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

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Lots of salt in the fridge and they'll keep indefinitely. Freezer breaks them down.

Oops! :shock: Mine are in the freezer. Last time they were still in good shape though.

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Has anyone tried the saucisson sec recipe? Abra wasn't too happy with it a while back, and I've been snooping through Grigson to see what tweaks I can make. I have some fresh Coleman shoulder that I think I'll use for 'em....

I've made it a few times. It's a very simple, but honest sausage (my gf would say bland). I wouldn't call it the best charcuterie bang for your buck, but I find it strangely addicting at the same time. It definitely benefits from aging beyond the minimum 2-3 weeks, so either make it in larger casings or vacuum-pack and let it sit in a fridge for a few weeks after the desired moisture level is reached.

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So after~1.5 months of sitting in the fridge, I took my pancetta out with the intention of making some carbonara with it. Taking off a few slices, there seems to be a grayish/almost green band in the fat... Did I mess it up? It doesn't smell off...

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Does it look anything like this or this? Our speculation as to the cause of the green tint for those two was related to the way guanciale is processed, however, and would not apply to pancetta (I don't think).


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

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Does it look anything like this or this? Our speculation as to the cause of the green tint for those two was related to the way guanciale is processed, however, and would not apply to pancetta (I don't think).

Closer to the first in colour. It seems to follow along where the meat stops and what was two bands of fat turn into one.

I fried up a slice and it tasted fine though. If I had a digicam I'd take a pic...

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Have you fiddled with it at all by adding seasoning?

Not really. I'm guessing that a big part of the perceived blandness comes from the lack of fermentation (I believe it's the only dry-cured sausage in the book without bactoferm or fermento). The proportions of pepper and garlic in the book are good for my tastes, and I wouldn't increase the amounts of either lest they overpower the pork.

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do I have to read through all these pages to ask if anyone has made the BREAKFAST SAUSAGE WITH FRESH GINGER AND SAGE ?

and if so

any tweeking needed ? or just follow the instructions

it sounds nice and I have everything for it!

could I add a spoon of NM red chile to it? I feel sage and chile are made for each other!!!

please advise

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In the Charcuterie index topic we've got a link to ronnie_suburban's post back when he made that recipe. I've tried it as well, but my opinion is not quite as favorable as his: I did not care for the flavor. I also found the sheep casings to be an incredible pain in the butt to work with. Are you planning on casing it up, or using it loose?

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It's "loud," I just didn't like it. But, Ronnie liked it just fine, so I may be in the minority here.

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I made the Breakfast Sausage with Sage and Ginger recipe about six months ago. I didn't stuff it into casings; I just vacuum-sealed it and froze it in small tubular portions, easily sliced into patties. My wife likes the flavor and I do as well, however, I think the garlic may be a bit overpowering (mostly just the aftertaste).

Then again, I may only notice that because we eat this sausage for breakfast on the occasional Saturday or Sunday morning, and the aftertaste tends to hang around for the better part of the day. The sausage is certainly flavorful and now that we've eaten all of the original batch, I will certainly make it again.

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I have made the breakfast sausage with ginger and sage three times. The ginger is sort of a surprise when comparing to the run-of-the-mill commercial brands. I left it in bulk form and then sliced patties.I think the taste grows on you--now I wish I had made some more from the last batch of pork butt, although it is stll not as good as the Arkansas bacon that I made instead.

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thanks so much for your answeres! I made the sausage today and then cooked some and opted to add extras like thyme, rosemary cranberries ..and really good hot chile ..now it is drying out on the deck and I will do a light smoke tomorrow ..I cooked some and both my husband and myself pretty much think it is the best breakfast sausage we have made ..I can not wait to taste it smoked ..

I am glad I found a project it was thundersnowing here today! and I was ready to toss myself on a sword bored!

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We've got a four pound boneless pork loin languishing in the brine and spices used in the Canadian Bacon recipe, but we're skipping the smoking because we want that Canadian delicacy Peameal Bacon. It's cured in the marinade and rolled in cornmeal.

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I have made the breakfast sausage with ginger and sage three times. The ginger is sort of a surprise when comparing to the run-of-the-mill commercial brands. I left it in bulk form and then sliced patties.I think the taste grows on you--now I wish I had made some more from the last batch of pork butt, although it is stll not as good as the Arkansas bacon that I made instead.

What is Arkansas bacon? Can you share the recipe?

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do I have to read through all these pages to ask if anyone has made the BREAKFAST SAUSAGE WITH FRESH GINGER AND SAGE ?

and if so

any tweeking needed ? or just follow the instructions

it sounds nice and I have everything for it!

could I add a spoon of NM red chile to it? I feel sage and chile are made for each other!!!

please advise

I made it earlier this week. I did deviate from the recipe, however. I added about a tablespoon of crushed red pepper flake, which is really nice. I had an eight pound bone-in pork shoulder and scaled up the salt, pepper and sage accordingly (55-60%). I did not scale up the ginger and garlic, which turned out to be a good decision. I taste tested a bit of sausage at the original proportions, and while I like both ginger and garlic they're a bit overwhelming in this recipe, at least for breakfast. If you plan on serving this sausage at any other meal the amount of garlic and sage would probably be fine. In the proportions I ended up with, the ginger and garlic play more background roles, the ginger adding a nice bit of brightness without taking over.

