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Found 434 results

  1. peppyre

    Duck Confit Emergency

    I made confit for the first time 3 weeks ago, put it in a cast iron crock and put it in the fridge. I thought it was completely sealed in fat but turns out the duck was sitting in about 1 1/2 inches of "jelly" and had about 2 inches of fat on top of it. I'm not sure what to do with it now. Is it still safe to eat? I've never really had straight duck confit before, so I'm not sure what it's supposed to taste and smell like, so my nose and taste buds won't help. Right now it smells like poultry but the stuff that was completely submerged in the jelly smells a bit "gamey". I've never really had duck before either, doesn't it smell a little stronger? Help!!
  2. Chris Amirault

    Wet-Cured (Brined) and Vacuum-Cured Bacon

    I just scored a slab of Berkshire pork belly from Matt Jennings (our own stinkycheeseman) at Farmstead here in Providence RI. He asked what I was going to do with it, and I babbled about red cooked pork belly (Grace Young's from a recent Saveur), rillons (Stephane Reynaud's from the new Pork & Sons cookbook), and, of course, bacon. "Berkshire, so you gotta brine it first, man," says Matt. "Couple days, then the dry cure." "Uh huh," says I, nodding like I know what that would actually mean. Well, now I'm home and I'm realizing that I don't really have much of a sense of what precisely I should do to get this beautiful flesh curing. My bacon chops, such as they are, came from working through Ruhlman's Charcuterie (click), which doesn't mention any wet-then-dry curing. However, the dry curing has yielded some slightly spotty results now and then, so I'm game to try brining as an evolutionary advance in my bacon makin'. So, the questions. Any ideas about the brine solution? Should I adjust the dry cure in any way? I'm happy to go by feel at this point, but would the total amount of time curing be reduced because of a more efficacious brine?
  3. cinghiale

    Distinti Salumi

    I made it this weekend to the Distinti Salumi festival in Cagli. Had I been more aware of its breadth, I would have posted an alert. In addition to the multitude of vendors, there were talks, exhibits, and related events. There were also four tasting rooms set up, one each for salumi interi, cotti, crudi and particolari. Great handouts and signage. It was just a really well done festival. There was an unbelievable bounty. I took home lots of fat – a creamy lardo macellato from Lecce, herby pestàt from Fagagna in Friuli, and a beautiful piece of lardo di colonnata from, well, Colonnata (so now I know that Colonnata is a place, not a style -- I usually see it without the "di"; the vendor had a great book showing the traditional vessels used to make the lardo). Plus a nice hunk of guanciale from a local Cagli producer, lamb salame from Holland, and a spicy, chunky bad boy from Abruzzo. Diverse selection of cheeses (mostly pecorino), too. I bought a piece of delicious pecorino trombaitolo, which the Puglian vendor had enticingly labelled the "viagra di una volta". Also various grilled meats. I had some very slow-cooked cinta senese from a local farmer that was unbelievable: just about the opposite of porchetta, it was soft as butter and virtually unspiced. Berkel had a display of restored slicers from the early 1900s. And then there was the exhibit "Women and Pigs". If only the photographer would have found a way to include my other two food groups: cigarettes and gin . . . (glossy format made for fuzzy pix). Cagli's a picturesque town, and the surrounding countryside is beautiful. It's worth the trip. I'll try to remember to post a reminder for next year's fest.
  4. Today, The Minimalist column by Mark Bittman extols the joys of homemade flavor-infused oils, without regard to the food safety issues inherent in taking foods known to carry C botulinum spores and placing them in the low-acid, anaerobic environments in which they thrive. Do they not have fact-checkers or nutritionists or someone check these articles? This is a basic issue covered in the ServSafe exam, and in health code requirements in most US states. HERE is a link to more detailed info, written by scientists.
  5. Chris Amirault

    Green Mold on Dry-Cured Sausages?!

    My battles with green mold are well documented here. For example, I present a few sticks of particularly memorable sopressata: Following the advice of basically every book ever published in English on the subject, in which green mold = deadly, horrible failure, I tossed them out. There are a few exceptions out there; members here mention washing it off and rehanging it, but only at the early stages. Shortly after that disappointment, I went to Barcelona, where I had this experience: Still no answers. Fast forward to August 2009. Chris Hennes and I are hitting the outer boroughs in search of good food, and we arrive here. The justly famous Calabria Pork Store, on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. The place is the holy shrine of cured pork on the east coast, and it smells hog heavenly. Hundreds of sausages, sides of pork, hams, you name it are hanging overhead. However, when you walk a bit closer to the product, you see this: These sausages weren't speckled with green mold; they didn't have a bit here and there. Most of the product in room was coated 40-50% with fuzzy, green to blue mold. Our jaws dropped. We asked the counter person three or four different times what the story was, and he looked at us like we were nuts. We got the sort of reaction you'd get if you tried to ask a crab on the ocean floor why it was so humid around here. Meanwhile, Hennes and I ate about as much of the free sample plate as we could eat without being arrested. The stuff is fantastic: funky, rich, deep flavor that only the best cured pork gets. And we're not dead. Something, clearly, is going on, and I'm hellbent on getting to the bottom of it. Here are my questions: 1. What, exactly, is this "fuzzy green mold"? What distinguishes "fuzzy green mold" from "chalky white mold"? 2. What effects do these molds have? How do you determine which effects are detrimental, beneficial, or both? 3. If, as all the books indicate, this "fuzzy green mold" is so terrible for you, why in the world is a premier salumeria displaying it overhead for all the world to see? For starters, does anyone have any access to actual facts?
  6. snowangel

