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Found 408 results

  1. Squab leg confit?

    Has anyone tried doing a squab leg confit? If so, how long did you salt it and how long did you cook it in the fat?? I've done the moulard duck legs confit with decent success - salting for about 12 hours with Diamond Kosher (thanks Paula Wolfert!), then cooking SV (much easier cleanup) at 180degF for about 7 hours... I'd assume that the squab legs would take considerably less time both salting and cooking since the thickness is maybe 1/3 that of a duck leg... also, I think a squab leg is a bit tenderer to start out with.... Any thoughts or experiences???? Thanks...
  2. andouille without pork?

    Would like to know if anyone out there has any ideas on how to make andouille without beef or pork (housemate allergic to such). Not only looking for flavour but also the all-important texture. Anyone have any ideas on how to go about doing this? Sincerely, Dante
  3. Pheasant confit

    I'm a bird hunter, primarily pheasants which are known to have tough legs with a lots of tendons. So much so, most hunters just take the breast meat. A few years back I tried to confit some of the leg/thigh pieces, I used a couple of the D'Artagnan containers of duck fat mixed in with rendered pork fat. I was pleased with the results. The meat was nutty and falling off the bone, a bit bland and gray, but made some nice dinners and rilletes Two years ago I saved about 20 leg/thigh joints and bought my duck fat from Hudson Valley Fois Gras. I live within a couple hundred miles so I was able to get a 7.5lb. tub, about 1 gal., of rendered duck fat UPS'd to me overnight for about $35.00. The confit turned out better, perhaps a little salty and one dimensional. I used the method from Polcyn & Ruhlman's "Charcuterie". I kept it covered in the fat for about 5 month in the back of the fridge after drawing off the clear juices from the bottom. We ate it gradually, sometimes by itself, a few pieces in cassoulet, some rillets. After it was all eaten I strained the fat back into the tub and put it in the deep freeze. Last week it was time to confit last years kill, approximately 12 lbs of pheasant legs/ thighs, close to 35 pieces. This time I used a little more spice, lots of garlic and bay leaf. I also added almost 2 tsps. of pink salt which "Charcuterie" recommended if planning to keep the confit longer than a month. I let it cure a full 48 hours then rinsed, patted dry and packed into a stainless container. I melted last years fat which already had some flavor in it and was just enough to cover the legs. I placed it in an electric oven set on warm, after two hours the temperature of the fat was taken with a laser type thermometer, it was right at 169˚K, perfect temperature for cooking. Last year I used a different oven that would only go down to 185˚F and the meat separated from the knuckles and crawled up the bone. After 8 hours of "poaching" at 169 I pulled a piece and it was perfect, just the right amount of salty spicy, nutty goodness. We had four pieces for dinner that night over an arugula salad with some crusty bread. Absolutely delicious, the thighs are meaty and it pulls right off the bone like good BBQ. The legs still have those tendons but all the meat just strips out fro between them. I removed the pink liquid from the bottom, packed the legs back into the SS container and covered all with melted fat, it is now aging in the back of my fridge, should be perfect for the holidays. The little bit of pink salt did wonders for this batch. Last year, although tasty, the legs were an unappealing gray color. This year the meat stayed pink and much firmer, also due to the longer cure. I have reduced the pink liquid, and clarified it. In "Charcuterie" Ruhlman & Polcyn say it ca be used in a vinaigrette. I tried that last year but wasn't impressed, any other recommendations for it's use? I can't recommend Hudson Valley Fois Gras highly enough, quality products at a reasonable cost, and the fat was much more flavorful than the smaller containers. I needed some extra fat to cover my confit, I called and my tub was there the next day.
  4. Bacon in the oven

