Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 4

Charcuterie Cookbook

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
599 replies to this topic

#211 dougal

dougal
  • participating member
  • 1,279 posts
  • Location:England

Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:46 AM

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.

View Post

Separation between firebox and smokehouse is clearly the way to go for small-scale cold smoking.
The Aluminium ducting is cheap, but not very robust. Stainless steel chimney flue liner would be much better, but is *very* much more expensive! (Both of them are going to be themselves untroubled by rust.)
The duct might be cooled (if needed) by evaporation, by wrapping it in some old cloth and wetting the cloth...
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#212 tim

tim
  • participating member
  • 827 posts

Posted 02 October 2006 - 06:43 AM

Hi,

About 15 years ago I read a very simple cold smoking recipe in Jacques Pepin’s book, “Techniques”. Jacques used wood chips in a flower pot, heated with an electric charcoal starter makig a very small fire with restricted air to increase the smoke. The smoke ran through a downspout into an old refrigerator containing the salmon. The salmon smokes within 5 degrees of the ambient temperature, therefore you should smoke when the outside temperature is below 80 degrees.

I have adapted Jacques recipe using inexpensive materials with wonderful success. The salmon has a wonderful smoke flavor and a firm texture that allows you to cut paper thin slices without flaking or tearing.

MATERIALS: (Total cost $40 if new)
Clean plastic garbage can with tight lid
and hole cut in lower side
(Portable and cheaper than a refrigerator)
Cooling rack that fits in the top of can
Electric charcoal starter -
liiks like an immersion heater ($15)
Heating duct from can to smoke source($5)
Medium size clay flower pot
Aluminum foil seals flower pot to duct
Aluminized heat proof tape seals duct ($5)
About 3 cups wood chips (alder, white oak)

Posted Image


SALMON CURE: Dry brine salmon for 24 to 30 hours.
Two fillets of salmon, about 5 pounds
Evenly spread on brining mix:
2/3 cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
Wrap in Saran wrap.
Wrap in aluminum foil.
Refrigerate 24 to 30 hours, turning often.
Rinse the fillets and dry before smoking.

SMOKING SETUP:
Line flower pot with foil.
Place the charcoal starter in flowerpot.
Add three cups of wood chips.

Stick the duct into hole in the can.
Tape the duct to the can to seal the seams.
Position the flower pot below the duct.

Use foil to seal the flower pot to duct.
Tape the foil to the flower pot and duct
using the heat proof tape.
(Sealing all seams keeps out oxygen
preventing fire and flames.)
Place the rack in the garbage can.
Place fillets on the rack.
Place the lid on the can.

Posted Image

SMOKING PROCEDURE:
Plug in the charcoal starter for five
minutes and unplug.
After 2 minutes smoke should be flowing.
Seal up any leaks with heat proof tape.
Wait one hour.

Plug in the charcoal starter for five
minutes and unplug.
Wait one hour.

Plug in the charcoal starter for five
minutes and unplug.
If smoke doesn’t flow and duct gets hot,
you are out of chips.
Unplug, add more wood chips, reseal and
plug in for 5 minutes.
Wait one hour.

Remove salmon.
Rub salmon with a little vegetable oil
Wrap in saran and refrigerate one day.

Note: If heat build up from the sun is a problem, drape the can with cold wet towels.

ENJOY!

Tim

Edited by tim, 02 October 2006 - 06:44 AM.


#213 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 02 October 2006 - 08:41 AM

Thanks, Tim -- and everyone else -- for the input. I let the salmon smoke for about 8 hours, then wrapped it and put it in the fridge. I'll probably taste it sometime this morning.

I have almost no hope that my set-up will endure over the long haul but it was cheap, so if I can get a few uses out of that length of duct, it'll have been worth it.

I'm still looking for a cold-smoking routine that I can easily use, even in the dead of winter. I'm not sure the hot-plate method will fit that bill but I'm definitely going to keep it in mind.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#214 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 02 October 2006 - 10:08 AM

The results are in and I'm very pleased with them. This attempt was definitely the most successful of the 3. I like the brine (described above) very much and can't taste a whole lot of difference in the finished product between it and a more aggressively-seasoned dry cure. I think that salt + smoke tends to trump just about any other flavor element. So, while the other elements in previous runs are clearly there (dill, bay, white pepper, etc.), they are not really missed here. I also love the texture of this fish. Even after brining for 20 hours and smoking for 8 hours, it's still quite soft and completely pliable . . .

