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Chris Hennes

Charcuterie: Dry-Cured Salami / Salumi

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Thanks Jason, I figured that I could manually do a slow ramp down just by tweaking the controller knob every few days, although such a gradual change might well be swamped out by the shorter period humidity swings in my chamber.


 

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Oh yeah, hadn't thought of that. If I had a full-size fridge that totally wouldn't fly.


 

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All - I have dried many a sausage, this will be the first time using Mold - 600 Bactoferm™ Sausage Mould( Formerly M-EK-4 ), at what point do you guys apply? After inoculation? thanks

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Thank you - I meant after fermentation - not inoculation, but before none the less. Again - thank you

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Salaisons.

8133500346_f076339808_c.jpg

Viande de Grisons (air-dried Randall-Lineback eye-of-round with herbs. No casing); Bresaola (air-dried Black Angus eye-of-round in beef bung), Saucisson sec (lean Randall-lineback, pork fatback, lucknow fennel, black peppercorn in beef middle). Natural bloom, no starter culture.

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Salaisons.

8133500346_f076339808_c.jpg

Viande de Grisons (air-dried Randall-Lineback eye-of-round with herbs. No casing); Bresaola (air-dried Black Angus eye-of-round in beef bung), Saucisson sec (lean Randall-lineback, pork fatback, lucknow fennel, black peppercorn in beef middle). Natural bloom, no starter culture.

That is stunning. Beautiful.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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Would you mind sharing some details on your technique for the viande des Grisons? Thanks!

I weighed the cleaned eye-of-round, made my salt, sugar, #2 and spice calculations and divided that in half. I applied half the mixture to the meat and wrapped it in plastic wrap for 3 days, refrigerated, pointed towards the Alps. After 3 days expired, I applied the second half of the mixture for another 3 days and yodeled sweet things to the meat. After the second curing period I wiped the eye-of-round clean of curing mixture, wiped with vinegar soaked cheesecloth and rolled it in chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano). The second phase involved wrapping the eye-of-round in cheesecloth and hanging it in the walk-in for 3-4 weeks. After losing about 25% of the weight and developing a bloom, the rounds were pressed between pieces of wood to give it the characteristic shape I have seen and to help in drying.

The texture and flavor is pleasant, perhaps a bit musty, but a worthwhile endeavor. Truth be told, I preferred the secca.

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Would you mind sharing some details on your technique for the viande des Grisons? Thanks!

I weighed the cleaned eye-of-round, made my salt, sugar, #2 and spice calculations and divided that in half. I applied half the mixture to the meat and wrapped it in plastic wrap for 3 days, refrigerated, pointed towards the Alps. After 3 days expired, I applied the second half of the mixture for another 3 days and yodeled sweet things to the meat. After the second curing period I wiped the eye-of-round clean of curing mixture, wiped with vinegar soaked cheesecloth and rolled it in chopped herbs (thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano). The second phase involved wrapping the eye-of-round in cheesecloth and hanging it in the walk-in for 3-4 weeks. After losing about 25% of the weight and developing a bloom, the rounds were pressed between pieces of wood to give it the characteristic shape I have seen and to help in drying.

The texture and flavor is pleasant, perhaps a bit musty, but a worthwhile endeavor. Truth be told, I preferred the secca.

Thanks. (Must take yodeling classes asap.)

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Dated by a few years but I'll quickly weigh in about the starter culture- one is better off using plain boiled tap water instead of distilled, purified or RO. The cell walls of the bacteria cannot control the onrush of the osmosis and die; by using tap water with minerals in it the transfer is slowed and the cells hydrate more effectively. Further, one should not add sugar to this solution initially, but only after the bacteria have fully hydrated. Quite possibly by using distilled water the relatively small amount of culture recommended by the Marianskis was at least 50% destroyed. Hence the poor performance.

I love the documentation of the experiment.

