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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 5

Charcuterie Cookbook

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546 replies to this topic

#1 jmolinari

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 06:40 AM

Manager note: this continues the discussion found in Part 4 of this topic.


Ah yes, but i'm counting on non-deadly sickness !

again to cover my ass, i do NOT recommend any method for making salame. You're on your own!

#2 FoodMan

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 07:03 AM

I wonder what kind of "sickness" one could get. The botulism risk i think is removed by using nitrites, so that seems to leave just regular food poisoning (which can be rather unpleasant from what i've heard).


How can a thread die with comments like these :biggrin: !! I love that matter of fact discussion of what the possibility of sickness is. I actually might give it a shot.

I have not posted in a while also because I've been repeating things and because I had a good stash of sausages and such in the freezer.

In the near future I am hoping to try out some new stuff namely:

- I recently bought the book by Andrea Nguyen, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, to make some excellent Viet food at home and was pleasantly surprised to see a chapter on Charcuterie with 6 or 7 classic Viet charcuterie preparations. So, I have to make some of these and apply my experience from this thread to make perfect fillings for Viet sandwiches.
- Another great book i bought is Michel Richard's Happy in The Kitchen and I am learning so many fantastic techniques from it. He also has a recipe for almost fat free chicken sausage that I am itching to try and use natural casing for instead of the plastic wrap he is so fond of.
- A Lebanese Makanek recipe

And that pate does look perfect Dan. Next give the one with pork tenderloin inlay a shot. I have pics of it somewhere in this thread and it was the best I've ever made.

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#3 Jon Savage

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 07:37 AM

I'm placing my first order for casings and Bactoferm today.
I was wondering whether anyone had tried Bactoferm T-SPX instead of the F-RM-52 called for in the book since many seemed to feel that the F-RM-52 was too sour.

Edited by 6ppc, 06 April 2007 - 07:38 AM.

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#4 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 07:44 AM

Thanks so much to the person who got me addicted to this thread!!! What an amazing amt of info and I am so excited about this...I ordered the book and just checked it should be here Monday YAY!!!

...I have a question..

how long are casings good for? the butcher I bought these from said "forever if you keep them packed in salt" but is forever like a year in the fridg because that is how long mine have been in there..they are packed in salt and there is no slime or off smell to them ..but a year is a long time and as cheap as they are maybe I should replace them now?
what do you think ..I can not believe how many you get when you buy a pound of those things!!! I made a lot of Italian and chorice last year and did not make a dent in my casing supply!
thanks

Edited by hummingbirdkiss, 06 April 2007 - 07:45 AM.


#5 jmolinari

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 08:26 AM

6ppc, i'm going to try T-SPX in my next batch in the future, so if you experiment with it, def. let us know.

Hummingbird: forever is really forever. If salted and kept in the fridge they will last indefinitely. Specially if they don't smell rotten.

#6 Jon Savage

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 12:20 PM

6ppc, i'm going to try T-SPX in my next batch in the future, so if you experiment with it, def. let us know.

View Post

I chickened out and ordered the F-RM-52, I wonder if using less than 1/4 cup for a 5 pound batch as some did upthread helped reduce the sourness.

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#7 jmolinari

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 12:23 PM

sourness is dictated by the amount of sugar, not the quantity of bacteria. the sugar is broken down to acid, so that is what counts.

#8 Reignking

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 12:37 PM

I'm trying foodman's pastrami salmon recipe this weekend for an Easter brunch. I started the cure last night, so I hope that it will be ready in time. The first time that I cured salmon, two days was plenty of time.

#9 Jon Savage

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 04:29 PM

Well the pancetta seemed done after the better part of two weeks.
Just had a couple of slices raw while doing prep for spaghetti carbonara. Very, very tasty indeed seems almost a pity to cook it. Three bellies almost finished curing - will put them in the smoker Friday 'cos you can never have enough bacon.

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#10 dansch

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:50 AM

So, a buddy of mine just sent me a snap he took when he came over for dinner and we had the country pate that I posted shots of up above. I also made the roasted veggie terrine (had a pescaterian over that night and didn't want them to miss this course completely)

Posted Image
My plating skills need some work, but you get the point.

