• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

eG Forums Host

Curing and Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 6)

599 posts in this topic

[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 5)]

 

 

As all readers of the massive Charcuterie topic topic know, it has become unwieldy. Thus we offer this new index, to aid readers in finding all of the information our members have contributed over the years.

We ask that, as discussion continues in this new topic/section, posters keep their posts focused on recipes and techniques from the book itself, and small modifications to those recipes. For general charcuterie discussions that are not focused on recipes from this book, you will find many other topics devoted to them.

Thank you for participating! We look forward to more great contributions in this topic!


Edited by Mjx Note added. (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a bit intimidated by the 90+ pages of that old thread and never got round to reading any of it.... but i bought the book anyway!! What spurred me on was that my buddy and i bought half a Tamworth pig a couple of months ago and butchering it ourselves we found that we had so many off-cuts. We vowed next time that we'd make our own sausages, i suppose that why they were invented in the first place. So last weekend we got half a Gloucester Old Spot and here was the result:

Half a pig!

gallery_52657_5922_76637.jpg

Spanish Chorizo, Tuscan Salami & English Bangers (not from the book)

gallery_52657_5922_342378.jpg

A close-up of the chorizo - beautifully ruby red:

gallery_52657_5922_31511.jpg

Here is the chorizo & salami after 4 days hanging in my garage. Fingers and toes crossed that all will turn out ok in a few weeks!

gallery_52657_5922_296208.jpg

I'm also curing some pancetta and lardo, and brining half a ham. I love pork is all it's forms, and butchering my own meat means that getting this book was really a no-brainer for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had this book on my shelf for a long time but never took the time to actually try any recipe... I didn't care that much since reading is a pleasure of its own.

I have decided to start slowly. Two weeks ago I made gravlax combining elements from the book and from my own previous experiments. My partner had the last bit for lunch today. It was delicious but perhaps a bit too much on the salty side.

I now have belly curing in the fridge and an order for a meat grinder with sausage stuffing attachment has been placed. I plan to buy a whole pig this fall and to build myself a cold room this summer.

Getting pink salt in Canada is not an easy thing though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Getting pink salt in Canada is not an easy thing though!

Did you try ordering it from Stuffers? Just give them a call and tell them what you want, and they'll hook you up. It took about a week for mine to arrive.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Getting pink salt in Canada is not an easy thing though!

Did you try ordering it from Stuffers? Just give them a call and tell them what you want, and they'll hook you up. It took about a week for mine to arrive.

Its funny I actually bought my casings from them but since they did not mention pink salt on thei website I did even thought about asking. Thanks for the information!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Getting pink salt in Canada is not an easy thing though!

Did you try ordering it from Stuffers? Just give them a call and tell them what you want, and they'll hook you up. It took about a week for mine to arrive.

Its funny I actually bought my casings from them but since they did not mention pink salt on thei website I did even thought about asking. Thanks for the information!

You're welcome! It's actually buried pretty deep in the website, and they call it "Prague powder" instead of "pink salt." (And it's not actually dyed pink, either.) They sell both nitrite and nitrate, as Prague powder #1 and Prague powder #2, respectively.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That parted out pig looks strangely content. I hope those big ears got used for something good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That parted out pig looks strangely content. I hope those big ears got used for something good!

Don't worry I have the ears in my freezer. I got my buddy to singe the hair off and scrape the wax out, first and last time he does that job (mwahahahhaha)!!! I took the cheeks home too but the rest we binned, i don't think we'll take the head next time - for us a lot of useless weight onto the price. Now what to do with the ears, WWRPD? What Would Ruhlman & Polcyn Do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Getting pink salt in Canada is not an easy thing though!

