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ronnie_suburban

Curing and Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 2)

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Another stupid question. With the old fridge curing chamber, do you keep the door closed while you are curing?

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Jason

I checked on my lamb proscuitto yesterday. So far I've only lost 3 oz since I hung it. I lost 16 oz during the cure, but not much since hanging. Do you weigh yours before and after, or just go by texture. It's feeling pretty firm right now.

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Another stupid question.  With the old fridge curing chamber, do you keep the door closed while you are curing?

Yes. I have it plugged in and set to the warmest setting. I'm actually using the freezer for other things. I figured that this way I was getting air circulation with it coming on and off occasionally. It keeps it a bit cooler than the idea temps, (48-52F) but so far that doesn't seem to be giving me any problems.

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I'm going to try the pork confit this week, minus the pink salt (don't yet have any). I was thinking of confiting (?) rib chops, then grilling them.

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I'm going to try the pork confit this week, minus the pink salt (don't yet have any). I was thinking of confiting (?) rib chops, then grilling them.

I'm thinking that sound pretty interesting...let us know how it works

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I'm going to try the pork confit this week, minus the pink salt (don't yet have any). I was thinking of confiting (?) rib chops, then grilling them.

i would only confit pork that was very fatty, shoulder of or belly, or something cheap and flavorless, commercial loin. i wouldn't confit good chops. i imagine they'll be very dry, especially if you grill them after.

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Dave, i measured my lamb before and after, i have the data at home. I'll try to remember to post it tonight, but this week is crazy busy, so if i forget don't kill me:)

It definitely lost a good 30% if i remember correctly. how long as it been in the chamber, and what humidity are you holding?

jason

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Dave, i measured my lamb before and after, i have the data at home. I'll try to remember to post it tonight, but this week is crazy busy, so if i forget don't kill me:)

It definitely lost a good 30% if i remember correctly. how long as it been in the chamber, and what humidity are you holding?

jason

It's been in there for 32 days right now. the humidity holds about 60 percent, ( sometimes as low as 55 and as hi as 70).

Do you mean 30 percent from raw to finish, or from the time you put it in the curing chamber?

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Dave, i measured my lamb before and after, i have the data at home. I'll try to remember to post it tonight, but this week is crazy busy, so if i forget don't kill me:)

It definitely lost a good 30% if i remember correctly. how long as it been in the chamber, and what humidity are you holding?

jason

It's been in there for 32 days right now. the humidity holds about 60 percent, ( sometimes as low as 55 and as hi as 70).

Do you mean 30 percent from raw to finish, or from the time you put it in the curing chamber?

Hrmm..i'm pretty sure it was 30% from when i put it in the chamber! Yuors is boneless right? Maybe you miswrote the numbers/weights. If it has been 30 days, and it is about 3-4" in diameter, you should be getting close. It should feel similar to a coppa or a bresaola.

i'll check for details tonight.

jason

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Hrmm..i'm pretty sure it was 30% from when i put it in the chamber! Yuors is boneless right? Maybe you miswrote the numbers/weights. If it has been 30 days, and it is about 3-4" in diameter, you should be getting close. It should feel similar to a coppa or a bresaola.

i'll check for details tonight.

jason

No, this is a bone in, just like a pork proscuito. I'm pretty close to 30 percent loss from the VERY beginning, but only 3 oz lost since I hung it in the curing chamber. I mean, it's only hung for 32 days, so I suppose that's not too bad. It is getting pretty firm and was a fairly small leg to begin with.

In comparison, the pork proscuito I hung started at 9 lbs. It went in about a month earlier (still has at least 5 months to go) but it's not near as firm.

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i didn't get home lat night until 11, and didn't check my notes. The bone in one i made, if i remember did not seem to lose much weight in the curing chamer....i left mine in there for 45-60 days i think

What method/recipe did you use for the pork prosciutto, and did you use a whole pig leg?

jason

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i didn't get home lat night until 11, and didn't check my notes. The bone in one i made, if i remember did not seem to lose much weight in the curing chamer....i left mine in there for 45-60 days i think

What method/recipe did you use for the pork prosciutto, and did you use a whole pig leg?

jason

I think it was labeled "whole picnic". Not sure if that meant the entire leg. It started at 9 lbs, so it's pretty large.

I'll check the lamb in another couple of weeks, actually unwrap it. I just took it out and weighed it this time.

I just placed another order at butcher-packer.com. This one has some beef middles. My next project is going to be sopressata.

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This past weekend I made two projects,

The Smoked Andouille, it came out very good and flavorful. However, the recipe does not ask for fatback and I think the butt I bought is leaner than it should. So, the sausage is a tad dried than it has to be. It is still delicious and will make a great addition to cajun specialties.

gallery_5404_2234_117605.jpg

gallery_5404_2234_9060.jpg

gallery_5404_2234_363662.jpg

I also made the "veal terrine gratin" with the seared pork and Madeira. This one came out perfect, smooth, rich and after cooking I saw minimal loss of fat. So, my emulsification techique is working fine just like the Mortadella. I also flded in a good doze of shopped chive. The amount of meat was not enough to fill the terrine mold though (the standard Le Creuset one). It only filled about 3/4 of the mold, so the terrine was a little shorter than I would've liked. I'm guessing a recipe+1/2 should fill the mold.

Here is our portion that we had for dinner last night, with cornichons, homemade onion jam, Dijon mustard and homemade baguettes.

gallery_5404_2234_439501.jpg

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Wow! That looks delicious, Elie. As for the fat content, I've had similar issues. What I did was order 5 pounds of fat back from Niman Ranch. When it arrived, I cut it into approximately 1/2 pound portions, vacuum-sealed them and put them in the freezer. Now, when I make sausage and feel that the meat I have is too lean, I just take one of those packs of fat back out of the freezer and work it into the mixture. So far, it's been incredibly useful.

