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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 5

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#511 HawkeyeFoodie

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 05:32 PM

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?  ...

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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: )

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Thanks for the advice. I already have a scale so I just need to score some curing salt.

I attached a picture of some of our chorizo. The picture doesn't do it justice as it's actually much more red. Also, nevermind the crappy beer in the picture, but we were in the north woods of Wisconsin making this sausage and bad beer is madatory. You'll also notice that we were using a dedicated grinder with a stuffing attachment. We thought this might work better at stuffing that the KA, but I can attest that it is not any better. We all vowed that we would not do this again until we have a proper piston stuffer.

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#512 FastTalkingHighTrousers

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 05:46 PM

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: )

View Post



Thanks for the advice. I already have a scale so I just need to score some curing salt.

I attached a picture of some of our chorizo. The picture doesn't do it justice as it's actually much more red. Also, nevermind the crappy beer in the picture, but we were in the north woods of Wisconsin making this sausage and bad beer is madatory. You'll also notice that we were using a dedicated grinder with a stuffing attachment. We thought this might work better at stuffing that the KA, but I can attest that it is not any better. We all vowed that we would not do this again until we have a proper piston stuffer.

Posted Image

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^^^ Crappy beer??? That looks like The Champagne, to me! Where'd you get it in the old school cans?
The chorizo looks tasty, too!

#513 HawkeyeFoodie

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 02:50 PM

Fast -

You are correct that is the champaign! Thanks for the compliment on the chorizo too. It tasted great. As far as the old school cans...during hunting season this year in Wisconsin they came out with Blaze Orange High Life cans and only sold them in 30 packs. They also came with a coupon to Cabela's too. The champaign is better in the glass bottle, but who can resist the old school can?

Scott

#514 goutdelavie

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 05:10 PM

I love the Charcuterie book. I've cured Salmon a few times, made bacon, hot and sweet Italian sausages, chicken sausage, and a delicious Bratwurst that my friends went totally crazy over (easy to impress perhaps?)

It seemed to me that it was time to make the jump to a dry-cured sausage. I've become friends with the folks at my local butcher shop and they have been very helpful with some things. When I decided to dry-cure they were willing to hang the sausage for me since New York City apartments aren't cooperative when it comes to temperature and humidity. My butcher shop also cures some of their own meats so it seemed logical to leave mine there.

Saucisson Sec seemed the best place to start. I wanted to use the minimum number of ingredients so that I could taste, see, and smell anything that might have gone wrong. Well, no such luck. The sausage felt firm but had just a touch of give. When I cut it open, it was a bit loose on the inside and a much lighter color.

Case Hardening? It seems that way based on Ruhlman's troubleshooting section but of course, I'm hoping that it just needs more time. I picked it up from the butcher at the 20 day mark and also used hog casings for a smaller sausage.

Here are a few pictures:

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As I said, it's been 20 days. More time? Or start over?

#515 jmolinari

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 05:34 PM

What was your weight loss %?
It may be case hardening, but with pork casings it shouldn't be since it's a small casing. It also looks like there are pockets of air in the sausage. That's a problem.

#516 goutdelavie

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 11:19 AM

My scale actually JUST died on me so I'm not certain of the % loss.

Regarding the air, I thought that I go most of it out. I also used a sterilized needle and 'massaged' them a bit to try to make sure they were packed densely. I guess i need to be more assertive about that next time around.

Side note - love your site! Is it ok if I add it to the links on my blog, goutdevie.com?

What was your weight loss %?
It may be case hardening, but with pork casings it shouldn't be since it's a small casing. It also looks like there are pockets of air in the sausage. That's a problem.

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Edited by goutdelavie, 11 June 2008 - 11:20 AM.


#517 jimk

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 08:58 AM

It seemed to me that it was time to make the jump to a dry-cured sausage  ...
Saucisson Sec seemed the best place to start. 

