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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 4


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#91 mdbasile

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:31 AM

Welcome, Wurst Case! 

Mark, that crisped guanciale looks great.  How hot was your smoker on the smoked guanciale attempt?  It looks kind of melty, as if it had been up over 160 for at least some of the time.

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Yea I smoked it at 200. Should I have done it at a lower temp?

I smoked it about 4 hours and internal temp never went above 135...

#92 mdbasile

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:35 AM

Quick question...

Anyone out there hanging any meats to dry for longer then 3 weeks?  We would hang Guanciale and Pancetta for at least 3 months prior to eating.  I guess the main difference is that we would eat the dryed meats without the addition of heat.  We would simply slice and enjoy.

Is anyone curing like this?

Thanks

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My lamb procuitto was about 6 weeks...

I have a Guanciale, that will probably be the 5 weeks before I take it down... though I will probably add some heat...

#93 mdbasile

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:45 AM

Here is my cold smoked Chirizo... great flavor and makes Paella very special....

As you can see it is somewhere between salami and sausage. I have decide to take one link and hang it dry for another week or so - just to see....

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That is a bit of sliced jowl bacon on the side....

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... and the Paella....


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#94 mdbasile

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:47 AM

We're so hardcore!

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Have to admit, it's not the first time I'm been accused of that! It does sound better than fanatical though.

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Halp! Meat curing is taking over my life. I think I am turning into a big sausage!

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Welcome, Wurst Case! Yes, this Charcuterie can take over your life. I'm just waiting until I've finished doing some home maintenance and getting the kids re-installed in school until I can get back to the job at hand -- stuffing and curing!

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Hear Hear !!! Just getting back myself....

#95 mdbasile

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:49 AM

Terriffic lomo Dave!!

Speaking of pork loin.

After my first attempt at lomo curado using a tenderloin (and failing miserably) I tried again with a loin.

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Wonderful, slightly sweet, with a nice fennel and garlic taste.

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The lomo is beautiful. What's your recipe?

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#96 mdbasile

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 07:57 AM

Two things:


I too would love to learn from you all about how to tell when a piece of meat has cured- I imagine by touch, but I suppose weight could be used, even when it is in a dry cure- messy as that would be. There ought to be many years of experience among the members of this board by now, especially some of you who mess around with more than one project a week like me!

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Weight is the only really objective measure, and I rarely use it. There is no substitute for experience and the touch/feel you learn.

Also- Salt. Reading this book and Mark Kurlansky's book on salt have filled my imagination for the last six months. First, where can one get large quantities of un iodized salt? Neither Costco nor the more evil twin of it seem to carry it (though I once was able to get unbleahed flour at 25lbs/$5). Any ohter ideas? Also, where might one find other salts? I am happy to pay a bit of money for hand-made salt, but would really love to find interesting salt with mineral 'impurities' for better than the boutique prices I would pay now- after all, natural salt is not all that rare...

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I just buy Kosher salt in 3 lb boxes from my local market

#97 Mallet

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:38 AM

I have a technical question for all you charcuterers out there.(is that a word?)
[...]


I guess it would be charcutiers
Martin Mallet
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#98 Wurst Case

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 10:03 PM

Okie dokie. HEre are the best directions i can describe on getting the coppa from a whole shoulder.

Locate the shoulder blade in the butt;  orient the butt so that the blade is on you left. The coppa will be on the right side. Now, If you slice the butt in half (blade piece on the left), the piece on the right will show that you cut through a large muscle with out any fat. The coppa is to the right of this muscle, so you can begin trimming the piece into a round shape.  Trim off any surface fat, but leave the interior fat...you should end up with a nice coppa!!

I'll take pictures next time i butcher a shoulder.
jason

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Hi Jason,
Did you ever post  photos of isolating the coppa muscle?

#99 jmolinari

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:39 AM

Wurst, sure did. Look at this link:

http://forums.egulle...4

#100 Bombdog

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 06:19 AM

Thanks for the compliments on the lomo folks.

My notes are not as complete as they should be, but I remember kinda like this.

I cured the pork loin like a slab of belly with LOTS of fennel seed, brown sugar, kosher salt, curing salt, LOTS of minced garlic, black pepper corns, and smoked paprika for about 10 days. From there I rinsed the loin, leaving some pepper corns and fennel seeds, then retied the loin and hung in the curing chamber until it reached 30 percent wt loss.
Dave Valentin
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"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#101 Abra

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 09:07 AM

Mmm, that lomo recipe sounds wonderful. Did you crush the fennel seed or leave it whole? Sweet or hot pimenton? And you used the cure #2, not pink salt, right?

#102 Bombdog

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 09:55 AM

Mmm, that lomo recipe sounds wonderful.  Did you crush the fennel seed or leave it whole?  Sweet or hot pimenton?  And you used the cure #2, not pink salt, right?

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Sorry Abra, I guess I was rather vague there (like my notes and memory).

Yes to curing salt, sweet paprika and the fennel seeds were toasted then semi crushed in a mortar. I was looking for a sweet, garlicky fennel flavor. The sweetness is rather sublime as is the fennel. But both are definitely present.
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.


