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


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Use the "large" KA die that comes with the grinder. You're correct, the smallest KA die just makes a mush in my experience.

Thanks, that is what I did. Checked your blog before grinding and came to the same conclusion.

The salami is fermenting right now. I'm fermenting in the oven, but at room temperature (24C/75F) so I figure around 24-36 hours.

Duration depends on your culture...

I'm using Gewürzmüller LS 25 (from Sausagemaking.org). It contains Lactobacillus Sake and Staphylococcus Carnosus which are the same bacteria as in Bactoferm RM-52

Any rule of thumb to see when fermentation is done?

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Use the "large" KA die that comes with the grinder. You're correct, the smallest KA die just makes a mush in my experience.

Thanks, that is what I did. Checked your blog before grinding and came to the same conclusion.

The salami is fermenting right now. I'm fermenting in the oven, but at room temperature (24C/75F) so I figure around 24-36 hours.

Duration depends on your culture...

I'm using Gewürzmüller LS 25 (from Sausagemaking.org). It contains Lactobacillus Sake and Staphylococcus Carnosus which are the same bacteria as in Bactoferm RM-52

Any rule of thumb to see when fermentation is done?

The PH is the best way to tell the end of fermentation

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I know, but then I both need an accurate way to measure ph and cut one of my precious sausages open!  :shock:

Not strictly-speaking true: in the Charcuterie Index we have a link to an earlier suggestion of jmolinari's:

[T]o measure the pH of the meat, i would keep some of the paste out of the casigns, and wrap that in plastic wrap, so it is about the same diamter as the cased meat. Hang it in the incubation chamber with the others, and then after 24 hrs, take some of the paste in the plastic wrap, and mince it super fine, and mix it with the same amount of distilled water.

Take the pH of that slurry.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I know, but then I both need an accurate way to measure ph and cut one of my precious sausages open!   :shock:

Not strictly-speaking true: in the Charcuterie Index we have a link to an earlier suggestion of jmolinari's:

[T]o measure the pH of the meat, i would keep some of the paste out of the casigns, and wrap that in plastic wrap, so it is about the same diamter as the cased meat. Hang it in the incubation chamber with the others, and then after 24 hrs, take some of the paste in the plastic wrap, and mince it super fine, and mix it with the same amount of distilled water.

Take the pH of that slurry.

I didn't suggest that because it sounds like he's already done with the casing, and therefore has no extra meat paste left.

Ideally, that's how it should be done.

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Sausage touching in cellar- I noticed that two of my sausages air dying in the cellar were touching and left a raw spot on the sausage. ITs starting to dry out, but has a slightly grey/green color to it - anyone had this problem? It has curing #2 as well a bactoferm in the meat, so it should have enough of the good bugs to keep away bad stuff...but...

TIA

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I'm beyond impressed by this thread. You people have taken things to the next level without a doubt. It makes my bagged cubes of glace de viande seem like fast food... :shock:

Edited by Nick M (log)

"Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators."

- MacGyver

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Sausage touching in cellar-  I noticed that two of my sausages air dying in the cellar were touching and left a raw spot on the sausage.  ITs starting to dry out, but has a slightly grey/green color to it -  anyone had this problem?  It has curing #2 as well a bactoferm in the meat, so it should have enough of the good bugs to keep away bad stuff...but...

Grey/green sounds like a problem. Is it fuzzy? Pix?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Hello:

Has anyone made any beer brats? Here in WI, beer brats are very popular and would like to make some. The recipe in Charcuterie calls for cream but I don't want to make them too heavy. Could I just replace the cream with beer but still use the eggs and the other ingredients? Also, what would be the best beer for this application? I was thinking an EPA, would something else be better?

Thanks!

David

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Sausage touching in cellar-  I noticed that two of my sausages air dying in the cellar were touching and left a raw spot on the sausage.  ITs starting to dry out, but has a slightly grey/green color to it -  anyone had this problem?  It has curing #2 as well a bactoferm in the meat, so it should have enough of the good bugs to keep away bad stuff...but...

Grey/green sounds like a problem. Is it fuzzy? Pix?

