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Cooking & Curing from "Charcuterie": Part 5

Charcuterie Cookbook

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#241 jmolinari

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 07:53 AM

i'd go kitchenaid. It is inexpensive, and works quite well, as long as the meat is fairly sinew free and very cold. It does suck htat the KA doesn't have any alternate plate sizes

That's just me though. I never liked my small hand crank one.

#242 MarkinHouston

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 09:32 AM

I have a question about meat grinders. I know they've been discussed here before, but now that you all have so much more experience with them, I'd like to see how your feelings on them have developed.

I'm about to order my first meat grinder and sausage stuffer. For the stuffer, I think I'm going for the Grizzly 5 lb hand-cranked piston model. For the grinder, I know I don't quite want to splurge on an expensive electric one right now, so...
I have the Grizzly stuffer. It is great!
I'm not sure whether I should get the KitchenAid attachment or a hand-cranked model (such as this one).
Assuming you already own a KA, the grinder attachemnt is a good choice. It is fine for small batches, fice pounds or less. If you shoot and process a couple of deer every year, you may want to upgrade.

Which would you recommend, and why?

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#243 Paul McMichael

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 06:19 PM

I have a question about meat grinders. Which would you recommend, and why?

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I used a KA for several years. It was OK for pork -- not very good for anything with much silverskin such as venison. The knife blade does not cut well. About a year ago, I bought a Northern Tool grinder ($89 on sale) and I wornder why I waited so long to upgrade. Larger die for coarser grind and more powerful motor. It is a very good unit.

Paul

#244 michael_g

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 09:05 AM

I made the boudin noir last week -- it was delicious and extremely rich. Next time I'd definitely follow the recipe on jmolinari's website and throw in tenderloin or something else meaty -- the texture is a little bit too soft for my taste, I think.

Unfortunately, I ran out of casings midway through, so now I have about half of the forcemeat sitting in my freezer. Is this safe to use? The blood came from a Vietnamese grocer, and was (I believe) previously frozen. If it is safe, does anyone have any ideas for alternative uses of the forcemeat, e.g., mix with hunks of bread and bake in a bain marie?

#245 JaneMC

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 08:14 AM

I have made my bacon a few times now and have enjoyed it a lot. I now have a cheap smoker from Lowes.

One question I made the pork-garlic sausage from the book. I must say, I don't like them. I think it could be the raw garlic? Or it could be the salt? Did anyone else cut down on the salt? I'm going to do this with my next batch of sausages, just to see. I'm not sure why I don't care for them. They have what I like, pork and garlic. I think some of it could be the casings I got them local and they were BIG ones.

Next will be the turkey and cherry sausages. I can't wait for my casing to arrive.

Jane

#246 mkayahara

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 09:08 AM

One question I made the pork-garlic sausage from the book. I must say, I don't like them. I think it could be the raw garlic?

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Interesting. I made the pate de campagne from the book and had the same experience - the taste of the raw garlic was simply overwhelming, presumably because the target internal temperature of the pate wasn't high enough to kill that "raw garlic" flavour. If I were to make this pate again, I'd definitely saute the garlic first.
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#247 Habeas Brulee

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 11:57 AM

My first pancetta is curing in my fridge now. I've been stressing over where to hang it, since I don't have any sort of curing box or place to put one, and while Michael Ruhlman may hang his near his stove, I think I keep my kitchen way too warm for that.

However, I just discovered that the vestibule of my garden apartment is hovering around 55 F and 65% humidity.

From now on, people will just have to duck the meats when entering my apartment!

#248 BRM

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 01:24 PM

i'd go kitchenaid. It is inexpensive, and works quite well, as long as the meat is fairly sinew free and very cold. It does suck htat the KA doesn't have any alternate plate sizes

That's just me though. I never liked my small hand crank one.

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My 2 cents. I have both a KA and a hand crank. The KA is fine for most things. I agree with what has been said about blades and suitabilty for meats with lots of silverskin. Upthread a ways we were talking about trying to get plates with larger dies for the KA (ultimately the reason I bought a hand crank). If you really get serious you can upgrade. The hand cranks have larger dies but are more work. My advise would be to start with the KA. If you outgrow it you will always have it for smaller jobs. I don't buy ground beef anymore. The KA is great for grinding beef when the wife and I want a couple of burgers, the hand crank would be overkill for that.
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#249 mstopy

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 10:15 AM

Phenomenal thread!