#103 NYC Mike

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:03 AM

When I first started watching this thread we lived in a typical tenement style NYC apartment with a 5'x5' box kitchen. So, we could do little else but watch in envy of Ronnie's bacon making pictoral and Chris' smoker purchase and everything else wonderful on this thread. Additionally, up until about 8 months ago, I had never cooked anything of value outside of pancakes for children on Sunday morning in my life! I was a professonal eater!

What a difference a few months make! We have moved to where we have a kitchen the whole family of 5 can cook in with room for more! Seen here. And, with the help and support of my new friends over in the Italy by Region forums (ITALY ) I can safely say my wife allows me to take the wheel in the kitchen from time to time now.

In watching the evolution of this thread makin bacon has clearly seriously become pedestrian! For me however, it my single greatest achivement in the kitchen to date! From scratch to the best I've ever tasted! Thanks for educating me enough to do it and for letting me share.

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We used low quality pork belly just in case of first time failure, more fat than meat but it was $1.50 per pound at a mexican carneceria near us. This is finished and ready to come out. We did one peice with the maple cure and one just with the cure salt (we made an awesome carbonara with that one) and smoked with apple wood. Next batch we will use a nieman ranch belly and compare the differences.

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Ready for the oven! Funny thing to us was we were all eating it so fast we forgot to take the crispy action shot. Suffice to say, we will never buy bacon again.

-Mike

Edited by NYC Mike, 12 September 2006 - 09:04 AM.

-Mike & Andrea


#104 Abra

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:09 AM

Welcome to bacon-makin', NYCMike. It's never pedestrian to the folks here, and yours looks delectable!

#105 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:13 AM

Welcome to bacon-makin', NYCMike.  It's never pedestrian to the folks here, and yours looks delectable!

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Agreed. Your inaugural bacon looks terrific, NYCMike. Welcome to the thread :smile:

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#106 Chris Amirault

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:14 AM

Nice work, Mike! The Niman Ranch bellies are far more marbled than the ones I've gotten at the carnicaria. You'll be amazed.
Chris Amirault
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#107 Bombdog

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:38 AM

Great stuff Mike! Welcome!
Dave Valentin
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"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#108 dls

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:41 AM

Hello all. I've been following this thread from inception (12/05/05) and have found it entertainig, instructional, and truly inspirational. The pictures are downright gorgeous and, based upon the one posted by ronnie-suburban of his duck and cured ham pate (P. Casas), I decided to give that a go 11 days ago.

Following cooking and cooling, I placed weights (foil covered bricks) on the pate and put the terrine in a 2nd storage refrigerator that is kept at a very cold temp. and is seldom opened. The next day, I removed the weights, foiled the top of the pate, and covered the terrine. The following day a business emergency arose and I found myself in Madrid for 8 days, during which I completely forgot about the pate. Discovered it last night when I went for a cold beer.

Now comes the food safety question. What do you think I should do - Keep it (eat some and freeze some for later) or toss it. Also, when going through the freezer , I found some pork pate with tenderloin insert that was leftover from from New Years Eve. Any thoughts on that one.

TIA

#109 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 09:56 AM

Hello all. I've been following this thread from inception (12/05/05) and have found it entertainig, instructional, and truly inspirational. The pictures are downright gorgeous and, based upon the one posted by ronnie-suburban of his duck and cured ham pate (P. Casas), I decided to give that a go 11 days ago.

Following cooking and cooling, I placed weights (foil covered bricks) on the pate and put the terrine in a 2nd storage refrigerator that is kept at a very cold temp. and is seldom opened. The next day, I removed the weights, foiled the top of the pate, and covered the terrine. The following day a business emergency arose and I found myself in Madrid for 8 days, during which I completely forgot about the pate. Discovered it last night when I went for a cold beer.

Now comes the food safety question. What do you think I should do - Keep it (eat some and freeze some for later) or toss it. Also, when going through the freezer , I found some pork pate with tenderloin insert that was leftover from from New Years Eve. Any thoughts on that one.

TIA

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I'd eat it without hesitation, as long as it smelled ok. I think Mr. Ruhlman posted upthread about pates being good even a couple weeks after being made.

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#110 Bombdog

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 10:00 AM

Of course, this advice comes from the man who unhesitatingly ate green pork.
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.


#111 mdbasile

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:44 PM

Of course, this advice comes from the man who unhesitatingly ate green pork.

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LOL --hey - but he's still here.....

#112 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 02:03 PM

Of course, this advice comes from the man who unhesitatingly ate green pork.

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LOL --hey - but he's still here.....

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LMAO . . . well, yeah. :biggrin:

And clearly, I didn't need to remind everyone about it either! :laugh:

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#113 mdbasile

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 02:14 PM

Abra, forgive me if you've covered this in the preceeding 61 pages (!), but what kind of stuffer do you use?

Michael, do you wish to share a recipe with us?  I sure don't want to buy another book because the one I have is so nicely marked and splattered up!

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If you don't mind Abra -- I would like to revisit this for a bit.