    The other day we were over at some friends' house for breakfast. We were preparing a feast: pancakes, eggs, home-fried potatoes, toast, and bacon. They have a four-burner DCS range. It's actually the exact one I have at home, which was strange to see in someone else's kitchen (first time for me). Over two burners went the griddle for pancakes. The third burner had the skillet for the potatoes. And burner number four was reserved for the scrambled eggs. Toast would go in the toaster. That left the bacon. My friend's plan was to cook it on the griddle, then clean the griddle, then do the pancakes on the griddle. I said, "Why don't we do the bacon in the oven?" He looked at me like I had two heads. But he consented. I turned the oven to 325 degrees (F). I took a half-sheet pan and laid the bacon strips out very tightly packed -- overlapping a bit in places -- so that a one-pound package of sliced bacon fit on the tray. I put the whole thing in the oven and waited. After about 15 minutes -- and during all this time we were able to make stuff on the stovetop -- I opened the oven and turned each piece of bacon over with a fork. By now the bacon had shrunk a bit so it no longer overlapped. Back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. The bacon was ready around the same time as all the other food. I took the tray out of the oven and put it on the counter on a couple of cork trivets and took the pieces off to dry on paper towels. At the table, my friend's wife, who was not involved in the food preparation, asked "How did you get the bacon to come out so good?" Another convert to bacon in the oven. Not only is bacon in the oven incredibly convenient and efficient -- it leaves your stovetop burners free and if you have room for three half-sheet pans in your oven you can cook three pounds of bacon at once no problem -- but also the bacon comes out great. I'm not really sure why. Perhaps being surrounded by warm air is better for the bacon's flavor development than the unilateral heat of a stovetop skillet. Perhaps the oven just enforces the low-and-slow approach better than the stovetop. Or perhaps it's because, all of it cooking at once, the bacon comes to the table "fresher" than multiple batches in a skillet or two. In any event, bacon in the oven is the only way to fry.
  5. Polish Sausage

    I'm originally from Chicago, living in New Orleans for the time being. A coworker, also originally from Illinois, asked me to pick her up some Polish Sausage on my upcoming trip home. I'll be based in the south suburbs, but I should be in the city a fair amount, and I'm willing to travel wherever. So where can I find the absolute best -bar none- Polish Sausage?
  6. Best way to cook pancetta?

    I consider myself an advanced beginner, sometimes intermediate type cook. I can make a mean risotto and have no problem cooking steak to temp. I'm good at the fairly straightforward stuff. When I cook pancetta, the only thing I do with it is brown it in a frying pan then add it to whatever I'm using. However I had dinner at a pretty good restaurant the other night and had a dish that had pancetta that melted like butter when it hit my tongue. I just sat there dumbfounded like "damn, I wish I could make pancetta like that..." I'm thinking that soft, meltingly tender pancetta mixed into risotto or mashed potatoes would be nothing short of sublime. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
  7. Chocolate Covered Bacon

    Last night on the FoodNetwork Micheal Symon did chocolate covered bacon on Dinner Impossible segment. I guess he's the new host. Anyway, everyone loved it. Has anyone done this before? I'm thinking of doing it for the Holidays. I'm worried about the shelf life though. Would probably have to do it on a made to order and not in advance.... Any thoughts? Thanks, Rena
  8. [Moderator note: The original Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 5)] As all readers of the massive Charcuterie topic topic know, it has become unwieldy. Thus we offer this new index, to aid readers in finding all of the information our members have contributed over the years. We ask that, as discussion continues in this new topic/section, posters keep their posts focused on recipes and techniques from the book itself, and small modifications to those recipes. For general charcuterie discussions that are not focused on recipes from this book, you will find many other topics devoted to them. Thank you for participating! We look forward to more great contributions in this topic!
  9. Charcuterie Index