I started making cured meats back in 1983 and spent countless hours scouring tidbits of wisdom from popular literature, the food science literature, the CFRs, and correspondence with a couple of charcutiers who learned the craft from their ancestors. It was slow going and it took 10 years before I had the confidence and equipment to attempt air dried hams.

Michael and Brian's book pretty well captures the essential elements of the craft and makes it totally accessible. I can't help but to be envious of those who have this treasure trove of knowledge at their fingertips to help them get started.

Its exciting to see the renaissance of this remarkable craft. This book has been a marvelous catalyst, as this thread bears witness to.

I look forward to many more astonishing accounts from the many talented individuals who have made this thread so great, and of those yet to come.

#250 Chris Hennes

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 11:29 AM

This past weekend I made the boudin blanc and the hot-smoked andouille. I am still not sure what to make of the blanc -- it is totally unlike the sausage I am used to eating. I think using hog casings was a mistake - the filling is so soft that I end up just cutting it out of the casing to eat. Maybe sheep casing would be better. The hot-smoked andouille is fantastic - my new favorite recipe in the book. They also look great - I love the mahogany color you get from hot-smoking.

I also made the smoked salmon, since it was cool here on Monday (smoker temp hovered at about 50 degrees the whole time). I used wild-caught salmon (wow, pricey!) and it turned out beautifully.

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#251 Chris Hennes

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 11:37 AM

Here are some images from the latest adventure:

Boudin blanc:
Posted Image

Hot-smoked Andouille:
Posted Image

Smoking the Salmon in the Ghetto Smoker 4000:
Posted Image

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#252 jmolinari

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 12:20 PM

I just finished up a nice coppa. A bit too clove-y, but still rather tasty!


Posted Image

Edited by jmolinari, 22 November 2007 - 12:25 PM.


#253 Chris Hennes

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 06:52 AM

I just finished up a nice coppa. A bit too clove-y, but still rather tasty!


Posted Image

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Is the yellowish hue at the center normal in home-cured coppa? I think if I saw that my first time making it I would be freaked out... yellow meat doesn't seem like a good thing.

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#254 jmolinari

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 03:54 PM

It may be a white-balance issue with the camera or the lighting, there isn't any yellowness at the center.

Also though, a commerical chunk of cured meat i got from Italy, using a hunk of pork leg, has a central chunk of fat that is bright yellow. I've been eating it no problem. I don't know what the chemistry behind the yellowing is.

#255 Jon234567890

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 03:56 AM

Hi jmolinari

The Coppa recipe seemed REALLY interesting, I had never tried nor heard of it, a little while back I tried it, BUT it was a disaster!
Did you follow the recipe in the Book, I did.
The first problem I came to, was that whenever I tried to squeeze the air out, I couldn't, it was a too irregular shape, what with using chunks instead of mince; tying it up was difficult and hanging it up was almost impossible.
From the looks of the photo, it seems a LOT smaller than the one I used, what kind of casing have you used?
Also it wasn't clear (to me) how much of the seasoning was to remain on the meat, yours seems quite free of herbs, peppers, etc. and finally, I thought from memory that it was supposed to be lean meat, yours seems to have a fair amount of fat?
To cut short, it started to turn fuzzy, ... with green fuzz, I didn't have the courage to try it.
Jon.

#256 thetwood

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 11:52 AM

I've been following this thread for some time now and using the book. Recently I've been working on the cured sausages, having done the Tuscan Salume and the Peporone. Both were in hog casings. I'm now wanting to move up to larger middles and have a question. Along with the beef middles that I ordered, I got some netting since it looks really cool. Do I need to clean the netting in some way before I use it with the stuffed sausage and let it dry? So much of this seems to be centered on cleanliness and keeping the number of bad bacteria to a minimum, I didn't know if I should do something to clean the netting first.

