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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 5


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#61 BRM

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 09:08 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...
Bud

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I've been looking around and haven't found anything yet. It's probably not a good time of year to be looking. I've seen a few here and there but most are too big to fit in my fridge.
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#62 qrn

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 02:29 PM

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...
Bud

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I've been looking around and haven't found anything yet. It's probably not a good time of year to be looking. I've seen a few here and there but most are too big to fit in my fridge.

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Since you are in Mpls the dew points in summer are probably in the mid to high 50's. When you cool that block of air to 60º you will be well within the suitable humidity. so you wont need one till fall...
Bud

#63 BRM

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:02 PM

Since you are in Mpls  the dew points in summer are probably in the mid to high 50's. When you cool that block of air to 60º you will be well within the suitable humidity. so you wont need one till fall...
Bud

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Good point.
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#64 Jon234567890

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 08:24 AM

Hi guys, I think this is the thread to post this question...
Ok, my first attempt at Brine Curing two Hams,
I had read two alternative Brine Recipes so I decided to try one of each,
Hugh FearnlyWhittingstall's said about 330g of Salt per litre of water,
Ruhlman's (from memory) was about 55g of Salt per litre of water .... you can see the difference

Hugh uses a LOT of salt compared to Ruhlam, mmmm,

HOWEVER in the heat of killing / butchering the Pig, I misunderstood Ruhlman's recipe, he says for every 2 kilos, keep the pork (pig) in his brine solution for 12 hours, (not 12 day :huh: ).

I've kept both Hams in the two brines for 7 days now, I went to turn them yesterday morning and found that in Ruhlman's brine recipe the liquid has turned cloudy and a small spot of green mould had appered on the surface of the water (Hugh's is as clear or the same as 7 days ago), I removed the Ham, it has a very faint ... hint of a smell, I'm still not used to the smell of raw meat ... but I thought I could smell something extra as well as that raw smell, and if I'm not mistaken I thought that the liquid (as I poured it down the sink) was thicker. This 'suspect' ham is now wrapped in cling film sitting in a very cold fridge (oh by the way I put a piece of Pork Belly in this brine 3 days ago... it seems fine).

QUESTION, bearing in mind that the ham will be boiled / simmered for some time, is it safe to eat the Ham, can it be saved, and WHAT HAPPENED - should I be concerned ... this is my first time ..... HELP

Jon.

#65 BRM

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 10:06 AM

The only recipe for brined ham I can find in Ruhlman's book is the American-style brown sugar glazed ham on page 93. It calls for 350 grams of kosher salt and 360 grams of brown sugar per gallon of water and a curing time of 6-8 days (1/2 day per pound). Ruhlman's recipe also calls for 42 grams of pink salt which would help with the bacterial growth.

What was the other brine recipe? and how are you going to finish both?
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#66 Jon234567890

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 01:22 AM

Hi BRM,
the All Purpose Brine was the one I followed, 50 grams of salt to one litre of water (or 225g to 1 gallon, which is what I followed, I also added 42 grams of 'pink' salt) the next page gives brine times, for every kilo of pork, 12 hours; but the figures you have quoted are very close, 77.7 grams of salt to one litre of water (or 350 grams per gallon).
The Ham has turned a brown / grey / green colour at the edges, it does have a faint unpleasant smell, and around the discolouration there is a slight sticky slime, instead of normal water / moisture? I've decided to get rid of it. The Pork Belly however is fine, it was only on the Brine for a 2 to 2 1/2 days, I thoroughly inspected it last night and it appears fine, tonight I'll turn it into Rillons.

The Hams came from the same animal, prepared in the same kitchen, each knife / pan / bucket was thoroughly washed .... the ONLY difference between the two hams was the Brines, one had a LOT more salt, the other had a LOT less salt, I can't help but feel I'm missing something :hmmm:

Jon.

#67 BRM

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 07:11 AM

I checked Jane Grigson's book, Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery. She lists a brine which she refers to as an English brine and a good all-purpose one. The recipe is:

5 pints of soft or rain water
3/4 lb. sea salt
3/4 lb. granulated or brown sugar
2 oz. saltpetre

She recommends a curing time of a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 30.