    (NB: This comprehensive index was prepared by Chris Hennes.) CharcuterieThe Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn Published by W. W. Norton (November 21, 2005) Forward by Thomas Keller The original "Cooking (or curing) from Charcuterie" topic is one of the all-time most popular topics on the eGullet forums, and the depth and breadth of information in it is truly astonishing. What follows is a list of commonly asked questions with links to the post (or posts) that best answer the inquiry. In addition we are providing a table of contents below with links to some of the most thorough results posts for each recipe. The original topic has been closed, and as discussion continues on this new topic, we ask that posters keep their posts focused on recipes and techniques from the book itself, and small modifications to those recipes. As this book seems to have sparked (or at least fanned the flames!) of a tremendous amount of interest in charcuterie, most individual charcuterie items have other topics devoted to them: you can use the eGullet forums search engine top help you find the best place for your post. Thanks, and happy curing! Other Charcuterie-related Topics to Consult Making Bacon Making Sausage Making Guanciale Smoking Brisket Making Pastrami Smoking Turkey Making pork butt (a.k.a. "Behold my Butt!") Smoking Misc. Meats Meat Grinders Meat Slicers Sausage Stuffers Smokers Cellars and Chambers for Curing and Aging Food safety Topic Index Frequently Asked Questions Salt Curing FAQs How long do I cure a Salmon filet? Can I salt cure whitefish other than Cod? How do I use wine in a cure? Can I add booze to my cures? How much salt should I use for a five pound pork belly? How much liquid should my belly give off when curing? Can I make bacon with skin-off pork bellies? I ran out of time to smoke my bacon: can it wait a few more days? My belly is soft, what do I do? What size bags should I use for curing bacon? What's the deal with "nitrite free" bacon? How long can I store cured bacon before I have to smoke it? General Sausage FAQs When is it most critical to keep the meat cold? When can I be more relaxed? My forcemeat seems "gritty" -- what's that all about? What does a broken sausage look like? Can I mix stuff together today and grind it up tomorrow? Is it really critical to cook sausages to only 150 degrees F? Why do I get "cracks" between the meat inside my stuffed sausages? What are the white "spider" lines on the surface of my natural casings? See also this. When I stuff casings they puff up with air: how do I prevent this? Should I twist the links as I stuff, or wait until the end? How do I use sheep casings without tearing them? How do I get collagen casings to form links? What holds the sausage in the casing once they've been cut apart? How full should I stuff the casings? How should I store my finished sausages? Can I use rendered/cooked fat instead of fatback? Can I use frozen, salt-added blood for my boudin noir? What makes a good hot dog? Do I have to use fresh pork for the sausages, or can it be frozen? Do I have to poach Boudin Noir before freezing it? Should I use phosphates in my sausages to help with emulsion? Do I have to use shoulder in my sausages? Dry-Curing FAQs Can I dry-cure in a regular refrigerator, next to last week's chicken salad? Are there any dry-cured products I can make in a regular refrigerator? Can I cure my pancetta with the skin still on? What do I do if the outside of my sausage is hard but the inside is soft? Why is my jowl turning green? How do I measure the pH of cased sausages that are dry curing? What controls the level of acidity in dry-cured sausages? See also this. Why do the recipes call for so much Bactoferm? Can I leave out the Bactoferm? How should I store my Bactoferm? How long will Bactoferm keep in a household freezer? See also this. What is the difference between the various Bactoferms (LHP, F-RM and M-EK)? My fermented sausages taste funny: do I have to use a starter culture? What role do sugars play in dry-curing sausages? What size casings should I use for Coppa? What is the secret to Armandino Batali's guanciale? My dry cured salame never firmed up and looks weird, what's going on? My house is cold, where can I incubate my salame? I added M-EK-4 to the outside of my salame, and now I've got hairy white mold: what do I do? Can I use cheap supermarket pork for dry-curing whole muscles? Do I really have to let stuff dry for months on end? My ham still seems raw inside, what did I do wrong? Equipment FAQs Should I use a PID controller in my homebrew curing/smoking chamber? What is the best way to use the KitchenAid stuffing attachment? What do kids think about the KitchenAid stuffer? What do I do with the little plastic thingy that came with the KitchenAid stuffing attachment? Five pounds of sausage doesn't fit in my stand mixer bowl, what do I do? Do I really need one of those expensive hygrometers for dry curing? How can I humidify my curing chamber using a humidifier? How do I use a salt-water solution to control humidity in my curing chamber? See also this. Should I lube up my sausage stuffer? Can I use a FoodSaver to cure my bacon? Do I need a fan in my curing chamber? Mold FAQs Is there any way to save my sausage with the fuzzy green mold? I just panicked and wipe off some of the good white mold: did I hurt anything? What does the good mold look like? See also this. Can I use a cheese rind mold to inoculate the outside of my dry-cured sausages? What does the bad mold look like? Smoking FAQs Isn't bacon supposed to be cold smoked? What temperature does smoke absorption stop at? What kind of wood should I use to smoke? Can I hot- and cold-smoke at