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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 5

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#361 cookingkid

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 12:58 AM

The amount of dextrose will affect the ultimate tang, and pH. Different bacteria are supposed to taste different, but i haven't verified that yet. I have all 4 types now in my freezer, and i'm planning on doing a test soon.
There is a minimum amount listed in Bertolli's book to be safe. He lists this as 0.5% of the raw weight of the fat and meat.

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I noticed that most people are using a bactoferm acidifier. I went the way of Sausage Maker. I haven't noticed any overly tanginess, but I have noticed strange measurements when trying to use Fermento. For instance, if I use the Fermento for Bertolli's Fennel Salami and used as instructed in the recipe, the flavor is good. Yet, if I would following the dosage recommended on the container, I think it would be incredibly sour.

I didn't break down and buy bactoferm when I placed a Butcher Packer order as I still have a lot of Fermento. However, I did buy some of the exterior mold/penicillium. Does anyone have a smaller, practical ratio for spraying a small amount of sausages?

#362 jmolinari

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 04:18 AM

cookingkid, in my last batch i mixed 0.5g of m-ek-4 with 20g water. Let it sit 12 hours, then mixed that with 150g water. Let it sit another 30 mins, and sprayed.

#363 dougal

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 05:13 AM

The amount of dextrose will affect the ultimate tang, and pH. Different bacteria are supposed to taste different, but i haven't verified that yet. I have all 4 types now in my freezer, and i'm planning on doing a test soon.
There is a minimum amount listed in Bertolli's book to be safe. He lists this as 0.5% of the raw weight of the fat and meat.

View Post


I noticed that most people are using a bactoferm acidifier. I went the way of Sausage Maker. I haven't noticed any overly tanginess, but I have noticed strange measurements when trying to use Fermento. For instance, if I use the Fermento for Bertolli's Fennel Salami and used as instructed in the recipe, the flavor is good. Yet, if I would following the dosage recommended on the container, I think it would be incredibly sour.

I didn't break down and buy bactoferm when I placed a Butcher Packer order as I still have a lot of Fermento. However, I did buy some of the exterior mold/penicillium. Does anyone have a smaller, practical ratio for spraying a small amount of sausages?

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Bactoferm and Fermento

These US products aren't (seemingly) available to me here in England.

However, I learned (probably from this thread, way back) that they are entirely different.
And easily confused as being thought to be equivalent.
But they aren't.

Fermento is an inert flavouring product, that does little or nothing for food safety.
The quantity of Fermento to be used is simply a matter of strength of flavour.

The various Bactiferm offerings, by contrast, are live cultures.
F-RM, for example, has the function of feasting on sugars (like dextrose), and thus making lactic acid, thereby acidifying the dried sausage. (M-EK - for the exterior - doesn't acidify.)
Acidification to pH ~4 is one hurdle against c. botulinus.
Fermento has no equivalent acidification function.

I'd echo jmolinari's point that the amount of acidification produced by the (Bactoferm) culture should be more dependant on the amount of food (sugars) available, than on the amount of starter culture mixed in.

However in summary
-- Fermento is not a functional alternative to Bactoferm
-- Not all Bactoferm cultures provide the safeguard of acidification

Edited by dougal, 31 January 2008 - 05:14 AM.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#364 qrn

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:25 AM

The amount of dextrose will affect the ultimate tang, and pH. Different bacteria are supposed to taste different, but i haven't verified that yet. I have all 4 types now in my freezer, and i'm planning on doing a test soon.
There is a minimum amount listed in Bertolli's book to be safe. He lists this as 0.5% of the raw weight of the fat and meat.

View Post


I noticed that most people are using a bactoferm acidifier. I went the way of Sausage Maker. I haven't noticed any overly tanginess, but I have noticed strange measurements when trying to use Fermento. For instance, if I use the Fermento for Bertolli's Fennel Salami and used as instructed in the recipe, the flavor is good. Yet, if I would following the dosage recommended on the container, I think it would be incredibly sour.