I ordered some online from Butcher-Packer. Although, yeah I felt silly paying ~$10 S&H for something that was what? less than $5 I think? The package has lasted me long enough that I don't mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Success!!!

gallery_52657_5922_69555.jpg

gallery_52657_5922_147414.jpg

The chorizo and salami have turned out wonderfully. It took only 13 days of hanging to get to this point. I've tried a few slices of each and i'm particularly blown away by the taste of the chorizo. The salami has a very strong flavour of fennel and wine, more of an acquired taste i think :hmmm:

Okay let's just hope now i haven't poisoned myself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quick question:

I'm brining brisket for pastrami right now, and I've got two separate hunks- one about 2.5 lbs. and one 1.5. Since they are smaller than the recommended weight from Charcuterie, and in two pieces, how will this affect my brine time?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brining is about shape and thickness, not weight. So if your hunks are cut from the whole brisket, and the same thickness as the whole, brining time is not affected.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm brining brisket for pastrami right now, and I've got two separate hunks- one about 2.5 lbs. and one 1.5.  Since they are smaller than the recommended weight from Charcuterie, and in two pieces, how will this affect my brine time?

As Dave indicates, time mostly has to with cure penetration depth.

Thinner pieces need less time because the cure has less far to go.

Where the total meat weight would matter is in the proportions of meat to brine, which can impact things. For long curing ("curing to equilibrium" - my preference - the FDA expect the curing salts to be taken up in proportion to the weight of meat versus the weight of meat+brine).

But for short cures, (as per those in the book), the FDA go by the weight increase in the meat from soaking up brine. Now, with smaller bits of meat, thus a larger surface in proportion to volume/weight, I'd expect the weight pickup to be a little faster - indicating another reason for a slightly shorter curing time.

But the book's recipe is only for a short 3-day cure anyway.

And expects a single 5lb piece.

Either way, I doubt you'd harm yourself, but I'd think of shortening your times a little - particularly for the little 1.5lb piece. I'd add that to the cure slightly after the bigger bit, so that they finished together. How much might you shorten the time(s)? I'd suggest that that would depend on how you compared your pieces' maximum thickness to what you might expect from the recipe's single 5 lb piece.

My guess is that adjusting the smoking and poaching times might be more important to the eventual result than the curing time - I'd be more worried about over-cooking than over curing! (Again its the thickness that's important...)


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, dougal. Really, I was just curious because I'm impatient and I'd really like some pastrami. Like now. I might take the small piece out tonight (after 2 full days) and smoke it, and then do the larger one tomorrow, which would be the recommended time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I made the pastrami(s). The little one, which I pulled out of the brine first, was good, but not spectacular. The second, which I pulled from the brine after 3 days, and was able to smoke a bit longer, was better, delicious even, but I want more flavor. I'm not sure how I'm going to achieve that. Probably better meat, for a start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I made the pastrami(s).  The little one, which I pulled out of the brine first, was good, but not spectacular.  The second, which I pulled from the brine after 3 days, and was able to smoke a bit longer, was better, delicious even, but I want more flavor.  I'm not sure how I'm going to achieve that.  Probably better meat, for a start.

How long did you smoke it for? Or is it not the "smokey" flavor that is lacking, but the "briney" flavor you want more of?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw this new thread and I have tio say...WOW. Great job on that index, it is truly amazing!

Prawncrackers, I am very jealous. That stuff all looks beyond perfect, pig perfect ;-).

Chris-

I am planning on making a beef based sausage in a couple of weeks (one of 4 different varieties and a total of 40 lbs of sausage). It's based on Armenian sausage you'd find in Lebanon, lots of paprika, cumin and garlic. Let me know if you are interested and I can share the recipe I came up with (but NOT tested yet).


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So I made the pastrami(s).  The little one, which I pulled out of the brine first, was good, but not spectacular.  The second, which I pulled from the brine after 3 days, and was able to smoke a bit longer, was better, delicious even, but I want more flavor.  I'm not sure how I'm going to achieve that.  Probably better meat, for a start.

How long did you smoke it for? Or is it not the "smokey" flavor that is lacking, but the "briney" flavor you want more of?

