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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 4


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#331 A Patric

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 11:25 PM

It's only been 2 days so far. I dredged it too, and it was evenly coated, but I could still see some meat through the cure, though not a lot.

#332 Reefpimp

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 12:30 AM

just when I thought I was out of it, I got sucked back into it. I'm once again doing the Have Knife-Will Travel gig again; this time in Madison, Wi at a Tex-Mex joint in a groovy neighborhood. Hey, the pay's good, the hours are flexible, the waitstaff's gorgeous, and we got a smoker on the premises.

With empty rack space.

Anybody got ideas about what I could throw in there that'd benefit from smoking over hickory for 12-13 hours at 225*F? Is that too long or too hot for bacon?

BTW, we're revamping the menu. We're gonna be doing some duck. All hail anyone who gives me a juxtaposition of duck and smoke.


This whole love/hate thing would be a lot easier if it was just hate.

Bring me your finest food, stuffed with your second finest!

#333 qrn

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 04:49 PM

[Anybody got ideas about what I could throw in there that'd benefit from smoking over hickory for 12-13 hours at 225*F? Is that too long or too hot for bacon?

Boston butt/ pulled pork....

Prob to hot and long for bacon...

Bud

#334 paul o' vendange

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 09:37 PM

just when I thought I was out of it, I got sucked back into it.  I'm once again doing the Have Knife-Will Travel gig again; this time in Madison, Wi at a Tex-Mex joint in a groovy neighborhood.  Hey, the pay's good, the hours are flexible, the waitstaff's gorgeous, and we got a smoker on the premises. 

With empty rack space.

Anybody got ideas about what I could throw in there that'd benefit from smoking over hickory for 12-13 hours at 225*F?  Is that too long or too hot for bacon?

BTW, we're revamping the menu.  We're gonna be doing some duck.  All hail anyone who gives me a juxtaposition of duck and smoke.

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Duck confit, cold smoke, grill.
[size="3"]Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais[/size]

#335 Michael Terrigno

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 01:41 PM

I'm in the middle of the spice rub for Bresaola and in need of some advice. In Ruhlman's book, the instructions called for making spice rub and divide in half. Rub half the spice in, place in zip lock and store for week and then repeat process with other half - then air dry.

I failed to follow the directions (I chalk it up to my excitement over a successful duck proscuitto and anctipation of cured beef) SO after the first rub and first week, I washed off that rub, padded dry and then applied second - which is now back in zip lock. Question - by washing the first rub off did I hurt the curing process for Bresaola or how can I tell if its ok to air dry?

thanks,

Mike

#336 jmolinari

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 02:16 PM

I think you'll be fine since you reapplied the 2nd 1/2 of the rub...go along with teh instructions.

#337 jbehmoaras

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 03:04 PM

I'm in the middle of the spice rub for Bresaola and in need of some advice. In Ruhlman's book, the instructions called for making spice rub and divide in half. Rub half the spice in, place in zip lock and store for week and then repeat process with other half - then air dry.

I failed to follow the directions (I chalk it up to my excitement over a successful duck proscuitto and anctipation of cured beef) SO after the first rub and first week, I washed off that rub, padded dry and then applied second - which is now back in zip lock. Question - by washing the first rub off did I hurt the curing process for Bresaola or how can I tell if its ok to air dry?

thanks,

Mike

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Could you talk a little bit about ur experience making the duck prosciutto and any changes you may have made to your recipe
Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

#338 Michael Terrigno

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 05:08 PM

I'm in the middle of the spice rub for Bresaola and in need of some advice. In Ruhlman's book, the instructions called for making spice rub and divide in half. Rub half the spice in, place in zip lock and store for week and then repeat process with other half - then air dry.

I failed to follow the directions (I chalk it up to my excitement over a successful duck proscuitto and anctipation of cured beef) SO after the first rub and first week, I washed off that rub, padded dry and then applied second - which is now back in zip lock. Question - by washing the first rub off did I hurt the curing process for Bresaola or how can I tell if its ok to air dry?

thanks,

Mike

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Could you talk a little bit about ur experience making the duck prosciutto and any changes you may have made to your recipe

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Jeremy, I played the duck proscuitto pretty much by the book. Used the salt cure then white pepper - next time will add some garlic and maybe junipers. I was mostly concerned with the drying environment since my first time I relied on my basement (first level in sf) and ruined pancetta. Upon someones recommendation on this site, I bought a tall dorm fridge, small fan and water pan. Duck was the first thing in the chamber and both temperature and humidity were nearly perfect. Did leave in the duck for 9 days because it still felt slightly soft.

#339 Michael Terrigno

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 05:10 PM

I think you'll be fine since you reapplied the 2nd 1/2 of the rub...go along with teh instructions.

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Thank you!