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I know the book advocates starting with the Saucisson Sec but it was a similar disaster for me when I tried it as my first time out with dried sausage. I've had much better luck with tuscan salami, soppresata, and pepperone using the F-RM-52 product as well as a surface application of M-EK-4 when it goes in to hang to get the nice while mould happening.

I also find they need more drying time then is generally called for in the book. I'm not happy with the texture until it gets down to 50-55% of original weight.

I wouldn't give up on your batch quite yet though. Give it another week or so and see what happens.

#518 Escargot

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

Hi,

This thread is pure gold!
I'm doing my first bresaola. It's been marinating for a while now. I have two places in mind to hang it. One is in my living room, in a big cardboard box. It's winter time in Australia, so it's not so warm. Then other option is my friend's basement where he uses as his wine cellar. But I'm worried it might be too humid.

Which do you think is a better choice?

Thanks

E

#519 Jon Savage

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:20 PM

It seemed to me that it was time to make the jump to a dry-cured sausage  ...
Saucisson Sec seemed the best place to start. 

View Post


I know the book advocates starting with the Saucisson Sec but it was a similar disaster for me when I tried it as my first time out with dried sausage. I've had much better luck with tuscan salami, soppresata, and pepperone using the F-RM-52 product as well as a surface application of M-EK-4 when it goes in to hang to get the nice while mould happening.

I also find they need more drying time then is generally called for in the book. I'm not happy with the texture until it gets down to 50-55% of original weight.

I wouldn't give up on your batch quite yet though. Give it another week or so and see what happens.

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Our Saucisson Sec came out splendidly. Beginners luck no doubt. Must make more since we just ate the last of that batch; lasted close to a year nice white mold and tasty.

Jon

 

--formerly known as 6ppc--


#520 jmolinari

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 04:21 AM

Hi,

This thread is pure gold!
I'm doing my first bresaola. It's been marinating for a while now. I have two places in mind to hang it. One is in my living room, in a big cardboard box. It's winter time in Australia, so it's not so warm. Then other option is my friend's basement where he uses as his wine cellar. But I'm worried it might be too humid.

Which do you think is a better choice?

Thanks

E

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That depends on the humidity/temperature of each location.

#521 MikeHartnett

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:23 AM

Hey everyone-

Just got Charcuterie, and I've got some duck prosciutto hanging right now, as well as some bacon curing in the fridge. I have a few questions:

1) I've got a rather small piece of belly for the bacon, and I'm wondering exactly how firm is firm when it comes to bacon being done curing? It has quite clearly firmed up significantly, and I don't think it's going to take the prescribed 7 days. Any reference points on this?

2) Does anyone have a good source for apple wood (or other fruit woods)? I can't find it at any Lowe's/ Home Depot, and I'm at a bit of a loss for where to go from there.

Thanks! I'll make sure to update with how everything turns out...

#522 Chris Hennes

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 10:50 AM

1) I've got a rather small piece of belly for the bacon, and I'm wondering exactly how firm is firm when it comes to bacon being done curing?  It has quite clearly firmed up significantly, and I don't think it's going to take the prescribed 7 days.  Any reference points on this?

2) Does anyone have a good source for apple wood (or other fruit woods)?  I can't find it at any Lowe's/ Home Depot, and I'm at a bit of a loss for where to go from there.

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Welcome to curing! Bacon and Duck Prosciutto are excellent places to start. As for the firmness of bacon, I think it is difficult to describe, especially since I don't know how large your piece of belly is. I find that it still feels basically like raw meat, so it doesn't get firm like a dry-cured sausage (or your prosciutto) will. A half belly will bend some when held by one end, but it's not floppy. I actually usually cure a little longer than seven days, with no ill effects. Frankly, your bacon will taste pretty good even if you don't hit that "sweet spot" so I'd be inclined to go 5-6 days, then try it out. If it's not done enough for your liking, next time give it a little longer. Can you tell us how large the piece is that you are trying do cure?

