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Found 436 results

  1. Last Saturday, a group of intrepid friends gathered at our place to taste the following varieties of bacon: 1. Boczek Domowy (Polish Home-style Bacon); Andy's Deli, Chicago IL 2. Boczek Pieczony(Polish Smoked & Cooked Style); Andy's Deli, Chicago IL 3. Tocino Original Mexicano de Corazón; FUD 4. Kolozvári (Hungarian Smoked Bacon); Bende & Son Salami Co. Inc. Vernon Hills, Il 5. Boczek Wedzony Mysliski (Double Smoked Hunter Style Bacon)" Bobak Sausage Company Chicago, Il 6. Classic Dry Rubbed Organic Bacon; Wellshire Farms Swedesboro, NJ 7. Kirkland Signature Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon; Costco Wholesale Corp. 8. Tyson Thick Cut; Tyson Foods, Springdale, Ar 9. Farmland Thick Sliced Bacon; Farmland Foods Inc. 10. Niman Ranch Dry Cured Center Cut Bacon; Niman Ranch,Oakland, CA 11. Nueske's Applewood Smoked Thick Cut Bacon; Nueskes Hillcrest Farms,Wittenberg, WI 12. Scott Petersen Premium Hardwood Smoked Bacon; Scott Petersen & Company 13. Smart "Bacon" Meatless Low Fat Strips; Lightlife FoodsTurners Falls, MA 14. Oscar Mayer Hearty Thick Bacon You’ll note that the selection is heavy on supermarket bacon. Were I to do this again, I would eliminate all the supermarket bacon except Farmland and maybe one other. Then I would concentrate on the interesting locally produced ethnic bacons and cool mail-order bacons. Samples 3,6,7,8,9,12, and 14 all were almost indistinguishable. You’ll also note that sample #13 is false bacon. It was awful and will not be mentioned again. Here is a picture of M. cooking one of many pounds of bacon. He was stuck in the kitchen cooking most of the party—if we did this again, we would do more pre-cooking. Here is the table of bacon: Here is our vegetarian friend: What is a vegetarian doing at a bacon tasting? Drinking mimosas! Also, we needed someone there to call 911 in case of bacon overdose. We presented the samples with numerical labels and gave out a tasting sheet to allow people to score each sample on saltiness, meatiness, smokiness, fattiness, mouthfeel, and overall ranking. At the end we asked each person to rank their three favorites. And the winners are: Nueske’s Our favorite even before the tasting garnered the most favorite votes and comments such as "YUM-O". It's been reported to be too smoky for small children, but all our adults liked it. Home-made style Polish bacon from Andy’s Deli: This local bacon was succulent and meaty, but less smoky than the Nueske's. If you live in Chicago, it's worth seeking out. Note that the label on the deli wrapper is not the same as the label on the meat in the deli case; it's actually the Boczek Domowy. Regardless of the label, you will know it by its ominous black color. Hungarian bacon: This salty bacon had its proponents. It was the only bacon cured with garlic and would be a wonderful ingredient in bean or egg dishes. On its own it was too strong for some! Thanks to all our hearty tasters for helping with this event! And a bit hurrah for M, who cooked all that bacon!
  2. Over in the Charcuterie topic, we've been experiencing odors, textures, and colors that range from sublime to funky to waaaay off. Being thoughtful, Abra raised the question about food safety: Smart points -- but as I thought about it, I realized that I really didn't have any solid information beyond the material covered in Ruhlman and Polcyn's book (which some have seen as excessive) concerning food safety with cured and smoked meats. What are the basics? What are the issues we should be considering? Beyond keeping things ultra clean during prep, what are the things we can do in our home curing chambers and garage refrigerators? And if we have something in that funky range -- how green is green? when does chalky mold become fuzzy mold? -- and are distraught at the thought of tossing our product into the trash, where can we turn to make the right decisions?
  3. I tend to lose all self-control when I go to Sam's. The end result is that I now have a cup and a half of clean bacon fat that I don't know what to do with. So far the only thing that has occured to me is to fry some potatoes with it. Thoughts?
  4. [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 2)] Oh, Abra. Oh, Abra. Can we call this the Pork Altar? This is so effing unbelievable. So, who cares if it only took you three monts to get your mise in place. Which brings me how to construct my curing chamber (Chris, why in the hell did you choose black and not white for your container) and finding just the right place in the hosue. I'm such a lightweight and such a worrywort. It's only meat!