Posted Image
The finished wild King fillet. I believe that the greater thickness in this piece of fish, relative to the Coho, made a big difference in the final product.


Posted Image
Interior flesh, which is oily and supple. This tasted absolutely terrific and pretty much hit the mark I was seeking.


I'm not sure I could really improve upon this recipe and method. It's fairly smokey but not overly so. It's salty but only as much as you'd expect it to be. The texture and the color are just about perfect and by including the small amount of pink salt, I believe I've guarded adequately against botulism.

My wife and I throw a big holiday open house every year and one of the items we always serve is lox. I now know that I will be making my own for this year's installment and it's a great feeling. We also serve rumaki, for which I'll be making my own bacon and jambalaya for which I'll be making my own andouille sausage and tasso. I'm absolutely loving my Charcuterie self sufficiency.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#215 Michael Ruhlman

Michael Ruhlman
  • participating member
  • 466 posts

Posted 02 October 2006 - 11:17 AM

you're an inspiration, ron

#216 jmolinari

jmolinari
  • participating member
  • 1,356 posts

Posted 02 October 2006 - 11:28 AM

ron, looks awesome. So it is pretty much like you'd get at a good jewish deli?

#217 guajolote

guajolote
  • participating member
  • 2,240 posts
  • Location:rogers park

Posted 02 October 2006 - 01:36 PM

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

View Post


the fan was a great idea.


#218 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:12 PM

you're an inspiration, ron

View Post

:blush: No, Michael, you're the inspiration. :smile:


ron, looks awesome. So it is pretty much like you'd get at a good jewish deli?

View Post

Yeah, pretty much. It's still a bit drier in texture but at this point, I'm actually considering that a positive -- in the same way I consider it a positive that my bacon doesn't curl up in the pan when I cook it, like the commercial stuff does.


the fan was a great idea.

View Post

Yeah, I really should thank the guy who suggested it :wink: :biggrin:

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#219 mdbasile

mdbasile
  • legacy participant
  • 238 posts
  • Location:southeastern, mi

Posted 03 October 2006 - 09:32 AM

Nice looking salmon Ron. How long did you let the salmon sit after brining and before smoking?

#220 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 03 October 2006 - 09:58 AM

Nice looking salmon Ron. How long did you let the salmon sit after brining and before smoking?

View Post

It ended up being about 12 hours and the interval worked out perfectly because that's how much time was left between the end of the brining and my desired start time on the smoking.

But, on the previous attempt I had extra time, so I removed the fish from the cure, rinsed it thoroughly, patted it dry and then kept it wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge until I was ready to dry it. That also worked out very well.

The thing is, with cold-smoked fish, I've come to believe that 12 hours is enough drying time because it tends to dry faster than say, pork. Additionally, the target texture is not quite the same as it is with pork -- I was seeking a softer and oilier result.

On my first attempt with cold-smoked salmon, I let the fish dry for 24 hours and the pellicle was a bit too thick, relative to the overall thickness of the fish. OTOH, drying for 12 hours, still allows a pellicle to develop but it ends up being a smaller proportion of the overall fillet. I suppose this ultimately comes down to preference but with the cold-smoked salmon I sought to re-create, the harder, dryer exterior is the least desirable part of the final product.

FWIW, I've also read of at least one fan-assisted method whereby a functional pellicle can be developed on fish in about 3 hours. I've yet to give that method a try.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#221 jbehmoaras

jbehmoaras
  • participating member
  • 107 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 05 October 2006 - 02:08 PM

Hey guys I was wondering if I could pass along a summary of my progress with the duck prosciutto and get some info regarding the safety of the meat.

After curing each breast in salt in the fridge of a little under 34 deg F i wrapped them in cheesecloth and am hanging them in a mini fridge kept at 55 deg and a humidity of around 40 to 50.