the same time with my homebrew smoking rig? Misc. FAQs Is it really worth doing this at home? Don't I need an advanced degree or something? What is a good online source for sodium nitrite/nitrate/pink salt? Where can I get cheap pork back fat? How do I "harvest" the coppa from the shoulder? What do I do with a broken terrine? What's a good way to weigh down my pâté? Is "pork back fat" the same thing as "fatback"? How long can I freeze fatback? How long does fatback keep in the refrigerator? What do the jowl glands look like? Can I use wild hogs to do this stuff? What temperature do I need to reach to destroy butulism-related organisms/toxins? When do I need to use Nitrites and/or Nitrates? What are the nitrite concentrations in D.Q. Curing Salt #1 and #2? What is the UK equivalent to "Pink Salt"? How long does duck fat keep? Can I make any of this stuff Kosher? Miscellaneous Information Other useful books Homebrew curing box Tips for using the KitchenAid grinder Improvised hot-plate smoker Ideal curing chamber suggestions Humidity explanation Improvised cold-smoker setup Grinder analysis Curing a country-style ham Improvised cold smoker Prescribed treatment of pork and products containing pork to destroy trichinae. Brine Calculations Table of Contents (with links to a few detailed posts) NOTE ABOUT POST SELECTION: The most appropriate post from the original topic was chosen to represent each recipe. Criteria for selection: 1) Includes photos, 2) is a recipe from Charcuterie with only minor modifications, and 3) is well-documented. Nominations for recipe analysis posts (from either the original topic or the new one) should be PM'ed to Chris Hennes or any other Kitchen Forum host. 1. Introduction 2. Recipes for Salt-Cured Food Fresh bacon (p. 41) Pancetta (finished product) (p. 44) Guanciale (p. 47) Salt Pork (p. 48) Salt Cod (p. 49) Fennel-cured salmon (finished product) (p. 50) Duck prosciutto (p. 54) Beef jerky (p. 55) Lemon Confit (p. 56) Herb-brined roasted chicken (p. 63) Garlic-sage-brined pork chops (p. 65) Corned beef (p. 67) The Natural Pickle (p. 69) Traditional dill pickles (p. 71) Home-cured sauerkraut (p. 72) 3. Recipes for Smoked Food Herb-brined smoked turkey breast (p.80) Whiskey-glazed smoked chicken (p. 81) Hot-smoked duck ham (p. 82) Maple-cured smoked bacon (p. 83) Smoked ham hocks (p. 85) Tasso ham (p. 86) Canadian bacon (p. 88) Spicy-smoke-roasted port loin (p. 89) Pastrami (p. 91) Carolina-style smoked barbeque (p. 92) American-style brown-sugar-glazed holiday ham (p. 93) Smoked jalapeños (p. 94) Spicy smoked almonds (p. 95) Smoked salmon (p. 96) Smoked scallops (p. 97) 4. Sausages Garlic sausage (p. 117) Kielbasa with marjoram (p. 118) Breakfast sausage (p. 120) Bratwurst (p. 121) Italian sausage (p. 122) Chicken sausage with basil and tomatoes (p. 124) Duck, sage and roasted garlic sausage (p. 125) Mexican chorizo (p. 127) Merguez (p. 129) Spicy roasted poblano sausage (p. 131) Turkey Sausage with Dried Tart Cherries (p. 132) Weiswurst (p. 140) Mortadella (p. 142) Boudin Blanc (p. 143) Boudin Noir (finished product) (p. 145) Shrimp, lobster and leek sausage (p. 147) Foie Gras and sweetbread sausage (p. 149) Braised sweetbreads (p. 150) Knackwurst (p. 153) Jagerwurst (p. 155) Smoked Andouille (p. 156) Venison Sausage (p. 157) Summer Sausage (p. 159) Thuringer (p. 160) Smoked chicken and roasted garlic sausage (p. 162) Kielbasa (p. 163) Hot dogs (p. 164) Hungarian paprika sausage (p. 166) Cold-smoked andouille (finished product) (p. 167) Cold-smoked chorizo (finished product) (p. 169) 5. Recipes for Dry-Cured Food Tuscan salami (p. 183) Peperone (finished product) (p. 185) Sopressata (finished product) (p. 186) Coppa (p. 188) Spanish chorizo (p. 190) Hungarian salami (p. 191) Sucisson Sec (p. 193) Landjager (p. 194) Salted air-dried ham (p. 197) Blackstrap Molasses Country Ham (p. 198) Bresaola (finished product) (p. 200) Lardo and Cured pork belly (p. 201) 6. Pâtés and Terrines Pâté de Campagne (p. 213) Pâté Gradmère (p. 214) English Pork Pie (p. 217) Pork Terrine with Pork Tenderloin Inlay (p. 219) 1 Venison Terrine with Dried Cherries (p. 221) Chicken Galantine (p. 223) Roasted Duck Roulade ( finished product) (p. 229) Pork Pâté en Croûte (p. 231) Veal Terrine Gratin (p. 237) Shrimp and Salmon Terrine with Spinach and Mushrooms (p. 239) Maryland Crab, Scallop, and Saffron Terrine (p. 241) Salmon Pâté in Basil Cornmeal Crust (p. 242) Grilled Vegetable Terrine with Goat Cheese (p. 247) Avocado and Artichoke Terrine with Poached Chicken (p. 250) Headcheese (p. 253) 7. The Confit Technique Duck confit with clove (p. 259) Duck confit with star anise and ginger (p. 261) Goose confit (p. 261) Pork confit (p. 263) Pork belly confit (p. 264) Classic pork rillettes (p. 267) Smoked trout rillettes (p. 269) Mediteranean olive and vegetable rillettes (p. 270) Rillettes from confit (p. 272) Onion confit (p. 273) Tomato confit (p. 274) 8. Recipes to Accompany Charcuterie Basic Mayonnaise (p. 277) Aïoli (p. 278) Rémoulade (p. 279) Sauce Gribiche (p. 280) Cucumber Dill Relish (p. 281) Smoked Tomato and Corn Salsa (p. 282) Tart Cherry Mustard (p. 283) Green Chile Mustard (p. 284) Caraway-Beer Mustard (p. 284) Basic Vinaigrette (p. 285) Russian Dressing (p. 287) Chipotle Barbeque Sauce (p. 287) Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce (p. 288) Cumberland Sauce (p. 289) Orange-Ginger Sauce (p. 290) Horseradish Cream Sauce (p. 290) Basil Cream Sauce (p. 291) Spicy Tomato Chutney (p. 292) Corn Relish (p. 293) Green Tomato Relish (p. 294) Onion-Raisin Chutney (p. 295) Bourbon Glaze (p. 295) Marinated Olives (p. 296) German Potato Salad (p. 297) Sweet Pickle Chips (p. 298)
  10. Vegetarian Sausage Casing