Ill take some pix...but its not on or above the surface, it looks like discoloration of the casing or meat right underneath. it smells fine, isnt slimey or squishy..just on odd color...

randall

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Has anyone made any beer brats? Here in WI, beer brats are very popular and would like to make some. The recipe in Charcuterie calls for cream but I don't want to make them too heavy. Could I just replace the cream with beer but still use the eggs and the other ingredients? Also, what would be the best beer for this application? I was thinking an EPA, would something else be better?

I think that your suggestion of replacing the cream with beer is reasonable: I'd use a beer with big flavor, and I'd shy away from the sweeter styles. Personally I like lager with my brats, so I'd be inclined to try using something like Sam Adams. Though you could go local and use Pig's Eye pilsner: seems somehow appropriate in this context.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Personally I like lager with my brats, so I'd be inclined to try using something like Sam Adams. Though you could go local and use Pig's Eye pilsner: seems somehow appropriate in this context.

Mmm, lager. I may sound like a heretic but I might use Pabst Blue Ribbon, a beer that holds a special place in my heart :wub:

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I've been trying - with little success - to replicate the taste, texture and color of the Argentinean fresh sausage. A few times I got close, but I know I'm missing something. Most likely I don't know what I'm doing. It could also have to do with the ingredients I use.

The recipe I had the best results with calls for Saltpeter and Sodium Tripolyphosphate, both of which I have omitted, as I couldn't find them anywhere. I have used Cure#1 instead. I'm thinking of using #2.

I know Saltpeter is still used in Europe. Has anyone seen it used in fresh sausage?

Also does anyone know where to order these chemicals in the US. I tried my local pharmacy and the look I got said I'm nuts.

My guess is these chemicals were intended for preservation purposes, but the side effect is that sausages taste great. I'm not concerned about the preservation aspect, but I am about taste and texture.

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I've been trying - with little success - to replicate the taste, texture and color of the Argentinean fresh sausage.  A few times I got close, but I know I'm missing something. Most likely I don't know what I'm doing.  It could also have to do with the ingredients I use.

The recipe I had the best results with calls for Saltpeter and Sodium Tripolyphosphate, both of which I have omitted, as I couldn't find them anywhere. I have used Cure#1 instead. I'm thinking of using #2.

I know Saltpeter is still used in Europe. Has anyone seen it used in fresh sausage?

Also does anyone know where to order these chemicals in the US. I tried my local pharmacy and the look I got said I'm nuts.

My guess is these chemicals were intended for preservation purposes, but the side effect is that sausages taste great.  I'm not concerned about the preservation aspect, but I am about taste and texture.

How long did you wait before eating the sausages?

Cure #1/#2/nitrite/saltpetre(nitrate) take time to act. A few days at least. And they'll alter the taste (and colour) in the same way that bacon and ham aren't just pork. But they need time to do it.

The point about nitrAte/#2/saltpetre is that it can act even more slowly than nitrIte/#1 - and in the absence of enough of the right bacteria, the nitrAte will just sit there (this is different to nitrIte). Plain nitrate seasoned (but uncured) pork isn't particularly good tasting, or healthy.

And, saltpetre is one of the ingredients in, umm, fireworks. So you may get some odd questions as well as odd looks these days.

Phosphates are used to hold extra water in commercial sausages. Manufacturers say that thereby 'succulence' is added. Customers say "you are selling me water instead of meat".

If you want to treat it as a 'molecular gastronomy' additive - sorry - "ingredient" then thats your choice.

IMHO, better would be to work on your meat mincing (US English: grinding) and cold mixing technique - as explained in 'Charcuterie'. That way, you should be able to make a more succulent sausage naturally!

Yes, the whole point of Charcuterie these days is that salting, curing, drying and/or smoking all produce attractive results, even if they were originally preservation methods.

But saltpetre in a fresh sausage isn't a very relevant preservative.

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

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Plain nitrate seasoned (but uncured) pork isn't particularly good tasting, or healthy.

Plain nitrAte is no more harmful than a spinach salad. There is more nitrate in a couple bowls of spinach or celery stalks than there is in a whole salame, even if ALL the nitrate were to go un-reduced.

Just sayin'...

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Plain nitrate seasoned (but uncured) pork isn't particularly good tasting, or healthy.