As for wood, I am usually able to buy it in the grilling section of my grocery store: have you looked near the charcoal to see if yours carries it? Otherwise, I'm sure there are a number of online sources (I'd be willing to bet you can get it through Amazon...).

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#523 MikeHartnett

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 11:25 AM

I want to say my belly piece is about 2-2.5 lbs. I'll have to check when I get home and see how "floppy" it is.

Thanks, Chris.

#524 kreed

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:01 AM

Has anyone compared bacon made with the Charcuterie method and bacon made without Instacure (nitrates/nitrites)? Thoughts?

#525 goutdelavie

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 09:47 AM

Has anyone compared bacon made with the Charcuterie method and bacon made without Instacure (nitrates/nitrites)? Thoughts?

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I personally haven't. But Alton Brown actually had an episode on that. It involved brining the bacon as well as smoking. The smoking actually acts as a preservative as well - giving the meat a longer shelf-life. I'm not sure how it would go otherwise. If you just salt it I'm sure you'll get some great cured belly for use as lardons. It will also be FANTASTIC if you confit it.

Edited by goutdelavie, 24 June 2008 - 09:47 AM.


#526 MikeHartnett

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 06:50 AM

Well, I finished curing bacon #1, and unfortunately, because of timing issues, had to roast it in the oven rather than smoke it. However!!-- it is absolutely delicious. I am really, really excited for when I can make another and use the apple wood that I tracked down.

It's got just enough resistance to your bite, and melting, delicious pockets of fat. Wow. My only complaint is that I used brown sugar instead of maple syrup, and it was a bit more on the savory side than I'd like my breakfast bacon to be.

Oh well. I guess I'll have to correct it next time.

Oh- and is Niman the consensus pick for ordering pork? I saw another-- Caw Caw Creek, I think-- does anyone have a strong case for anywhere else?

#527 kreed

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:04 AM

Oh- and is Niman the consensus pick for ordering pork?  I saw another-- Caw Caw Creek, I think--  does anyone have a strong case for anywhere else?

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I would like to know the answer to this as well. My local butchers are no help when it comes to finding pork belly.

#528 MikeHartnett

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:09 AM

Yeah- the local butcher that I thought might know got a little misty-eyed when I asked. He responded "no one ever asks for that anymore..."

I ended up buying mine from an Asian market. Which is fine, I guess, but I'd like to see what I can do with top-of-the-line stuff.

#529 Chris Amirault

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:12 AM

Though butchers at Whole Foods, I've gotten both Niman and Coleman (they're changing their name, but I can't find out what the new one is from their website), and while I prefer Niman, Coleman is significantly better than the Swift et al I can get at my local carnicarias.
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#530 MikeHartnett

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:19 AM

I find the disparateness in quality of staff from my Whole Foods to yours disturbing, Chris. I'm not even sure they would know what to do if I asked them where to find pork belly at mine.

Once, I asked if they had any pancetta, and the guy at the counter told me they were completely out. Another employee overheard him and came over to show him they did, in fact, have some. Ahh... New Orleans.

Edited by MikeHartnett, 25 June 2008 - 07:22 AM.


#531 Chris Amirault

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 07:34 AM

I worked long and hard to establish a good relationship to the "Meat Team Leader" (I'd kill for a job title like that) at one of the stores here. Just start by asking them about availability, suppliers, and so on. They have been given greater leeway by corporate to do those sorts of orders, so it's a matter of people taking the time to support a good customer.
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#532 jimk

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Posted 26 June 2008 - 01:13 PM


Oh- and is Niman the consensus pick for ordering pork?  I saw another-- Caw Caw Creek, I think--  does anyone have a strong case for anywhere else?

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I would like to know the answer to this as well. My local butchers are no help when it comes to finding pork belly.