    Does anyone know where I can order some vegetarian sausage casings that are comparable to the natural, edible ones? Ones that have that snap when you bite into them.
  11. The Ferry Building has the shiny new Boccalone shop, they've got all sorts of delicious stuff available and a beautiful display fridge full of cured meats. Go check it out. Immediately. I'll try and take some pictures on Saturday when I'm back at the Ferry Plaza for the Farmers Market.
  12. Fresh sausage problem

    Simply this-I've been making many kinds for a while and they are really good, but the texture of the (always natural)casing when cooked never pleases me-a damp bend rather than the crisp yielding I'm looking for. Ideas, anyone? Thanks!
  13. Pork Heart Confit - recipe/ideas needed

    Somehow I've got it in my head that I should make pork heart confit. Googling has turned up nothing. I've made duck confit several times, pork belly confit once, and bacon confit a few times before, so I'm not totally clueless, but I have a few questions: -Is this even a good/feasible idea? -How long should I cook it? Would it be better to "fast confit" (say 350 degrees for 2-3 hours) since heart is very lean or "slow confit" (8-10 hours at 200) since it is particularly tough? -Any special curing requirements (e.g. more/less salt, shorter/longer curing time, pink salt?) -Confit whole or in chunks? What size/shape chunks? -Serving suggestions for the finished product? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
  14. bacon as craft material

    For the baconophiles: bacon baskets and bacon placemats!
  15. I'm in the mood for Spanish food, and a surprising large number of recipes in Penelope Casas' early book call for blood sausage. Not a lot of morcilla. And it's usually optional. But I want to make the dish right! Is there anything I can use to substitute (I could get blood from the Asian market, but it's not cooked)? Anything else that would get close? Are there any sources for morcilla in the U.S.? And if I found a supply of morcilla, is this something that I could freeze?
  16. Salumi Questions...

