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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 5


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#481 jmolinari

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 11:36 AM

For anyone interested, a fellow charcuterie-ist had custom made some Kitchenaid grinder plates, one is 10.5mm and one is 12.5mm.

I haven't tried this fellow's plates, but i had previously also had my own made, and i love the larger one for salame.

In case anyone is interested, they are only $15 on his ebay store:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...7QQcmdZViewItem

Seems incredibly reasonable to me.

jason

#482 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 11:41 AM

I am finally sick and tired of hand cranking to grind meat. Clean up for the damn heavy hand cranked model takes almost as much time as grinding too! So, after research on and off this thread I figured this grinder from Northern Tools is the best deal for my money. It seems sturdy, with all metal parts, powerful enough and is a great deal at this price. Better yet, apparently there is a NT store 15 minutes from my work. So, I did not have to pay for shipping.

Looking forward to to giving it a try ASAP and reporting on the results. Anyone else has more experience with it? I know a couple of posters early on in this thread mentioned buying a NT grinder.

edit: borken link

View Post

Elie,

I received that unit as a gift a few months ago and it's been a real pleasure to use. It's fast and easy to clean. It also stores relatively compactly, too, which is nice. The only thing I can't yet assess is the durability (because I haven't owned it long enough) but the warranty seems pretty good.

=R=
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#483 FoodMan

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 12:16 PM

I am finally sick and tired of hand cranking to grind meat. Clean up for the damn heavy hand cranked model takes almost as much time as grinding too! So, after research on and off this thread I figured this grinder from Northern Tools is the best deal for my money. It seems sturdy, with all metal parts, powerful enough and is a great deal at this price. Better yet, apparently there is a NT store 15 minutes from my work. So, I did not have to pay for shipping.

Looking forward to to giving it a try ASAP and reporting on the results. Anyone else has more experience with it? I know a couple of posters early on in this thread mentioned buying a NT grinder.

edit: borken link

View Post

Elie,

I received that unit as a gift a few months ago and it's been a real pleasure to use. It's fast and easy to clean. It also stores relatively compactly, too, which is nice. The only thing I can't yet assess is the durability (because I haven't owned it long enough) but the warranty seems pretty good.

=R=

View Post


Thanks Ron and fellow 'Duderino' (I couldn't help but make a commnet about your sig line). I'm hoping to break it in by this weekend, but like you said and barring any factory/QA bugs, only time will tell.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#484 Sabrosita

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 12:36 PM

Duck Advice needed!

Okay, so I've been curing my duck prosiutto for exactly a week, but I butchered the duck myself so the pieces aren't real even, and the outer edges, the thinner parts are like rock solid. Mean while, the meatiest parts are definetly harder than they were, but still have a good amount of bounce in the flesh.

What is the desired hardness? Right now the centers are like...a medium steak? should I let those get rock solid? or is there a happy medium?

Any advice or soothing words ("I'm sure your duck will be fine..." or "I made it too, and it worked") would be welcomed.
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#485 FoodMan

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 12:52 PM

Duck Advice needed!

Okay, so I've been curing my duck prosiutto for exactly a week, but I butchered the duck myself so the pieces aren't real even, and the outer edges, the thinner parts are like rock solid. Mean while, the meatiest parts are definetly harder than they were, but still have a good amount of bounce in the flesh.

What is the desired hardness? Right now the centers are like...a medium steak? should I let those get rock solid? or is there a happy medium?

Any advice or soothing words ("I'm sure your duck will be fine..." or "I made it too, and it worked") would be welcomed.

View Post

Air drying has a happy medium. You need about 60% humidity to evenly dry the ham or duck ham in this case. What is happening in your case is the thin parts are drying out too quickly and the thicker parts are not. The end product should feel like a thick piece of proscuitto.

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#486 kaatje

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 02:25 PM

I bought the Jupiter grinder for KA. It's metal and much sturdier than the plastic KA one. It comes with 3 plates. No idea if you can order it in the USA but you can in Europe.
Here is a picture:
Jupiter grinder

#487 jmolinari

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 06:25 AM

That is a nice grinder Kaatje, i like that it uses standard plates too..

#488 Chris Hennes

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 06:41 AM

I have a question for the experts here about smoking possibilities...

This is the smoker setup I am using:
Posted Image

What I am wondering is, can I hot-smoke a pork shoulder in the hot chamber, and simultaneously cold-smoke some bacon in the cold chamber? Would I need to make any adjustments? The hot chamber smokes a little warmer than I would like, anyway, so I am hoping that adding the smoke vent at the top will help with that, as well. Do I need a lot more wood chips to do this?

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#489 dls

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:18 AM

I have a question for the experts here about smoking possibilities...