First of all nice job - really interesting. One of the things that was not clear to me was your verdict about the food processor vs the paddle -- what did you and Michael conclude?

Thanks,

Mark

#114 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:09 PM

Late last week I was at Foodstuffs (Evanston, IL location) when I saw a beautiful, 3.5-pound piece of Wild Coho Salmon in the fish case. I decided right there on the spot that I'd finally try my hand at cold-smoked salmon. I also happened to pick up a 1.5-pound piece of farm-raised salmon at Costco later in the day.

Later that day, I made a quadruple batch of cure, basically following the recipe in the book for Smoked Salmon. I did cut back on the cloves and the bay leaves a little bit and since I had 2 ounces of fresh dill in the fridge, I included it. I halved the amount of pink salt, as well*. I cured the pieces of fish simultaneously for 36 hours (also weighing them down, per the instructions in the book) and then, after rinsing them thoroughly, dried them on racks in my fridge for about 24 hours.

After the drying, I manipulated my gas-powered smoker into what I hoped would become a cold smoker. I filled the tinder box with apple and cherry wood and filled the water bowl with ice. I then started a half chimney of lump charcoal in my Weber grill. When the lump charcoal became red hot, I removed 2 very small embers (about 1 square inch each) from the chimney and placed them on top of the wood chips in the tinder box. I closed the 2 side dampers and top damper on the smoker almost completely, leaving them only about 1/4" open. Miraculously, the embers smoldered very slowly -- and evenly -- for about 4 hours while the temperature inside the smoking chamber never went above 90 F. After the smoke finished its run, I retrieved the fillets and was delighted with the results, which actually approximated (or maybe even were) cold-smoked!


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Cold-smoked salmon fillet.



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A closer look at the flesh, still supple and oily.



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In lieu of freezing the smoked salmon first, I found that my cheese knife was the best one for the task of slicing the finished product.



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Cold-smoked salmon on toasted blackbread with chive cheese, aka Dinner Part 1.



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Cold-smoked salmon on a toasted sesame bagel with chive cheese, aka Dinner Part 2.


FWIW, the piece from Costco also turned out very tasty. However, it started out much 'fishier' than the piece of Wild Coho from Foodstuffs and it ended up about the same. The finished product made with the fish from Costco also lacked the sweetness in the piece of wild fish. But, in either case, I'm delighted with the results and can't wait to make another batch. I've got a few tweaks in mind -- including removing the curing salt entirely -- and hope to give it another whirl very soon.

=R=

*Edited to add/correct info about pink salt quantity

Edited by ronnie_suburban, 14 September 2006 - 06:12 PM.

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#115 mdbasile

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:40 PM

Nice job Ron -- great color on that Coho. My experience has tought me to lower the salt level, but I have not yet gone 100% w/out.

I have been making the gravelox version for the last 6 months - about 8 times, but finaly did my first cold smoke a week ago. I found that myself and "friends and family" felt that 4 hours was almost too smokey - one at 2 hours seemed perfect. Maybe we have just been used to the pure brine cured.

FWIW - I have been using 1/2 cup salt 1 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup scotch and the rind of one lemon - on a 2.5 lb salmon... all types... but no wild coho yet....

Edited by mdbasile, 12 September 2006 - 06:48 PM.


#116 snowangel

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 06:58 PM

Beautiful, Ron! And, thanks for the tip on using the cheese knife.

However, you disappoint in that you didn't photo your set up.

I'm intrigued by the idea of using just a couple of embers on top of wood. This Kettle Queen is bound and determined that the Great Goddess of the North (my 25-year old Kettle) can cold smoke. Your endeavour is making me think it might just be possible.

I've ordered two bellies from a guy at the farmer's market, which I won't get until a week plus, but I do know that it will be superlative pork.
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

#117 Abra

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 08:46 PM

Wow, Ron, that is semi-miraculous to be able to keep such a low temp - you weren't using the gas at all? It's the miracle of the coals and the fishes.

Mark - the processor produced a superior dog.

#118 NYC Mike

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 04:46 AM

After the drying, I manipulated my gas-powered smoker into what I hoped would become a cold smoker. I filled the tinder box with apple and cherry wood and filled the water bowl with ice. I then started a half chimney of lump charcoal in my Weber grill. When the lump charcoal became red hot, I removed 2 very small embers (about 1 square inch each) from the chimney and placed them on top of the wood chips in the tinder box. I closed the 2 side dampers and top damper on the smoker almost completely, leaving them only about 1/4" open. Miraculously, the embers smoldered very slowly -- and evenly -- for about 4 hours while the temperature inside the smoking chamber never went above 90 F.


Ron, great description of how you manipulated the temp of the smoker! During my first few tries here, maintaining the right temperature steadily has been the biggest challenge.

Nice looking fish too!

-Mike
-Mike & Andrea


#119 Bombdog

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 05:19 AM

Great looking stuff Ron. Thanks for the pictures!
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.


#120 Shaya

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 06:08 AM

That's gorgeous, Mike. You've inspired me to want to get on the bacon bandwagon.