  5. Alright. I'm not going to be the only one making sausages, so I'm going to invite you to join me to have some fun. It all started with Aprilmei asking for a fresh pork sausage recipe.. Along the way we picked up a few recipes for dried sausages too...result of HKDave's search, trillium's search, jackal10's search (look under 'l' for lop cheong), I dug up a video on making lup cheong, and our very own muichoi's recipe: The way I see it, making the fresh sausages is much like making lup cheong but without the cure powder, and one is grilled while the other is hung to dry. Today, I made some Msian pork rolls...much like fresh sausages but wrapped in fu chook(soya bean sheets). I've more or less busted my gallery space, so here's my version of making lobak. I will not post the finished picture of the succulent lobak until I get at least one person who's game to make sausages. If anyone's interested in the lobak, I'll post the recipe later....I need a rest.
  6. Is there anyone in the forum that can suggest me how to cook this kind of Portuguese sausage? Many thanks in advance!!!!
  7. [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!
  8. 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...
  9. From the same folks who brought us BaconSalt. Should be at QFCs in Seattle and at Pike Place Market soon, new website up by October 11th (in the Seattle Times this morning).
  10. 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.
  11. Are you hungry? The Bacon Flowchart Sheer pork genius.
  12. Inspired by the thread on Montreal's best confit de canard, I headed off to Anjou Quebec yesterday and picked up one of their duck confit legs. I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance. I'd never had it before, and now I'm lamenting a life spent without this amazingly flavourful treat! Taking a cue from carswell, i also picked up some small potatoes, walnut oil, fresh chives, and parsley, which were duly chopped up, covered in garlic, and oven roasted at 400c for ~40 minutes. They turned out VERY nicely! But the real star of the evening was the duck. Rich, succulent, and JUST the right amount of saltiness. The skin was crispy and delicious, and the fragrance was indescribable. I can still feel the melty texture of the meat, and taste the delicious flavour in my mouth. I'll be heading back next weekend to pick up another leg, because well, you can't make a judgement on just ONE tasting after all! *makes a note to get back to the gym ASAP*
  13. When we lived in Mexico City we could drive to Toluca, 40kms to the west and buy bright green sausage at just about every market stall and from homes along the way. When I say green I mean emerald. About the size of BBQ sausage here in houston and fresh not smoked or dried. I've made Diane Kennedy's green sausage and it's nothing like what I'm looking for. Anybody got a source in Texas?
  14. NulloModo

    Sausage Party

    Hi, I am interested in starting to make my own sausages. Preferably, I would like to make nice stuffed ones in casings (natural, artificial, whatever). Problem is, all of the websites I have found lead me to believe I would need to invest nearly $100, or much more, into a grinder/stuffer machine. I would ideally like to start out as cheaply as possible and just see if I even like doing it before investing in serious machinery. I am thinking about using a food processor to grind the meat, but I have been told that perhaps that will grind it too fine, and the texture would be off. I also thought that perhaps it would be possible to buy a funnel and just stuff them through that by hand. Has anyone else tried sausage making without the specialty equipment? Do you have recommendations about types/sources of casings? Am I just setting myself up for stress and dissapointing by doing this without a grinder/stuffer? Thanks.
  15. Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index. For our second Cook-Off, we've chosen char siu bao, or steamed bbq/roast pork buns. You've probably had this dim sum staple many times, often a tough dough encasing a gummy, cloying clump of pork -- . But if you had a good one, you know how ethereal the dough and amazing the double-cooked pork can be. And that's what we're going to be making, pillows of porky perfection! In my two previous home attempts to make char siu bao, the three distinct steps (marinating and cooking the pork; making the dough; constructing and steaming the filled buns) were fun and compelling but rife with screw-up possibilities. Questions I know I'll have include: How does one make perfect dough? What ingredients are crucial? What sorts of tips are also crucial? (For example, I've been told by a dim sum chef that bamboo steam racks are crucial to bao, and that metal steam racks don't work well at all.) What cut of pork, marinated in what concotion (including, essentially, shaoxing wine, aka Chinese sherry), cooked in what manner and for whom long, should we use? Some links to get us started: Here is an eG thread on char siu, broadly defined. Here's a thread on evaluating roast pork buns, with a discussion of NYC restaurants. Here's one on Wow! Bao! that expands rapidly into the tao of bao. I'm not at home, so I don't have any reference recipes to use, but I know I'll be checking Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's Chinese Banquet Cookbook and The Chinese Kitchen (both of which were iffy, if I remember correctly), and Barbara Tropp's Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. Saveur also had a recipe in the back of the issue sometime in 2002 or 03 (anyone remember that?). What other recipes will people be using? So let's go bao!