This is the smoker setup I am using:
Posted Image

What I am wondering is, can I hot-smoke a pork shoulder in the hot chamber, and simultaneously cold-smoke some bacon in the cold chamber? Would I need to make any adjustments? The hot chamber smokes a little warmer than I would like, anyway, so I am hoping that adding the smoke vent at the top will help with that, as well. Do I need a lot more wood chips to do this?

View Post


I'm certainly no expert, but I've done exactly what you're considering several times using a setup quite similar to yours with excellent results. My hot smoker is a Cookshack electric, and my cold smoker is a cheapo styrofoam cooler. The units are connected and vented as you have done.

Following my standard procedure for pork butts, the meat goes in the hot smoker around 10:00 P.M. I add 2-3 ice cube sized chunks of maple, close the door, and set the temp to 180F. I then add several frozen ice packs to the bottom of the cooler, insert a cooling rack that's been cut to size so that it "locks in" about 5" from the bottom, add the maple cured bacon (Ruhlman with a few spice tweaks), close the box, and go to bed. Around 8:00 A.M. the following morning, I remove the bacon, increase the smoker temp, and fiish the pork butt.

With the Cookshack, maintaining a low temp for an extended period of time is not an issue. I'm can't identify your smoker, but that might be a challenge. I recommend that you give it a try anyway.

#490 DerekW

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:19 PM

I have a question for the experts here about smoking possibilities...

With the usual caveats about anyone claiming to be an expert [I'm not]: As shown in this post up thread, a similar setup has worked fine for us. It's my experience that things work more smoothly if the smoke flow is up-hill, or at least along the horizontal, but that should be easy to arrange. I don't think you will need to make any adjustments to smoke, wood quantity or anything else. You're just economically re-purposing waste smoke here :smile:

Two other things strike me about the setup you have shown: There appears to be no obvious way to regulate the out flow smoke overall, and at least on our Weber based rig, a vent the size you have on the tote would cause the whole set up to draw much too vigorously for good temperature control. I'd suggest dispensing with the nice cap on the exit pipe and substituting some piece-of-scrap lid to allow you to throttle things back at will.
Secondly, be prepared for a substantial volume of condensate either in the cross piping or in the cold box and plan accordingly - you probably don't want that gunge dribbling onto the food product at either end. Regardless of smoke flow, the gunge definitely runs downhill :smile:

#491 kaatje

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 04:25 PM

Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

#492 qrn

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 05:28 PM

Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

View Post

That is a geat idea!!!!! Thanks...
Bud

#493 kaatje

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 01:42 AM

Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

View Post

That is a geat idea!!!!! Thanks...
Bud

View Post


Make sure you get some distance between the pot and the woodchips. You want them in the flame but not right on the pot. Look for the hottest part of the flame.

#494 phatj

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 08:58 PM

Is that burning gel something other than Sterno? Because Sterno has a pretty unpleasant odor as it burns, if I remember correctly. I don't think I'd want my food in an enclosed space with Sterno fumes.

#495 A Patric

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:23 PM

Just picked up a whole Berkshire from Paradise Locker in Trimble, MO. The hogs are raised elsewhere in Missouri by Newman Farms, who does only Berkshire. Interestingly, the websites of both companies sport photos of Mario Batali with the owners, and I think that I read that this is where he is getting his Berkshire.

I can hardly wait to start a few new projects with this pork, including some spanish chorizo, dry-cured ham, pig ear confit, pork belly confit, more bacon, and some nice BBQ too. I will certainly keep you all posted as to the quality of the Berkshire, for all those of you who have been thinking about spending a bit extra on your pork but haven't been sure that it is worth it.

By the way, I read in this thread a while back about the benefit of having the belly with the ribs attached, so I had them cut it this way. Now, however, I can't remember what the benefit was. Does anyone remember? I think that Ruhlman even commented on the superiority of "rib-on" bellies.

Best,

Alan

#496 A Patric

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 06:40 PM

I found the answer:
http://forums.egulle...dpost&p=1143823

#497 kaatje

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Posted 22 April 2008 - 12:15 AM

Is that burning gel something other than Sterno? Because Sterno has a pretty unpleasant odor as it burns, if I remember correctly. I don't think I'd want my food in an enclosed space with Sterno fumes.

View Post


I do not know Sterno. I buy something that is called "Gastro Heat" by Bolsius, a Dutch firm. It's more or less odourless since it's normal use is indoors. For that reason also it's not harmful in any way. I'm sure there must be an equivalent where you live.
Also, the fire is separate from the smoke chamber. But yes, the smoke does go to the food so I'm careful in what I use. Like you, I don't want any nasty smells or anything on my food.

Edited by kaatje, 22 April 2008 - 12:18 AM.