I think the smokiness is fine for me. It's more the briney flavor I think, or it might just be that the meat is lacking a whole lot of flavor in the first place. It wasn't great quality, and to be honest, I bought it because I needed to make something tasty that would get me through a week or two of lunches without spending a ton of money. So I believe quality was a major factor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the hot italian sausage from the book a few days ago but did not include enough fat in the mix (unavailable at the moment). They were a bit on the dry and crumbly side. The flavour was still good though.

My bacon turned out quite good but I think it might be a bit too sweet as it burns very easily in the pan, even at low temp. I followed the recipe (simple bacon) religiously that time and wonder if this normal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I made the hot italian sausage from the book a few days ago but did not include enough fat in the mix (unavailable at the moment). They were a bit on the dry and crumbly side. The flavour was still good though.

My bacon turned out quite good but I think it might be a bit too sweet as it burns very easily in the pan, even at low temp. I followed the recipe (simple bacon) religiously that time and wonder if this normal.

I've seen someone else make this complaint about their bacon. My bacon has turned out quite well, and doesn't burn unless I forget I'm cooking it. I wonder why this is. I'll note that I put significantly less syrup in than the recipe calls for, but other than that, followed the recipe to a t.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's it exactly: more sugar. I've dialed back the sugar on my bacon and cook it at lower temps when I use the Polcyn & Ruhlman recipes for this reason.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I sort of luckily stumbled upon it, then. Mine was more because I didn't want to overdo it with the syrup, and I thought I'd much rather have too little than too much. Hmmm...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Success!!! 

gallery_52657_5922_69555.jpg

gallery_52657_5922_147414.jpg

The chorizo and salami have turned out wonderfully.  It took only 13 days of hanging to get to this point.  I've tried a few slices of each and i'm particularly blown away by the taste of the chorizo.  The salami has a very strong flavour of fennel and wine, more of an acquired taste i think  :hmmm:

Okay let's just hope now i haven't poisoned myself!

That is so beautiful! What is that rolled thing lurking in the background? Pancetta?

Give us more details. How did you do the drying/fermentation? Are the receipes straight from the book?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, in my recent visit to the usa i bought this excellent book. I couldn't find it anywhere in my country so i had to wait a little...

Anyway, my main problem is that i can't find curing salts here! i dont know why because we have a lot of commercial chorizos and all kind of charcuterie, but no one wants to sell me curing salts!

So i was thinking, anyone knows the exact compositions of Insta Cure #1 and #2?

I have a friend who is chemistry and could get me food-grade sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate, but i don't want to poison myself or other people, so i would like to know the exact proportions.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      Started in on Rob's book tonight.  Nice pictures, interesting philosophy.  The bit about grapevines reminded me ever so much about my balcony.  My grapevine has been growing ten or twenty years, planted by the birds.  Never a grape, ever.  Only recently did I learn that unlike European grapes, the native grapevines are sexual.  This one is undoubtedly a boy.  He provides lovely leaves and shade, and something for the tomatoes to hang onto.
       
    • By Bon Appetit Cookbooks
      This topic was hijacked from the Vancouver Board.
      What cookbooks do you love to cook out of at home?
      Is there a specific recipe that is your favorite?
      Or is there a book you just can't live without?
      If you have pictures, even better! Lets see how it turns out!
      Some of my favorites to cook out of:
      The Balthazar Cookbook - The Beef Tartar is amazing! As is the Chicken Liver Mousse
      The Babbo Cookbook - The Strawberries & Peaches with Balsamic Zabaglione
      Barefoot in Paris - The Blue Cheese Souffle looks JUST LIKE THE PICTURE!
      The Bouchon Cookbook - The Roast Chicken will seriously change your life
      Gordon Ramsey Makes it Easy - The Chocolate Pots are the easiest dessert in the world and tastes so good....especially with the Amedei #7
      There are lots more. Hopefully I can take pictures and show you.
      Hopefully this post can be an ongoing thing.
      I think we are all interested in what eachother cooks!
      Happy Cooking

      J
    • By Dave the Cook
      Those of us that have been following Rob Connoley's (aka gfron1) trek from home cook to down-and-literally-dirty locavore James Beard-semi-finalist chef are justifiably proud of his well-deserved transformation to a published author, which he has faithfully detailed in an earlier topic. If you're not familiar with his story, I urge you to catch up, then come back here, because we're ready to move on to the next step.
       