    Bacon appetizers

    I'm on the hot seat. I'm in the "delerium" of cleaning a large house, getting ready for Xmas Eve, and a dinner for 30. And, now, I've been faced with a bacon appetizer that needs to be prepared the night before (unless I get up at 4:00 am or some other unseemly hour). Limited reheating availablable (read microwave, unless I send The Spouce with the toaster oven and very explicit instructions). Please help a mother with too many presents to wrap, too many tableclothes to iron, to many cookies to make, too many dishes that have been stored to rewash! How do I cook bacon the night before and keep it crispy? Bacon needs to be front and foremost.
  7. rabalias

    Salami - the wrong kind of mold?

    We made some salami a couple of months back using the pork from our berkshire pigs (which we rear on our orchard). We followed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's advice in the River Cottage Cookbook, using LS25 as a starter and hung the sausages in our verandah, which is well aired and generally in shade except perhaps at sunset. We were going to take them down around about now, but have noticed the mould on them is not quite as it should be. They developed white mould about midway through the process of being hung, but this week we spotted other colours. We are uncertain how long they've been like that - maybe just a few days, potentially a few weeks. They are partially covered in a thin layer of white mould, but also in places grey/green and, more worryingly, with spots of black. The black seems to be a development of the white mould - you have spots of black surrounded by a circle of white. In addition, they have some moisture on them - which looks to me like condensation but appears slightly correlated with the black mould. (There appear to be spots of black where the condensation is - possibly just random coincidence.) I took a couple of pictures, below. Does anyone have any experience they could share on this? I've seen a lot of different opinions, ranging from "anything other than white is potentially deadly" to "you can just wipe it off with vinegar and it should be fine". Obviously I don't want to take risks with our health, but nor do I want to throw away 3 kilos of our produce. So I'm hoping someone will have useful insights! Thanks Josh
  8. Hi, Paula. As you know, I'm a huge fan of duck confit, so I'm delighted to find TCOSWF contains recipes for confit calf's tongue, pork and toulouse sausages besides the expected duck, goose and gizzards. But I'm also curious about other types of confit you may be familiar with. Confit lamb shank has almost become a cliché in Quebec restaurants, but I don't recall ever seeing confit rabbit or hare on offer here or elsewhere. Ditto beef, venison, boar and veal, not to mention exotic game meats (squirrel, antelope, camel, alligator, etc.). Is fish (e.g. tuna) ever confited? A local butcher shop occasionally offers confit sweetbreads; I've not bought them because the shop's duck confit is second-rate and because I'm uncertain how to use them (in a salad? as an appetizer?) or even prepare them (whole? sliced? cold? heated in the oven? steamed? fried?). Does other offal lend itself to the confit technique? And are these preparations at all traditional or is it a case of finding new uses for a traditional technique? Lastly, is confit an exclusively southwest French thing or is something like it found in other cuisines?
  9. hansjoakim

    Confit jelly

    Hi all, Inspired by the chapter about confits in Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie", I've prepared confits of both duck legs, lamb shoulder and pork belly a couple of times at home. Results have been great, and the confits have never had the chance to hang around in the fridge for very long before it's all eaten up. I have a question regarding the confit jelly, the dark juices that collect on the bottom of the pan after cooking. Ruhlman & Polcyn, and also Robuchon in "The Complete Robuchon", write that care should be taken not get any of these juices into your storage jar if you want to store the confit for any length of time. Ruhlman & Polcyn write that the jelly can go sour over time. I've consulted some other cookbooks, including Fearnley-Whittingstall's "River Cottage Meat Book" and Henderson's "Nose to tail eating", and they don't make any particular mention of the jelly and the need for removing it. The jelly is amazing in sauces and stocks, but how important is it really to get it out of the confit storage container? And, what's the easiest way of separating the jelly from the duck fat before pouring the fat over the cooked meat? I made some rillons this weekend, and I would like to have them around for a couple of weeks at least, to see if I can pick up "aging"/ripening qualities in the confit. I ladled fat over the cooked belly, trying not to get any of the jelly juices into the storage container, but I'm pretty sure some jelly snook it's way in there.