Anyone have any experience they could share?

#257 Nathan Kurz

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:08 PM

I haven't got the book, but we just finished wet-curing a whole wild boar ham, and this seemed like the right place to post results in case they help someone else. We loosely followed the 'York-style Ham' recipe in Aidell's Pork book.

We started with a whole ham, bone-in, skin-off. Not sure about the exact weight, but from a 200lb field dressed pig; guessing the ham is a little over 20 lbs. Ham was frozen for several months before brining, but still in excellent condition.

Brine:
5 cups Mortons kosher salt (~750 g)
1.5 cups brown sugar (~350 g)
5 Tbsp #1 curing salts (~50 g)
1.5 gallons water (~6 L)

Frozen ham was placed a Ziplock XL utility bag (25 gallon size), which worked very well (although be careful not to pierce bag with any protruding cut bones). Brine added, bag loosely wrapped with duct tape to get it to mostly cover the ham. An oven bag (Glad) was tried first, but ripped immediately --- not recommended for brining.

Bag containing ham and brine put in a cooler. Ice added on second day after ham had mostly thawed. Brine and bag changed (replaced with same recipe) after 4 days. Probably not necessary, but I had a lot of leakage out of the bag due to leakage (user error). Ham considered done after 8 days [see below]. The combination of frozen ham and a 20 lb bag of ice in a decent cooler kept everything nicely cold for the first seven days, but we added an extra 3 lb bag of ice the last night since almost everything had melted by then.

Ham was cooked in an Glad oven bag at 325F (160C) for about 4.5 hours. Bag probably not necessary, but used it since we had one left over after trying to use one for brining. Glazed at the end with honey and orange juice. Didn't take a final temperature, but estimated 165F, then rested for 30 minutes.

Ham came out delicious --- quite salty on the outside and shank, perfect for most of the interior. Outer ham was a pretty ham-colored pink from the curing salts, innermost 1.5" was dark from since it hadn't been penetrated yet by the brine. Very clear line of distinction between cured and uncured. Uncured interior was fine, but taste, texture and appearance of the pink cured part was definitely preferable.

Second ham is still in the freezer, and we'll probably do it for Christmas. Not sure if we should just brine it longer to get full penetration of brine, or to try some other way getting the brine to the interior. Probably will make a deep slit on the bottom of ham (to the bone) and see if that is enough. Could bone it, but the appearance of the whole ham on the bone is great.

Comfortably feeds 20 with lots of leftovers, probably fine for 30.

#258 jmolinari

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:37 PM

Jon, no i didn't follow the recipe from the book.
As i've said before, i don't know why the recipe in the book calls for chunks of shoulder. That isn't what coppa is. I hope there is an error correction in the next edition.

You can see my blog for how to butcher a coppa from a shoulder.

Oh, the casing i use is 100mm.

jason

Edited by jmolinari, 26 November 2007 - 12:39 PM.


#259 jmolinari

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 12:39 PM

thetwood, i've used those nettings, and haven't cleaned them, before you. Haven't had any problems.

#260 thetwood

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:47 PM

Thanks Jason. I've got everything set up and will put it all together tonight. Any hints about using the netting? I can't find any real instructions or info about using.

Matt

#261 jmolinari

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:55 PM

The few times i used it i just stretched it over the bresaola/coppa. I didn't really find any use for it though. So i just use butcher's knots know along the length of the product.

#262 KrazzyJoe

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 02:41 PM

My back fat will be in on Friday! I'm driving two hours to Portland than two hours back to get it :)

Lardo, here I come

#263 Mallet

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 07:03 AM

I may be making boudin noir in the next few weeks. Charcuterie says they don't keep well, but do they keep well frozen (I see plenty of online frozen boudins)? Should they be frozen before or after poaching?

Edited by Mallet, 29 November 2007 - 09:50 AM.

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#264 jmolinari

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 07:09 AM

I think frozen after poaching for boudin noir. Before poaching it is really squishy and soft and i'd be afraid it'll leak blood all over!

