom picture though. My mold was the white powdery type, not fuzzy.
Dave Valentin
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"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#286 dansch

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 06:28 AM

I havn't used the MEK4, but when i spray my salame with mold solution i also get unenven coverage of mold...don't know why
I tihnk your mold looks OK, from the top picture at least..

Yeah, the top one looks ok, it's the close inspection that freaks me out a bit. It's definitely hairy fuzz. I emailed the guys at Butcher-Packer last night (with a description, but no pictures) and his response was "It should be slightly creamy color with a little bit of fuzz". I wish he had said "slightly creamy and downright hairy".

what is the humidity in your chamber?

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Normally it settles down to about 65%, but right now it's up around 83% (it usually spikes when I put a fresh load of sausage in). FWIW, it's about 59-60F degrees.

Thanks for the advice,
-Dan

#287 mdbasile

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 06:37 AM

You are totally fine - that is very normal. I will get chalky in a few days...

..no worries.

So, about 36 hours ago I applied M-EK-4 (from Butcher-Packer) to the outside of my peperone by dunking them in to the innoculate solution (as-directed).  As expected, I've now got mold... only, it's not quite what I though it'd be.  I expected dusty/chalky mold (as so many on the forum here have posted) not this white fuzzy stuff.

For those of you that have used M-EK-4, could you take a look at these pictures and let me know what you think?  Does it seem odd that it's not even coverage?

Posted Image

I'm a little worried not just by the texture, but also by the tiny black dots at the end of the fuzz (sorry for the bad close-up shot):

Posted Image

Thanks for the advice.  I knew that intentionally growing mold on raw meat would feel odd, I just didn't expect to be this concerned over the texture and color of the mold...

Cheers,
-Dan

(assuming the sun ever comes out again, I can also take some better pics)

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#288 mdbasile

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 06:44 AM

Dave, those aren't beef middles are they? If so those are some huge fat chunks!

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I'm sorry I didn't specify, yes those are beef middles

I hand dice the sopressata and try not get the fat too large...but some of it is. I still like it!

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Took mine down last night - we'll 2 of 4 one is rather large...

Very tasty!!! Thanks for the input.

#289 dansch

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 06:59 AM

You are totally fine - that is very normal.

Awesome. Like I said before, I intentionally putting mold on the outside of my salame seemed like such a natural thing... until it started growing.

I figured that the chances of some other, nefarious mold spontaneously growing on all of the sausages 24 hours after I innoculated with good mold spores seemed rather slim, but still, fuzzy=bad=paranoid me.

I will get chalky in a few days...

Hopefully my salame will too! :wink:

Cheers,
-Dan

#290 mdbasile

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 07:18 AM

You are totally fine - that is very normal.

Awesome. Like I said before, I intentionally putting mold on the outside of my salame seemed like such a natural thing... until it started growing.

I figured that the chances of some other, nefarious mold spontaneously growing on all of the sausages 24 hours after I innoculated with good mold spores seemed rather slim, but still, fuzzy=bad=paranoid me.

I will get chalky in a few days...

Hopefully my salame will too! :wink:

Cheers,
-Dan

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LOL - yea me too.... should really proof posts...

FWIW - I went through your same concerns - first time I totally freaked and wiped them all down with vinegar, except one....that one turned nice and chalky in about 1 week.

Next time you are at the market - pick up a fresh salami that has white on it and - examine the mold -- helped me understand it better.

Edited by mdbasile, 18 October 2006 - 07:18 AM.


#291 Bombdog

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:28 AM

[Very tasty!!! Thanks for the input.

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Congrats! and you're quite welcome.
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.


#292 Rubashov

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 09:44 AM

Hello everyone. As I watch my drying salamis shrink with each passing day, I'm inclined to use a larger casing the next time around (this time I used regular hog casings). I'm particularly curious whether anyone has had much luck doing dried sausages in collagen casings. Also, I've seen that supply places like The Sausagemaker sell regular collagen casings and stronger "smokehouse" casings that they say can support the weight of hanging sausages. Does anyone have any experience with either of these, or an opinion on which to use?