      Rob's book, Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm & Field, is finally, officially available. This alone is awesome news, and you should totally order your copy today. Or . . . 
       
      . . . we want to continue the conversation about Rob, his book and his future plans in this topic. And just to up the awesomeness, Rob is offering a free book to a randomly selected participant here.
       
      Simply post a question or comment in this topic between now and 11:59 p.m. CST (US), 13 September 2016 and you'll be eligible to "win," based on a random drawing to be conducted, with each participant getting one chance, not including Society volunteers (and Rob himself. Multiple posts will not improve your chances, so don't get overheated.)  The winner will be announced on 14 September.
       
      Rob will be along shortly to add his encouragement and whatever late-breaking news he has -- he's busy guy these days, so be patient -- but there's no need to wait to post questions or comments.
       
       
      P.S. And if you don't win, you should still get this book.
    • By liuzhou
      A few weeks ago I bought a copy of this cookbook which is a best-selling spin off from the highly successful television series by China Central Television - A Bite of China as discussed on this thread.   .
       

       
      The book was published in August 2013 and is by Chen Zhitian (陈志田 - chén zhì tián). It is only available in Chinese (so far). 
       
      There are a number of books related to the television series but this is the only one which seems to be legitimate. It certainly has the high production standards of the television show. Beautifully photographed and with (relatively) clear details in the recipes.
       
      Here is a sample page.
       

       
      Unlike in most western cookbooks, recipes are not listed by main ingredient. They are set out in six vaguely defined chapters. So, if you are looking for a duck dish, for example, you'll have to go through the whole contents list. I've never seen an index in any Chinese book on any subject. 
       
      In order to demonstrate the breadth of recipes in the book and perhaps to be of interest to forum members who want to know what is in a popular Chinese recipe book, I have sort of translated the contents list - 187 recipes.
       
      This is always problematic. Very often Chinese dishes are very cryptically named. This list contains some literal translations. For some dishes I have totally ignored the given name and given a brief description instead. Any Chinese in the list refers to place names. Some dishes I have left with literal translations of their cryptic names, just for amusement value.
       
      I am not happy with some of the "translations" and will work on improving them. I am also certain there are errors in there, too.
       
      Back in 2008, the Chinese government issued a list of official dish translations for the Beijing Olympics. It is full of weird translations and total errors, too. Interestingly, few of the dishes in the book are on that list.
       
      Anyway, for what it is worth, the book's content list is here (Word document) or here (PDF file). If anyone is interested in more information on a dish, please ask. For copyright reasons, I can't reproduce the dishes here exactly, but can certainly describe them.
       
      Another problem is that many Chinese recipes are vague in the extreme. I'm not one to slavishly follow instructions, but saying "enough meat" in a recipe is not very helpful. This book gives details (by weight) for the main ingredients, but goes vague on most  condiments.
       
      For example, the first dish (Dezhou Braised Chicken), calls for precisely 1500g of chicken, 50g dried mushroom, 20g sliced ginger and 10g of scallion. It then lists cassia bark, caoguo, unspecified herbs, Chinese cardamom, fennel seed, star anise, salt, sodium bicarbonate and cooking wine without suggesting any quantities. It then goes back to ask for 35g of maltose syrup, a soupçon of cloves, and "the correct quantity" of soy sauce.
       
      Cooking instructions can be equally vague. "Cook until cooked".
       
      A Bite of China - 舌尖上的中国- ISBN 978-7-5113-3940-9 
    • By yoboseyo
      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.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.