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Found 435 results

  1. After a few years making fresh sausages and occasional dry-cured whole cuts (e.g. pancetta, guanciale), I finally have the space to do some dry-cured sausages, so I hung my first ones up in my basement on Monday. I did a split batch of two recipes from Ruhlman/Polcyn's Charcuterie, the tuscan salami and a variation on the spanish chorizo. The sausages looked good, I pricked them with a needle to get rid of air bubbles, and I placed them into a warm spot overnight to incubate the lactic acid starter. Unfortunately, it got a bit warmer than I expected in there - about 95 degrees F - but that still seemed to be within the starter culture's acceptable range (up to 100). The sausages looked fine, but had wept a small amount of liquid fat, which surprised and slightly concerned me. Since then I've had them hanging in a basement at about 60-65 F and 60% RH. They continue to drip fat consistently, the chorizo a bit more than the salumi. Any thoughts? I'm obviously going to let them dry and see how it goes, but I'm curious what's going on here, and whether it's normal or not. I haven't really found any references to this in any text or on the internet. Many thanks in advance.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Of late I've become much more interested in dry-curing my own salami. I make a lot of fresh sausage already, but dry curing is a great and unique challenge, and well-made salami is one of my favorite foods. I think I got hooked for good after making the peperone out of the Ruhlman and Polcyn book (I wrote about that over here). I had made the Sopresatta first, and it was good, but that peperone was AMAZING. I have quite a few books on charcuterie, including the Marianski book dedicated to dry-curing. I do my curing in a wine fridge, I've got a smoker set up, I use the Northern Tool grinder, and a cylinder stuffer with a 5lb capacity. Hell, I've even got an old slicer I got off eBay. I should be totally good to go. But sometimes, you just have one of those days... This morning I threw away twelve pounds of salami that I started curing last weekend. The problem? I killed the starter. Somehow. Dunno what I did, but when my new pH test strips arrived (thanks for the recommendation, Dougal, they worked great), to my surprise the pH had not dropped one bit. But, it turns out the three-year-old bottle of distilled water I was using to make the meat slurry had a pH of 5.5!!! So, this topic is for advice, assistance, and general commiseration about how everything woulda been just fine if only... Advice point 1: when that package of starter culture says "use no less than 1/4 of this package," they have a reason. Because instead, I foolishly followed the Marianski recipe to the letter and included only 0.6 grams of starter. The results speak for themselves. Hey, maybe that's not what did it, maybe there was something else wrong. But $45 in trashed meat later and I'm seriously regretting my decision to skimp on the starter.
  5. I am looking for good sources on the process of making dried and/or cured sausages. I am fairly comfortable making fresh, but really need some direction when it comes to safely drying and curing them. Thanks and happy eating.
  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. I'm looking for some really good, local smokehouse type bacon, preferably applewood smoked. I've tried some local brands but haven't found what I'm looking for. North of Seattle is also good, if there's anything there. Any suggestions?
  10. Has anyone tried to cure guanciale (cured pig's jowls) at home? There is a simple recipe in the Babbo cookbook, which also appears on the Babbo Web site: http://www.babbonyc.com/in-guanciale.html I was surprised that the recipe did not call for using any "curing salt." I would love to avoid using curing salt/nitrite, but from some preliminary research, it seems to be a standard curing ingredient in order to kill certain bacteria. I looked at a few recipes for pancetta, and they all use a curing salt, in addition to regular salt. I'm wondering if this is an omission in the recipe, or if it could safely be made without curing salt. Another question: The recipe does not discuss washing the salt off the meat after the cure and before the drying period. This is a step I have seen in pancetta recipes. Another omission of a step that should be followed? Any thoughts on either of these questions? Thanks.
  11. Can anyone recommend a butcher who can handle an order for a pork belly? I want to try making my own bacon.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Randi

    Bacon Fat

    Over a week ago I cooked up some bacon and saved the fat to make ginger cookies with bacon. I haven't made the cookies yet, and I find myself wondering how long the bacon fat will stay fresh enough to use. Anyone have an idea?
  15. 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.
  16. I'm in the process of making confit duck, so I thought I'd share my technique for doing so; it's a slightly modified version of the one I make in the restaurant. I hope this encourages people to try making it, as it's a wonderful thing to have in the storecupboard. I'd be interested in hearing how other people's techniques vary from my own. You'll need: 10 duck legs (I use French Babrary) a lemon, sliced into 6 or so slices an orange, ditto a couple of dozen sprigs of thyme half a dozen bay leaves a head of garlic about 8oz / 220g medium coarse salt about 2kg / 4lb duck or goose fat (I use goose) 1) In a plastic or otherwise non-reactive contatiner that'll fit in the fridge, place everything apart from the goose fat, and mix with the hands to combine. Leave in the fridge for 12-16 hours. 2) Take the legs out of the fridge. The salt will have dissolved and there'll be some fluid in the bottom of the container. 3) In warm water, rinse the duck legs, and leave them to drain. Rinse and drain the herbs, garlic, orange and lemon. 4) Place half the herbs, garlic and fruit slices in the bottom of a heavy pot (I use a cast-iron Le Creuset pot) 5) Make the first layer of duck legs, overlapping like this. 6) Place the fifth leg in to make a complete circle. 7) Fill in the middle with the remaining herbs/garlic/fruit. 8) Make the second layer of five legs in the same way as the first. 9) Just cover with warm duck/goose fat. 10) Cover with a cartouche of aluminium foil. It's imporatant that the foil doesn't overlap the edge of the pot otherwise the fat may spill over upon cooking. 11) Place in the oven at 90C (200F) for 12-14 hours. The lid should be slightly ajar, as shown, and it's good practice to place a tray underneath the pot to avoid any spillage catching fire on the oven floor. I learned this the hard way. If there's any interest, I'll put up pics of the potting process when I do that tomorrow. Hope this proves of interest...
  17. Need to make duck confit in under 4 hours... I was thinking sous-vide at higher than 80°C... any ideas? thanks! pw
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. This morning I started writing the WikiGullet article on Chorizo, so naturally turned to Diana Kennedy's books for information about Mexican chorizo. To my surprise, it's not at all what I expected! I have eaten and made many Mexican chorizos, all of which followed the same basic formula of being flavored primarily by chiles: so when I came across Chorizo Verde I was a little shocked! It all makes me wonder: what other sorts of "Chorizo" exist in Mexican cuisine that I have never heard of? Presumably there are a zillion regional variants?
  21. Is there anyone in the forum that can suggest me how to cook this kind of Portuguese sausage? Many thanks in advance!!!!
  22. 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.
  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. 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
  25. 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!
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