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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 5


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#31 jmolinari

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 06:36 AM

Jairo, when i make mortadella i scoop the emulsified sausage into 4" casings, then "rap" it on the counter to compact it. Works perfectly.

#32 Abra

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Posted 19 April 2007 - 07:19 AM

That's a beautiful ham, Derek!

Jmolinari, if you perfect a larger plate for the KA, please make several - I know I'd gladly buy one from you, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

Today I'm making Toulouse sausage for cassoulet, and I think I'll also make a Thai sausage that's notable for hanging, uncured, at room temp for two days to get "sour." It's a bit scary, but supposed to be delicious.

#33 Anna Friedman Herlihy

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 08:59 PM

Just joined eGullet (mostly because of this fabulous and informative Charcuterie forum--one of my fave cookbooks), and I have a question about rendered duck fat. The cookbook has some seemingly conflicting info (at least for me). On p. 258 it says you can keep confited duck legs for 6 months in the fridge, and then re-use the fat, but on p. 257 it says keep the duck fat in the freezer up to 6 months. So what I'm wondering is--how long can one keep non-confited rendered duck fat in the fridge? I rendered some a couple months ago, and never transferred it to the freezer (thinking of the 6 months in fridge as a confit info), but now I'm wondering if it's okay. It looks okay and smells fine. Our fridge is kept at an even 35 degrees fahrenheit.
Thanks much!
Anna

#34 Jon Savage

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Posted 20 April 2007 - 09:08 PM

Just joined eGullet (mostly because of this fabulous and informative Charcuterie forum--one of my fave cookbooks), and I have a question about rendered duck fat. The cookbook has some seemingly conflicting info (at least for me). On p. 258 it says you can keep confited duck legs for 6 months in the fridge, and then re-use the fat, but on p. 257 it says keep the duck fat in the freezer up to 6 months. So what I'm wondering is--how long can one keep non-confited rendered duck fat in the fridge? I rendered some a couple months ago, and never transferred it to the freezer (thinking of the 6 months in fridge as a confit info), but now I'm wondering if it's okay. It looks okay and smells fine. Our fridge is kept at an even 35 degrees fahrenheit.
Thanks much!
Anna

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Kept cool enough to not go rancid the fat should keep a long time IMHO. If it smells OK then you should be good to go.

Jon

 

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#35 Didi Dishi

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 09:02 AM

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:

=R=

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Thanks Ronnie! I guess it is just a matter of experience--the good news is the second try was much better than the first, and I'm going to try the third round soon.

#36 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 07:45 AM

I just wanted to note the chorizo recipe in the book was very good ..I did add more chile than it says ..but I can not stop myself ...and used toasted whole cumin seeds instead of the ground ...

I would post a pic but can not figure the image gullet out just yet...

am making a green chile cheese dip made with lots of the chorizo to take to work tonight ....

I also have some duck breast hanging to dry and bacon curing ..

what a great book this is...so easy to follow ...so is this thread...wow such terrific info ...

thanks!

#37 JeffWIce

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 07:47 PM

Hi All!

Been curing some chorizo for almost 2 weeks, and would love some help determining if I have "good mold" or "bad mold:"

This is my first attempt at dry-curing, and the sausages were washed with brine (as recommended in Charcuterie) and then went into a sterilized cabinet. For insurance, I also hung a sausage with "good mold" in the cabinet.

They've been held around 60F and 70% humidity for almost 2 weeks now. At first the mold was very white and a touch fuzzy, but now it is very white and very chalky/dusty. Still, I don't feel like spending all night on the toilet!

Below are the pics. Opinions? Thanks from a newbie charcutier!

Jeff

Chorizo album

#38 jmolinari

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 07:50 PM

Seems like good mold to me!

#39 JeffWIce

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 08:53 PM

Seems like good mold to me!

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Thanks, J...

Is it typical for "good" mold to come in a little fuzzy then go chalky?

#40 tristar

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 03:30 AM

That's a beautiful ham, Derek! 

Jmolinari, if you perfect a larger plate for the KA, please make several - I know I'd gladly buy one from you, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

Today I'm making Toulouse sausage for cassoulet, and I think I'll also make a Thai sausage that's notable for hanging, uncured, at room temp for two days to get "sour."  It's a bit scary, but supposed to be delicious.

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Hi Abra,

You should give this one a try as well if you are looking for asian flavours, however this one doesn't seem to sour at all! I made some recently and the dried version was produced without starter cultures or cures other than the salt and spices in the recipe.

Urutan Bali
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Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

#41 Jon234567890

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 06:17 AM

Hi, this is my first post,
has anyone tried Salted Cod, sounds interesting (if all goes well, should be dining on it shortly), but can you 'Salt' any other (white) Fish to the same degree, that is dehydrated or rock hard; I mean, why do we only Salt Cod, what about other fish that's easier to obtain or more common (here in Ireland)?
Jon.

#42 jmolinari

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 06:26 AM

jeff, my salami usually don't develop mold, but i think the fuzzy to chalky is expected.

