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thomasrodgers

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    London, UK
  1. A short lament for the past charm of zorba's on edgware road, if only to jog some memories. naming a restaurant after a dog who died in a fire, AND serving decent fish and chips, sadly was not enough to keep it in business...
  2. Just want to add my tuppence-worth... Franco Manca is by far and away the best pizza I have had not just in London, but outside of Italy. As far as post below goes, hard to tell whether something really 'went wrong' or you just don't like that style of pizza (although in fairness the base shouldn't be soggy, and never has been when I've eaten there, so maybe there was something wrong... although as your gf liked it, who knows). In any case, I've eaten there lots and never been disappointed. It's also exactly the kind of place that London needs more of - cheap and cheerful, and all about the fo
  3. As the breadth of the replies to Andy's article shows, I think the matter of the role that religion plays in our diet (and vice versa) is perhaps a little more complex than his article indicates. This is in no way intended as a criticism of the piece, which I heartily enjoyed, and which in any case I suspect was penned more to provoke thought and debate than to give a definitive interpretation. But... I'm not sure what benefit is to be had from muddying the waters by confusing a personal rejection of religious belief with reasoned debate about the way religion has informed humanity's relation
  4. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Good to see this thread back up and running. Brings a warm glow to my belly... I was fairly convinced it had popped its clogs, but it seems all the enthusiastic charcutiers were only snoozing these last few months, or, even better, getting on with some serious sausage-making and curing. It does seem a shame, though, that if we want to all meet up and chat like this we have to stick with this mangy old dog of a thread. I was thinking maybe there should be a subsection in the cooking forum for meat curing, or something like that. Any suggestions? Maybe if we all PM relevant organisers or hosts i
  5. Coming in very late, but no-one mentioned Tartiflette when you were after bacon recipes. Best in winter, but always good... and seeing how you have an abundence of potatoes, seems a good match.
  6. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    What have we done... How ironic that this thread could turn to bite the hand that feeds it. We've created a MONSTER... A remedy hopefully - you can't get much simpler than this: Generously rub some pork bellies with a 75/25 mix of salt and sugar along with any spices you fancy, stack them in a covered plastic or wooden box. Store in a cool place for 5-7 days, and you have bacon. Easy, no science degree required...
  7. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Great set-up, I'm highly envious.
  8. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Beautiful pictures jackal, thanks. The saucisson looks great too. Is that a pizza oven your smoking in - lucky you. I've had fanciful thoughts of wood-fired ovens recently, but no money and live in rented house in london = no oven. Did you manage to keep the temperature down while you were smoking? I haven't done any smoking myself yet but there's a smoker in the pipeline I hope (at the back of a long line including incubator, maturing fridge and paying my mum back...) Having pancetta but not being able to smoke it is just torture. What kind of wood did you use? Chips or sawdust? Did you have
  9. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Good to hear you managed to salvage some of the bacon. I always like to hear of a bit of thrifty work... My first salame, which was a partial success (didn't make me ill, not entirely pleasant...) did have a slightly brownish look as well. They had dried too quickly in the attic (too warm and not humid enough), I think, and were practically solid round the outside but still soft and moist in the middle. Not ideal. Since that I've moved experiments to the garden shed, which seems more humid, although it fluctuates more in temperature. Maybe the garage could do with a little humidity? Water on r
  10. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Jackal, Sorry to hear about your bacon, but at least your salami are looking good. Just a thought, but reading the linked recipe you used for bacon, I was surprised that the bellies seemed to be left to cure uncovered on a table. All reipes I have ever read call for the belly pieces to be stacked in a large non-reactive container and weighted down. The flies might have gotten it at that stage, otherwise before smoking as jsolomon suggests, or maybe even between slaughter and refrigeration (although you'd hope not). I'm curious to know where you hang your salami. Do you know the humidity? The t
  11. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Hello Ore, (and everyone else) Hope all your travelling's going well. I'd love to hear what different kinds of salame/prosciutto/pancetta you made in Italy. I'm also interested to understand why you think that the addition of chemicals is necessarily bad? Being a bit of a traditionalist, I am definitely of the opinion that the simpler the better. But mine is a position borne probably more of prejudice aginst the new and love of the old than due to any real wisdom from experience. Also, what qualifies as a chemical in your book. After all, when we talk about chemicals isn't salt as much of a ch
  12. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Jason and jsolomon, thanks for dexrose info. I know that this is very technical, but do you know what the dextrose is broken down into? Does anyone have a (comprehensible, preferably) description of the chemical reactions that go on?
  13. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Eternal apologies to the Great Grigson... I didn't mean to turn anyone off buying her book altogether, in fact I happily recommend it, just wanted maybe to indicate what it is and isn't good for. What it will do is give you loads of ideas and recipes. What it didn't do in my case was help me understand what is actually happening when meat cures and what I have to do to remedy any dificulties and imperfections. I guess by sausage making you mean fresh sausages. sausagemaking.org is a good place to start. Check out Len Poli's website at home.pacbell.net/lpoli/ , and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's
  14. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Forgot to ask, anyone with opinions on use of dextrose in dry-cured sausage? What does it do, how does it help (ie. role in curing process rather than flavour)? Cheers, Tom
  15. thomasrodgers

    Sausage Making

    Charcutier, thanks for the endorsement! Let me know how the bacon goes down - would be interested to hear your cure mix and cure/ageing times. You're right to raise the issue of animal welfare/quality of meat in support of home-curing. For those who care about animal welfare this is a huge advantage. Although most people are at least aware of the plight of the battery chicken , many don't realise that pigs are raised intensively under comparable conditions, and are probably worse affected given their relative intelligence (similar to that of the domestic dog - they can with a little effort
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