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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 4

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#181 mdbasile

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:03 AM

thanks so much for the food saftey info...really helpful.  we're going to use pink salt on this first try.

another question (as we're getting ready to cure our pork belly for bacon):  should I trim the skin off my belly before curing to bacon or after?

thanks for any help..

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If you are going to smoke it - leave it on. If you are going for a Pancetta style drying after curing, then cut it off.

It is tough to cut off, and typically when hot smoking it helps diffuse a too strong smoke flavor.

It is terriffic for Cassolet and other bean dished for imparting a nice smokey flavor -- so DO NOT Throw it away - Just freeze it for later use.

#182 mikelbarnz

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:47 AM

I'm putting together a Butcher Packer order, and I'm a little confused by the Bactoferm varieties. Which of the products has everyone been using, and for what specific applications?

Thanks in advance.

#183 Bombdog

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:51 AM

I'm putting together a Butcher Packer order, and I'm a little confused by the Bactoferm varieties.  Which of the products has everyone been using, and for what specific applications?

Thanks in advance.

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I use F-RM-52, as called for in recipes in the book, dry curing salami.
Dave Valentin
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"Got what backwards?" I ask.
"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.


#184 jmolinari

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 10:07 AM

I've used both the FRM52 and the LHP. I don't like hte flavor of the LHP.

#185 jmolinari

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 11:06 AM

Looks like butcher packer has a few different cultures now. there is the T-SPX or something like that, that sounds good. It is meant for mild tasting stuff. I might try that next times, see if i get more porky flavor instead of so much acidified flavor

#186 Bombdog

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 12:45 PM

Looks like butcher packer has a few different cultures now. there is the T-SPX or something like that, that sounds good. It is meant for mild tasting stuff. I might try that next times, see if i get more porky flavor instead of so much acidified flavor

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I got some of it last time I ordered. I haven't yet tried it, but had the same thoughts.
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.


#187 jmolinari

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 12:49 PM

Dave, since you'll get to it before i do for sure, please let us know how it turns out.

#188 Bombdog

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 01:17 PM

Dave, since you'll get to it before i do for sure, please let us know how it turns out.

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Of course! Although I'm pretty full of stuff right now.

I just boned out two shoulders today and removed the coppa's. I'll get them in the cure tomorrow. I got the 100mm collagen casings with the last order.
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.


#189 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 06:50 AM

thanks so much for the food saftey info...really helpful.  we're going to use pink salt on this first try.

another question (as we're getting ready to cure our pork belly for bacon):  should I trim the skin off my belly before curing to bacon or after?

thanks for any help..

View Post


If you are going to smoke it - leave it on. If you are going for a Pancetta style drying after curing, then cut it off.

It is tough to cut off, and typically when hot smoking it helps diffuse a too strong smoke flavor.

It is terriffic for Cassolet and other bean dished for imparting a nice smokey flavor -- so DO NOT Throw it away - Just freeze it for later use.

View Post


also add it to stocks, has an extraordinary amounth of gelatin. it was a customary ingredient in the troisgros brothers veal stock, for instance.

#190 mdbasile

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 07:13 PM

thanks so much for the food saftey info...really helpful.  we're going to use pink salt on this first try.

another question (as we're getting ready to cure our pork belly for bacon):  should I trim the skin off my belly before curing to bacon or after?

thanks for any help..

View Post


If you are going to smoke it - leave it on. If you are going for a Pancetta style drying after curing, then cut it off.

It is tough to cut off, and typically when hot smoking it helps diffuse a too strong smoke flavor.

It is terriffic for Cassolet and other bean dished for imparting a nice smokey flavor -- so DO NOT Throw it away - Just freeze it for later use.

View Post


also add it to stocks, has an extraordinary amounth of gelatin. it was a customary ingredient in the troisgros brothers veal stock, for instance.

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Huh - that is interesting Michael. I have used Ham Hocks - for my VEal Stock/Demi-Glace.

Do you think smoked or raw? I assume smoked.

#191 Bombdog

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 07:55 PM

I've used both Mark. Michael is sooooo right! It's like having a jar of stock jello in the refrigerator when you go to use some.
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.


#192 mdbasile

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 04:49 AM

I've used both Mark.  Michael is sooooo right!  It's like having a jar of stock jello in the refrigerator when you go to use some.

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You mean smoked and not smoked?

The other thing I have used that works nicely a the end of a procuitto - I buy them from a local italian market. I like not only the gelatin, but that slightly sweet flavor.

Hey Dave -- I jut put up some Soppreseta - like yours in beef middles(camera is at my office- so not photos yet) - how long do you think the "hang-time" will be?