  16. Hi everyone, I just had to re-sign up since it's been awhile I wanted to let you all know the awesome news that I will be releasing a book at the end of the year about my time learning the charcuterie and butchery of Spain. It's called Charcutería: The Soul of Spain, and will have a foreword by James Beard award-winning chef José Andrés. The book is going to have a bunch of traditional techniques and recipes for Spanish charcuterie and pork butchery, as well as recipes and other little tricks I picked up working with the folks in the Extremaduran countryside. My photog and I just got back from visiting Spain for the photoshoot and the guys up in Asturias did a little video about it. Here's the link to the video: http://www.whereisasturias.com/?p=6602 And a link to our FB page (Lots more photos... please like!): https://www.facebook.com/charcuteriaspain?ref=ts&fref=ts Please feel free to write me if you have any requests or questions for the book--really trying to make something that my fellow meatheads and sausage nerds can get into. Ciao, jeff PS: As a little offering to my hopefully-new eGullet pals here's a sexy photo from the Jamón slicing shoot. Tatoos and meat...
  17. I did a search here already but failed to come up with an answer to this question, so here it is. I started some lemon confit about 6-8 weeks ago using the basic recipe from Ruhlman's Charcuterie, which is just lemons and course salt. Today I went to inspect them and maybe rotate them for a more even cure. What I found was quite a bit of liquid in the bottom of the container. This brine seems to be inhibiting the curing process for the lemons that are in the bottom. Is it advisable to drain the excess brine, change the salt or maybe just leave it alone? The lemons in the top 2/3 of the container are taking on a nice tan colour, which I understand is the desired effect. Thanks for any help.
  18. JHeald

    Undercured bacon?

    Hi eGulleters, I have a quick question, and I'm sorry if this was already answered in another topic (although I looked for a little while and didn't see this). I tried my hand at homemade bacon this last week, using an ~6 pound pork belly and Mr. Ruhlman's basic cure recipe. I don't have a smoker, so I cooked the cured belly in a 200 F oven for about three hours (I was waiting for an internal temp of 150, and it never quite got there...). When I rinse and dried the out-of-the-brine belly, it seemed a little soft to me, but I cooked it anyways (I was excited). I don't think I used enough of the curing mixture (a 5-pound recipe for a 6-pound belly, and some of the cure was left on the cutting board), so I get the feeling that my bacon is under cured. It also doesn't have that nice pink hue in the middle of the belly. The bacon is still pretty good, although not what I was expecting: more porky than bacony. So here is my question: Can I re-cure the belly, or do I have to live with what I've got? Thanks for your help, and sorry again if I'm repeating already-answered questions.