#43 Mallet

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 08:40 AM

Hi, this is my first post,
has anyone tried Salted Cod, sounds interesting (if all goes well, should be dining on it shortly), but can you 'Salt' any other (white) Fish to the same degree, that is dehydrated or rock hard; I mean, why do we only Salt Cod, what about other fish that's easier to obtain or more common (here in Ireland)?
Jon.

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I'm mostly guessing, but I think the pre-eminence of Salt Cod is mostly historical (i.e: it used to be hugely abundant, to the point of becoming a commodity). I know that other white fish are salted as well , and many others are variously preserved (herring, mackerel, lingcod etc..).
Martin Mallet
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#44 Jon Savage

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 10:16 AM

We made some spicy italian sausage using chicken yesterday. Othe modifications included adding a little ground habanero, using 1/2 1/2 sharp paprika instad of all sweet. Pretty darn tasty and the new stuffer works like a charm.

Jon

 

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#45 JeffWIce

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 10:51 AM

jeff, my salami usually don't develop mold, but i think the fuzzy to chalky is expected.

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Jomlinari...
How is it that you are not getting any mold? Are you brining the outside to prevent it? If so, why?
Thanks!

#46 jmolinari

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 11:10 AM

Jeff, i don't know, i wish i did get mold! It may be because i use collagen casings. I haven't yet figured out why i don't!

#47 Abra

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 08:44 PM

Tristar, that link's not working for me. Can you post it again? The sausages sound really interesting!

#48 MarkinHouston

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 05:07 AM

Tristar, that link's not working for me.  Can you post it again?  The sausages sound really interesting!

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Urutan Bali (Balinese Style Beef Sausage)




Whilst the Hindus of Bali may be shocked that the Wild Boar of the original has been replaced with Beef, their sacred animal, I am sure that they will understand.

A deliciously spicy sausage, not for the faint hearted! Can be fried, grilled or smoked as a fresh sausage, but can also be fermented and dried, later fried for use as a flavouring agent in fried rice etc. In its dried condition it will keep for up to two months. The fermenting and drying can be done in ambient conditions of high heat and humidity (i.e. tropical conditions if sunshine is available.)

Ingredients:

1 kg Beef Brisket
20 grams of Small Red Shallots
15 grams of Garlic
0,5 grams of Coriander seeds
0,5 grams of Cumin seeds
7,5 grams of Fresh Lesser Galangal Root
15 grams of Bird's eye Chilli
15 grams of Salt
0,5 grams Terasi (dried fermented shrimp paste)
0,5 grams of Black Pepper
5 grams of Fresh Turmeric Root
5 grams of Fresh Ginger
5 grams of Fresh Galangal
3 mtrs Sheep Casing

Directions:
Wash and rinse thoroughly the Sheep Casings, place to one side.
Grind all spices together to form a paste together with the salt.
Coarsely grind or chop the Brisket, add the spice paste and knead the forcemeat until it become very sticky.
Stuff the casings, using a funnel, cake decorating syringe, or a sausage stuffer, avoid any air pockets in the sausages, if any form prick them with a sharp implement to remove the air.
Tie off the individual sausages with butchers twine to whatever size you prefer.
For cooking fresh, leave the sausages in the fridge overnight for the flavours to develop.

For drying, hang the sausages indoors for 24 hours to ferment, then if in the tropics, hang the sausages to dry daily in the sun, bringing in at night to avoid condensation and moisture, depending on conditions, they may take up to two weeks to dry thoroughly (till hard). If in a cooler, less humid environment, hand in a cool dry place, otherwise hang in a modified refrigerator until they are hard.

#49 BRM

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 03:40 PM

Here are some pics from a project I have been working on. I made the lendenspeck from Len Poli's website. Its basically a pork belly wrapped around a loin. Both are cured separately and then tied and smoked.

Posted Image

Here's another picture.

Posted Image

The recipe says to dry cure it for 30-40 days before eating. No way! I am eating this now! (and I will say that the photo Len had on his site did not look dry cured). The flavor was great, lightly smoky with a nice hint of juniper. It curls a lot when you fry it.

Its great because Sunday morning when we had some my wife ate the loin part and I ate the rest. Kind of a Jack Spratt sorta thing (only in reverse I guess)

As I posted upthread I am also in process with some dry cured sausages that are smoked with juniper branches. I tasted one and I am think that the taste will be too strong, but I will report soon.
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#50 jmolinari

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 04:09 PM

Looks beautiful, but i bet it would be EVEN BETTER cured :)

#51 tristar

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:09 AM

Tristar, that link's not working for me.  Can you post it again?  The sausages sound really interesting!

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Hi Abra, sorry the link didn't work, thanks MarkinHouston for copying and pasting the recipe.