Plain nitrAte is no more harmful than a spinach salad. There is more nitrate in a couple bowls of spinach or celery stalks than there is in a whole salame, even if ALL the nitrate were to go un-reduced.

Just sayin'...

Ah, but the US FDA has this idea that Nitrate + frying (or high temperature cooking) -> nitrosamines.

Now most folks fry or grill (or US English griddle) their sausages. Generally the outside of the sausage gets to very high temperatures indeed. More charred than bacon.

So I'm not going to be the one suggesting that Nitrate is a good idea for fresh sausages!

There is always the question of dosage, too. The salami would be using a carefully controlled (minimised) dose. The quantity in some traditional recipes (such as those in Mrs Grigson's Charcuterie) would not be permitted in commercial foodstuffs these days.

When the poster says "Most likely I don't know what I'm doing", I'm not going to assume that he knows a sensible dose of Nitrate and has a sufficiently accurate scale to measure it.

Better I feel to point out (accurately, I believe), that seasoning with Nitrate isn't a wonderful taste sensation that you are missing, that curing takes time, and there's very little difference between the tastes of nitrate- and nitrite-curing (its only the residual nitrate that makes the difference!)

And nitrate can be very bad for infants. Not that they would be expected to be eating some 'Argentinian' sausage!

Although there was some research published (last year IIRC) about the US diet actually being deficient in nitrate and nitrite and this being associated with poor coronary health. :smile:

ADDED - here's a reference to the paper http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutri...o-bad-after-all

Edited by dougal (log)

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

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Just to stay on topic - and it's my fault as I didn't provide details - when I said that I didn't know what I was doing I was more in line with the "IMHO, better would be to work on your meat mincing (US English: grinding) and cold mixing technique - as explained in 'Charcuterie'. That way, you should be able to make a more succulent sausage naturally!" suggestion. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm terrible at stuffing; this will be an issue when I start making salami and want to avoid air pockets.

But I do weigh ingredients in grams and know the maximum I can use of each before they become harmful.

I also know for a fact that I as well as millions of other people have eaten dozens or even hundreds of fresh sausages containing these ingredients in our lifes. I may eat anywhere between 10lbs and 20lbs a year... I'll take my chances.

Thanks for the suggestions and keep them coming; the goal here is a better tasting sausage.

Edited by genarog (log)
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Plain nitrate seasoned (but uncured) pork isn't particularly good tasting, or healthy.

Plain nitrAte is no more harmful than a spinach salad. There is more nitrate in a couple bowls of spinach or celery stalks than there is in a whole salame, even if ALL the nitrate were to go un-reduced.

Just sayin'...

Ah, but the US FDA has this idea that Nitrate + frying (or high temperature cooking) -> nitrosamines.

Now most folks fry or grill (or US English griddle) their sausages. Generally the outside of the sausage gets to very high temperatures indeed. More charred than bacon.

So I'm not going to be the one suggesting that Nitrate is a good idea for fresh sausages!

There is always the question of dosage, too. The salami would be using a carefully controlled (minimised) dose. The quantity in some traditional recipes (such as those in Mrs Grigson's Charcuterie) would not be permitted in commercial foodstuffs these days.

When the poster says "Most likely I don't know what I'm doing", I'm not going to assume that he knows a sensible dose of Nitrate and has a sufficiently accurate scale to measure it.

Better I feel to point out (accurately, I believe), that seasoning with Nitrate isn't a wonderful taste sensation that you are missing, that curing takes time, and there's very little difference between the tastes of nitrate- and nitrite-curing (its only the residual nitrate that makes the difference!)

And nitrate can be very bad for infants. Not that they would be expected to be eating some 'Argentinian' sausage!

Although there was some research published (last year IIRC) about the US diet actually being deficient in nitrate and nitrite and this being associated with poor coronary health. :smile:

ADDED - here's a reference to the paper http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutri...o-bad-after-all

ah, yes i forgot that this was for a cooked sausage. In that case i wouldn't use nitrates at all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have what appears to be the beginning stages of mold for the first time, on a "coppa" that was been drying for 2-weeks now.

gallery_27988_3686_10935.jpg

I have consulted previously posted images, but couldn't find one that corresponding to a stage this early. Is it likely to be good mold? At what point, if at all, should I consider a pre-emptive strike?

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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