#498 FoodMan

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 09:33 AM

I made two fresh sausages since I bought this machine. It is such a pleasure to use and clean up and so far, no complaints. The first sausage was not very good, due to err..user error. I so badly wanted to use the machine and the only meat I had on hand was some beef round. I ground that up with some pork fat in order to make 'Beef Shawarma Sausage'. Unfortunatly I screwed up my proportions some how and used way too much liquid (red wine) and not enough pork fat. 'nough said. It's edible, but not worth photgraphing or posting about. However, the idea of making Shawarma flavored sausage kept on haunting me until I made the chicken version. Now this was awsome. I falvored it with all the traditional flavors of the Lebanese Shawarma and used Ruhlman's chicken with tomato basil recipe as a template. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested:

3.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced
1.5 lbs pork fat back, diced

Spices, to be mixed in before grinding the meat:
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp finely crumbled bay leaf
30 gr. kosher salt
50 gr. mashed garlic

Liquids, to be mixed in after grinding (but you all know that...):
4 Tbsp Lemon juice
2 Tbsp Yellow Mustard
6 Tbsp white wine


Here are some pistures. I cooked them on the grill (one busted real bad, the rest were great) and served them just like a Shawarma sandwich i pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and fries. This is a sausage I'll certainly be making again.

Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image



I am finally sick and tired of hand cranking to grind meat. Clean up for the damn heavy hand cranked model takes almost as much time as grinding too! So, after research on and off this thread I figured this grinder from Northern Tools is the best deal for my money. It seems sturdy, with all metal parts, powerful enough and is a great deal at this price. Better yet, apparently there is a NT store 15 minutes from my work. So, I did not have to pay for shipping.

Looking forward to to giving it a try ASAP and reporting on the results. Anyone else has more experience with it? I know a couple of posters early on in this thread mentioned buying a NT grinder.

edit: borken link

View Post

Elie,

I received that unit as a gift a few months ago and it's been a real pleasure to use. It's fast and easy to clean. It also stores relatively compactly, too, which is nice. The only thing I can't yet assess is the durability (because I haven't owned it long enough) but the warranty seems pretty good.

=R=

View Post


Thanks Ron and fellow 'Duderino' (I couldn't help but make a commnet about your sig line). I'm hoping to break it in by this weekend, but like you said and barring any factory/QA bugs, only time will tell.

View Post


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#499 rorycberger

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:06 PM

I made some lardo from the book recently, and it was an unevenly shaped piece (thick at one end, thin at the other) the thick end is a bit greenish in the middle when sliced. The thin end is perfectly white. Is it safe to eat the thin end? The thick end? What exactly would I be risking by eating the green parts?
Stop. Think. There must be a harder way.

#500 Valancy

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 01:58 PM

Hi everyone. This cookbook has fascinated me since I discovered it a few months ago, so I suppose it is only fitting that this is my first post.

We just bought half a pig, and I can't wait until we bring it home so I can start experimenting. I know most of the recipes in the book call for shoulder. Is there any reason not to use the other cuts, like the ham, to grind for sausage as well? I asked them to save all the fat for me, and since it was a sow I was told it is pretty fatty and a "good sausage pig". Thanks!

#501 FoodMan

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:13 PM

Hi everyone.  This cookbook has fascinated me since I discovered it a few months ago, so I suppose it is only fitting that this is my first post.

We just bought half a pig, and I can't wait until we bring it home so I can start experimenting.  I know most of the recipes in the book call for shoulder.  Is there any reason not to use the other cuts, like the ham, to grind for sausage as well?  I asked them to save all the fat for me, and since it was a sow I was told it is pretty fatty and a "good sausage pig".    Thanks!

View Post


Hi Valancy-
You technically can use any cut you want provided that you still mainatin at least a 30% fat ratio in there. You can do that by adding some fat back to leaner cuts like ham. Hope this helps.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com


#502 Valancy

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:39 PM

Thanks. That was what I was figuring, but I just wanted to check. I have a feeling the majority of this pig will be eaten as sausage. :biggrin:

#503 Chris Amirault

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 07:50 PM

A cautionary tale for those making pancetta:

Posted Image

I had to toss about half of the two rolls that hang happily up-topic, oblivious to the mold growing in their midriffs. I couldn't quite capture the greenish tint along the outer edge of the fat on these slices, but it was clear to the eye:

Posted Image

Kept the stuff that wasn't green and had some distance from the mold. Given the seductive smell, it was all I could do to keep myself from washing all that crap off and saving the whole thing.

These were very thick bellies, and I'm starting to think that thinner is better for rolling tight.
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#504 cookingkid

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:34 PM

Hey, I know the torment of smelling great pancetta and then hitting mold halfway through it. I was wondering if you used any powdered gelatin to help bind the meat together while it was curing? Has anyone had any luck with this technique for tighter, bound rolls.