Now my question is: instead of having culture shipped to me would it be possible to use buttermilk or yogurt and feed/build a small culture up to add to the mixture?

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Hi Folks,

Glad to be a part of this forum. In reference to the PH level for fermented salume, I have a puzzlement! I am hoping someone out there has an answer. I am fermenting two 20 pd recipes of soppressata salume. the initial PH on batch one was 6.2---24 hours later it had dropped to 5.4. 23 hours later it was 5.3---another 23 hours later it was still 5.3. 24 later it had moved up to 5.7. Another 24 hours and it was 6.1. Should I be concerned?

Batch two did the same thing----it moved from 6.4 to 5.7 to 5.4 for 48 hours then up to 5.6 and 5.7????

I took heart from your comment about the color of the meat----mine is red and looks like the batch I made last season----it smells wonderful and is tightening up nicely in my wine shed. It is the11th day since I began. I thought that once the lowest PH level was reached, that it would stay there. Why is it moving up? Also, since it did not go below 5.3 on batch one and 5.4 on batch two, Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you for whatever help you can provide.

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I am using a PH meter and initially made a slurry of 50 grams of meat and 50 grams filtered water. I recalibrated the meter with a 7.0 solution and tried it out on a slurry of commercial salume. It registered down to 5.1 so I know the meter is working. I also tried making one of the slurries from 20 grams of meat and 2 grams of previously boiled tap water----did not seem to make a difference.

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It's been a while since I had anything to post in here, but I finally got around to making the Lonza from Ruhlman and Polcyn's recent book, Salumi: it's hard to credit them with this recipe since it's only got three ingredients (pork, salt, black pepper), but I did follow their technique, and it turned out perfectly. I used a tenderloin rather than whole loin:

Lonza.jpg

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Very nice!

~Martin


~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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Realize this is a late post to an old thread, but maybe some of you are still following it. I have been successfully making Spanish-style chorizo, saucissons secs, and the like for years, using a method that I got from Michael Ruhlman that uses an anaerobic fermentation process without needing Bactoferm (you basically leave the "naked" meat mixture out at room temp overnight, then put it in an airless environment in a black bag in a fridge for a month before mixing it with the spices etc and stuffing it the sausage and hanging it). 

 

I recently tried to make salami for the first time, using the same method but a few new elements--the casings were much larger collagen-type salami casings, and for the first time I am using a repurposed refrigerator with a temperature and humidity controller that ostensibly keeps the interior at between 15-18C and a humidity of 70%, and a fan in there to keep the air moving. The salamis have been hanging for about a month, maybe a bit less, and have just got to the point where they have lost 30% of their weight. But they are not quite as firm as I would have thought they'd be, and when I cut one as a test it is not truly solid. It smells fine, looks fine, and from the tiny little taste I took it seems to taste fine. Is it safe to eat, and would it benefit at all from being vacuum-sealed to help compress the stuff?

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15-18c is too hot. I think staph outgrowth starts at 16c.

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Thanks for the info; it's actually been reliably between 15-16 every time I have checked it.

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Staphylococcus aureus toxin formation is prevented at a pH of 5.3 or less. So you shouldn't have a problem with Staph If your process reliably achieves this pH (and without using a starter culture, that's a non-negligible if). Bottom line: I wouldn't be comfortable with this process unless I was monitoring pH during the fermentation step.


 

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Hi everyone,

 

I live in Scotland, but have spent a lot of time in Spain and Italy eating Charcuterie. I am very interested in home curing and I decided some time ago to try it out using good local meat. My nearest butcher gets his meat from Northumberland which seems ridiculous to me as Scotland has plenty of good producers so I now travel 20 miles to get my pork from a butcher who gets his animals from 50 miles down the road in Dumfries and Galloway. I built my own curing shed using a large cage, gardening mesh and fleece, and I chose a traditional salami recipe using pork shoulder, fennel seed, garlic, red wine, back fat and fine cooking salt (25g per 1kg meat) in hog runners.