I didn't break down and buy bactoferm when I placed a Butcher Packer order as I still have a lot of Fermento. However, I did buy some of the exterior mold/penicillium. Does anyone have a smaller, practical ratio for spraying a small amount of sausages?

View Post

I'm sure somone else will confirm this, but I think Fermento is a flavoring, not a bacterial acidifier, like Bactoferm et al....
Bud

#365 cookingkid

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:34 AM

Thanks for the clarification on the difference between Fermento and Bactoferm.

What is a common acidifier in England?

#366 dougal

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:58 AM

What is a common acidifier in England?

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Well, I'm about to be playing with some Acidophilus culture capsules from the local health potion shop, but sausagemaking.org sell what they call 'LS-25'.
At £6 ($11?) per 25g sachet.

I'm happy to experiment as long as there's a sensible amount of nitrate in there too.

If you are 'flying on one engine' then you'd better trust it!
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#367 Kouign Aman

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 10:34 AM

You got a free link to your bacon article?

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Took a bit of doing but here is a link to my article.

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I had to register!! I'm waiting for my password to be sent before I can read it.

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I could attach it as a PDF file but I'm not sure how that is done.

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Calipoutine, did you ever get your password? Read the article?
Try the method?
Does it work, is it good, should I go to the effort to get a password myself?
Thanks
"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

#368 NewEnglandSteve

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:23 PM

Hi folks!
I just wanted to let everyone know about an EG event that will be taking place in Providence on March 9th. I think the participants of this topic might find it of particular interest. I hope anyone in the New England area might consider attending. It should be a lot of fun and very informative. Details are below.
Cheers!
Steve



Providence Pig Breakdown Event.
Sunday, March 9.
10a-4p.
Chez Pascal, 960 Hope St, Providence, Rhode Island.

Your award-winning hosts:
Chef Matt Gennuso, Chez Pascal.
Chef Matt Jennings, Farmstead and La Laiterie.

Your obedient kitchen slaves:
Chris Amirault, Director, eG Forums, eGullet Society.
Steve LaBollita, eGullet Society member/pork fanatic.

Meet the pig. (140 pounds.)
Learn about the pig. (Blood Farm, Groton, Massachusetts.)
Cut up the pig. (Matt and Matt guide us.)
Eat the pig. (Lunch.)
Prepare the pig. (Such as: Bacon. Lop yuk. Pancetta. Prosciutto. Ham. Guanciale. Ribs. Sausage. Paté. Rillettes. Lardo. Head.)

Bring your knives if you want to use your knives.
Bring your apron if you want to wear your apron.
Wear comfortable non-slip shoes.
Expect to shave, fabricate, cut, trim, skin, grind, stuff, clean, learn.
Prepare to sign waivers on butcher paper with blood.

You'll get coffee and a light breakfast.
You'll get lunch: pig and sides.
You'll get technique, information, recipes.
You'll get practice.
You'll get right of first refusal for two diners to attend a charcuterie dinner at La Laiterie later this spring.

$75 pp.
First come, first served.
Fee includes contribution to the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters.
Full payment is required to hold a spot and is non-refundable.
Places are extremely limited.

This event does not represent the production process for foods at Chez Pascal, La Laiterie, or the Amirault or LaBollita households.

For more information, contact Chris Amirault at chrisamirault (eGullet Society PM system) or camirault@egstaff.org.

#369 mstopy

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 12:48 PM

II were anywhere near Providence I'd be there. Quite a lineup of talent and passion for the art of charcuterie for this event. Should fill up fast.

Below is the culmination of my own efforts after three months of inspiration from this forum.

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The bounty of nearby midwest farmsteads has been transformed into: (top row) guanciale, lardo, pancetta, coppa, bresaola, Genoa salami, smoked coppa
(bottom row) finnochiana, sauccison de Lyon, speck, prosciutto de magret

The slicer is an old General SM10A I effectively got for $25 in 1992 from a closing restaurant.