    Hey Y'all- I've been very successful at making tesa (flat pancetta) and various fermented, moulded salamis for our restaurant, but have a couple of questions regarding whole-muscle cuts, (think culatello, lomo, speck, etc.) 1. For the coppa and lomo I have curing/hanging presently, I have used a 5% salt to raw weight ratio. If the initial cure is done in plastic bags, will this be about right? I know that prosciutti require 6%, but I figured that since they are allowed to "drip" and contain the bone, then 5% should be about right for boneless, "wet-cured" cuts. 2. The FDA requires 200 ppm nitrite in dry cured meat products. Cure #1 is 6.25% nitrite by weight, so the calculation for nitrite addition is easy, but the #2 cure I am using, (from Butcher & Packer), is 5.67% nitrite and 3.63% nitrate. Should I calculate for a nitrite value to equal 200 ppm, or should I just assume that over the hanging time the nitrate will be degraded into the appropriate level of nitrite? 3. Culatello is called the "heart of the prosciutto". Am I to assume that this is a single-muscle cut containing only the pork top round, or is it "harvested" including other muscles? 4. Which muscles/muscle groups are used to produce real Südtirol-style Speck? 5. Where the hell does one find hog bladders!!?? Thanks in advance for your input, you'll see a lot more of me around here.... Erich
  17. Sometimes a Sausage is Just a Sausage

