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  1. Following my posting a supermarket bought roast rabbit in the Dinner topic, @Anna N expressed her surprise at my local supermarkets selling such things just like in the west supermarkets sell rotisserie chickens. I promised to photograph the pre-cooked food round these parts. I can't identify them all, so have fun guessing! Rabbit Chicken x 2 Duck Chicken feet Duck Feet Pig's Ear Pork Intestine Rolls Stewed River Snails Stewed Duck Feet (often served with the snails above) Beef Pork Beijing Duck gets its own counter. More pre-cooked food to come. Apologies for some bady lit images - I guess the designers didn't figure on nosy foreigners inspecting the goods and disseminating pictures worldwide.
  2. I have been making pancetta for the first time. I have experience with the curing process doing things like bacon and cold smoked salmon in the past but this is the first time I have ever hanged anything. After a week of curing it has had 11 days hanging so far (I was planning on taking it to 28 days hanging) Although I foolishly forgot to weigh it. It smells really good like some awesome salami and the outer rim of the pancetta looks lovely and rich and dark. It was a recipe by Kuhlman in one of their charcuterie books. But when I inspected it today it had the mould growing on it as in the pics below. I have since scrubbed the mould off with white wine vinegar and returned it to the cellar. Is it wise to continue? Daniel
  3. DanM

    Diced Bresaola

    Normally, the local market has bresaola in tissue paper thin slices. Today they also had packages in small dice, probably the leftover ends, bits and pieces. Any thoughts on how to enjoy them, besides nibbling on it? Thank you!
  4. Where I live pork loin is often on sale for $2.00 or even less... Has anyone an opinion about using just pork loin for the meat along with the 20% pork fat? ? I've read that any meat can be used to make the cured salami... I'd like to hear from anyone before I try it...
  5. Hello to all... At this stage of my dry salami making I'm afraid I have more questions than I'm entitled to. However any help I receive will be most appreciated. 1. I followed directions on the 5 lb. batch as well as I was able... Three weeks into this I have achieved about 43% reduction in weight on all links. I use a wine fridge to cure.. My neighbor took one link home at the same time and just "hung it in his refrigerator" with no special settings for humidity or temperature... This one came out IDENTICAL to all the rest in appearance and weight reduction of 43%. How can this be? 2. I put the left over Mold 600 in a bowl in with the drying salami links. Is this good or not good ? 3. Now that desired weight has been achieved is further aging beneficial? Thanks so much for offering a site like this... All the best to all of you... Joe Wood
  6. Coppa is a classic italian delicacy of matured cured meat. Not as widely known as prosciutto and, in my opinion, not justifiably. The curing time takes weeks, as it should for a well matured and multilayered flavour. Good things come to those who wait, but while you do, why not treat yourself to a quick fix of cooked coppa? Here is what I do: Salt the meat in 2% dry rub (nitrate salt and regular salt 50/50) in a vacuum bag for 5 days; Rub dry herbs and spices (whatever comes to mind). The meat will be sticky, so it's easy; Cook on rack above a tray in the oven on fan setting at 80 celcius to internal temperature 67 celsius. This will take a couple of hours. When internal temperature reaches 60 -ish I add some boiling water in the tray to speed up the heat delivery; Cool in the fridge overnight; Enjoy. This is a seriously moreish ham.
  7. I just finished curing my first lomo, and all looks/smells/tastes great except a couple sections inside the lomo that could be black mold? I kept the exterior clean from mold (I had mostly white and some green pop up during curing, but wiped with vinegar to keep clean). This picture shows one of those spots closer to the edge in the fat, but there was a second near the middle of the loin that I cutout already. Unless I find more substantial sections, I think I'm good just cutting away those parts, but would love second opinions.. Thanks.
  8. I'm looking for guanciale, preferably in the Sonoma County area but am willing to travel a bit or order online if necessary. Any ideas?
  9. Looking to learn and ask questions about home curing meats. I have an 11 lb batch of genoa salami going and it is my first batch. Worried about the PH level not dropping as needed. Need some advice. I followed the Marianski recipe exactly. I have a pH meter and the starting point was 6.15pH which I thought was unusually high. 2.5 months in, I am about 73% of starting weight yet my pH is only 5.88pH. My curing chamber is consistently at 57deg. F. /80% humidity. My pH tester seems calibrated properly using the calibration solutions. I am using the meat probe adapter and just sticking it in the salami until the tip is submerged etc...Thanks in advance for any suggestions or reassurances. Glen
  10. It is possibly not well-known that China has some wonderful hams, up there with the best that Spain can offer. This lack of wide knowledge, at least in the USA, is mainly down to regulations forbidding their importation. However, for travellers to China and those in places with less restrictive policies, here are some of the best. This article from the WSJ is a good introduction to one of the best - Xuanwei Ham 宣威火腿 (xuān wēi huǒ tuǐ) from Yunnan province. This Ingredient Makes Everything Better I can usually obtain Xuanwei ham here around the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, but I also have a good friend who lives in Yunnan who sends me regular supplies. The article compares it very favourably with jamon iberico, a sentiment with which I heartily agree. Xuanwei Ham Xuanwei Ham more coming soon.
  11. Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
  12. DanM