#193 Bombdog

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 06:19 AM

I've used both Mark.  Michael is sooooo right!  It's like having a jar of stock jello in the refrigerator when you go to use some.

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You mean smoked and not smoked?

The other thing I have used that works nicely a the end of a procuitto - I buy them from a local italian market. I like not only the gelatin, but that slightly sweet flavor.

Hey Dave -- I jut put up some Soppreseta - like yours in beef middles(camera is at my office- so not photos yet) - how long do you think the "hang-time" will be?

View Post


Yes, both smoked and non smoked. The fat back I get, normally comes with the skin on. I've used that and the skin from smoked bacon.

I think I normally have about 3 wks (+ or -) hang time on the sopressata. I'm sure the conditions in the curing chamber affect that time frame, so your mileage may vary.
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.


#194 mdbasile

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 08:02 AM

k - thx

#195 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 24 September 2006 - 02:07 PM

Last week, I picked up some frozen duck breasts to try my hand at the Duck Prosciutto again (first batch last year ended Not Well), and to try out my new aging fridge.

Since I had four breasts in the package, I decided to try an experiment with two of them. I put them in the basic cure, added maple syrup, and treated them like I would pork belly. Today, I took the resulting breasts, let them dry a bit in the fridge, and then hot smoked them over applewood (using the Lil Smokey for the smoking).

The result is a smokey, meaty bacon flavor, with a nice chewiness to it. This batch is slightly over salted (in the future, I'd do 5-6 days in the cure instead of 7, since the meat is so much thinner), but if you put it up against something else (like say, a tomato) it works perfectly.

This would make a nice alternative for people who either can't get pork belly or want a bacon that isn't pork based, and a nice occasional change of pace for the rest of us.

#196 jbehmoaras

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 02:38 PM

Alright guys I'm finally trying my hand at the duck prosciutto as well. I just bought two today.

One of them i'm going to slather up with some hoisin sauce before throwing in the cure and the other I think I'm going to coat with some ground ginger garlic and clove and throw in the cure .... What do you guys think about the flavor combos for those?
Jeremy Behmoaras

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#197 Bombdog

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:20 PM

Alright guys I'm finally trying my hand at the duck prosciutto as well. I just bought two today.

One of them i'm going to slather up with some hoisin sauce before throwing in the cure and the other I think I'm going to coat with some ground ginger garlic and clove and throw in the cure .... What do you guys think about the flavor combos for those?

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I think it sounds adventurous and can't wait to hear how they turn out!
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.


#198 jbehmoaras

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 07:18 PM

turns out there are 2 other breasts in my pack, any ideas on how to season the other two, I might try a little maple or something....
Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

#199 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 05:33 AM

do one just with salt

#200 mdbasile

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:10 PM

do one just with salt

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Michael, that reminds me of something -- is there any reason one could not use sea salt vs Koscher? Other than maybe cost.

Thx

#201 jbehmoaras

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 11:49 AM

About the use of pink salt to prevent bottulism, I'm somewhat confused about when to use it and when it is not necessary
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#202 Bombdog

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:30 PM

do one just with salt

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Michael, that reminds me of something -- is there any reason one could not use sea salt vs Koscher? Other than maybe cost.

Thx

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Mark
My take on sea salt is that you could, but it wouldn't be near as effective. I believe that the structure of kosher salt (flakes) is much more conducive to drawing liquid from the meat.
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.


#203 qrn

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 04:31 PM

For many years I have been using canning and pickling salt for most uses....It is very fine, and does not have the extra stuff in it that kosher has (can't remember what it is)..I weigh for sausage and baking, etc so it is easy to use. and it is very cheap...Wonder if anyone else uses it or has any comments...

Just made a batch of Spanish chorizo for some paella today...Gonna use it fresh rather than dried...

Bud

#204 mdbasile

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 11:53 PM

Just made a batch of Spanish chorizo for some paella today...Gonna use it fresh rather than dried...

Bud

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Take a couple and hang them for about 2 weeks - they come out very nice. I did the Cold smoked version - hung some for 5 days and some longer.... the longer hanging ones developed a very concentrated flavor.

#205 Michael Ruhlman

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:38 AM

salt is salt, more or less. they're mainly interchangeable but can vary widely in terms of weight per volume. if you're packing in salt, shouldn't matter the kind.

pink salt to prevent botulism: botulism bacteria grow in warm temps in an anaerobic low acid environment. if your food is spending significant time in such an environment, use pink salt.