Chad

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Does it look anything like this or this? Our speculation as to the cause of the green tint for those two was related to the way guanciale is processed, however, and would not apply to pancetta (I don't think).

Closer to the first in colour. It seems to follow along where the meat stops and what was two bands of fat turn into one.

I fried up a slice and it tasted fine though. If I had a digicam I'd take a pic...

Hi Adrian,

I am new to eG and have done much research on the subject of Charcuterie, but still a novice by all intents. Anyway, the cured color we get from treating meats is by the nitrite oxidizing the porphyrin groups of the meat.

In English that means that the porphyrin molecules, which contain an iron molecule & are pigmented (hemoglobin, or in our case myoglobin), have oxygen "permenantly" bound to the iron when they ar oxidized, like iron rusting. If you think about the fact that deoxygenated blood appears blue in the veins of your body it is because the venous blood hemoglobin is low in O2 content yet is bright red when we are cut (exposed to 02.) So, oxidizing the myoglobin "permenantly" wth the nitrite gives us the beautiful pink color for our cured products.

Anyhow, if there is too much nitrate present in the curing process, then it can cause an oxidation aka burning or the meat by peroxides created by the nitrates. This results in the afomentioned porphrins aka myoglobin in the meat to appear a green color. In light of the fact that there is a much lower percent of myoglobin by mass in pork jowls, it appears much easier for there to be too much nitrite and cause the burn in the guanciale recipe. I believe your description of the green color being near the juncture with meat ("It seems to follow along where the meat stops and what was two bands of fat turn into one.") support this theory. The term for this phenomena is nitrite burn.

To be quite honest I cannot figure out why the pictures that Chris posted show green fat and what appear to be perfectly normal meat. As I am a firm believer that we eat with our eyes and was never a big fan of Green Eggs and Ham (or in this case Green "Ham" and Eggs) I would not be so intrepid as to eat those experiments. (I have had a few of mine own in all humility, lol.) More importantly I believe that the green color can be an indication that there is too much nitrite in your cured product. The recommended level is 50 to 200 micrograms (thousandths of a gram) per kilogram (1000 grams.) As you can see it is a very small amount. For reference, see this article from Butcher and Packer: http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?ma...products_id=743

As a sidebar, the nitrAtes never oxidize in the curing process, they first have to be reduced (electrons removed) prior to activation to nitrite by a bacterium called Micorcoccacea. Therefore, nitrates are used in curing processes where there is an extended cure for the bacteria to convert the nitrAtes to nitrites .

Hope this helped. Happy Holidays!


Edited by Tom Gengo (log)

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"Languishing"?? "Luxuriating," I should think! How do you cook it?

We just slice it, frizzle it in a frying pan until it's cooked through and the peameal is crispy, then pile it high on a kaiser roll with mayo and mustard. Pickle is optional, but french fries aren't.

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Very helpful, Tom -- and welcome!

I just wanted to note a bit of Charcuterie-related news.

Having read the posts on the subject here, I made a tweaked version of the tasso in the book but increased the spice and pepper while decreasing the pink salt. It turned out great, and I just used it for the first time in a chicken, andouille, and tasso gumbo (click) that was excellent.

I have five pounds, give or take, of saucisson sec hanging in the basement next to some lop yuk. I used the R&P recipe as a base but also added some cognac per Grigson. It seems to be settling in there just fine.

I pulled the pancetta down after 14 and 21 days, respectively. The former lost 18-21%; the latter 24%. There's definitely greater intensity in the product that cured longer, but it's hard to say whether that's the only reason given the other variables. Specifically, the skin side of the belly -- or more accurately the side where Niman had removed the skin -- was squishier, less firm, on the younger batch. Anyone have any thoughts on this spongy belly issue?

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Anyone have any thoughts on this spongy belly issue?

Too much over indulging this holiday season?

Sorry I couldn't help it- :biggrin:

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Michael Ruhlman moderated a conference near me a few months ago. I got to meet him and he signed my copy of Charcuterie. Seemed like a very nice guy.

Since I got the book I've tried a number of things from it. At work, we smoke our own salmon, other fish and various vegetables. Adding a few other things to the repertoire is great.

So far, big hits have been:

Duck Confit with star anise & ginger - I modified this a bit, removing and adding a few things. Really delicious.

Duck Prosciutto - So easy and very delicious. I didn't change a thing, just salt and white pepper.

Tasso Ham - I didn't have any pink salt, and couldn't find any in my area. I used kosher salt, and smoked the meat on high (250-275 F) for about 2 hours, then moved into a normal oven at 275 F for about 2 more hours until I hit the 150-155 F internal range. I added a bit more seasoning, and replaced the marjoram with a some herbs de provence. Result is pretty damn good. Next time I will do it with pink salt, however I need to order it online.

Pork Rillettes - I've done this a number of times before with different recipes, and this by far was the easiest. I added a bit more spices than the recipe said.

Various terrines - Was a bit concerned about the suggestion to wrap the terrine in plastic wrap before baking. I know that the wrap shrinks when heated, therefore would probably compress the terrine while cooking. Still seems a little wierd to me though.

Overall a great book. I'm going to browse through this entire thread now.


Edited by zeph74 (log)

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