I was also wondering if any of my additions to the meat could cause botulism such as hoisin sauce to one duck, truffle oil to another, a spice rub to another, and maple syrup and dark brown sugar to another? Keeping in mind all of these flavorings were added before they were covered in salt and the ones with oil and spices were reapplied before wrapping in cheesecloth
Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

#222 Rubashov

Rubashov
  • participating member
  • 38 posts

Posted 08 October 2006 - 09:56 AM

Greetings, everyone. Lots to report on. My "coppa" finished drying a couple weeks ago and the bone-in lamb prosciutto just finished. I use quotations on "coppa" because while I did use whole muscle from the shoulder, I don't think it was the actual coppa, nor did I stuff it into casings. But it is delicious. The lamb prosciutto is also quite tasty, although I decided to trim as much of the remaining exterior fat, as it was just a bit too strong for my tastes. I promise to post pictures when my wife returns with the camera.

I also did a great canadian bacon in the stovetop smoker, which produced surprisingly good results. I think the key was to really let if form a good pellicle for the smoke to adhere to, since it spent a shorter amount of time with the smoke than it would have in a real smoker. Still, with only about 45 minutes worth of smoke, it was surprisingly smoky.

Finally, I just finished putting out some bratwurst, polish, and tuscan salame. I do have a question about the latter. It's been incubating for a couple of hours now and is a tan/brown color. Is this normal? I guess I was expecting it to stay pink/reddish. Or will it turn reddish once the nitrates turn into nitrites? The good news is that I can definitely smell the bacteria doing their business. So cool! I'm also excited because a friend of mine just finished her PhD in something biological and bequeathed to me her unused pH meter.

-Rob

#223 Rubashov

Rubashov
  • participating member
  • 38 posts

Posted 08 October 2006 - 06:34 PM

Oh, nevermind! I got home this evening (about 7 hours later) and the little guys had taken on a lovely deep red color. Pretty cool! Anyone know what's going on behind the scenes that causes that?

#224 dansch

dansch
  • participating member
  • 40 posts
  • Location:Charlottesville, VA

Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:19 AM

So, I've been munching on the first of my dry-cured salamis, the basic tuscan sausage from the book. I'm definitely pleased with both the texture and taste, although I may try the alternative starter culture from Butcher-Packer next time to get a slightly less sour taste.

Posted Image

I am a bit worried about the chorizo I have hanging, as I put it up at the same time as the tuscan and it's not near as dry. I made them the same day, packed them in to the same size casings, and hung them up side-by-side. Any idea why the tuscan would dry more quickly than the chorizo? Should I be concerned?

Also, it looks like I'm going to be getting a slaughtered goat in the next week or two (friends of mine are starting a goat cheese operation and are sending some of the boys to the slaughter house). Anyone ever tried/made/heard of goat salami? Any recipes or advice?

Thanks,
-Dan

#225 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:24 AM

Dan, that's a beautiful shot. It looks delicious.

I can't advise on goat but it sounds great. I hope someone here has some experience in that area, which they can share.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#226 Comfort Me

Comfort Me
  • participating member
  • 603 posts
  • Location:Chicago - Hyde Park

Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:46 AM

I know that there have been previous inquiries regarding non-pork alternatives, but I'd like to ask a more specific question:

I want to cure a batch of beef bacon. I've had what is commercially available, and I like it fine, but I think it can be done better.

What cut would you suggest? My butcher says my best bet would be to buy a blade and to bone it out -- he says I need the fat. I've also seen beef bacon made with brisket -- though I think that wouldn't be fatty enough.

I imagine curing time will really be a bit of guesswork determined by thickness. Has anyone done this? Michael? Any guidance?

Aidan
Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

#227 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:54 AM

I know that there have been previous inquiries regarding non-pork alternatives, but I'd like to ask a more specific question:

I want to cure a batch of beef bacon.  I've had what is commercially available, and I like it fine, but I think it can be done better.

What cut would you suggest?  My butcher says my best bet would be to buy a blade and to bone it out -- he says I need the fat.  I've also seen beef bacon made with brisket -- though I think that wouldn't be fatty enough.

I imagine curing time will really be a bit of guesswork determined by thickness.  Has anyone done this?  Michael?  Any guidance?

Aidan

View Post

Aidan, I think that a high-quality, whole brisket -- especially using the point -- would be a good way to go. I've made pastrami with whole wagyu brisket a few times and it's extremely well-marbled in most places. And with a really good brisket, even the flat should be elastic enough to make suitable fake-on.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#228 jmolinari

jmolinari
  • participating member
  • 1,356 posts

Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:22 PM

what about using the acutally belly, i think it is called the "plate" ?