#340 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 06:33 PM

It's only been 2 days so far.  I dredged it too, and it was evenly coated, but I could still see some meat through the cure, though not a lot.

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How's it looking now?

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#341 A Patric

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 08:35 PM

It's only been 2 days so far.  I dredged it too, and it was evenly coated, but I could still see some meat through the cure, though not a lot.

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How's it looking now?

=R=

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Well, today it looks even drier than it did before. In fact, the liquid seems to all but have disappeared. I'm smoking it Thursday morning. That will make about 7.5 days. I'm sure it will be fine, but I just don't know if it will have that cured bacon flavor than I am expecting. Either way, no loss. I'll update when I find out how it tastes.

Edited by A Patric, 07 November 2006 - 08:36 PM.


#342 jmolinari

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Posted 08 November 2006 - 08:07 AM

smoked bresaola? Interesting!

#343 A Patric

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 06:12 PM

An update:

The bacon turned out perfectly after all. It certainly was cured, and actually was the best bacon I've ever had.

At the same time I also made the chicken and garlic sausages and smoked those. They are definitely the best chicken sausages that I've ever eaten My brother couldn't even tell that they were chicken sausages.

I'm looking forward to the next two things on the list which will both be for Christmas:

The American-style glazed ham, and the sopressata (sp?)

#344 Abra

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 06:18 PM

A Patric, that's a great idea to make sopressata for Christmas. I've been away from the thread for a bit - have you started yours already? I've never made it before, - got the beef middles a while ago so I could, then got distracted by summer. If you haven't already made yours, let's do it together. Cyber-together, that is.

#345 A Patric

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 08:01 AM

Abra,

Sounds great. The only problem, though, is that I need to freeze my fat for about another 9 days. At that point, I'd be ready to get moving, but I am going to be out of town for a week from Dec 3rd to the 10th, and I won't have anyone who I can trust to know when to pull the sausage at the right moment. Since the recipe calls for 2-3 weeks of drying, that could cause some problems. So, I'll probably wait to make it until right before I leave as I can at least count on someone to wipe it with brine if any odd mold begins to show. That will be on the 30th or the 1st (somewhere in there). If you are willing to wait, great; if not, completely understood.

Best,

AP

#346 piperdown

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 10:30 AM

Well you guys were right, this stuff is acctictive. I got the book over the summer, but since all I ever saw of the summer was the restaurant and bed, I couldn't start some projects until now. I started with the Duck Procuitto, and after that decided to start on sausages. Even without making a single sausage I still felt compelled to buy the Grizzly stuffer. It's like a weird compulsion

I just finished making some of the breakfast sausage for my Mom's B&B, and was almost reluctant to let her guests eat them since they came out so well, and I just wanted to keep them all for myself.

The first thing I wanted to do after making the first batch was to make another one. I wanted to make the Chicken and basil one's but my buther didn't have any back fat, so he had to order it. Instead I think I'm going to try the garlic sausage. Has anyone tried that one yet?

I'm a little nervous to start working with the casings, as I can see that going horribly wrong, but I'm still excited to try.

#347 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 11:18 AM

Well you guys were right, this stuff is acctictive. I got the book over the summer, but since all I ever saw of the summer was the restaurant and bed, I couldn't start some projects until now. I started with the Duck Procuitto, and after that decided to start on sausages. Even without making a single sausage I still felt compelled to buy the Grizzly stuffer. It's like a weird compulsion

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Welcome to the club! :biggrin:


I just finished making some of the breakfast sausage for my Mom's B&B, and was almost reluctant to let her guests eat them since they came out so well, and I just wanted to keep them all for myself.

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LOL! I know the feeling. Happily, the fact that most of these items are perishable keeps me from hoarding them.


The first thing I wanted to do after making the first batch was to make another one.

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That's exactly how I felt and still feel. It's absolutely the best way to learn and improve your skills.


I'm a little nervous to start working with the casings, as I can see that going horribly wrong, but I'm still excited to try.

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Every once in a while, casings misbehave. But again, the more you work with them, the more familiar you'll become with the variables. I've probably made 75 batches of sausage since I started with this work and even now, the outcomes sometimes surprise. I often compare it to bread-baking. Both it and charcuterie are such rewarding types of cooking.

Please keep us updated on your projects.

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#348 Bombdog

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:07 AM

Well, it's been 8 months since I started my first curing project, the salt cured ham.

I prepared it just like the book instructed; covered in lard and cracked peppercorns, wrapped in cheese cloth, and then left it to hang in the back of my chamber through many, many other projects. I pulled it at 6 months to check the wt. Then again at 8. Last week it finally seemed to have the right combination of wt loss and firmness.

Posted Image

Here it is after unwrapping and wiping off the majority of the lard. I was a bit concerned, as it just didn't look very appetizing.

