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ronnie_suburban

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

594 posts in this topic

Here is a quick costco salmon I did this week. I separate into 4 sections and food save them. This is the thick end piece I have sliced for a nice little hand hors d'oevre with lemon and cracked pepper.

Recipe is

3lb Costco Salmon

2 cups brown sugar 1 light 1 dark

3/4 cups koscher salt

1/4 cup scotch

lemon zest

gallery_33268_2905_464952.jpg


Edited by mdbasile (log)

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This seems to be the week for Sausage Issues, and boy, do I have some. Let's see, where to begin?

Those casings are worse to work with than a kitten-snarled ball of yarn. I was really unprepared for a) how much of a hassle it is to free enough to stuff 3 lbs of meat from a coil made for 100 lbs. Grrr. Then, getting it started on the stuffer nozzle was hard too, even though we had it wet. But then, miraculously, after laboriously inching a foot or so over the nozzle, the rest slid right on. Should the nozzle maybe be oiled, rather than watered, to make the start easier?

Our new vertical stuffer worked a treat, easy to use beyond even my pessimistic husband's expectations. The Italian sausages looked pretty normal

gallery_16307_2661_13723.jpg

except that, as you can see, there were lots of little air pockets. I'd smooshed the mixture down into the stuffer pretty hard - what else could I have done to avoid the bubble effect?

The twisting instructions were ingenious, but I think we did something wrong. Although the sausages looked normal when raw, when cooked they splorted out of the casings at the ends like this

gallery_16307_2661_3042.jpg

Sorry for the crummy pictures. The light was bad, the plate kept steaming up the lense, and I was grumpy because of the stuffing excursion. Did I need more twists to get greater length of casing between each sausage? But now that I think of it, I don't really understand what does hold the stuffing in the casing. Once you snip between the sausages, what is supposed to keep the stuffing from exploding out, as mine did?

The flavor was very good, although I found them on the edge of being too salty. And I love salt, so this was pretty surprising. I did sub fennel pollen for fennel seed, and used dried rather than fresh herbs. One thing I'd do differently is do a coarser grind next time. I followed the instructions and used the fine die

gallery_16307_2661_6301.jpg

but as you can kind of see in this picture, it was finer than a commercial Italian sausage. The mouth-feel was a bit too melting. Now I had added about 3-4 oz of extra back fat, since I'd read comments on the leanness of the Niman butts, and mine didn't seem to be over 20% fat, so that probably contributed to the melting sensation, but I think the grind was also part of the problem.

So, all in all, we learned a lot, but weren't entirely happy with the results. I'm looking forward to your tips, so we can do better next time. And notice how I keep saying "we," whereas my usual posts on this thread are all just me, doing my thing? That's because it sure goes better with four hands than two, alhtough I'm sure that with experience it's possible to go it alone.

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Just checked on the peperone, and they're still at that 61F/90%+ level. Lo and behold, the links themselves are looking quite good, save for the odd pock mark on a few of them from hitting the oven floor. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Abra, I had a few thoughts reading your post. Hope they're useful....

Should the nozzle maybe be oiled, rather than watered, to make the start easier?

I found that a three, step process -- rinse the salt off from the outside, rinse out the insides by attaching one end to the spout, then soak in warm water at least an hour or in cold overnight in the fridge -- goes a long way but doesn't solve the problem. I've been keeping a bowl of water handy (distilled for the peperone) to douse the casings regularly.

The Italian sausages looked pretty normal except that, as you can see, there were lots of little air pockets.  I'd smooshed the mixture down into the stuffer pretty hard - what else could I have done to avoid the bubble effect?

I think it's inevitable, and I've been keeping a sterile needle (a safety pin) handy for poking the holes. It's a very simple step at the end, and it solves the problem pronto.

The twisting instructions were ingenious, but I think we did something wrong.  Although the sausages looked normal when raw, when cooked they splorted out of the casings at the ends like this [snip] Did I need more twists to get greater length of casing between each sausage?

When I saw the links I thought that they looked overstuffed. When I'm stuffing, I want them to be a little bit understuffed. I also think that getting rid of those air pockets is going to help with this problem.

But now that I think of it, I don't really understand what does hold the stuffing in the casing.  Once you snip between the sausages, what is supposed to keep the stuffing from exploding out, as mine did?

Don't snip until they've cooked a bit -- or, cheat a bit (like me) and tie them off with twine.

One thing I'd do differently is do a coarser grind next time.