#229 jbehmoaras

jbehmoaras
  • participating member
  • 107 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:22 PM

Regarding duck prosciutto, I've had mine in for about 8 days now, they have defintely firmed up a bit but they are still somewhat squishy ... At what point do you think squishy means raw as opposed to ready (As I assume the fat on the breast will never not be somewhat squishy).
Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

#230 ronnie_suburban

ronnie_suburban
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 5,977 posts
  • Location:Suburbs of Chicago

Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:26 PM

what about using the acutally belly, i think it is called the "plate" ?

View Post

Yeah, good call. That could definitely work.

=R=
"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

#231 dansch

dansch
  • participating member
  • 40 posts
  • Location:Charlottesville, VA

Posted 11 October 2006 - 05:22 PM

I am a bit worried about the chorizo I have hanging, as I put it up at the same time as the tuscan and it's not near as dry.  I made them the same day, packed them in to the same size casings, and hung them up side-by-side.  Any idea why the tuscan would dry more quickly than the chorizo?  Should I be concerned?

View Post


Ok, a bit odd to be quoting my own posting, but I've got an update. When I came home tonight I went to check the chorizo again, and there was still no noticable progress. I pulled one down and sliced in to it to get a closer look. It's definitely not dry - it's evenly moist (no noticable case hardening). The meat and fat come apart if you manipulate a slice in any way which seems rather odd. Here's the *really* bizzare part: there's liquid fat. Underneath the casing, there are definitely pools of light brown oozing fat - it's really as unattractive as it sounds. Squeezing a thick slice, fat definitely seeps out inbetween the bits of meat.

Something's not right. This is made from the same piece of meat and same backfat as my tuscan salame which came out just dandy.

I can post pictures if anyone is interested, though perhaps I'll email them outside of the thread as not to disturb anyone. Any ideas?

Thanks,
-Dan

#232 Michael Ruhlman

Michael Ruhlman
  • participating member
  • 466 posts

Posted 11 October 2006 - 06:17 PM

i'll bet the culture never grew, i'll bet that if you did a pH reading it would be 5 or higher. not enough acid. your salami, though, looks perfect. they shouldhave cured at the same rate.

Edited by Michael Ruhlman, 11 October 2006 - 06:18 PM.


#233 dansch

dansch
  • participating member
  • 40 posts
  • Location:Charlottesville, VA

Posted 11 October 2006 - 06:38 PM

i'll bet the culture never grew, i'll bet that if you did a pH reading it would be 5 or higher.  not enough acid.  your salami, though, looks perfect. they shouldhave cured at the same rate.

View Post



Michael,

I wonder if during the excitment of making batches of salame I forgot to add the culture, or if it just didn't grow.

Well, of all the things I've tried making from the book (bacon, pancetta, numerous fresh sausages, etc.), this'll be the first one in to the trash basket... Oh well. I'll console myself with more delicious tuscane salame...

Thanks for the help - having you participate in this forum is fantastic.

-Dan

#234 jbehmoaras

jbehmoaras
  • participating member
  • 107 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 11 October 2006 - 08:24 PM

http://forums.egulle..._3718_57017.jpg

Above is a picture of one of the duck breasts. I dont know how to get the picture to be seen directly in the forum other than by putting in that link.

But anyways....'m not sure what to think about those little white splotches on the surface of the breast. Can anyone help me out with it.
Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

#235 tristar

tristar
  • participating member
  • 115 posts
  • Location:Jakarta, Indonesia

Posted 12 October 2006 - 04:00 AM

http://forums.egulle..._3718_57017.jpg

Above is a picture of one of the duck breasts. I dont know how to get the picture to be seen directly in the forum other than by putting in that link.

But anyways....'m not sure what to think about those little white splotches on the surface of the breast. Can anyone help me out with it.

View Post


Hi Jeremy,

I would just rub it off with a little vinegar if I were you, then see how it progresses, it is most likely quite harmless.

I have had similar on some of my beef bacon, after it has been kept for 6 weeks, it turned out to actually be the start of bloom which is normal on cured meats and salami in some conditions.

I wouldn't be too worried as long as it isn't hairy and green!