Posted Image

But then I began to slice of some thin pieces from the large end. MMMMMM, yummy!

Very pleased with the results. Of course, now I need to be starting another if I want more by next August!
Dave Valentin
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#349 jmolinari

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:36 AM

Looks very nice. How is the flavor? Prosciutto like? or different entirely

#350 Bombdog

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 10:44 AM

Looks very nice. How is the flavor? Prosciutto like? or different entirely

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Well, I guess it's proscuitto like, in a general way. It doesn't have the depth of flavor you would get in a good proscuitto. Then again, it's not from any kind of special pork.

I've discovered a local producer of free range heirloom pork. Hopefully next week I'll have a new supply of shoulder, etc for the next batch of products. My intention is to do the next ham with one from these folks.

I'll let you know late next summer what kind of difference there is :biggrin:
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.


#351 Abra

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:34 AM

Wow, you rule, Dave. Eight months! Now that is patience. Beautiful.

#352 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 11:37 AM

All the best country hams I've enjoyed looked pretty gnarly on the outside too. That meat looks absolutely beautiful, Dave.

As for depth of flavor, you may want to try a longer cure. From what I've read in a few other books lately (Pig Perfect by Peter Kaminsky being one of them), 12-18 months is the ideal cure time for a ham. Apparently, that's when the complex and tasty funkiness really begins to develop.

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#353 Bombdog

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 05:09 AM

All the best country hams I've enjoyed looked pretty gnarly on the outside too.  That meat looks absolutely beautiful, Dave.

As for depth of flavor, you may want to try a longer cure.  From what I've read in a few other books lately (Pig Perfect by Peter Kaminsky being one of them), 12-18 months is the ideal cure time for a ham.  Apparently, that's when the complex and tasty funkiness really begins to develop.

=R=

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Thanks Ron. That's a good idea. I've hung it back in the curing chamber and will just go back to it when I want/need some. It should get several more months in there before it's gone.
Dave Valentin
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#354 jmolinari

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 05:24 AM

The reason some hams can go to 12-18 months cure is because of their fat content. With regular pig hanging 12-18 months may render some pork jerky:)

Just recently i took out my pancetta made from Ossabaw pig belly, aged 12 months. It is incredibly tasty.

#355 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 08:57 AM

in response to a post higher up, about flavor of a not-special hog that's dry cured. this makes a huge difference. doing any kind of dry-cured pig, especially whole muscles, the quality of the pig is the most important attribute.

#356 jmolinari

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:17 AM

Can anyone tell me with certainty if the pig/shoulder at whole foods is considerably better than regular pig? I mean in flavor and fat content.

when i cook pork at home, i normally cook an heirloom pig i get from a farmer, and the flavor is night and day. I'm wondering if the whole foods pork is that different from regular, and if it is worth getting for charcuterie.

Are whole foods pigs just regular pigs raised without hormones, but still confined in factories? If so, i can't immagine the flavor/fat content will be much different.

jason

#357 Bombdog

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 02:38 PM

Can anyone tell me with certainty if the pig/shoulder at whole foods is considerably better than regular pig? I mean in flavor and fat content.

when i cook pork at home, i normally cook an heirloom pig i get from a farmer, and the flavor is night and day. I'm wondering if the whole foods pork is that different from regular, and if it is worth getting for charcuterie.

Are whole foods pigs just regular pigs raised without hormones, but still confined in factories? If so, i can't immagine the flavor/fat content will be much different.

jason

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I can't imagine, with the prices Whole Foods charge, that they are special pigs. I could be wrong, but this new place I found charges prices that are way above what I've seen at Whole Foods.

Edited by Bombdog, 14 November 2006 - 03:46 PM.

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.


#358 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 02:44 PM

Can anyone tell me with certainty if the pig/shoulder at whole foods is considerably better than regular pig? I mean in flavor and fat content.

when i cook pork at home, i normally cook an heirloom pig i get from a farmer, and the flavor is night and day. I'm wondering if the whole foods pork is that different from regular, and if it is worth getting for charcuterie.

Are whole foods pigs just regular pigs raised without hormones, but still confined in factories? If so, i can't immagine the flavor/fat content will be much different.

jason

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I can't imagine, with the prices Whole Foods charge, that they are special pigs. I could be wreong, but this new place I found charges prices that are way above what I've seen at Whole Foods.

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I'd have to agree -- especially when compared to Niman, for example.

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#359 jmolinari

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 02:52 PM

so i won't waste my money on whole foods pork, and just save up to spend it on my farmer supplier:)

#360 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 04:11 PM

better to stick with a supplier you know. but ask the meat dept at whole foods. i'd like to know. and don't take their word for it. they'll tell you whatever they;ve been told. ask how they know, verify what they say. and let us know what you find out!