These proprtions seem similar to Ruhlman's. I can only guess that something happened this ham that didn't to the other one. If it has an unpleasant odor and is green then, if it were me, I would toss it. It doesn't seem worth the risk.

Don't dispair, we've all ruined stuff.
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#68 qrn

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:17 AM

Hi  BRM,
the All Purpose Brine was the one I followed, 50 grams of salt to one litre of water (or 225g to 1 gallon, which is what I followed, I also added 42 grams of 'pink' salt) the next page gives brine times, for every kilo of pork, 12 hours; but the figures you have quoted are very close, 77.7 grams of salt to one litre of water (or 350 grams per gallon).
The Ham has turned a brown / grey / green colour at the edges, it does have a faint unpleasant smell, and around the discolouration there is a slight sticky slime, instead of normal water / moisture? I've decided to get rid of it. The Pork Belly however is fine, it was only on the Brine for a 2 to 2 1/2 days, I thoroughly inspected it last night and it appears fine, tonight I'll turn it into Rillons.

The Hams came from the same animal, prepared in the same kitchen, each knife / pan / bucket was thoroughly washed .... the ONLY difference between the two hams was the Brines, one had a LOT more salt, the other had a LOT less salt, I can't help but feel I'm missing something  :hmmm:

Jon.

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The strength of the cure seems a bit weak..
Len poli's site has a total salt of 115gper liter, of which 27.5g is pink salt...for 48 hours and then a 12 hour dry .
All is done in a refrig.

Then he smokes it to 140º...
Bud

#69 Jon234567890

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 02:11 AM

yes, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that it may just have been 'the ham', but I still feel that if I had used a stronger salt concentration then it could have prevented / hindered it going bad. It's good to know that I'm not the only one :biggrin:

Still..... I consoled myself last night in making Rillons , absolutely GREAT, and they are SOO Easy to make, and taste fantastic; my Tamworth pig is known for it's Long Sides, so they have a Lot of Bacon (pork belly / back), and the flavour is amazing.

Jon.

#70 The Blissful Glutton

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:01 PM

I figured this was as good a place as any to ask if anyone knows where I can get figatelli in the US. I dont mind paying the shipping. I just had some in Rome and it was outrageous. I believe it is a pork liver based salami from Corsica. Does anyone have any info? Thanks in advance.

#71 jmolinari

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 06:55 PM

Probably fEgatelli. Means "little livers".
I can't even begin to think where you'd get it. Looks like you might have to start making it:)

#72 The Blissful Glutton

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 05:51 AM

Probably fEgatelli. Means "little livers".
I can't even begin to think where you'd get it. Looks like you might have to start making it:)

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How about you make me some JMO? :wink:

#73 jmolinari

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:58 PM

Maybe, but the use of uncooked pork liver...hrmmmm...not sure sure about that one raw/cured filter organ...

#74 qrn

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 03:21 PM

Maybe, but the use of uncooked pork liver...hrmmmm...not sure sure about that one raw/cured filter organ...

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I agree, that is a nonstarter. I had a friend that raised hogs tell me to never eat pork liver....and raw??

I have ignored his advice from time to time, but still remember it...

Bud

#75 Jon234567890

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 10:11 AM

I've just made some Liver Pate, from my Tamworth, it has a STRONG taste, but that was last week, I tasted it last night, and it is actually very good :biggrin: for my very first attempt, I'm quite pleased :biggrin:
Jon

#76 BRM

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 03:04 PM

I just took down a batch of pepperone that I made from the book. I used some pork and pork fat in addition to the beef that the book recommends. Its good. I think it will be really good once the sourness from the bactoferm subsides. I used quite a bit less bactoferm in this batch that in my previous one but the yeasty taste is still there, just not as much. I think it could also take a little more red pepper. I used the amount of cayenne called for in addition to some other peppers (not super hot) that I ground myself.