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Flying Pigs farm is not cheap but it's really great stuff ... I buy from them at Union Square greenmarket in NYC but they sell online as well. Their pigs are large blacks, Gloucestershire old spots, and tamworths. Depending on what you're doing with the meat it can be worth the splurge. They supply David Chang's Momofuku restaurants here in NYC among others. www.flyingpigsfarm.com

#533 qrn

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 10:37 AM

I found this smoker attachment that claims to "cold smoke" HERE
There is not much info about how it really works so I am hesitant..
Anyone Have any ideas on this or have possibly used it???

Thought it might be a nice cold smoke addition to the Kamado, with much less hassle...
Bud

#534 jduncan81

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 01:51 PM

I have a hind leg from a wild boar (i love marin sun farms!) in my fridge. I'm about to pack it in salt and make a salted air-dried ham but I'm a little concerned about trichinosis. Also, there's no nitrite/nitrate in this cure?

Should I be worried due to the wild nature of the beast? :biggrin:

#535 Paul McMichael

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:11 AM

I found this smoker attachment that claims to "cold smoke" HERE
There is not much info about how it really works so I am hesitant..
Anyone Have any ideas on this or have  possibly used it???

Thought it might be a nice cold smoke addition to the Kamado, with much less hassle...
Bud

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Bud,
I have not tried the smoke pistol, but it looks a lot like a small smoke generator of the same technology of the Bradley smoker (which is what I use.) The packed wood pellet is about twice the size of a Bradley puck. The Bradley puck lasts about 20 minutes. The smoke pistol claims 3 hours from a pellet. Trying not to get into a math debate - I wonder if there is enough smoke for anything as large as a BGE?

On the cod smoke question - if there is enough heat to make smoke, your BGE is well insulated an might be too warm. It could work in a small cardboard box.
Paul

#536 jmolinari

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 05:24 PM

I have a hind leg from a wild boar (i love marin sun farms!) in my fridge. I'm about to pack it in salt and make a salted air-dried ham but I'm a little concerned about trichinosis. Also, there's no nitrite/nitrate in this cure?

Should I be worried due to the wild nature of the beast? :biggrin:

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Uhm...yes. I would be. I would deep freeze it before using it for however long the FDA recommends freezing it.

#537 jduncan81

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 07:19 PM

I have a hind leg from a wild boar (i love marin sun farms!) in my fridge. I'm about to pack it in salt and make a salted air-dried ham but I'm a little concerned about trichinosis. Also, there's no nitrite/nitrate in this cure?

Should I be worried due to the wild nature of the beast? :biggrin:

View Post


Uhm...yes. I would be. I would deep freeze it before using it for however long the FDA recommends freezing it.

View Post


Actually, the USDA says it's fine!

http://www.foodsafet...lrd/9cf318.html

Look for section 318.10 and then scroll down a bunch until you reach the part about hams. It's quite involved but essentially you can *either* freeze the meat, or just follow a relatively normal curing schedule (although to meet their regulations, you need 1.5days/lb rather than the 1 day/lb that ruhlman suggests).

#538 eG Forums Host

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 07:51 PM

As all readers of this massive topic know, it has become unwieldy. Thus we offer this index, to aid readers in finding all of the information our members have contributed over the years. We've also started this topic, for new discussions of the recipes in Ruhlman's book.

Thank you for participating! We look forward to more great contributions in the new topic!

#539 takadi

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 04:09 PM

I know in the book, the recipe for Duck Prosciutto calls for coating the duck breast in salt and leaving it for 24 hours. I've read through this thread and the number of days seems variable due to size, breed type, fat content etc. The only way to check the doneness of the cure is to press the meat and to inspect the color, which is a little too much guesswork for me.  Does anyone have actual recommended salt percentages per meat weight for equilibrium curing instead of the salt box method?



#540 demo

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 06:05 AM

I have done equilibrium dry-curing with 2% salt. Left it in a bag for a week, dried it for another week. I like my cured products with little salt, and 2% was a bit much for me. (I use 1.5% in my bacon.)

 

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