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Neal J. Brown

Sausage Making

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Jason, would you follow the same route with guanciale as for pancetta - longer or shorter time in the salts? What do you add to the cure? I've heard it makes the best carbonara and would love to try make some. Also, how long do you hang your pancetta for (if at all)? First time I tried it I left it only a few days, but have been advised to go for a full three weeks this time -  :unsure: .

Finally, is that lomo on the left of your plate of wonders, below the salame? Looks like a bit of the loin in any case :raz: . Info would be gratefully received.

Too many choices...what sort of sausage should I make first?

(...)  Grigson uses saltpeter, which Predika warns against. (...) Should I add saltpeter or not?

Hey Thomas. I've only made guanciale once and it it was mediocre...i screwed it up with some ingredients that didn't belong...i've since practiced on pancetta as it is much cheaper and easier to get. The last batch i made is outstanding! Just had some last night with egg pasta, parsnips and rosemary..ala Jamie Oliver.

Anyhow, my pancetta wet cures in a container with the spices, salt and all that for about 14 days, then it dry cures in my chamber for at least a month...the longer the better though, i've heard people aging it a year or 2! IT'll come out somewhat mummefied, but i just wrap it in a wet paper towel and put it in a ziplock bag overnight and the next day it is ready to use.

I do believe guanciale is basically made the exact same way, that is next on my list...should start soon as i'm almost out of pancetta!

The other item on that plate is in fact lomo, it is made from a pork loin, it came out ok, a bit too salty, and i havn't made it since..might have to try again somtime soon.

Next on my list is also a prosciutto like Len Poli details on his page, probably bone in...i'll use a front pork picnic as a whole ham would be way too big and take way to long to cure, and i'd be afraid of ruining a $50 ham...

As far as dextrose, as someone else said, it is used to feed the bacteria. It is used instead of sugar since it is a simple sugar versus a multichain complex sugar like sucrose...i do not know the chemical reaction through.

i think i answered everything, if not, just ask more:)

jason

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Jackal, how are you cold smoking it? Are you in a cool climate? I missed my chance this winter here in Georgia, and it is now almost already too warm during the day, let alone with the heat generated from the burner!

And i even made a cold smoker, all i made on it was cheese though...time is always too short.

jason

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Yes. I can use my brick bread oven as a cold smoker.

I'm in the UK and the weather is about 50F;

Misture of cherry and oak sawdust.

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Question for Jason: all the lomo I have eaten has come in some kind of casing (like salame). How does this work? Is the loin first cured and then stuffed into the casing to mature? It has always baffled me...

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Charcutier, it is probably similar to bresaola and coppa, which are cured first and then stuffed for the maturing/drying, as you said... for example for my bresaola i use a 90mm collagen casing, for the lomo if i remember i used a 40mm or 50mm..

jason

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Jason - sorry to keep asking questions, but the picture of your salame etc posted above marks you out as a master!

do you always use collagen? If so, why do you prefer it to natural casing?

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Charcutier, please don't hold back any questions, i really enjoy talking about it,and love to help others with what i've learned...

I'm FARRRRR from a master though:)

So far yes, i've used only collagen, for a couple reasons. It doesn't smell, it doesn't require flushing, it is very easy to store (in a ziplock bag in a box), it is pretty cheap.

I'm thinking of trying real casings on my next batch, but the problem is that i would need to buy a whole hank of beef middles or rounds, and it might be no better, and then i've wasted $20. I have read that in italy for certain salami, they use certain intestines because of the fat layer in the intestine. For example the fat in the hog bungs used in Salame Di Felino, apparently keeps the salame soft, even after it has cured. So that is really what i'd like to try..to see if it keeps my salame softer.

Don't hesitate to ask more questions!

jason

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Jason and jsolomon, thanks for dexrose info. I know that this is very technical, but do you know what the dextrose is broken down into? Does anyone have a (comprehensible, preferably) description of the chemical reactions that go on?

Well, there are two answers for your two questions. Yes, we know what dextrose is broken down into, and yes, there are very comprehensive descriptions of the chemical pathways that it goes through.

First: dextrose is a simple sugar. It is also known as D-Glucose, yes, blood sugar! So, in that regard, it isn't broken down into any other sugars that your lactobacilli may or may not be able to metabolize.

As for the fate of the glucose in a chemical reaction sense, that is known as glycolysis and is well-studied. Post glycolysis, in lactobacilli, the "waste-product" pyruvate is further reduced to lactate which is the final waste product (like CO2 and H2O for humans).

Glycolysis and fermenters

A slightly more graphic representation

I hope these help!

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Rather, it is an evocative description of the infinite range of products that pork, salt and human ingenuity have conspired to produce.

On just this point I need to make a sausage that does not have any pork products in it - basically I'm looking at lamb or beef alone. I know the shoulder is the best bit for the meat, but what should I be using for the fat. No one one sausagemaking.org has been able to give me a definitive answer. I realise for many that a sausage without some pig is not a sausage, unfortunately there's nowt I can do about it.

Also, I realise I may have caused this thread to go off on a tangent to that intended by Jackal, so if one of the moderator wants to move this to a new thread please feel free.

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When my father and I made sausage this christmas, none of the local butcher counters had any fatback, so we simply used the beef trimmings that they had as the fat. I could tell little difference in the texture of the sausage (it was there, but minute) however, the ingredients were fairly finely ground.