 

This was my first attempt so I was quite excited about it, but not confident that I would be able to pull it off given what I had read about perfect conditions etc. I spent a day sealing the unit and fixing it to the side of my garden shed 3 feet from the ground and covering it with a wooden roof. I started this project at the end of February when temperatures can range from -3 to +15 degrees c on the west coast of Scotland.

 

I hung 5 kg of Salami inside the cage which was now impregnable due to some diligent prep work and I couldn't help but check on my creations evry day for the first week. After a fortnight of damp weather ranging between 5 and 12 degrees not much was happening, but then it got drier and the wind picked up. On week 3 the salami started to firm up after the second wipe down with rice vinegar and a fine, almost seductive white velvety mould started to appear. Weeks 3 - 6 saw the temperature reach 15 degrees through the day and -3 at night with high humidity for the most part with plenty of wind. After 6 weeks I removed the salami and hung them in my kitchen and that earthy, saliva producing odour started to waft through the house, my dog was uneasy!!

The finished product was slighly tougher than I would have liked, but when sliced paper thin it was not noticed. I think the firmness was due more to the lack of back fat (1.5 cups finely chopped) in the mixture rather than the environment in which the curing took place.

The flavour was exquisite. My workmates asked to purchase it after trying samples in the office and the creamy texture of the product was almost as good as some of the artisanal products I have tried in the Mediterranean.

 

I wanted to share my experience with you guys to perhaps show others at hobby or food lover level as opposed to professional, that it is possible to make a fantastic product without spending a lot of money and time building curing rooms and using chemicals.

 

Nick 

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Hi,

 

What did you determine to be the most accurate method for testing Ph using test strips based on the 3 or so methods you tested in this thread, please?

 

Thank you

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    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      by Chris Amirault

      Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like 'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?

      - Nora Ephron

      I attended a training last fall at which we were asked to share an object representing something important about mentoring, our focus for the week. I suspect that few in the workshop had difficulty coming up with their tape measures, baby photos, and flower pots, but I usually find this sort of assignment challenging, preferring simple denotations to forced connotations.

      On the drive home, I rolled down the windows, sensing that the air was turning slightly crisp and cool. I savored that harbinger of autumn in New England, when my thoughts turn to braises, stews and charcuterie. After a summer of keeping the oven off in my non-air-conditioned kitchen, I dreamed of daubes, considered new curries, and generally jonesed for the promise of meat to come.

      And then I realized that I had a perfect metaphor for mentoring: my 5 lb. vertical sausage stuffer from Grizzly Industrial, Inc. The next day, I lugged the apparatus to the training, hiding it behind a door for fear of ridicule. When my turn arrived, I hauled it out and clunked it down dramatically on the center table. "Good mentoring is like a sausage stuffer," I said, "for at least ten reasons:

      + + +

      That's the article as I started writing it. But over time, Nora's words came to haunt me. The whole shtick began to smell a bit fishy, and I began to fear that, like many tropes, this metaphor turned attention away from a trickier, worrisome truth hiding in plain view.

      But unlike many tropes, the worrisome truth I was hiding is in the object, and not the subject, of the metaphor. That is, the metaphor wasn't really about my relationship to mentoring. It was really about my relationship to sausage.

      Imagine the scene: I whip out my sausage maker and give ten reasons why my metaphor is bigger and better than everyone else's. (I did mention that I was the only man among three dozen women in that training, didn't I?) Laugh if you want, but one's sausage is important to many a man. A quick perusal of this topic reveals that I'm not alone. (You did notice the gender breakdown in that topic, didn't you?)

      Last weekend, while in the unfinished basement of a chef buddy, talk turned to our sausages, and before long we four charcuterie nuts were looking at our feet and commiserating about our failures. We shared a bond: our sausages had the better of us, and we knew it. Pathetic though it is, are you surprised that I felt a deep sense of relief, even of control, when I walked through my ten reasons? My metaphor afforded me a rare opportunity to feel superior to the process of sausage-making, and believe me, that doesn't happen often.