Thanks,
Rob

#293 Bombdog

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 10:27 AM

Hello everyone.  As I watch my drying salamis shrink with each passing day, I'm inclined to use a larger casing the next time around (this time I used regular hog casings).  I'm particularly curious whether anyone has had much luck doing dried sausages in collagen casings.  Also, I've seen that supply places like The Sausagemaker sell regular collagen casings and stronger "smokehouse" casings that they say can support the weight of hanging sausages.  Does anyone have any experience with either of these, or an opinion on which to use?

Thanks,
Rob

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The only colagen casing I've used are currently hanging with coppa stuffed inside. It's too early to give any reviews.

I've personally become rather fond of the larger beef middle casings. I suppose it's just a personal thing, but I like the larger size.
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.


#294 jmolinari

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 10:35 AM

i;ve used 60mm collagen and made salame, as well as 43mm collagen rounds. Both work very well.

#295 mdbasile

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 12:20 PM

I have used the beef middle for the first time after using only hog. For Salami, I think the beef is just the right size, except for maybe the chirizo or pepperoni.

#296 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 12:29 PM

I have a few questions for anyone who's made tasso, which I will attempt for the first time this weekend. The instructions in the book call for dredging the cut-up pieces of shoulder in basic cure for 4 hours, then rinsing the meat, seasoning it and hot-smoking it immediately. Is 4 hours really enough time for the tasso to cure through? Should I also allow time for a pellicle to develop or is that not necessary? Really, any experienced information on the process would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :smile:

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#297 dls

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 01:57 PM

I have a few questions for anyone who's made tasso, which I will attempt for the first time this weekend.  The instructions in the book call for dredging the cut-up pieces of shoulder in basic cure for 4 hours, then rinsing the meat, seasoning it and hot-smoking it immediately.  Is 4 hours really enough time for the tasso to cure through?  Should I also allow time for a pellicle to develop or is that not necessary?  Really, any experienced information on the process would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :smile:

=R=

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Ron - 4 hours seems awfully short to me. Most recipes that I'm familiar with call for at least an overnight cure. I normally go 2-3 days. I can't put the links in since I'm responding on my Treo, but google and check out the gumbo pages, john folse, and nola cuisine websites.

Edited by dls, 19 October 2006 - 04:46 PM.


#298 mdbasile

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:11 PM

I have a few questions for anyone who's made tasso, which I will attempt for the first time this weekend.  The instructions in the book call for dredging the cut-up pieces of shoulder in basic cure for 4 hours, then rinsing the meat, seasoning it and hot-smoking it immediately.  Is 4 hours really enough time for the tasso to cure through?  Should I also allow time for a pellicle to develop or is that not necessary?  Really, any experienced information on the process would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks! :smile:

=R=

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I made the Taso exactly as the recipie states - though I think the cure was more like 8 hours due to other reasons - and it was/is terrific. I just made some jambalaya with it last night and it imparted the exact perfect flavor....

#299 Abra

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Posted 19 October 2006 - 04:40 PM

Ron, I made the tasso as written, and found that while I had a good ham/smoked pork sort of thing, it didn't deliver the tasso flavor I was expecting. It needs to be spiced up, in my opinion.

#300 A Patric

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 05:48 AM

Hi all,

Has anyone made the saucisson sec yet? When I lived in France for a year I had the opportunity to try multiple different brands of store-bought saucisson as well as some that had been produced by a winemaker, from his own pigs, for his family's consumption. I have to say that I liked some better than others. Some seemed to have more pepper and be slightly more acidic than others. The wine maker's saucisson seemed to have almost no flavor in it aside from pork, and was certainly not acidic. I'm wondering how you would describe the taste of the one in the book, and if you had to compare it to other dry cured pork sausages that you've made (sopressata, salami, etc.), how would it compare?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Alan





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