One observation...the first batch of dried sausage i stuffed into hog casings. This batch I used beef rounds which are 1/4" to 1/2" larger diameter. Despite being larger this batch cured mush faster than the previous batch in hog casings. 12 days vs. about 22. I don't know if anyone else has noticed this..and it could just be due to a difference in the environment or something else.

I've got a batch of lamb sausage hanging now. It has rosemary and a lot of garlic in it (I don't get to use much garlic because my wife doesn't tolerate it very well). Can't wait.

Edited by BRM, 23 May 2007 - 03:05 PM.

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#77 qrn

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 04:09 PM

I just took down a batch of pepperone that I made from the book. I used some pork and pork fat in addition to the beef that the book recommends.  Its good.  I think it will be really good once the sourness from the bactoferm subsides.  I used quite a bit less bactoferm

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Its not the amount of bactoferm, its the amount of sugar/dextrose...The bugs in the bactoferm eat the sugar(and the sugars in the meat) and make lactic acid out of it.
Bud

#78 Chris Amirault

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:56 AM

Our very own Jason Molinari (jmolinari) has been spreading the charcuterie gospel for Richard Blais over at his new place, Element, in ATL. Let's hear it for lamb prosciutto!
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#79 jmolinari

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:24 PM

Just trying to spread the charcuterie love:)

#80 johnnyd

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 06:06 AM

In case anyone missed it, this post in this week's foodblog features artisinal charcuterie from Ketch Harbour House in Nova Scotia.

Salt-cured organic wild boar liver anyone? :raz:
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#81 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 06:21 AM

While not quite charcuterie, I used the sausage making techniques (spices, ice cold wine, paddling the meat to get a good bind) in making hamburgers for Memorial Day, and even though I didn't grind the meat myself, the difference was astounding.

Home made burgers that neither turned into meatballs nor fell apart on the grill.

Edited by Dave Weinstein, 29 May 2007 - 06:22 AM.


#82 BRM

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:55 PM

While not quite charcuterie, I used the sausage making techniques (spices, ice cold wine, paddling the meat to get a good bind) in making hamburgers for Memorial Day, and even though I didn't grind the meat myself, the difference was astounding.

Home made burgers that neither turned into meatballs nor fell apart on the grill.

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There are a couple of good hamburger meat threads here's one and here's another. The interesting thing is that most of them agree that you should handle the meat as little as possible after grinding. Paddling would seem to defy that advice. But, if you liked that is what matters. Grinding my own hamburger has been one of the great side benefits of having a grinder.
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#83 maher

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 06:05 AM

i just posted a topic asking for help in what makes a good curing room, and id really appreciate the help of all the brilliant folks on this thread.


http://forums.egulle...howtopic=103398

#84 JeffWIce

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:21 PM

i just posted a topic asking for help in what makes a good curing room, and id really appreciate the help of all the brilliant folks on this thread.


http://forums.egulle...howtopic=103398

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GREAT topic idea, maher. I'll post my cabinet info in a bit... interestingly, cigars are held at a similar humidity as most sausage curing (around 70% humidity), so I have been playing with humidifiers for made for humidors.

A question for the bacon-heads: what is the flavoring (meaning aromatics... I assume the salt, sugar, and pink salt are all the same) difference between typical bacon and Spanish beicon, or for that matter flavoring in Italian pancetta and Spanish panceta?

#85 etherdog

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:56 PM

As a new member I thought I would post my two ventures so far. Last week I made a hot Italian sausage straight out of "Charcuterie". What an awesome book! We had friends over and I fried off some samples that got raves, then stuffed homemade pasta, boiled it for about 5 minutes and served with a tomato sauce. Incredible flavor. My hat is off to Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn for their book.

The current venture is bacon and pancetta. I got a pork belly from a local "specialty" butcher (although I have some doubts about them as they do not stock fish with their heads on) which was 4 to 5 inches thick. The squared off portions are curing as "salt pork" while the bacon and pancetta are curing with the basic cure, minus the pink salt (although the pink salt portion is replaced with Kosher salt). I got the dextrose from my local beer making supplier, Butler Winery, and urged them to stock the few additional ingredients that would benefit cheese and sausage makers. They were amenable to the idea.

