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  1. I've been dying to get my hands on some lardons like I get when I'm in France. Especially now that cassoulet season is approaching, I'd like to get the real stuff. Thick-cut bacon just doesn't seem to do it. Can anyone recommend any place to get them in NYC? Thanks in advance, Cheers!
  2. https://www.vosgeschocolate.com/product/bac...otic_candy_bars Has anyone tried this? I'd buy them buy the case if I had some first-hand reports that actually suggest they "work".
  3. My brother the Rabbi is a very strict Kosher food person. (I, however, started eating pork and lobster at a very young age and haven't looked back!) While on the subject of Cassoulet (a sort of Cholent), he said that in Europe, he once found a place that made Kosher duck sausage. He hasn't been able to find it anywhere here, and has an absolute dream taste for it. My first question: Does anyone know a place that makes such a thing? My second question: Why does there seem to be a lack of creative producers of Kosher food meats? He tells me that some foie gras is Kosher. And, in New York and Israel, there are many Kosher restaurants that serve it. What a great thing if D'artagnan was able to open a Kosher food section!
  4. My friend's father, a lovely Southern Italian gentleman has agreed to share his family tradition with me, as sausage making is not really part of my culture. I have fallen in love with all things charcuterie since having dry cured sausage in Auvergne, hanging illegally from the village-butcher's garage, served by his toothless wife, a cigarette butt dangling from her lips. Pork, salt, and whatever natural flora lingered in the air at this country home were the sole ingredients. And the result was near-miraculous. Well, that was a few years ago. We'll see if we can recapture some of that magic with good old Canadian pork, peppered with some Italian sensibility. But I have some concerns. The product , no doubt, of having access to too much information and not enough experience (My current bedtime book: Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman, Brian Polcyn, and Thomas Keller). Chico (our king sausagemaker) recommended we get three shoulders and one hip - too much meat for us. Upon the butcher's recommendation, we got two shoulders and 6 lbs of back eye. Then another relative wanted to pitch in, so we added a additional shoulder and a hip. Total, 3 shoulders, one ham and 6 lbs of back eye. Chico does not concern himself with Insta-Cure or the use of time-released nitrites to ward off botulism. He doesn't add milk powder or dextrose to feed the Bactoferm, bacteria which will ferment the meat and lower the PH through lactic acid which will make the sausage an inhospitable environment for the bad stuff. He doesn't freeze the meat for 6-20 days to kill off any trichinosis. Chico grinds the meat, adds the salt, makes the sausage. Period. And nobody ever died. (that he knows of) Any thoughts on any stage of this? If you have experience in this very basic kind of sausage making, please share. I should also add that we have a cantina, just above the freezing point. It was about 1'C this morning. I'm also curious to know if I should keep the fat under the skin of the leg/ham to incorporate into the mix. It's not as good as back fat or jowl or kidney fat I suppose... Many thanks!
  5. Back when I was younger, I used to wonder why some bacon had a strong Ammonia odor while some did not. A food rep told me that the ammonia smell came from pigs who had not been castrated. I don't know what made me think of this, but I'm curious again. Anyone have insight?
  6. I picked up Chorizo from Esposito on 9th, Fennel from Faccios in the West Village, and Kielbasa from Steve's in Greenpoint. Any other leads?
  7. 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.
  8. I have searched on this forum for some research on lardo but I was finding little and it was scattered all over. I wanted to start a thread where people could drop different recipes for making different types of lardo as well as recipes for enjoying it. As I understand it, there are two main ways to cure lardo, by brining or dry-curing it. Aging also varies widely from 3-4 weeks to months. How do these different methods affect the flavor and which may be better for making lardo at home? I should be getting some fat-back from a local farmer next week so i'd be excited to hear your input on making lardo.
  9. Is a charcuterier a maker of charcuterie? Is a retailer of charcuterie also a charcuterier?
  10. When I was in Portland OR this spring, I had a chance to get some grass-fed lamb shoulder, which I kept frozen until this past week. I defrosted it thinking that lamb shoulder might have the same beneficial effect on sausages that pork shoulder does, so I ground it up for merguez. I also went back to my books to see if there were any interesting ideas out there for merguez, and I couldn't find too much. Ruhlman's Charcuterie has a recipe that requires roasted red peppers, which might be interesting for some but wouldn't suit my needs. So I ended up winging it. I trimmed very little fat off the shoulder, added no extra fat, and diced the meat. I then made a seasoning batch with salt, sugar, garlic, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, paprika, and small amounts of cinnamon, clove, and allspice; the salt and sugar is in proportion with other sausages I've made, but the rest of the spices are stronger than usual. (I foolishly didn't write the proportions down.) Finally, I ground, beat, and stuffed it following the guidelines I've learned from Ruhlman (keep it cold, cold, cold, basically). I don't have any lamb casings, so I used standard pork casings and have fatter-than-ideal links. I really like the finished product. It has an intensity that I'd want a merguez to have; as far as I'm concerned, when I'm having spicy lamb sausage, I want it to taste like spicy lamb sausage. It's also got a swell mouthfeel thanks to the shoulder meat and fat, leading me to believe that a fear of lamb flavor has encouraged recipe writers to cut the lamb with beef or -- bizarrely -- pork, to the harm of the sausage. Finally, breaking down a shoulder is a lot less work than dealing with a leg of lamb and all that silverskin and tendon. Are there any other folks out there who make their own merguez? What recipes do you use? Seasonings? Cuts? And do you try to hide the lambiness or bring it out -- and how?