If you just click on "Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul." on the bottom of my post it will take you to my Blog and you should be able to find the recipe under the 'Sausages' category.
"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

#52 hummingbirdkiss

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 09:15 AM

I made the duck prosciutto from this book ..I followed the directions exactly (almost a miracle for me) and ended up hanging it for about 12 days instead of seven because it did not seem firm enough...it smells kind of neutral and tastes actually just like proscuitto with duck undertones ..I love the flavor and can see it for sure matching up perfectly with the figs I have growing on my trees!!!.. I have a question about the texture ..I let it hang in my laundry room 40-55 degrees maybe and ti is still kind of squishy..it does not feel "raw" per se ..but it does feel even in your mouth like it has the moisture content of cold smoked salmon ..it is soft and moist...as I said it does not feel or taste like raw duck ..it tastes just like proscuitto with a lox texture almost ...not like the moist dryish texture of most proscuitto I have eaten I know it should not be salami dry but it seems wetter than my mind says it should be ..so that is why I am asking ..because really I dont know!

is this making sense ..any advice ..feedback ..or is this what is expected and embrace the texture? I dont mind it all! this is really very good I think ...as is ..I am just not sure if it is right
thanks so much!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss, 03 May 2007 - 09:19 AM.


#53 Pallee

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:21 AM

I'm placing an order with Butcher Packer for larger casings for salami and some Bactoferm. I notice a new variety - the F-LC that looks interesting. It's a mixed culture and says it better controls listeria. Also has a larger range of fermentation temps than the others. Anyone use it yet?

#54 jmolinari

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:47 AM

i haven't, but i have found an interesting page that describes the effects of different bacteria on flavor, acidity and meat safety.
http://www.danlac.co...ideBioCarna.pdf

i'm also interested in trying the different cultures at BP, i want one which doesn't have a strong sour flavor.

let us know how that F-LC works.

jason

#55 BRM

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 03:34 PM

i'm also interested in trying the different cultures at BP, i want one which doesn't have a strong sour flavor.

let us know how that F-LC works.

jason

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Jason, I think it was you who said they noticed that the sour flavor dissipated after a few weeks. Well I am noticing that as well, to the point where I no longer think the product tastes sour at all. Now I only think it doesn't have enough fennel in it, but I couldn't tell before. I suspect the cultures that they advertise as having milder flavor will be very mild after three or four weeks post cure.

By the way, I e-mailed Len Poli to ask him more about how we uses starter cultures because I was curious after reading the book and couldn't find a lot on the web that cleared it up for me. Here is part of his reply...

For the good Italian flavor use Bactoferm LHP or Bactoferm F-LC. Dissolve about 1 teaspoon of dry spores in a quarter cup of bottled water and use that as a starter. The opened culture will keep (especially for home use) for over a year is kept airtight and frozen in the coldest part of the freezer. The shorter life span quoted is done so that commercial uses are guaranteed consistency in their products month after month.

Those that make salami without cultures can be very successful. In fact that's the way they were made commercially up to the '80's until people kept getting infected with E.coli. Why take a chance? E. coli won't kill you (unless you've got a compromised immune system of other problem0 but you'll sure spend a long time sitting or praying to the porcelain god.
Len

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#56 jmolinari

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 03:44 AM

BRM: yeah, i think i did say that. I'm looking forward to trying F-LC for a mild flavor.
If you're worried about the bacterial life, i have a package that is well over a year and a half old, in a vacuum bag, in the freezer, and last i used it, it was still good.
As far as the E.Coli, i don't know. I know in Italy there are still many people who don't use starter cultures. Many of hte small butchers don't, and many of the DOP and IGP dictates don't allow the use of starter cultures for salame. I sure there is more risk, but given the popularity of NOT using them in Italy, i can't immagine it being much higher, IF you're careful with everything (extreme cleanliness etc).

I'm torn between their use or not.

jason

#57 BRM

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:38 AM

I was pretty sour (pun intended) on their use right after I took my finnochiona out of the curing process, but as the flavor has mellowed I am thinking that it might not be worth the risk not to use them, especially at the lower amounts that Len recommends. Doubly so if there is a type of culture that has an even less pronounced flavor than the RM-52 that I used.

I have to figure out how to get the humidity up in my old refrigerator and then I am going to do some more. The second batch of dry cured I put in their hardened on the outside.
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#58 jmolinari

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 07:43 AM

an ultrasonic humidifier works well. Don't get the ones with the wicks, they mold.

#59 qrn

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:43 AM

an ultrasonic humidifier works well. Don't get the ones with the wicks, they mold.

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You can Pick em up at the thrift store for next to nothing...

And, you are correct that a month or two of additional time in the refrig. make the flavors much much better. I was glad I forgot some in a bag for a while...

Bud

#60 Pallee

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:49 AM

I put in my order yesterday for F-LC and some other supplies. I plan to use it next week in peperoni and salami. I hadn't been to the BP site in a while and was glad to see they've added more info on their products. For instance, I didn't know that you could re-salt natural casings after they've been soaked and store them like that for a long time. I'd just been leaving them in water and hoping to use them up, but did end up tossing some when they got an off odor.