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  1. 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, an
  2. 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...
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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 st
  6. 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 i
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. 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 coul
  13. Can anyone recommend a butcher who can handle an order for a pork belly? I want to try making my own bacon.
  14. 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 Fe
  15. So I am partnering with a local pork producer who specializes in amazing berkshire pork but also raises lamb and some grassfed beef (DWFarms). I have offered to make them some sausage recipes to sell at the farmers market. The sausage they have made so far has some texture issues. I assumed that being a leaner pork and a very small farm they were using mostly scrap and did not follow the proper ratios for sausage. My first batch with a proper lean meat to fat ratio as well as a batch with an increased fat ratio also had this texture issue, dry and crumbly. Obviously it is a fat emulsifica
  16. Anyone doing diy link sausage- please point me in the right direction to find some interesting combos for sausage making. I've been tasked with coming up with 6 interesting sausages this week, both exciting and intimidating as I've never made sausage before! We have a kitchenaid mixer with the grinding and stuffing accessories, and I've picked up some casings as well. Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions! Warmly, Shai
  17. My charcuterier, Central Market, sells ends of their products. These are the tips of a ham hock, shoulder, sausage, etc. and I find them to be a great value. Prosciutto and bresaola ends are priced at $9.99/lb (considering that they sell San Daniele at $19.99 and bresaola at $29.99). Prosciutto ends are great to cook with: slice into small pieces and fry with scrambled eggs or use it to flavor a stock. I usually buy them with that intention but always end up eating too much of it straight. All other meat ends are $3.99/lb. This is usually turkey, ham, pastrami, and occasionally sausage. $3.99
  18. Hi all -- Just wondering if anyone a) thinks it is possible to make a really good chicken (or turkey, I suppose) sausage and b) if so, if you have a recipe you'd share. I typically have shied away from poultry sausage, figuring it just couldn't be as good as luscious fatty pork... But then I figured, I'd actually wind up eating sausage more often if there was a tasty version that wasn't made with luscious fatty pork... Thanks in advance! Emily
  19. Simply this-I've been making many kinds for a while and they are really good, but the texture of the (always natural)casing when cooked never pleases me-a damp bend rather than the crisp yielding I'm looking for. Ideas, anyone? Thanks!
  20. Hey Y'all- I've been very successful at making tesa (flat pancetta) and various fermented, moulded salamis for our restaurant, but have a couple of questions regarding whole-muscle cuts, (think culatello, lomo, speck, etc.) 1. For the coppa and lomo I have curing/hanging presently, I have used a 5% salt to raw weight ratio. If the initial cure is done in plastic bags, will this be about right? I know that prosciutti require 6%, but I figured that since they are allowed to "drip" and contain the bone, then 5% should be about right for boneless, "wet-cured" cuts. 2. The FDA requires 200 ppm
  21. Hello, this is something I experimented with. We know that the eggshell is porous and permeable, hence is can absorb smells and flavours. What I did was to dip 6 eggs in a container full of bacon drippings and pepper corns. left it in the fridge for a week and then boiled poached, fried and boiled the eggs to soft yolks (2 for each method). I was really surprised!!! the method that had the strongest flavour of bacon and hints of pepper was boiling, although frying and and poaching also gave hints of smokeyness and meatiness. Has anyone else tried this? I think the possibilities are endless!
  22. The Ferry Building has the shiny new Boccalone shop, they've got all sorts of delicious stuff available and a beautiful display fridge full of cured meats. Go check it out. Immediately. I'll try and take some pictures on Saturday when I'm back at the Ferry Plaza for the Farmers Market.
  23. Does anyone know where I can order some vegetarian sausage casings that are comparable to the natural, edible ones? Ones that have that snap when you bite into them.
  24. I'm in the mood for Spanish food, and a surprising large number of recipes in Penelope Casas' early book call for blood sausage. Not a lot of morcilla. And it's usually optional. But I want to make the dish right! Is there anything I can use to substitute (I could get blood from the Asian market, but it's not cooked)? Anything else that would get close? Are there any sources for morcilla in the U.S.? And if I found a supply of morcilla, is this something that I could freeze?
  25. Looking for a source of lardo, which is Italian cured pork fatback, essentially. Anyone?? Thanks
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