  11. I remember reading a while ago in the Cooking>Charcuterie thread a mention of pictures of chrisamiraults Duck Breast Bacon. I would like to see these but after many unsuccessful searches I am asking for help. Anyone point me in the right direction? Many thanks. Norman
  12. 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?
  13. I have made some homemade pancetta following the directions in Ruhlman & Poleyn's "Charcuterie". The preparation, curing and rolling went fine and now its time to hang it for a couple of weeks. The authors recommends hanging it at 50-60 degrees. The problem is there is nowhere in my home that maintains 50-60 degrees; it stays at around 70 degrees. My question: Am I better off at hanging at the higher temperature, or should I finish it off in the refrigerator? Thanks, Don
  14. For the past several years I've used a wine fridge as a curing chamber. This had the advantage of being dead simple: I just set the temperature as low as it would go (55°F, 13°C) and left it alone. This worked fine for short cures (a month or so), but the temperature control was poor, and humidity was controlled via the wet salt method, which results in humidity that is a bit too high. Because the cooling was thermoelectric, during the hot summer months here the fridge ran constantly and was still more like 65°F/18°C, which is bit higher than I would like. I also wanted to move the chamber to the garage so it wasn't taking up space in the kitchen, which would be completely untenable in the summer with only thermoelectric cooling. They also proved to be unreliable, repeatedly breaking down over the years (I've replaced both fans and Peltier units in two fridges). SO.... I wanted a new, more reliable, more accurate, more controllable system. I also wanted an excuse to goof around with my fledgling microcontroller skills. Here are the goals of the project: Temperature controlled to any set point between 10°C and 38°C (for fermentation stage). Humidity controlled to any set point between 60%RH and 90%RH. External readout of temp and humidity. Long-term average display of temp and humidity. Looks cool. Is fun to create.Actually, number six was probably the primary driver here, if I'm being honest with myself. The others followed from that! To address temperature control over that range, I needed to use a compressor-driven refrigerator, rather than a thermoelectric unit (basically none of which can reliably get the interior temperature that low when living in the garage). At the other end of the spectrum the plan is to simply use a lamp as a "heater" -- this is unimplemented as of yet, because I don't need a fermentation stage in my current curing projects. For humidity control the plan was to use a humidifier in a box below the fridge that vents into the fridge itself, and to use an exhaust fan at the top of the unit to dehumidify (given the nearly-always-low humidity here in central Oklahoma). I have not implemented the actual humidifier yet because I don't need upward control at the moment, my problem is dehumidification. To control all of this I am using an Arduino Uno development board coupled with a DHT22 temp/humidity sensor, plus four pins used to control the fridge (via an AC relay), lamp (AC relay), humidifier (AC relay), and exhaust fan (transistor). I've also got a 16x2 LCD wired up to display the status and averages. Here is a shot of the breadboarded system (obviously once I'm happy with it I'll ditch the breadboard...): The LCD is set up to display the current conditions on the top line, and a rotating set of averages (hourly, daily, and monthly) on the bottom line: Here's the installed prototype (you can see the chamber for the humidifier below the fridge): A closeup of the electronics: The sensor placement (obviously not permanent, the whole thing is still in the prototype stage): My fancy dehumidifier (there is a hole drilled into the fridge beneath the fan): If you are of a technical bent you can see the control code at GitHub. Once I've finalized the system I'll also publish the schematics there.
  15. Hi, I did one of my first attemts at sausage making yesterday; and had a rather frustrating experience with my Kenwood Chef sausage filler attachment. I had to press really hard to get anything to come out of the nozzle, and the "plastic stuffer" was hard to get up again, because of the vacum beeing produced. The meat was gooy and a mashy when it finally got into the casings. Is this attachment any good at all, or did I do something wrong, like pressing down to hard? I sure was hard work, I got a real good workout. I sous vided the sausages to 61.5c and shock-chilled. I have not tasted them yet; but they look almost like emulsified sausages (not intended!) - I am hoping for great taste and sub-par texture :-)
  16. Hi. I'm brand new to this site. I used to be on Chowhound but I see now that that site is a mess. I found this site and it looks pretty cool. The main reason I joined is I’m looking for recommendations for a restaurant to hold my wedding in March 2018. We were hoping maybe in Brooklyn but we are open to anything interesting. There will be 55-60 people and the ceremony will also be at the restaurant. I’m thinking of a brunch/early afternoon affair, most likely on a weekend. Would love to find a funky/old school/unique/charming type of place for my sweetheart. Inexpensive please! Thank you in advance!