#370 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 12:58 PM

Below is the culmination of my own efforts after three months of inspiration from this forum . . .

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Damn! You could open a deli! That's a beautiful array of meatstuffs. Nice work!

=R=
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#371 Shelby

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 02:01 PM

Wow. Very impressive.

#372 jmolinari

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 02:41 PM

Unbelievably beautiful picture!!

#373 LooseCard

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:52 AM

(If I) were anywhere near Providence I'd be there.  Quite a lineup of talent and passion for the art of charcuterie for this event.  Should fill up fast.

Below is the culmination of my own efforts after three months of inspiration from this forum.

I am not far, and am seriously considering this...

And congrats on the wonderful spread!

#374 NewEnglandSteve

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 11:42 AM

mstopy,
That is a wonderful collection you have there! All that in 3 MONTHS! That's just incredible. Nice work!

#375 NYC Mike

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:25 AM

Hi Guys, just moved into a new house that has a large enough basement that I have been allowed by the Mrs. to peel off a section to use to make a quasi curing chamber. Our last home didn't have a basement and when I tried to use the staircase ala Chris A. I got the number to the local Holiday Inn in response from my wife!

The basement has a "storage room" that is unfinished that holds are the heating/cooling stuff. It has lots of exposed beams for hanging. What would I need to measure air temp/humidity etc? Any other equitment necessary?

We've done most of the smoked stuff and sausages from the book...I'd kind of like to graduate!

Thanks,

-Mike
-Mike & Andrea


#376 jmolinari

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:29 AM

Mike you need a thermo-hygrometer. Available cheaply on Ebay or in cigar stores.
After that you need to decide if and how you'll control temperature and humidity.

#377 Chris Amirault

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:32 AM

I got mine at Radio Shack: cheap and easy to use.
Chris Amirault
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#378 NYC Mike

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:32 AM

Thanks Jason and great blog!

-Mike
-Mike & Andrea


#379 dougal

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 08:50 AM

Mike you need a thermo-hygrometer.  Available cheaply on Ebay or in cigar stores.
After that you need to decide if and how you'll control temperature and humidity.

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Having a thermometer/hygrometer that records maximum and minimum (for both temperature and humidity) is well worth paying just a fraction more for.
Should still be cheap though.
Your call whether to pay more for a wireless one (so you can see readings without even visiting the basement). Beware though that having a humidity sensor remote from the display is actually much rarer than speed-reading of spec-sheets might suggest!
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#380 BRM

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 01:22 PM

I picked up a thermometer/hygrometer at a pet store in the section where they sell supplies for keeping reptiles. Its digital and also records max and min for both temp and humidity. it was less than $20. The brand name was fluker's or something like that.
Anyone who says I'm hard to shop for doesn't know where to buy beer.

#381 cleglue

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 04:42 PM

This is my first post on the eGullet forum.

I tried the Chef Milos’s Country Venison Sausage recipe p. 157-158 from the book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.

I used fibrous casing instead of hog casings.

Here are the pictures. I don’t have any of them in the smoker.

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Below is the finished probduct.
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Some people said that it needed more spice and other’s thought it was just fine.
Over all I thought is was fine. I will do this recipe again.

Edited by cleglue, 17 February 2008 - 04:46 PM.


#382 cleglue

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 05:06 PM

Here is my second post.

My wife's cousin's husband and I made Soppressata a few weeks back. We used the recipe from the book "Charcuterie The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn...page 186-188.

The hog middles truly were a pain in the rear. The middles had a lot of very thin spots which caused them to explode will stuffing. I also need to learn to tie the links better. I had a few that fell. I love the fibrous casing I use for venison sausage much better.

We made 25 pounds of soppressata.

Here are the pictures. The white bowl is fat back.

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Here is what it looked like about 2 1/2 weeks into the project.

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Here is the finished product. Click on any picture below and you will be able to see the pictures larger then click through the album.

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A New York friend of my wife thinks this was great. This is my first attempt at dry curing sausage.