#265 mkayahara

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 07:24 AM

I've successfully frozen boudin noir in the past (purchased, not homemade), and I've never poached it after thawing - I just reheated it by frying. So I agree that you should probably poach it before freezing.
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#266 rezcook

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:18 AM

Hello, Folks,
Just seeking advice.
I regularly make fresh sausages (Italian, breakfast, merguez), air dried sausages, bacon, and brine cured ham. I would like to make Lonza (not sure if I spelled that right) an Italian air-cured boneless pork loin but I'm getting different suggestions from different people.
Should I brine cure first? Should I simply rub with salts/spices and hang/air dry in a stretchy netting? Should I stuff into a man made casing (this was suggested by someone who makes plenty of lonza, but I'm worried about the casing being a moisture barrier and air curing being slowed). Should I weight down the loin during a first stage of curing?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Chad

#267 jmolinari

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:25 AM

I would definitely salt cure it before drying, it needs time for the salt/cure to penetrate the meat.
As for casing, i would use a collagen casing, 90 or 100mm should work well. It will slow the drying, but that is a good thing. I believe that the slower the drying (without allowing it to rot!), the better the flavor developed. I made a bresaola once without a casing and it came out quite well, but i preferred the ones with a casing.
The latest coppa i made took 60 days to dry, and it is better than the ones i've made in the past which took about 30-40 days. I changed the drying time by holding the humidity at about 70% instead of my usual 60%.

Edited by jmolinari, 01 December 2007 - 09:26 AM.


#268 Stuckey

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 08:51 PM

How long can a cured pork belly be left in the fridge before it is smoked to make bacon? I've got a belly curing right now, and it will probably be completely cured several days before I'm able to smoke it on Saturday. Will it be OK to leave the cured belly in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before it gets smoked? If so, should I leave it uncovered the whole time to form a pellicle, or should I just uncover it for the last 24 hours? Thanks for any help! :smile:

#269 michael_g

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 09:43 AM

How long can a cured pork belly be left in the fridge before it is smoked to make bacon? I've got a belly curing right now, and it will probably be completely cured several days before I'm able to smoke it on Saturday. Will it be OK to leave the cured belly in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before it gets smoked? If so, should I leave it uncovered the whole time to form a pellicle, or should I just uncover it for the last 24 hours? Thanks for any help!  :smile:

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The smoking itself does negligible preservation, so the bacon is as preserved as it will be after the cure is done. I wouldn't leave it uncovered for 3 or 4 days, though -- I'd worry that the meat would dry out and get leathery.

#270 ronnie_suburban

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Posted 02 December 2007 - 10:39 AM

How long can a cured pork belly be left in the fridge before it is smoked to make bacon? I've got a belly curing right now, and it will probably be completely cured several days before I'm able to smoke it on Saturday. Will it be OK to leave the cured belly in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before it gets smoked? If so, should I leave it uncovered the whole time to form a pellicle, or should I just uncover it for the last 24 hours? Thanks for any help!  :smile:

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The smoking itself does negligible preservation, so the bacon is as preserved as it will be after the cure is done. I wouldn't leave it uncovered for 3 or 4 days, though -- I'd worry that the meat would dry out and get leathery.

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There is a restaurant here in the Chicago area which makes and serves something they call "old school" bacon (and I believe they learned the technique from someone in Tennessee). It's actually bacon that's been cured normally but then dried for an extended period of time before smoking. They keep it in a temperature and humidity controlled chamber, wrapped in cheesecloth, during this stage. I think they hold it for about 30 days before smoking it.

In either case, the final product is remarkably tasty, so tasty that it could be argued that holding the bacon for an extended period of time before smoking may actually improve it. I suppose this is because the additional moisture loss leads to a more concentrated flavor. Perhaps there is also some additional 'aging' that takes place over those 30 days, too.

Regardless of which method you choose, I wouldn't leave it uncovered for more than 24 hours or the exterior will likely become dry and unpalatable. It will also absorb odors from other items in your refrigerator. I'd definitely save the pellicle stage for the 24 hours right before the smoke, keeping it wrapped in plastic up until that point. If you go "old school," I'm not sure if the pellicle stage is still necessary but I'm guessing it isn't.

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