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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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
  11. Any thoughts? Tried making one following a chorizo recipe. Epic fail My thoughts: Needs 60 day cure to give it a stringy texture. Maybe needs an injection of bacteria. I don't know, I'm at a loss... that's why I'm asking for help Best regards.
  12. 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?
  13. I am following the directions in Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie for the fennel cured salmon and am wondering if it is okay to cure the salmon in a ziploc bag. I regularly use ziplocs to cure bacon so I'm thinking there probably isn't any issue. They talk about using foil but that seems less convenient and I can get most of the air out of a ziploc so the cure covers the salmon more evenly. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks
  14. We all know you can brine a bird, smoke a turkey, etc... I am looking for info on preserving turkey & chicken through a curing process. The googlenet has suprisingly little info on the subject. Any knowledge would be appreciated.
  15. I'm sure this matter has been discussed in part or whole somewhere on egullet, but after 20 minutes of various searches I sure can't find it! ]So, thanks for a pointer if you know of a previous thread. In short, I recently cut down a coppa I made and the end product ended up having too salty a taste. I've made this recipe several times with great success. This time, I'm positive the extra saltiness has to do with the fact that, due to an personal emergency, it had to spend too much time in the salt cure before it was hung (as in over a week extra). This raises a few questions for me about procedures and troubleshooting. 1. First, obviously, any suggestions for an after-the-fact how to rectify this too-salty coppa? Of course, I could chop it up and mix it into some sort of cooked dishes, but in this case, I'm specifically curious about ideas to rescue it to make it more palatable to eat on it's own. I'm open to experimentation. 2. Given that I knew that it had spent too long in the cure, what would have you advised that I had done previous to air curing? I gave it a good vinegar and water washing and about a 1 hour cold water bath before hanging. 3. Can a too-salty result be the result of too much salt in the cure? I wouldn't think so, but now I'm curious. It's been my experience that the amount of salt is less of an issue than the length of time it spends curing. I've always relied on visual cues and firmness. Thanks for any ideas.
  16. Nothing is better than to pull a "little gem" out of the fridge for a quick meal. I had a home-cured hickory duck breast lying around and decided to make a quick salad of it. This is "duck ham" from "charcuterie the art of salting smoking and curing". I toasted some almonds, made a vinaigrette and threw in some deep fried chevre. The shallow fried cheese turned out great, but it was not really needed for the dish. Nor did it bring anything extra "to the table" so to speak :-) But, it was an interesting experiment. (I wrapped pieces in a thin spring roll sheet). I am not very happy about the skin of my hot smoked breasts. It's black and hard. I think I might remove it before serving next time around. The texture of the duck is absolutely amazing. Love it on sandwiches as well. Yummy
  17. [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 6)] Duck prosciutto.
  18. Hello all, So I just got my grinder attachment for my Kitchenaid, and my sausage stuffer will be coming soon. I'm interested in trying to make some sausages for the first time when they come in, but most of the recipes I've found call for pork fatback as the fat component of the sausage. The grocers near me aren't that great, and I haven't been able to source any locally. I do have about a pound of leftover duck fat in the fridge though. I'm not sure what particular properties of fatback make it so popular for sausage making, but do you think frozen duck fat would be a serviceable substitute? Thanks much, Justin
  19. I'm a big fan of pastrami and a big fan of lengua tacos, so when I saw a tongue at the butcher's shop I immediately thought "tonguestrami!" I've never had it before, but I know it exists and it sounds delicious. I'm going to use the Modernist Cuisine recipe, seeing as I've got copious amounts of the spice rub on hand, but I had a couple questions: First, do I need to skin the tongue? I always find my lengua more appetizing if this step has been followed, but am not sure if it's necessary if it is going to be sliced. I was thinking about blanching and peeling after the cure and before the cook. Second, what is the best temp/time to cook sous vide for a good sliceable texture? MC lists 154 F for 12 for a tender, juicy texture but don't know if thats equates to what I want. Other recipes seem to show much longer cooking times, like 24-48 hours, so I just want to make sure that I get the right formula. Thanks!
  20. I've recently started discovering the joys of salt pork. I was introduced to it from reading old novels, where they describe cooking beans with salt pork, or (in the Little House books) laying strips of salt pork over a rabbit roast. So far I have thrown some in while cooking beans or soup, and occasionally I fry up some small pieces to top a salad (or, yes, even snack on -bring on the pucker). I really like old-school ingredients like this, so I would like to learn more ways to use it. Any ideas?
  21. Well, I finally cracked open my copy of Charcuterie. I've had a quick look at the thread(s) and index of the big thread here and I'n not sure if this has been discussed there (probably) but perhaps it warrants its own thread. In any event, I've started thinking about what I need to start having a go at the recipes and began looking at what I need and have started - as have many readers of the book, apparently - the futile search to find things like pink salt here. A quick google search provided a few leads which all proved fruitless. There seems to be a belief that pink salt is illegal to sell here (Ontario). I did a search of the statutes - it's not. But I've been told that at a couple places. It can be readily ordered online. But, I'm digressing a little bit. I had a chat with the butcher at the sausage place in St. Lawrence Market. His take on it was that it was probably hard to find because people/ restaurants want more"natural" products and so are moving away from the use of nitrites. So, do you think this is actually the case? And if so, what are the alternatives. I asked if I could just use salt, and his take on it was yes, but it's not going to give the pink coloration. I believe Ruhlman and Polcyn attribute same antibacterial properties to the nitrites as well though, and particularly to guard against botulism. So, is just using salt bad, and potentially dangerous, advice? And, just to be clear, I'm not talking about dry cured stuff that requires nitrates and nitrites. Cheers, Geoff
  22. 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.
  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. 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?
  25. This afternoon I found a bag of sliced supermarket Genoa salami in my bedroom, where it had been several days without refrigeration. I was wondering where it went. It looked OK. Do you think it is safe to eat? Perhaps should I try to pasteurize it?
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