Cooking up my VA country ham this weekend and will post shots and impressions (pictures of the ham-making process are here).

Cheers,
-Dan

#11 FoodMan

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 12:02 PM

Dan-
That roasted veggie terrine looks great.

Reignking-
How did the pastrami salmon turn out? I've made it a couple of times since and still love it.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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#12 Jon Savage

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 08:24 AM

Yesterday was kind of busy.
Made a batch of saucisson sec, a batch of chicken/tomato/basil sausage, smoked three bellies.

We had the links on the plate for dinner man that is tasty sausage.
Posted Image


I don't seem to mind grinding using the kitchenaid grinder attachment but the "stuffer" is a f'n joke. Need to look upthread for an alternative.

Edited by 6ppc, 15 April 2007 - 08:26 AM.

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#13 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 09:01 AM

Yesterday was kind of busy.
Made a batch of saucisson sec, a batch of chicken/tomato/basil sausage, smoked three bellies.

I don't seem to mind grinding using the kitchenaid grinder attachment but the "stuffer" is a f'n joke. Need to look upthread for an alternative.

View Post

Great stuff, 6ppc. It definitely looks like it was a busy day. :smile:

Btw, for stuffer information, look here:

Sausage stuffers - what to look for?, Recommendations, please

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#14 DerekW

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 02:05 AM

Around the turn of the year the local supermarket had a special on pig legs. Time to try the cured ham thing:

Twenty pounds of pig-leg, dry-rubbed with the rum and molasses [and salt] mixture.
Posted Image
The leg went into the cure on the 13th of January, and stayed there for three weeks, in the un-heated outbuilding. Refrigerated, but not frozen. The recipe calls for what seemed like a lot of #2 cure. Mr Ruhlman was kind enough to look into things, and confirmed that the high level of curing salt was correct.

After a couple of weeks, the cure had drawn a gallon or so of moisture out of the pig-leg.
Posted Image
At the end of the three week cure, the leg was cold smoked for many hours - eighteen or so. Lacking a sophisticated cold smoker, I just made a wooden box and fitted that to the top of the electric "little Chief" smoker, moving the ham-to-be away from the heat source. Relying on the sub zero out doors temperature and an uninsulated box seemed to work well enough. After the smoking, the ham was hung in the unheated building.
Posted Image
It stayed there from mid-February until mid-April, at which point the rising temperature started to make me nervous.
Never having had a cured ham to play with before, I wasn't too sure how best to deal with the end result. Since Craigslist has so far failed to provide an antique Hobart slicer at a sensible price, I eventually just took big lumps off. The bone and some of the more shoe-leather sections of rind are destined to make a great pot of beans.
Posted Image
Sliced thinly, [or even not so thinly] the end result is meltingly delicious, moist and tender.

cheers
Derek

#15 jmolinari

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 03:31 AM

Looks awesome derek. Did you cook it or eat it as is?

#16 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 07:30 AM

Excellent, Derek! I'm also curious if you cooked it before you ate it. In either case, that is a most admirable project. Congrats!

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#17 DerekW

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 10:59 AM

Did you cook it or eat it as is?

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We took thin slices off one of the "hunk o' ham" pieces and ate it uncooked. The book talks about the end result ideally being dried through the middle, and "as dense as any dry-cured ham". I think our humidity was perhaps too low to allow this. The texture achieved was softer and silkier then a commercial ham. Most of the big lumps went into the freezer - perhaps we'll try cooking one later.

cheers
Derek

#18 FoodMan

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:41 PM

Very tasty looking work Derek and 6ppc. I doubt I'll even manage to try a whole cured ham in this part of the country without a temp controlled space like a wine cooler or fridge of some sort.

BTW, 6ppc the Grizzly stuffer is one of the best things I bought and highly recommended.

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#19 BRM

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:24 PM

BTW, 6ppc the Grizzly stuffer is one of the best things I bought and highly recommended.