#206 jbehmoaras

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 10:25 AM

salt is salt, more or less.  they're mainly interchangeable but can vary widely in terms of weight per volume.  if you're packing in salt, shouldn't matter the kind.

pink salt to prevent botulism: botulism bacteria grow in warm temps in an anaerobic low acid environment.  if your food is spending significant time in such an environment, use pink salt.

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Thanks for that rule of thumb
Jeremy Behmoaras

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#207 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 11:53 AM

Today I'm actually doing my 3rd cold-smoked salmon run. But before I get to some of the details, I'll briefly describe attempt #2, which wasn't as problem-free as my first run.

The main stumbling block was that I could not easily keep the smoking chamber under 100 F on the 2nd attempt. Apparently, my first attempt -- and the ease with which it happened -- was nothing more than random luck. For attempt #2, I again placed a couple of small burning embers atop the tinder box full of wood chips, but this time it caught quickly and burned too hot. I spritzed it with water -- trying to cool it off -- accidentally putting it out completely. From there, I had no choice but to start another chimney of lump and begin the process again. I eventually came out of it ok but instead of a 'set it and forget it' experience, I missed much of the Bears game during my frequent trips out to the smoker. I was tweaking things every 10-15 minutes for several hours.

The finished product was again, excellent. The 2nd time through I also made some adjustments to the pre-smoking steps -- the main one being the omission of pink salt. I knew, based on what Michael posted upthread that there was some risk in this method. Still, I figured that salt + smoke + refrigeration would mitigate the risk. Again, I was using a relatively lean piece of wild coho and, as Michael suggested, I reduced the curing time from 36 hours to 24. Texture-wise, this helped me get closer to the final product I had visualized making. It was softer and more closely resembled the commercially-made lox which I was trying to duplicate. The main visual difference in this case was the color of the fish, which, without the addition of pink salt, did not remain as bright orange as it was on attempt #1. No worries though; the final product was still of acceptable color and was absolutely delicious.

Today, I decided to change a few more of the variables. Instead of wild coho, I started with a 4.5# piece of wild king Salmon. Instead of a dry cure, I decided to brine the fish in the following solution:

1 gallon water
1 pound kosher salt
1 cup dark molasses
1/4 tsp pink salt

because it was such a large piece of fish, I brined it for about 20 hours (for a smaller piece I would have only brined it for 12 or so). Instead of 24 hours of drying, I let it dry for only 12 hours. But the main thing I did differently was set up a crazy, cold-smoking rig, which seems to be working perfectly at the moment. . .

Posted Image
Weber kettle was started with a half chimney of lump charcoal. Once dumped, I topped the burning pile off with big chunks of apple and cherry wood.


Posted Image
The dampers are adjusted to maintain at about 225 F.


Posted Image
A better look at the whole contraption. The aluminum dryer-duct is actually held in place with very thin wire. I used "Gorilla" tape over the wire to hold things in place and seal a few leaks.


Posted Image
Almost no problem in conveying the smoke through the duct to the smoking chamber. I did place a fan just outside the top damper, which is helping to move the smoke through the smoking chamber


Posted Image
Wild King Salmon smoking away. You can see the smoke entering the smoking chamber through the damper on the left side of the frame. Even now, after nearly 3 hours in the smoke, it's still cold to the touch.

I'll report back later after the smoking stage is completed. I'm actually not sure how long I'll let it smoke. I'll just play it by ear.

=R=
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#208 jmolinari

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 12:26 PM

Looks like a great setup Ronnie. I'm waiting another month or so until the weather is cooler here in Atlanta to use a setup i have similar to yours. Otherwise just based on ambient temp, i'll be above 80!

#209 jmolinari

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 01:02 PM

This remote thermo hygrometer could be very useful to monitor your curing chamber. I have a similar one made by oregon sci. and i paid much more.

this one is $11!

http://www.circuitci...roductDetail.do

#210 jbehmoaras

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 09:14 PM

I had this idea for cold smoking in a set up similar to yours ronnie but i though of coiling the duct into a bucket filled with water to cool the smoke .... I wonder if that would make a difference ... although you may need to brush some lacquer or something on the coiled duct so that it doesnt rust.

On another note, I finally started curing my duck today. I covered one breast with a thin coating of hoisin sauce; another with a mixture of ground clove, ginger, and garlic; another with a half and half mixture of maple syrup and dark brown sugar, and finally the last one i drizzled over with some truffle oil and rubbed it in, cant wait to see how they come out tomorrow after curing for 24 hours, then i'll wrap em up and let them hang for a week.

Edited by jbehmoaras, 01 October 2006 - 09:57 PM.

Jeremy Behmoaras

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