=R=

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Wow!  That looks delicious, Elie.  As for the fat content, I've had similar issues.  What I did was order 5 pounds of fat back from Niman Ranch.  When it arrived, I cut it into approximately 1/2 pound portions, vacuum-sealed them and put them in the freezer.  Now, when I make sausage and feel that the meat I have is too lean, I just take one of those packs of fat back out of the freezer and work it into the mixture.  So far, it's been incredibly useful.

=R=

I did similar thing with 1/2 lb portions of fat back. I just did not go with my gut feeling and use it in this instance. I should've.

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Same problem with fat content here, especially with the Niman Ranch butts, which seems trimmed a bit too much.

Elie, that terrine looks fantastic. Can you tell me what size your terrine mold is? Cups, s'il vous plait!

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Newbie Post

Have been reading this forum for the last couple of weeks and it has been an inspiration. Since reading Paul Bertolli's 'Cooking by Hand' late last year and Michael and Brian's 'Charcuterie' this, I have been itching to venture down the prosciutto trail.

Discovered a local supplier of organic Berskhire (Kurobata) pork and began making sausages last year. Was definitely a mistake to combine my first KA stuffing attempt with a home-made sausage party for 30 people. Allowed myself two hours to stuff hog cases with fresh lamb loukanika, two kinds of pork sausage and chicken, chesnut and apple. Of course it took over four hours and I was ready for bed before anybody had arrived :wacko:

I have shared all of your woes with the KA sausage stuffing process. I made some 240 on that first attempt and will invest in better equipment before I do that again. I have stuck to more modest quantities since.

For my first charcuterie attempt I tried the Duck Prosciutto recipe.

When I took the breast, I used one, out of the salt after 24 hours, I was certain that it hadn't had enough time, but this was a learning process. I followed the instructions, hung it and checked it once a day for 7 days.

On day 8 I took it out and unwrapped it. It had a trace of mold, but I determined that this was due to the 'parsley bag' wrapper, so duly rinsed the breast thoroughly and dried it.

I had given up hope of eating it at this stage, but at $12 a breast it wasn't going into the trash that quickly. I cut in half to better examine it. Wasn't happy with the texture, so decided that it was time to experiment.

So, I packed it back in 'fresh' salt for another day, then hung it for four more. This time it smelt like prosciutto and there was no trace of mold, so I risked a taste. Wonderful.

Have been eating it now for a couple of days. Here are a couple of photos.

gallery_44960_2854_13864.jpg

Served it with wafer thin slices of raw baby turnip, a fig and orange relish, salt and cracked pepper.

This is a first attempt at food photography. Rather 80s in composition :cool:

gallery_44960_2854_9787.jpg

As of tonight I have two slabs of Pancetta, was too thick to roll, and Guanciale - a combination of recipes, but used Sodium Nitrate - hanging in the cold room, an old upright freezer.

Will post some more info on those later.

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Newbie Post

Have been reading this forum for the last couple of weeks and it has been an inspiration. Since reading Paul Bertolli's 'Cooking by Hand' late last year and Michael and Brian's 'Charcuterie' this, I have been itching to venture down the prosciutto trail.

....

Welcome to the eGullet Society and to this topic.

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what i love best about aarons post, besides seeing the perfect looking duck breast, is that this cook is evaluating and thinking and fixing. everyone on this thread does that, but it's nice to see the thoughts and actions described because really that's the essence of cooking.

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Dave, what do yo umean "unwrap" the leg? What did you wrap it with? I left mine unwrapped at all times in the cure and drying..

A pork picnic is a front leg. What recipe/method did you use for it?

I keep forgetting to check my notebook when i get home! dangit!

jason

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Welcome, Aaron! Thanks for the notes and the images. Please keep us updated on the pancettas and guanciale too.

=R=

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Dave, what do yo umean "unwrap" the leg? What did you wrap it with? I left mine unwrapped  at all times in the cure and drying..

A pork picnic is a front leg. What recipe/method did you use for it?

I keep forgetting to check my notebook when i get home! dangit!

jason

It's wrapped in cheese cloth, partially to help with the hanging and to keep the pepper I rubbed it with in place. There is plenty of circulation.

The picnic I did from the book for "Salted air dried ham" Page 197

Aaron,

What Michael said is exactly what I was thinking when I read your post about the duck proscuitto; that you did a great job of improvising and getting the duck out in good shape.

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Same problem with fat content here, especially with the Niman Ranch butts, which seems trimmed a bit too much.

Elie, that terrine looks fantastic. Can you tell me what size your terrine mold is? Cups, s'il vous plait!

I believe it is 1.5 quarts (6 Cups, right?). It should be this exact one, in red.

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I picked up 3lb 6oz of jowl today (99 cents a lb)...now, who ha suggestions for the cure? Am I right in that it is cured just like bacon? I don't want to smoke this (smoked jowl bacon is readily available around here), so do I hang it after the cure?

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I picked up 3lb 6oz of jowl today (99 cents a lb)...now, who ha suggestions for the cure?  Am I right in that it is cured just like bacon?  I don't want to smoke this (smoked jowl bacon is readily available around here), so do I hang it after the cure?

I've put off curing the jowls I mentioned upthread, so I'll be interested to hear responses as well. My initial thought was to use the pancetta cure from the book, but I'd love to hear some other suggestions too. FWIW, I do plan on smoking them after they cure because while I can get jowl bacon around here, it isn't exactly easy to do so.

=R=

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