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Found 434 results

  1. 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
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. Can anyone recommend a butcher who can handle an order for a pork belly? I want to try making my own bacon.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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...
  11. Need to make duck confit in under 4 hours... I was thinking sous-vide at higher than 80°C... any ideas? thanks! pw
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. On Friday, April 28, at 9:32 am, Chris Amirault welcomed into his loving home this magnificent vintage Hobart Meat Slicer, weighing in at well over fifty pounds. Hobart was adopted thanks to the fine folks at craigslist for $100, and he's in good working order. Here's a few photos of the little bugger: That's the turkey breast I brined and roasted, sliced nice and thin. This beast is fantastic. I took it apart -- it's all screws and grease and metal, so I could figure it out more or less -- cleaned it, sharpened the blade, and it's working like a charm. Plus it's absolutely beautiful, don't cha think? So... what to do with it? I'm planning on curing ham, bresaola, and who knows what, smoking turkey, roasting beef, the usual and I'll slice 'em up with this baby. I'm also thinking about carpaccio at home, something I've craved but never managed to pull off for obvious reasons. What else is there to try? And does anyone know of any things I should be doing to keep it in good shape other than keeping it clean and sharp? Finally, I'd love to hear about other people's slicers. What do you do with them? Where do you store them? What do you use them for?
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. 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?
  18. Sorry if this has been written about so far, but I looked and could not find it. I am about to make a large bit of Duck Confit, and curious what is the process to can (in a jars) the confit. I read the Duck Confit thread, and the writer stated you could jar them and it would last, but it was light in detail since that was not the actual topic he was writing about. I am finding it hard to find actual information on the web or in preserving books to actually preserving the cofit. Here are my questions if anyone can help.... 1. How long do i boil the jars to ensure everything is sterile. ( i plan on using the smallest Ball jars ) 2. Can I keep the preserved confit in a basement or cool place versus in the fridge. My point in preserving this is to keep from the fridge. 3. Any idea how long it will last, or i guess how long until the layer of duck fat on the top will last before it spoils/goes rancid ? 4. Can i use a water bath (sous vide or without bag) to heat the jars? I do not have a pressure cooker but do have a Polyscience Immersion Circulator. 5. If yes on the Polyscience Immersion Circulator, any idea on temp etc. Any luck with bags or no bags? Thanks for any help !
  19. Hi, A friend of mine purchased almost 15 meters of natural hog casings for me at a local butcher yesterday. The butcher told him that they usually stored their casings in a brine under refrigeration. I am planning on using the casings in a couple of weeks time, and I have for now put them in a 5% brine in my fridge. Ruhlman and Polcyn's "Charcuterie" suggests that natural casings stored in a brine will keep roughly a month in the refrigerator, and I guess I should be able to use the casings within a month's time. However, do I need to use a stronger brine to keep them that long, or will a 5% brine do? Will an overnight soak be sufficient time to rid the casings of the salty flavour before filling? This is my first time at making the real deal at home, so any thoughts and advice are very welcome! Thanks!
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. Has anyone used the LEM Meat grinders? I have been using the attachment on my Hobart mixer 20QT, but it does not quite do the job as weel as I would like. IE: clogging of some of the holes, not uniform grind etc. I'm not sure if this is due to sloppy tolerances of the die plates and blade or not. I always chill the grinder and make sure the meat is cold usually start off on a 3/4 die and go down to a 3/16. I'm curious if the commercial grinders are any better with this? I have been looking at the LEM 780 3/4 hp unit.
  23. Welcome back to our popular eGullet Cook-Off Series. Our last Cook-Off, Hash, took us into a heated discussion of the meat of the matter--should it be chopped, hashed, sliced, diced, or chunked. Click here, for our Hash discussion, and the answers to all of your questions about this beloved diner staple. The complete eG Cook-Off Index can be found here. Today we’re launching eGullet Cook-Off 59: Cured, Brined, Smoked and Salted Fish. Drying fish is a method of preservation that dates back to Ancient times, but more recently, (let’s say a mere 500 years ago or so), salt mining became a major industry in Europe and salt was a fast and economical way of preserving fish. Curing agents like nitrates were introduced in the 19th century, furthering the safety and taste of preserved fish. Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, Native Americans have been preserving fish and seafood for millennia. While we are best known for our ruby-red, oily-rich, smoked salmon, other species of fish found in the Pacific and in our streams are delicious when cured and smoked including Halibut, Sablefish and Idaho Rainbow Trout. And don’t think that you can’t smoke shellfish, alder-smoked Dungeness Crab is a wondrous Pacific Northwest delicacy that evokes memories of crab roasting over a driftwood fire on the beach. Another method of preserving fish is to bath the beauties in a brine—a combination of water, sugar, salt and spices that adds flavor and moisture to fish before it is dried or smoked. And speaking of smoked fish, you can do it in a small pan on top of the stove, in a cast iron drum, a barbecue pit, an old woodshed or a fancy digital smoker. The methods and flavors produced by smoking fish are endless. Old-fashioned ways of preserving fish, (while adequate at the time), aren't always the best method today. Today's technology provides us with the tools to create cured fish that is moist, succulent, tender and with a hint of smoke. The Modernist movement has certainly played a role in bringing this age-old craft into the 21st century, so for the avant-garde in the crowd, show us your creative wizardry for preserving fish the "modern" way. Cured, Brined, Smoked or Salted, the art of preserving fish opens us up to limitless possibilities that transcend the boundaries of cuisine and culture. So let’s sew-up the holes in our fishnets, scrub the barnacles off the rowboat and set out to sea in search of some delectable fish to cure, brine, smoke and salt.
  24. I'd like to try my hand at making lomo. Does anyone here have suggestions for seasoning percentages or quantities? From what I have seen online, garlic and smoked paprika are common seasonings, but is there anything else I should be considering?
  25. Still bothered from last night. I am writing to you all for your opinion. Was at a very popular BBQ place in Brooklyn (will leave nameless for now) that sells meat by the pound. In addition to my brisket and pork belly order, I ordered a 1/2 pound of raw house-cured bacon. I have ordered this before and loved, loved, loved it. On my last order of the bacon, they sliced the meat long and thick, ala Peter Luger's (fried up, it was unreal). Now this time, the BBQ slicer/counter guy called the back of the house guy and summoned the bacon. It weighed 1lb so he cut the rectangle in half, making 2 squares, one of which was supposed to be mine. Well, who orders a 4"x5" block of raw BACON that when sliced up and cooked would be nothing more than niblets. Still wanting the goodness I acquiesced and watched as he began to wrap the block unsliced. I said "Bud, could you slice that?" He said "NO" straight out. I was like WTF, are you F-ing kidding me? The bacon sells for $10.50 a pound, which to me is a price that warrants slicing if I so choose. My favorite butcher, Fiacco's in Brooklyn, charges $5.99 a pound and we all know the Oscar Meyer stuff is $3-$5 a pound. Back to the counter guy, so after he said "NO" he said "Why, you can't slice it yourself," to which I replied "No, for the price I would like it sliced." He said, "Can't do it." I said, "Don't want it." I ate my cue, which was amazing, but was bothered by the attitude and still am. Shouldn't the paying customer have a legitimate say? Am I way off here people? What's up with these BROOKLYNY HIPSTER attitudes? FYI: I will attempt a bacon purchase again and will preface my wants and needs. Sad I didn't have it this AM when I woke up.
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