Currently I don't use powdered gelatin or anything like Activa to form a tighter roll. There have been good results with securing the belly with string with multiple ties, wrapping in cheesecloth, then using multiple ties again on the exterior.

#505 Jon Savage

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:02 PM

A cautionary tale for those making pancetta:

Posted Image

I had to toss about half of the two rolls that hang happily up-topic, oblivious to the mold growing in their midriffs. I couldn't quite capture the greenish tint along the outer edge of the fat on these slices, but it was clear to the eye:

Posted Image

Kept the stuff that wasn't green and had some distance from the mold. Given the seductive smell, it was all I could do to keep myself from washing all that crap off and saving the whole thing.

These were very thick bellies, and I'm starting to think that thinner is better for rolling tight.

View Post

I don't roll panchetta at all. There's another name for it but it works well for me.

Jon

 

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#506 HawkeyeFoodie

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 08:49 PM

I bought Chartuterie about a year and a half ago solely to help make fresh sausage. I've done it a few times with some success (the breakfast sausage and chorizo are great). Last winter we even butchered a deer and made brats (which many people were suprised that they were venison), but reading this board has made pick up Chartuterie again in a different light. I'm very interested in curing meats, but am not sure where to start. Everything you have made looks good. Does anyone have any suggestions of recipes to get started with? Pancetta looks pretty popular, but I'm not sure if I have a place to hang it. I would appreciate any help someone might have!

Thanks,
Scott

#507 dougal

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:43 AM

I bought Chartuterie about a year and a half ago ... 
I'm very interested in curing meats, but am not sure where to start.  ...  Does anyone have any suggestions of recipes to get started with?  ...

View Post

Scott, something that greatly impressed me was the overall 'strategic' organisation of the book.
As such, the 'fresh sausage' section is a sort of side-step before returning to the overall progression with dried sausage.
The book starts with simple salting. And Gravadlax is a great starting point. (Even if it plainly isn't meat!)

Rather than treating the book as a mere "recipe book", I'd suggest that its well worthwhile to read the book (from the start), but skipping over the recipe detail - just see what's happening. See how the technique relates and pick up *why* things are being done, then *how* to do stuff, rather than starting with the detail of exactly *what* should be done for any specific recipe.
After you've been through a chapter, you'll have a better idea as to which recipes you feel like tackling. (And which ones need even more kit or infrastructure!)
Invest a few (less than 20?) dollars in a small digital scale with an accuracy and sensitivity of less than 1 gramme, source some curing ("pink") salt, and off you go! (Meanwhile, you'll have cured and eaten the Gravadlax... :cool: )
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#508 jimk

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 09:56 AM

Am being slowly driven mad by the stuffer attachment for the Kitchenaid. Look, I know it's not ideal, but we've got a small kitchen in a small NYC apartment and just don't have room for a single-purpose stuffer. The grinding attachment works great and the stuffing function worked acceptably for a while ... but lately I just can't get the meat through the machine and into the casings without it breaking and turning into a pink emulsified-looking goo. It never breaks when I'm grinding and I always work with very cold meat and put the auger into the freezer for a bit before I start stuffing. This weekend I was making sopresatta and eventually gave up on the stuffer and stuffed the casings by hand (they were beef middles so big enough to actually get my fingers in there.) Any advice? Anyone?

#509 dougal

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 10:26 AM

Am being slowly driven mad by the stuffer attachment for the Kitchenaid. Look, I know it's not ideal, but we've got a small kitchen in a small NYC apartment and just don't have room for a single-purpose stuffer. The grinding attachment works great and the stuffing function worked acceptably for a while ... but lately I just can't get the meat through the machine and into the casings without it breaking and turning into a pink emulsified-looking goo. ... ...

View Post

You aren't trying to stuff through a mincing plate are you?
AFAIK the KA has a special (freeflow) support for the end of the spiral - as shown in the Amazon page... http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B00004SGFQ/

I've got a "5lb" piston stuffer and really really really wouldn't want to revert to using a mincer/grinder plus a tube...
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#510 jimk

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:32 PM

Am being slowly driven mad by the stuffer attachment for the Kitchenaid. Look, I know it's not ideal, but we've got a small kitchen in a small NYC apartment and just don't have room for a single-purpose stuffer. The grinding attachment works great and the stuffing function worked acceptably for a while ... but lately I just can't get the meat through the machine and into the casings without it breaking and turning into a pink emulsified-looking goo. ... ...

View Post

You aren't trying to stuff through a mincing plate are you?
AFAIK the KA has a special (freeflow) support for the end of the spiral - as shown in the Amazon page... http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B00004SGFQ/

I've got a "5lb" piston stuffer and really really really wouldn't want to revert to using a mincer/grinder plus a tube...

View Post


No, no, wouldn't dream of grinding and stuffing at the same time, and I'm using the little support brace thing ...