I would say, if you can't find/use fatback for whatever reason, you may want to simply try beef suet, or just ask your meat monger for whatever beef fat trimmings he's got laying around. I got mine for free which definitely makes up for any discrepancies in texture/flavor.

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Interesting. Nobody has mentioned this eGullet classic. (it's multiple parts, but has links to the later ones)

Admittedly Klink wasn't curing sausages, but I think it's a nice reference for anyone reading this topic.

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Can anyone shed some light on what is the optimal relative humidity range for curing sausages and other meats?

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Generally it is supposed to be about 10% over the moisture content of the meat, or so i've read somewhere. For salame that is about 75% or so. I have my chamber set at about 72, and it cycles between 68 and 80 and everyhting works out.

Pancetta does like it a little lower, around 50-60%, but i've made pancetta at the same time as salame, and it really hasn't been too much of a problem.

Oh, there are RHs at about 50 deg. F...

Are these the perfect ones? Don't know...they are what i use, and my meats come out great.

jason

PS: i use the same values for coppa and bresaola and lomo, basically everything at my house is cured at 50-52Deg. F, and about 75% RH.


Edited by jmolinari (log)

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Jason-thanks. That's about what my wine cellar runs at this time of year. I'm going to cure first in the refrigerator and then hang in the celler for some time.

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BBQ4, sounds about right. The wet cure/salting is done in a fridge, then you mature/dry in your wine cellar. Let us know how it turns out!

jason

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It was raining, and I finally sourced some back fat so it seemed auspicious to start making Saucisson menage fume, roughly following the Grigson recipe.

2lbs shoulder pork

1 lb hard back fat

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2oz salt (2 heaped Tbs)

1 tsp saltpetre,

1 tsp quatre epices,

2 tsp pepper

3 tsp sugar

Ingredients (The Marmite is not included, but left over from breakfast); Skins packed in salt;

gallery_7620_135_3209.jpggallery_7620_135_8526.jpg

Soak and wash the skins inside and out; cut up the pork shoulder

gallery_7620_135_5194.jpggallery_7620_135_10294.jpg

Mince the meat and cut the fat into small cubes. I had a great difficulty finding pork back fat ("No call for it Sir. We make all ours into sausages") but the excellent Mr Waller, a paragon amongst butchers cut me some. Wallers is a really excellent old-fashioned butchers, so they don't have a web site, but they have been written up in Henrietta Green's Food Lovers Guide to Britain He only charged £1 (about $1.90) for 500g (a bit over one pound). Very cheap, since the supermarket "outdoor reared" pork shoulder cost £4 for 2lbs. Wallers write-up.

gallery_7620_135_172.jpggallery_7620_135_2753.jpg

I added a magic soupcon (0.5g) of lactobacillus starter. This promotes an acid environment to keep botulism at bay, besides adding flavour notes. Blend well, then stuff.

gallery_7620_135_6864.jpggallery_7620_135_4439.jpg

Saucissons hanging in the garage to redden for 3-5 days, They will then be cold smoked, and left to mature for a month. The thermometer on the shelf says 57F, which is near enough the desired 60F to incubate the lactobacillus.

gallery_7620_135_29377.jpg

Tasting the sausagemeat it seemed a little salty, but I guess its needed for preservation, and may mellow. Comments?


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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I tried making bacon according to http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/aggu...nsci/g02528.htm

I cold smoked it for 36 hours, but when I removed it from the smoke it was crawling with blow-fly maggots.

Aside from general strictures about cleanliness and keeping flies out, I'm surprised they survived the high salt/sugar/saltpetre/smoke. What did I do wrong? Should I have smoked for a shorter time?


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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The flies probably laid eggs when you were in the pellicle formation phase

Preparation for smoking

Wash the bacon in warm water, hang in the smokehouse with door open and allow to dry. This may take two or three days. The meat will not take smoke until the surface is dry. If the meat is smoked when still damp, the smoke will be smudgy and the meat will not taste as good. When the bacon is dry, apply the smoke and allow about 36 to 48 hours to complete the smoking. Add sawdust or wood as needed during the smoking.

What you'll probably want to do next time is quickly form the pellicle by putting a fan on the cured, unsmoked bacon for a couple of hours until the surface is nice and dry, and then smoke. That is how I've done it a couple of times in the past with good results.

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Hi Everyone,

Very nice topic indeed. I am a bit lost at why everyone is using such chemically ingredients in thier salumi making.

I made salumi in Italy, near Parma, for four months and the only ingredients were Pork, Salt and Pepper. The onlt two products that had nitrates were the cotecchino and the spalla cotto (cooked Shoulder) and only for the color saving features beacuase these two salumi were cooked products and grey pork isn't very appetizing!

I look forward to more participation in this thread. I came back to the US (Los Angeles area) yesterday and I am in the process of searching for quality Pork and the works for a small salumi biznes!

Some pics are on the blog.

Ore


Edited by Ore (log)

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I tried making bacon according to http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/aggu...nsci/g02528.htm

I cold smoked it for 36 hours, but when I removed it from the smoke it was crawling with blow-fly maggots.

Aside from general strictures about cleanliness and keeping flies out, I'm surprised they survived the high salt/sugar/saltpetre/smoke. What did I do wrong? Should I have smoked for a shorter time?

I think the answer to your question lies here: The. Implied. Question.

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My ten year old supply of saltpeter is finally finished, and I can't find a store that sells it. The original came from a drug store, but they don't bother with it now.

Is there a type of store I should go to, or gostraight to the online sources?

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How about trying to make your salumi without the salt peter, the REAL way!!

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