  17. Hello! I'm not sure if the "cookbook" section of the forum is the best choice for this post, but... I recent was gifted "Dry-Curing Pork" by Hector Kent - a purely self serving gift from my boyfriend, I might add! I'm going to make the coppiette this weekend, and his instructions for slicing the loin are a bit vague to me. He directs to slice it in "... 3/4 inch strips at least 8 inches long." Do you suppose the 3/4" dimension refer to thickness of the slice (ie the smallest of 3 dimensions), or might he mean thinner slices that are 3/4" wide? Misinterpreting this would really change the cure/dry time... Am I making sense? Thoughts? And for fun, here's my report on my first attempt at his bacon recipe (among other things). Um... wow! http://operaflute.blogspot.com/2015/06/when-time-is-on-your-side-bacon-and.html Thanks!
  18. 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
  19. Please excuse my ignorance; I do not cook much with pork. I have a recipe in French that calls for "ventreche de cochon". I know this translates literally to "belly of pork". However, I am wondering if this is specific to raw, or some sort of cured product. The recipe calls for the ventreche de cochon to be sliced paper thin on a deli slicer, and it is briefly sauteed (3 minutes) into a fricassee of escargot. Does raw pork belly seem right to use in this scenario?
  20. Maybe my google mojo is wearing thin these days - but is there a supplier anywhere that carries the full line of boars head products online? I've found a few random products, but alas, nothing complete. And not what I want (corned beef, pastrami, small hard pepperoni). I know there's better products, but I've got a bit of an emotional connection to the BH product and there's nothing within hundreds of miles of me... Any ideas?
  21. Tatoosh

    Hot Dog Fiasco

    I just started making my own hotdogs. The first two tries were fairly successful. I use a recipe found in Len Poli's collection of sausage recipes. I adapted it to use lean beef and pork fat. I then smoke them with hickory. Normally until they are 130F or so. Then I vac pack and sous vide to the recommended 151F finish temperature. However, many folks will simply put them in a water bath, no sous vide, and finish that way. Last time I decided to do mix the approach a bit. I used my sous vide setup, but instead of vac packing, I simply put in heavier ziplock style bags, added water, and finished that way. The result was disasterous. The fat leached out of the hotdogs and left me with a very dry product. And this puzzles me greatly. At the 151F temperature, there shouldn't be any serious loss of fat. That is the lower end of what a street vendor should be keeping his hotdogs at in a cart. And those can sit for quite awhile before they are sold. I had expected to lose some flavor to the water in the ziplock, but not all the hotdogs moisture. Any ideas what would be causing that? I have cooked these hotdogs in boiling water, they come out fine. But sit for an hour or more in a bath and they become barely edible. Size of dogs: about a 1 inch "dinner dog" using 26ml or 28ml collagen casing. Photo below is the normal setup, not with water in the ziplock. - and we make sure they are all submerged.
  22. Hello all - for the 99.99% of you who do not live in the NY Finger Lakes region, this may be a bore. However, this posting is directed toward that handful who are "local," and the somewhat larger handful of eG people who don't live near here, but who have kitchen friends who do. I've just started a new Meetup.com group, named "Offal Majesty." I hope it to become a cooks' group specializing in producing dishes based on the so-called "variety meats," and in the cooperative production of charcuterie - muscle meat based, or offal based. Sometimes our meetings will finish with a participants' dinner; other times we'll just split up what we've made and take the product home for curing, or for sharing with family and friends. To find out more, please check out the group's website on Meetup.com. If you think you might know potential members ("Cooks with guts"), please forward the group's URL to them. Tanx, Paul Host Note: Please click here for the terms under which this announcement has been posted.
  23. Having spent a good bit of the last year learning to make sausages, I have some questions about how things were done before modern conveniences were available. 1) I've had a few broken forcemeats because my ingredients got too hot. How did people avoid this problem before the ubiquity of ice and refrigeration? 2) Since curing requires fairly narrow bands of humidity and temp, how did people control these variables before electricity? I understand that basements and caves were employed but I've found that a basement is often insufficient (at least mine is). With the broad occurence of sausage production across vastly different climates, it would seem that in some places basements wouldn't be enough.
  24. just moved up here to the big city from the big easy, was wondering if any of you city slickers could point me in the direction of getting some new orleans style andouille sausage so i can make some real food for my roomies ( all NO expats ). and if there is any source of camellia brand red kidney beans for purchase that would be great info as well cest levee
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