#383 Shelby

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 05:17 PM

Wow! Great job!

#384 RichP

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 06:26 AM

Nice job recording the process cleglue!

So, what did you think of the results? What would you compare the flavor to? Would you formulate the recipe the same next time, or make some changes?

I'm looking to try my first dry cured sausage soon, but I'm still trying to decide on a good base recipe.

#385 jmolinari

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 06:36 AM

Very nice Cleglue.

I think a good base recipe is a simple cacciatorino. Just salt, pepper, a touch of garlic and a tiny bit of wine. It makes it easier to taste issues and problems and understand how the fermentation works.
I would go with a salame as follows:

meat + fat -100%
salt - 2.7-3%
Cure #2 - 0.25%
pepper - 0.25-0.5%
dextrose - 0.5%
starter - as needed
wine - a splash
garlic - not much

that's it. But that's just me.

I also learned this past weekend, that 1500g is the most one can mix in the bowl of the 5.5qt. KA Artisan mixer, and that making 15 lbs of salame is a LOT of work and cleanup:)

#386 cleglue

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 07:25 PM

Nice job recording the process cleglue!

So, what did you think of the results?  What would you compare the flavor to?  Would you formulate the recipe the same next time, or make some changes?

I'm looking to try my first dry cured sausage soon, but I'm still trying to decide on a good base recipe.

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I wasn't sure how it was suppose to taste...it does seem to be and acquired taste. About 50 % of the people around here like it other's do not. I've only had one person that has actually had soppressata before and he and his entire family loved it. I think it tasted fine...I've only had a store bought shrink wrapped soppressata a few weeks before making this.

I think the recipe is fine.

This was my first attempt at dry curing anything.

#387 cleglue

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 07:33 PM

jmolinari,

Thanks for the recipe. I'll probably try it sometime with about 5 pounds of meat. The 25 pounds I made was also a lot of work.

I like you blog site.

#388 jmolinari

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 08:19 AM

Thanks cleglue. Yes...25lbs is a huge amount of salame, and it basically takes all day to make it and clean up. I think the amount i made last time, 15lbs, is the most i'd ever want to make in 1 sitting..

#389 DerekW

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 12:41 AM

A little less than a month or two, two pig legs went into tubs with a goodly amount of dry cure. One was more or less the molasses and rum mixture straight from the book; its partner was a variant with kirsch instead of rum, and a few pounds of black cherries. Both had been boned out all the way up [down] the leg.

This past weekend they were rinsed and soaked then dried before being hooked into the 'Heath Robinson' cold smoker:
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That's two-thirds of the Weber 'Bullet' smoker acting as the firebox, and a cold box made from scrap plywood, old broom handles, aluminium ducting, and of course, Duct tape. There was plenty of capacity left under the new plywood lid of the hot smoker, once things were running we did a couple of slabs of organic bacon, and a couple of big racks of ribs.

Up in the cold box there was not much to see:

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You would be hard put to confirm that there were two 20lb hams-in-the-making hanging in there, eh? Cold box temperatures were generally about 6o Fahrenheit, with the hot smoker running around 180 to 200 depending on how carefully I tweaked. Ambient was around 5 Fahrenheit for most of the time. The lid on the firebox end of the duct was 3/4" ply and has a couple of layers of heavy aluminium foil stapled to the underside to try to reflect some of the heat back. The same weights used to press the hams were placed on top to keep things flat and relatively leak-free once the temperature got up.

One thing that did take me by surprise was the volume of moisture that built up in the bottom of the cold box, and thus naturally in the duct.

The legs will be taken out and hung overnight in the garage to keep them from neighbourhood dogs, coyotes and 'coons before going in for a few more hours in the smoke tomorrow.

#390 LooseCard

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:35 AM

This past weekend they were rinsed and soaked then dried before being hooked into the 'Heath Robinson' cold smoker:
Posted Image

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Nice setup Derek!
I was wondering about the underside of your new 'lid' for the WSM. How did it hold up? Any affect to the wood?





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