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I second this 6ppc...I tried the KA stuffer once and that was enough. The Grizzly was only about $70 and is a pleasure to use. You won't be sorry.
Anyone who says I'm hard to shop for doesn't know where to buy beer.

#20 jmolinari

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:30 PM

IS anyone else annoyed by the lack of different size plates for the KA grinder? I wish they had a bigger plate.

#21 BRM

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:31 PM

I had a busy weekend too. I made a batch of Ciauscolo from Len Poli's site that doesn't have to cure for a very long time. It also uses no starter culture and thought it might be good to try given our discussions upthread. I am also going to try the Ledenspeck from that site that looks awesome so I put those items in to cure. I am away on business the latter part of this week and first of next but will post pics when i return. Should be able to get a read on the Ciauscolo by the middle of next week.
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#22 Jon Savage

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:39 PM

Very tasty looking work Derek and 6ppc. I doubt I'll even manage to try a whole cured ham in this part of the country without a temp controlled space like a wine cooler or fridge of some sort.

BTW, 6ppc the Grizzly stuffer is one of the best things I bought and highly recommended.

View Post

Ordered it today.

IS anyone else annoyed by the lack of different size plates for the KA grinder? I wish they had a bigger plate.

View Post

Yes. I'd really like a larger plate. I keep thinking someone with more talent than I have should market accessory plates and blades for the KA grinder. Didn't someone once make a grinder attachment for the KA that took standard plates?

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#23 BRM

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:43 PM

IS anyone else annoyed by the lack of different size plates for the KA grinder? I wish they had a bigger plate.

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Yes...I stewed about whether to get the KA or some other grinder and got the KA because I had a KA and it was a pretty inexpensive way to get started. I find it ok for pate because ususally you want the grind smaller. Its also good for fresh hamburger and some beginning sausage making. I think you outgrow it pretty quickly though.

Its probably cheaper to buy a #10 or larger grinder from B-P or some other vendor that it is to pay a machine shop to make one or two plates with different size holes. If you know a machinst (who likes sausage!) that is a different story. If you do let us all know.
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#24 jmolinari

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 05:12 AM

heh. Well i have access to a machine shop, so i'm going to try modifying a plate of the closest size. I already have the plate, (from my old manual grinder), it needs to be reduced in diameter about 2mm, and then i need to add some pins where the "ears" of the KA plates are.
Just haven't had time to do it.

#25 Jairo Castellanos

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 11:59 AM

Hello,

this is my first post on egullet. I love this place, I just can't figure out why it took me so long find it.

I made a batch of the ginger/basil breakfst sausage on Sunday but I have two questions:

1. How do I store the extra sheep casings?. I added a lot of salt and then put them in ziplock bag in my fridge, but it is still fairly wet. Is this OK? or Should I makesure they are compleatly drained and then salted before I put them in my fridge?

2. I found it very difficult to stuff my sausages using the sausage stuffer attachment for the KitchenAid Grinder. Any tips one how to make this process a lot smoother? I found it REALLY slow...

Thanks

#26 jmolinari

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 12:11 PM

JAiro, welcome.

1) I think they'll be fine, just salt them heavily, they may by a bit soupy/watery, but that should be ok, as long as they as basically covered in salt
2) The KS stuff is USELESS. there is no trick to using it, other than NOT using it. It is terrible, and isn't worth the plastic it is made from. Sorry:) A few people in this thread have found the same thing

#27 hwilson41

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 02:59 AM

OK fatback sources anyone??  Seriously jonesing for lardo.... None since my last trip to Italy in October.
Thx

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Apologies for being rather late to the party here, but I might be able to help. I'm in northern VA and found an Amish farmer in southern MD who slaughters hogs during the "cold" months (November through March). I can get all the bellies, hocks, and fatback I can pay for from them by ordering a month in advance. I usually buy fatback 5 lbs at a time, cut it down and freeze in 1 lb or so batches. Don't know where you are, 6ppc, but you might try going out into the country and locating a hog farm if such exists in your area. Fatback (or back fat, if you're in the north) should be available for a buck a pound or less.
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#28 Didi Dishi

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 02:25 PM

I could use a little help with salmon curing. So far I've tried twice--the first was the fennel cured salmon recipe, and for the second, I followed the smoked salmon recipe (curing only). Both times I found the spicing way too aggressive, but that's a matter of taste and easily addresseable. The larger problem for me was around the cure itself. I followed the directions exactly, and after 48 hours in the fennel cure, my salmon had almost turned into jerky--it was hard, dry, and almost candy-like in its sweetness. I had to throw it out.