    Smoked Beef

    One of the surprises from our move to Switzerland is the availability of kosher charcuterie. Sausages of all types, confit, mousse, rietttes, etc... One of the recent finds is this block of smoked beef. It has a nice fat layer in the middle. Any thoughts on how to use it? Should I slice it thin and then fry? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  13. 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!
  14. Is there anyone in the forum that can suggest me how to cook this kind of Portuguese sausage? Many thanks in advance!!!!
  15. Novice at meat-curer looking for advice. I'm making 2 pancettas this season. The first one I used the over-salting technique. What I didn't expect was that the salt would all turn into brine in a day, and I expected that I could scrape away the excess salt at the end. Instead, I left it on the brine for too long, and the result was too salty. The meat firmed up in 2 days so I should've taken it out then. For my second one, which is currently in the fridge, I used the equilibrium salting technique. I added about 100g salt for 3.5kg meat. The problem now is that it's not firming up seemingly at all! It has been 9 days in the fridge, and flipping it every day or 2. After 6 days, however, there was no pool of brine left. I put the meat in a folded over but unsealed bag. Did the brine evaporate or resoak into the meat? Any advice on how to continue would be appreciated.
  16. I made some Lonza and cured it for 2 weeks. In the drying chamber (70% humidity and 55F with gentle air flow) it's only been 4 days but it's already lost 30% of its pre-drying chamber weight. Normally that can take weeks. Is that normal, and is the meat ready? Thank you
  17. 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
  18. 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!
  19. 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
  20. Hi! i am working at a restaurant in south africa where we are curing our own meet. We are having a problem with tiny little white bugs (they look almost like lice) that are inside our leg hams. Does anyone know what they are and how we should get rid of them. the picture attached is the damage they have done on one of our legs.
  21. 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!
  22. 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.)
  23. As I mentioned in the Half a Hog Fall 2014 topic, I'm doing a bunch of dry curing right now (in my new curing chamber!). Here's a plot of percent weight versus time as of today: I'm doing the cures according to Ruhlman and Polcyn's Salumi, so am targeting a 30% weight reduction. As you can see, however, while the Lonza is on track to achieve that level of reduction, both the coppa and the pancetta seem to be asymptotically approaching a final dried state that does not achieve the desired 30% reduction. Is this a problem, do you think? Should I keep them curing, or call them done?
  24. 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
  25. I've recently been reading (well, skipping around) my copy of Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie. My interest is primarily in dry cured products like prosciutto or bresaola. So I'd like to start a thread specifically about these variants. As my plans for building a curing chamber (and a proper place for it) take a back seat to other pressing home renovations, I'm in a kind of limbo between consumer and producer/both. But my imagination goes on and I keep finding new questions - among these are: 1) Commercial prosciutto: I've been doing taste tests with various super/specialty market prosciuttos and have found less differentiation than I would've expected. Even between a Walmart Del Duca and a Boar's Head imported Prosciutto di Parma, The Parma did take the edge in the judging, but not but not at a premium of $10/pound. Is actual prosciutto bought in Itally better? 2) The book Charcuterie seems to stop at describing the procedure for specfic things, That's fine, but what if I want to do something different (e,g, treat a pork loin as a breasaola)? Could science create a prosciutto in a shorter time by cutting it down into smaller pieces?
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