    <img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1203350229/gallery_29805_1195_4056.jpg" hspace="8" align="left">by Chris Amirault Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like 'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you? <div align="right">- Nora Ephron</div> I attended a training last fall at which we were asked to share an object representing something important about mentoring, our focus for the week. I suspect that few in the workshop had difficulty coming up with their tape measures, baby photos, and flower pots, but I usually find this sort of assignment challenging, preferring simple denotations to forced connotations. On the drive home, I rolled down the windows, sensing that the air was turning slightly crisp and cool. I savored that harbinger of autumn in New England, when my thoughts turn to braises, stews and charcuterie. After a summer of keeping the oven off in my non-air-conditioned kitchen, I dreamed of daubes, considered new curries, and generally jonesed for the promise of meat to come. And then I realized that I had a perfect metaphor for mentoring: my 5 lb. vertical sausage stuffer from Grizzly Industrial, Inc. The next day, I lugged the apparatus to the training, hiding it behind a door for fear of ridicule. When my turn arrived, I hauled it out and clunked it down dramatically on the center table. "Good mentoring is like a sausage stuffer," I said, "for at least ten reasons: <blockquote>One. When you make sausages, everything -- utensils, machine, meat, fat -- has to be properly cool. If you've got warm meat, you can't make sausage, so don't try. Heat will prevent for a good bind. Two. It takes two people to make a sausage stuffer work. [Note: That's not entirely true, or at least it's idiosyncratic to my situation. My sausage stuffer is mounted to a free-floating piece of particle board and not to a countertop, and thus someone has to hold the thing still while the other person cranks away. But, hey, cut me some slack. It was overnight homework and I was trying to get to a round number.] Three. Contrary to popular belief, you do want to know what ingredients are in a sausage. What goes in determines what goes out. Reflecting on the stuff makes the product much better. Four. To fix a sausage that isn't working, you tweak it slightly; small changes can have big results. Trying to fix everything at once with bold gestures is doomed to fail. Five. You don't find out whether your sausages are good while you're stuffing them. The proof is in the blood pudding. When you apply heat, good sausages bind unlike elements; bad sausages break and separate. Six. The sausage stuffer takes something messy and encapsulates it, bringing order where there was chaos. Seven. You never know everything that there is to know about sausage making. Hubris is your enemy, humility your friend. Ask around and make friends with experts. Eight. You will never perfect your sausages. The greatest charcutiers in the world stress the impossibility of perfection. Forget about it. There are too many factors beyond your control. Strive for making them as good as you can make 'em. Nine. The only sane approach to sausage-making is to take the developmental long view. After all, this isn't Plato's cave in which you're hanging the links; it's your unfinished basement. Since you can't get perfection, you want improvement each time. Ten. Despite all efforts to the contrary, sometimes your sausage turns out really lousy. Flavor dissipates; binds break; good mold flees and bad mold flowers. When sausages go awry, don't wring your hands. Just do the best you can to figure out what happened, toss 'em, and take another crack. I mean, it's just sausage. Thank you."</blockquote><div align="center">+ + +</div> That's the article as I started writing it. But over time, Nora's words came to haunt me. The whole shtick began to smell a bit fishy, and I began to fear that, like many tropes, this metaphor turned attention away from a trickier, worrisome truth hiding in plain view. But unlike many tropes, the worrisome truth I was hiding is in the object, and not the subject, of the metaphor. That is, the metaphor wasn't really about my relationship to mentoring. It was really about my relationship to sausage. Imagine the scene: I whip out my sausage maker and give ten reasons why my metaphor is bigger and better than everyone else's. (I did mention that I was the only man among three dozen women in that training, didn't I?) Laugh if you want, but one's sausage is important to many a man. A quick perusal of this topic reveals that I'm not alone. (You did notice the gender breakdown in that topic, didn't you?) Last weekend, while in the unfinished basement of a chef buddy, talk turned to our sausages, and before long we four charcuterie nuts were looking at our feet and commiserating about our failures. We shared a bond: our sausages had the better of us, and we knew it. Pathetic though it is, are you surprised that I felt a deep sense of relief, even of control, when I walked through my ten reasons? My metaphor afforded me a rare opportunity to feel superior to the process of sausage-making, and believe me, that doesn't happen often. My name is Chris A., and I have sausage anxiety. Read that list up there about my sausage maker, the instrument that I describe with distanced assurance. It's a ruse, I tell you. No matter how often I try to buck up, no matter how definitive a recipe, no matter how wonderful a pork butt or a lamb shoulder, when it comes to making sausages, I go limp with worry. Can you blame me? Look at all the places you can screw up, where your sausage can fail you utterly and leave you in tears. You grab some wonderful meat, hold it in your hands, appreciate its glory. Chill. You grind it, add some fat, and sprinkle some seasoning, whatever the flesh requires. Chill again. Slow down, contemplate the moon or something. You paddle that meat to bind it, melding flavor and texture seamlessly. Chill some more. What's your hurry? Toss a bit into a skillet, ask: are we ready? and adjust as needed. Stuff away. Then relax. If you can. I can't. You need to keep things cool to take care of your sausage, and it's challenging to stay cool when I'm all a-flutter about the prospect of a culminating, perfect, harmonious bind. If you read the books and you watch the shows, everyone acts just about as cool as a cucumber. But that's not real life with my sausage. It's a frenzy, I tell you. I know I should chill and relax, but I get all hot and bothered, start hurrying things along, unable to let the meat chill sufficiently, to take things slowly. Hell, I'm sweating now just thinking about it. I have to admit that I don't have this sausage problem when I'm alone in the house, have a couple of hours to kill, and know I won't be disturbed. I just settle in, take it nice and slow, not a care in the world, and everything comes out fine. But with someone else around, forget about it. Despite this mishegas, my wife is as supportive as she can be. She humors me patiently about these things, gently chiding, "Slow down! The house isn't on fire. It's just your sausage." Though I know she loves me despite my foibles, that sort of talk just adds fuel to that fire -- I mean, she can speak so glibly because it's not her sausage we're worrying about. Even if I am I able to relax, the prospect of sudden, precipitous sausage humiliation comes crashing down upon me. Think of it. All seems to be going so well -- a little too well. I'm keeping things cool, making sure that I'm taking it easy, following the plan step-by-step, trusting my instincts. I smile. I get cocky. And then, the frying pan hits the fire, and within moments I'm hanging my head: instead of forming a perfect bind, my sausage breaks and I break down. I want a firm, solid mass, and I'm watching a crumbly, limp link ooze liquid with embarrassing rapidity. Given my gender, in the past I've tried to subdue sausage anxiety with predictable contrivances: machines, science, and technique. If there's a tool or a book useful for perfecting my sausage, I've bought or coveted it. I calculate ratios of meat, salt, cure, sugar, and seasonings past the decimal; I measure out ingredients to the gram on digital scales; I poke instant-read thermometers into piles of seasoned meat; I take the grinder blade to my local knife sharpener to get the perfect edge. (We've already covered the stuffer above, of course.) I've got a full supply of dextrose, Bactoferm, and DQ curing salts numbers 1 and 2. The broken binding of my copy of Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie has xeroxes and print-outs from eight other sources, and the pages are filled with crossed-out and recalculated recipes. It's the sort of thing that I used to do when I was younger: arm myself with all things known to mankind and blast ahead. It hasn't helped. I've learned the hard way that my hysterical masculine attempt to master all knowledge and technology has led, simply, to more panic and collapse. There is, I think, hope. I'm older, and my approach to my sausage has matured. I'm in less of a hurry, I roll with the challenges, and when the house is on fire, I just find a hydrant for my hose. If things collapse, well, I try to take the long view, recall the successes of my youth, and keep my head up. I mean, it's just my sausage. <div align="center">* * *</div> Chris Amirault (aka, well, chrisamirault) is Director of Operations, eG Forums. He also runs a preschool and teaches in Providence, RI.
  18. Since there are so many bakers around here who know their sugar much better than me, I'm turning to y'all for help. I'd like to make a bacon macaron. My first thought is a regular almond macaron cookie with a milk chocolate/bacon filling a lá Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar. I'm not quite sure how to make the filling though. Would I just temper some milk chocolate and add crumbled bacon? Or is there something else I should be doing? I'm also open to other ideas for this bacon macaron idea if anyone has any.
  19. The Bacon Flowchart