The second time I cut down the cure to about 30 hours. This time I had nice cured flesh on the inside but a hard dried out layer (not a pellicle; it was completely dry) on the outside. After cutting off the dried out layer, the salmon was good, if a little salty and overspiced.

My question is around curing times and thickness of the filets you are all using. How thick is the salmon you cure, and how long are you leaving it in the salt/brine? Has anyone had the same experience that I have? Can you offer any advice?

Thanks so much, and I can't wait until I can pick up my own 'curing chamber' and start some work on the meat side!!

#29 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 18 April 2007 - 08:53 PM

My question is around curing times and thickness of the filets you are all using.  How thick is the salmon you cure, and how long are you leaving it in the salt/brine?  Has anyone had the same experience that I have?  Can you offer any advice?

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It really is a matter of trial and error. For me, the one constant is the weight I use on top of the fish. I have a brick and a large Nambe vase (totalling about 16 pounds), which I always use to press the fish while it cures. But beyond that, everything changes, pretty much every time out.

I normally start with a fileted, 4-5 pound side of wild king salmon. When I do, I usually quadruple the cure recipe in the book (plus my own personal seasoning tweaks) and follow the instructions. However, I have learned, via my various attempts, that a 4-5 pound piece of fish needs to cure longer than the time given in the recipe in the book. I finally determined that amount of time to be somewhere between 60 and 72 hours, depending on the weight of the fish. When I cured a smaller piece of fish and did not make any adjustments, I ended up with some tasty but very salty and hard fish jerky. And even in this well-tested configuration, the thin parts of the finished fish are definitely saltier than the thick areas but they are totally delicious and soft. I'm sorry but I've never measured the thickness. I'm guessing that it's about 2" at its thickest point but that's just a guess.

I think that the instructions in the book are just about right when they call for a 1.5-pound piece of fish and a 36-hour cure. If that's what you attempted and you were unhappy with the results, you may want to try adjusting the size of the fish, the amount of weight on the fish or the cure time. But I don't think there's any set formula for how exactly to adjust. You just have to do it a few times to get a feel for it. The more repetitions you get under your belt, the better you'll be able to adjust. And be sure to take good notes, too. After just a few attempts you'll have enough experience to adjust properly. Of course, it's a lot like bread-baking and you'll still be noticing some new qualities in your finished product even after dozens of trials. But there probably won't be huge variations in your results, either. I've probably made about 20 batches of cold-smoked salmon, through a variety of assorted conditions, and the results are fairly predictable now. There's always a curveball in there somewhere, but before too long you'll be able to anticipate it and handle it with ease.

Just keep curing . . . :smile:

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#30 Jairo Castellanos

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:30 AM

JAiro, welcome.

1) I think they'll be fine, just salt them heavily, they may by a bit soupy/watery, but that should be ok, as long as they as basically covered in salt
2) The KS stuff is USELESS. there is no trick to using it, other than NOT using it. It is terrible, and isn't worth the plastic it is made from. Sorry:) A few people in this thread have found the same thing

View Post


Thanks for the info, jmolinari
I am going to try a batch of the emulsified sausage next, and the book strongly recomends NOT to use the KA stuffer, but instead to use a pastry bag. The books mentions to pipe directly from the pastry bag into the poaching liquid, but I was wondering if anybody had any expirience with piping from a pastry bag into casings.

The other options could be for some of you to email my wife and tell her that I REALLY need to buy another stuffer. :biggrin:

Thanks





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