      My name is Chris A., and I have sausage anxiety.

      Read that list up there about my sausage maker, the instrument that I describe with distanced assurance. It's a ruse, I tell you. No matter how often I try to buck up, no matter how definitive a recipe, no matter how wonderful a pork butt or a lamb shoulder, when it comes to making sausages, I go limp with worry.

      Can you blame me? Look at all the places you can screw up, where your sausage can fail you utterly and leave you in tears.

      You grab some wonderful meat, hold it in your hands, appreciate its glory. Chill. You grind it, add some fat, and sprinkle some seasoning, whatever the flesh requires. Chill again. Slow down, contemplate the moon or something. You paddle that meat to bind it, melding flavor and texture seamlessly. Chill some more. What's your hurry? Toss a bit into a skillet, ask: are we ready? and adjust as needed. Stuff away. Then relax. If you can.

      I can't. You need to keep things cool to take care of your sausage, and it's challenging to stay cool when I'm all a-flutter about the prospect of a culminating, perfect, harmonious bind. If you read the books and you watch the shows, everyone acts just about as cool as a cucumber. But that's not real life with my sausage.

      It's a frenzy, I tell you. I know I should chill and relax, but I get all hot and bothered, start hurrying things along, unable to let the meat chill sufficiently, to take things slowly. Hell, I'm sweating now just thinking about it.

      I have to admit that I don't have this sausage problem when I'm alone in the house, have a couple of hours to kill, and know I won't be disturbed. I just settle in, take it nice and slow, not a care in the world, and everything comes out fine. But with someone else around, forget about it.

      Despite this mishegas, my wife is as supportive as she can be. She humors me patiently about these things, gently chiding, "Slow down! The house isn't on fire. It's just your sausage." Though I know she loves me despite my foibles, that sort of talk just adds fuel to that fire -- I mean, she can speak so glibly because it's not her sausage we're worrying about.

      Even if I am I able to relax, the prospect of sudden, precipitous sausage humiliation comes crashing down upon me. Think of it. All seems to be going so well -- a little too well. I'm keeping things cool, making sure that I'm taking it easy, following the plan step-by-step, trusting my instincts. I smile. I get cocky.

      And then, the frying pan hits the fire, and within moments I'm hanging my head: instead of forming a perfect bind, my sausage breaks and I break down. I want a firm, solid mass, and I'm watching a crumbly, limp link ooze liquid with embarrassing rapidity.

      Given my gender, in the past I've tried to subdue sausage anxiety with predictable contrivances: machines, science, and technique. If there's a tool or a book useful for perfecting my sausage, I've bought or coveted it. I calculate ratios of meat, salt, cure, sugar, and seasonings past the decimal; I measure out ingredients to the gram on digital scales; I poke instant-read thermometers into piles of seasoned meat; I take the grinder blade to my local knife sharpener to get the perfect edge. (We've already covered the stuffer above, of course.) I've got a full supply of dextrose, Bactoferm, and DQ curing salts numbers 1 and 2. The broken binding of my copy of Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie has xeroxes and print-outs from eight other sources, and the pages are filled with crossed-out and recalculated recipes.

      It's the sort of thing that I used to do when I was younger: arm myself with all things known to mankind and blast ahead. It hasn't helped. I've learned the hard way that my hysterical masculine attempt to master all knowledge and technology has led, simply, to more panic and collapse.

      There is, I think, hope. I'm older, and my approach to my sausage has matured. I'm in less of a hurry, I roll with the challenges, and when the house is on fire, I just find a hydrant for my hose.

      If things collapse, well, I try to take the long view, recall the successes of my youth, and keep my head up. I mean, it's just my sausage.

      * * *

      Chris Amirault (aka, well, chrisamirault) is Director of Operations, eG Forums. He also runs a preschool and teaches in Providence, RI.
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