    Are you hungry? The Bacon Flowchart Sheer pork genius.
  20. Hello, this is something I experimented with. We know that the eggshell is porous and permeable, hence is can absorb smells and flavours. What I did was to dip 6 eggs in a container full of bacon drippings and pepper corns. left it in the fridge for a week and then boiled poached, fried and boiled the eggs to soft yolks (2 for each method). I was really surprised!!! the method that had the strongest flavour of bacon and hints of pepper was boiling, although frying and and poaching also gave hints of smokeyness and meatiness. Has anyone else tried this? I think the possibilities are endless!
  21. Lardo in Sydney?

    Looking for a source of lardo, which is Italian cured pork fatback, essentially. Anyone?? Thanks
  22. I apologize for any duplication. I'm looking for a quality recipe for a good traditional garlic kielbasa. I've made before but always cheated with spice mix from butcher supply and moose meat would like to make my own. Don't have access to anything besdies your hillshire here. Have a good workingt knowledge of sausage making but am looking for someones grandmothers recipe to go with my family pierrogi recipe. Food memories.....yummm. any help greatly appreciated but basically looking for a what spices, to what meats all pork, or pork and beef, ratio . Is a light smoke involved . ?The recipes I found on the net involved liquid smoke which i'm not fond of. If smoking is appropriate I will do cold smoke process ... happy holidays - ps this is for xmas day ty.
  23. Duck Leg Confit Potstickers Serves 4 as Appetizer. These are seriously decadent potstickers. I devised this recipe as part of a Duck Three Ways dinner wherein over the course of three days I dismantled a whole duck using various parts for various things, including rendering fat, making stock and confiting the legs. If you're super-ambitious and do it my way, you'll have duck stock and duck fat on hand as this recipe calls for; otherwise, substitute chicken stock and peanut oil or whatever you have on hand. 2 confited duck legs, bones discarded and meat shredded 2 c sliced shiitake caps 1/2 c sliced scallions splash fish sauce 1 tsp grated fresh ginger 1 tsp grated fresh garlic pinch Five Spice powder pot sticker wrappers 3 c duck stock 3 T duck fat 1. Saute shiitakes in duck fat over high heat until most liquid has evaporated and they are beginning to brown. Meanwhile, reduce about 1 C duck stock in a small saucepan over medium heat until it's almost syrupy in consistency and tastes sweet. Also, warm a couple of cups of unreduced duck stock over low heat in another saucepan. 2. Combine mushrooms, duck meat, scallions, fish sauce, ginger, garlic and Five Spice powder in a bowl. 3. Place a teaspoon or so of the duck mixture in the center of a potsticker wrapper; wet half of the edge with water and seal, pinching and pleating one side. If you prepare more potstickers than you're going to want to eat, they can be frozen on cookie sheets then put into freezer bags for later. 4. When all potstickers are sealed, heat a flat-bottomed pan over medium-high heat, melt enough duck fat to thinly cover the bottom, then add the potstickers. 5. Cook undisturbed until the bottoms are browned, 3-5 minutes, then enough unreduced duck stock to cover the bottom of the pan about 1/2 inch deep and cover the pan. 6. Cook until most liquid is absorbed, then uncover and cook until remaining liquid evaporates. While potstickers are cooking, make a dipping sauce by combining the reduced duck stock 1:1 with soy sauce, then adding a little rice vinegar, brown sugar (if the duck stock isn't sweet enough), and sesame oil. Serve potstickers immediately when done. Keywords: Hors d'oeuvre, Appetizer, Intermediate, Duck, Dinner, Chinese ( RG2052 )
  24. Are there any stores in Chicago that stock Portuguese sausages. Gaspar's or Amarals are the best known brands, but I can't seem to find them. I would appreciate any ideas. Tim
  25. I am trying to make a bacon mousse and am a little concerned with how the texture is going to work out. Is there anyone out there who can help me with this problem? and also I am a rabid garde manger enthusiast and would love to hear any stories or recipes involving garde manger food.