Regards,
Richard
"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

#236 tristar

tristar
  • participating member
  • 115 posts
  • Location:Jakarta, Indonesia

Posted 12 October 2006 - 04:15 AM

I know that there have been previous inquiries regarding non-pork alternatives, but I'd like to ask a more specific question:

I want to cure a batch of beef bacon.  I've had what is commercially available, and I like it fine, but I think it can be done better.

What cut would you suggest?  My butcher says my best bet would be to buy a blade and to bone it out -- he says I need the fat.  I've also seen beef bacon made with brisket -- though I think that wouldn't be fatty enough.

I imagine curing time will really be a bit of guesswork determined by thickness.  Has anyone done this?  Michael?  Any guidance?

Aidan

View Post


Hi Aiden,

I have dry cured Brisket Bacon, and the result was a little tough, delicious but still slightly chewy, I have some plate in the freezer awaiting my arrival home for the next experiment, plate is supposed to be more tender I believe. I haven't tried Wagyu as there is nobody in Indonesia that would sell it retail.

My greatest facon is however, dry cured duck breast, using a commercial smoke cure as with all my facon experiments, I treated it just like the beef, and the result was superb, tender and full of flavour.

Just rub with the manufacturers recommended quantity of curing salt, ziploc and place in the fridge. Leave for 2 days per half inch of thickness, plus one day, remove, wash off and leave uncovered in the fridge to form the pellicle.

The really great thing about dry curing is that the quantity of salt is calculated for the weight of cured product, and even if you forget that you are curing something and leave it too long it will not get too salty.

If you want to see the result's just take a look at my weblog.

Regards,
Richard
"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

#237 jbehmoaras

jbehmoaras
  • participating member
  • 107 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 12 October 2006 - 06:42 AM

http://forums.egulle..._3718_57017.jpg

Above is a picture of one of the duck breasts. I dont know how to get the picture to be seen directly in the forum other than by putting in that link.

But anyways....'m not sure what to think about those little white splotches on the surface of the breast. Can anyone help me out with it.

View Post


Hi Jeremy,

I would just rub it off with a little vinegar if I were you, then see how it progresses, it is most likely quite harmless.

I have had similar on some of my beef bacon, after it has been kept for 6 weeks, it turned out to actually be the start of bloom which is normal on cured meats and salami in some conditions.

I wouldn't be too worried as long as it isn't hairy and green!

Regards,
Richard

View Post


Yeah it isnt hairy or green and is pretty thin and small. After I rub it in vinegar (distilled i assume) shoud i hang it to dry for longer?
Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

#238 tristar

tristar
  • participating member
  • 115 posts
  • Location:Jakarta, Indonesia

Posted 12 October 2006 - 07:22 AM

http://forums.egulle..._3718_57017.jpg

Above is a picture of one of the duck breasts. I dont know how to get the picture to be seen directly in the forum other than by putting in that link.

But anyways....'m not sure what to think about those little white splotches on the surface of the breast. Can anyone help me out with it.

View Post


Hi Jeremy,

I would just rub it off with a little vinegar if I were you, then see how it progresses, it is most likely quite harmless.

I have had similar on some of my beef bacon, after it has been kept for 6 weeks, it turned out to actually be the start of bloom which is normal on cured meats and salami in some conditions.

I wouldn't be too worried as long as it isn't hairy and green!

Regards,
Richard

View Post


Yeah it isnt hairy or green and is pretty thin and small. After I rub it in vinegar (distilled i assume) shoud i hang it to dry for longer?

View Post


How long has it been hanging Jeremy, is it already dried? if so it could just be the start of bloom. If you decide to rub with vinegar, just rub that one little spot and it should just dry in the fridge. If it was in my house it would already be half eaten by now!

Regards,
Richard
"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

#239 francois

francois
  • participating member
  • 220 posts

Posted 12 October 2006 - 05:24 PM

I jsut ate a pork confit that I made last week. Truly excellent. Better (in my opinion) than most duck confits.

Does anyone know if the fat in which the confit was made (duck in this case) can be used to make another batch of confit?

#240 jbehmoaras

jbehmoaras
  • participating member
  • 107 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 12 October 2006 - 06:38 PM

turns out there is a little green growing on the breast ... if i clean it right away should everything be ok?
Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Charcuterie, Cookbook