When my bacon is cured, I will smoke it on my grill. I did an experiment last night. Take a 28 oz can of tomatoes, remove the tomatoes and eat them, remove the bottom. Take one leaf of a newspaper, spritz with cheap food oil (Canola, etc.), crumple it into the bottom of the can, put 4 charcoal briquettes on top of the paper, light the paper to get the coals to ignite. In the meantime, have your smoking hardwood soaking in water (and in pieces large enough to fit over the can). When the coals start smoking, put your bacon in the grill on the side opposite of the can of coal. When the coals stop smoking, add one new briquette to the coals and the hardwood a stick at a time over the top of the can to get the smoke going again. The internal temp of the grill space will reach 180 to 200. Monitor the internal temp of the bacon until it reaches 150. This could take several hours, depending on thickness and the amount of heat generated. This is a poor man's way. However, since I have not used nitrites or nitrates, this should be safe, if I have read the caveats properly. This is very similar to the oven method suggested in "Charcuterie" but has the added benefit of providing smoke and not using nitri/a/tes.

Thanks to all who post here. You are a font of information and often wisdom.
etherdog
Bloomington, IN US

#86 Pallee

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 08:56 PM

etherdog,

Glad to have you on board! Always good to hear new ideas and even better to hear the results. I went to my nephew's high school graduation celebration last night and part of my present to him was a pound of my regular bacon and a pound of my garlic stuffed bacon. As well as a piggy bank with $100 of coins in it. He loves pork! Probably end up as a politician, don't blame me!

Have fun!

#87 Anna Friedman Herlihy

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 11:52 AM

Hi all,
Hope this question hasn't been asked before (just did a search, but didn't find anything).

What are the guidelines on making dry-cured products from frozen meat? Does the size matter?

Can I, for example, do a whole dry-cured ham from a frozen piece? I'm worried about the long thawing time at proper temp. I've read some recommendations for the initial curing phase of a whole ham to keep it at 36-40 degrees. If so, would I even need to thaw it first, or could I just coat it in a salt or salt/sugar mix and thaw at the same time?

I did read that some folks had made duck prosciutto from frozen breasts, and I've made cold-smoked, hot-smoked, and fresh sausages from previously frozen meat with no problems (and then re-froze them). Is it okay to make dry-cured sausage from frozen meat?

I ask because my farmers from whom I've been getting whole and half animals (beef and lamb so far) may not be able to get me a fresh pig because of timing (it would have to be frozen).

Thanks for any info.
Anna

#88 Pallee

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 01:20 PM

I made my first batch of salame from pork I'd frozen in order to follow the anti trichinosis guidelines. It turned out fine. Since then I've decided that it isn't enough of a threat in dry cured products to worry about. So, I'd say, go ahead and freeze the meat if you need to. I have not made ham from frozen, so maybe someone else can chime in on that...

#89 jmolinari

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 03:04 PM

I use frozen pork all the time, don't know if fresh would be better, but frozen is perfectly fine. In fact, some say you SHOULD freeze it for an extended period of time first to kill off any trichinosis

#90 etherdog

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Posted 29 June 2007 - 05:19 AM

Just a quick note. We had our first pieces of our cured bacon today and are delighted with the results. Did a hot smoke with charcoal briquettes and maple shavings for about 3 hours then finished in a 200 F oven to bring the bacon to 145 (and let carryover do its job). Just remember that the thinner the slab of meat the less mass there is for carryover.

The taste is awesome and wholesome. if you use the right pig to begin with. I followed the method in Charcuterie except omitting nitrite, which Michael Ruhlman assured me was OK if one is hot smoking, refrigerating/freezing. The only seasoning on this first batch was cracked pepper.

Many thank to MR for his email response, and to him and Brian Polcyn for the book.
etherdog
Bloomington, IN US