  19. My first Guanciale is looking good. It smells clean, fresh, and is firming up nicely after about 3 weeks in the curing chamber at 65% humidity and 55F. First piece slices nicely and it seems great. I've a question… On the outside are some tiny white/straw-colored flecks (ignore darker flecks - this is some remaining Thyme from the cure). They do not penetrate the skin and I am not sure whether it's mold or salt coming out or fat or what. Thoughts? Likely safe? Thank you
  20. This is a product that has been mentioned in various threads here, but I don't think it's ever had one of it's own. This is a shame, because it seems intriguing. It promises the ability to do charcuterie and/or dry aging of steaks without a specialized room or curing chamber - just bags - all in your refrigerator. However like many products, their marketing lacks detail and it's difficult to discern exactly what is being claimed. But basically, the main product consists of specialized bags that will allow moisture out, but nothing else in (like oxygen). And another thing called a VacMouse - which is important in some way that is never totally explained. But the basic idea is that you're going to cure your meat in a standard way for 1-2 weeks and then vacuum pack it in the Dry Bag with the help of the VacMouse using a typical FoodSaver device. Then you just put it in the refrigerator on a rack and wait for weeks or months. Then you have bresaola, capicola, prosciutinni, lonzino, etc. After watching some online videos and doing some web searches, it appears that this may be a very useful thing - with some caveats.... First, dry aging of steaks seems to be a major marketing focus. But it looks like they're taking some criticism from dry aging enthusiasts who point out that without the exposure to oxygen, dry aging isn't really taking place. They are aging, and they're drying, but not with all the benefits of the traditional process. Yet, they do have some support in the form of positive reviews on various sites. For the same reasons, no one is going to challenge Parma for the best cured ham bites using this product. That's just a given. But it could offer something in between. And I'm not ready to build my curing chamber just yet. So I ordered a kit and it arrived today. It will probably be months before I know anything further, but I thought I'd relate what I've found so far. And I hope people who have used it will chime in. I'll have some waiting to do. The particular charcuterie kit I ordered from Amazon (I was using Amazon bucks) was 24.99 plus $8.99(!) shipping. For this I received 5 dry bags, 6 VacMouses, a packet of Instacure #2, and a packet of juniper berries - all packaged frugally, but practically, stored in an elongated ziplock bag between a cardboard brochure. It hardly seemed to justify an $8.99 shipping charge (although perhaps that was Amazon). Anyway, the good news is that after I examined everything, it all went back into it's original packaging without any fuss and awaits its call to duty. So, besides the cure and the spice, we have plastic bags and VacMouses. The plastic bags are apparently special because they will let the moisture out with out letting any of bad stuff from your refrigerator in. The VacMouses appear to be some sort of plastic fabric that make up for the fact that the bags do not have the channeling that FoodSaver bags do. Apparently, they will (along with the recommended crinkling of the neck of the bag) will take the place of those channels until they are sealed shut by the heat of the element. (and again by the recommended second sealing). It all seems plausible, and I feel supported by many wonderful pics on unaffiliated forums of beautifully sliced meats. But then again, I paid nearly $7.00/bag (including spice, and cure, and shipping). If you buy meat at $2/lb and put in a $5 bag, some calculations have to occur. But, of course, we're competing with the cost of high price specialty items or investments in curing chambers. Well, I guess we'll see.... (sorry for the long post, but I wanted to include all the information I wish I'd found upon learning of this product - as opposed to having to all the searching myself. And, also, I could be wrong in anything I have said. I haven't actually used the product.)
  21. This is elk bresaola 3 weeks after hanging in the drying chamber, and losing weight as expected. The growth on the outside seems mainly green on the outside of the netting. Probably safe... or pitch it? And if safe, wash or spray with anything? Strip the netting off, or...? Thank you
  22. I have received a wonderful gift from a lovely friend. A whole home cured, dried pig face. I call her Cameron. This will be used slowly over the winter. I'm dribbling thinking about the ears stir-fried with chilies Hunan style. The cheeks! The snout! I'm ecstatic. Snout I'm watching! I'll follow up with with how I use it, but for the moment I'm just content watching her watching me as she hangs in the wind on my balcony. It's love!
  23. I'm thinking of dry-curing some duck prosciutto for the first time and I've been reading through a lot of blog posts about it. I've noticed that most people who don't have access to a humidity-controlled chamber end up with a very hard surface on the meat due to the overly-dry air. When curing regular prosciutto, most producers avoid this by covering the exposed meat with lard. Has anyone tried covering the exposed meat on the duck breasts with either lard or rendered duck fat?
  24. Hey,so I made capicollo few weeks ago,and for drying I got small Danby fridge,I placed some water with vinegar inside,turn the fridge up so in the end the temp was like 6-8 C,and humidity 90% and the thing still dry more on outside,forming dark harder layer what am I doing wrong? Thanks.
  25. I am interested in trying to make a SE Asian Flavored Sausage. I am planning on going 80% pork and 20% fat and make a 5lb batch. I am looking at using all or most of the following ingredients: fish sauce, dried shrimp, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, palm sugar, Kaffir Lime leave, Lime Juice, black pepper, bird chile's, cilantro, and coconut milk. The few recipes I have found out there seem very mild on most of the seasonings. I am wondering if anyone else has tried this before and has some suggestions on where to start with proportions for the spices. If nobody has really done this before I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on how to balance the level of salt with the fish sauce. I was also debating on whether to use all the seasonings raw, or to make curry paste first and then add that to the meat to make the sausage. Any advice would be appreciated.
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