Yeah, I'm finding that the KA fine grind is too fine quite a few times. I'm going to be trying the coarser grind in the future for a few of these.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Abra

I'll just sort of second most of Chris' thoughts.

I've never had any problems threading the casing, and rarely had an rupture occur. I think Ron mentioned waaaaay up thread about soaking the casing longer by accident. Since that time I almost always soak mine overnight in the refrigerator.

Like Chris, I keep something handy to poke a hole in any air pockets I see.

Also like Chris, my first thought when I looked at your pictures of the cooked sausages was that they looked a bit over stuffed.

I've never used the small die in the KA, have always used the larger one.

Chris,

Fingers crossed for you peperone


Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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Ok, good advice! I did soak the casings for about 28 hours, and rinsed them through at the tap, although that was after they'd soaked.

That's so interesting about the overstuffing. To avoid that, do you pull the stuffed sausage forward as it stuffs, or what? They were stuffed to the "natural" level, i.e., no pressure in either direction except for what the nozzle itself provided.

Large die next time for sure!

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That's so interesting about the overstuffing.  To avoid that, do you pull the stuffed sausage forward as it stuffs, or what?  They were stuffed to the "natural" level, i.e., no pressure in either direction except for what the nozzle itself provided.

I think that you can't really go by the fill rate of the stuffer. You want to have the sausages filling the casings so that they're, I dunno, 80-90% full. Basically, they should look a little sad, not fat and plump. If that makes any sense whatsoever.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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That's so interesting about the overstuffing.  To avoid that, do you pull the stuffed sausage forward as it stuffs, or what?  They were stuffed to the "natural" level, i.e., no pressure in either direction except for what the nozzle itself provided.

I think that you can't really go by the fill rate of the stuffer. You want to have the sausages filling the casings so that they're, I dunno, 80-90% full. Basically, they should look a little sad, not fat and plump. If that makes any sense whatsoever.

I agree with this. It makes the "linking" much easier and (usually) incident-free. And as Chris posted upthread, air pockets -- which seem to be the only undesireable by-product of this filling method -- can be easily dispatched.

I just grip the casing a little less tightly as it's coming of the horn and let it coil out a bit faster. That seems to do the trick.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Ok, I totally get it. Now, to actually do it.

Since commercial sausages are always so plumply stuffed, I just assumed we should do that as well. I love it that they should look "a little sad." I'll refrain from any and all off-color analogies, but I know you know what I'm thinking.

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Quick question. I'm getting ready to do another batch of the chicken sausage. I remember after my last batch, some discussion of adding chicken skin. ???

Or, should I gust augment the fat that's on the chicken with some belly fat?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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here is a close-up of my Salmon.

Did a Sockeye today - will post soon.

Also Started - Duck/Sage, Hot Italian, Merguiez, and Classic Brats....

Stuffing tomorrow -- will post the photos. Taste was delicious. Though I must say I am not so sure about the soy protein in the brats.

gallery_33268_2905_1239078.jpg

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Looks good, mdbasile! I too wondered about the soy protein -- but I figure that these are Polcyn's adjustments after many years of tweaking for flavor, texture, etc.

I love it that they should look "a little sad."  I'll refrain from any and all off-color analogies, but I know you know what I'm thinking.

I think that we all have been showing a great deal of restraint in this topic, honestly. I mean, think of the "Behold My Butt!" topic, for crying out loud.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Quick question.  I'm getting ready to do another batch of the chicken sausage.  I remember after my last batch, some discussion of adding chicken skin.  ???

Or, should I gust augment the fat that's on the chicken with some belly fat?

Susan, I think someone mentioned a while back that Bruce Aidel said to use the chicken fat. (not sure) The last time I made chicken sausages I used some skinless chicken breasts that were not going to get used for anything else around here so I just added fat back. I like the idea of using the chicken fat, but I've got to think that it will need to be nearly, if not completely, frozen to get it through the dies without smearing.


Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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I think that we all have been showing a great deal of restraint in this topic, honestly. I mean, think of the "Behold My Butt!" topic, for crying out loud.

That has me thinking about all we HAVE done. I'd be interested in seeing if we can compile a list of our projects.

So far I have completed or have in progress:

Herb brined smoked turkey breast

Fennel cured salmon

Bacon

Pancetta

Proscuito

Lamb proscuito

Pork jowls

Sopressata

Tuscan salame

Venison salame

Peperone

Beef Jerky

Duck breast proscuito

Bresaola

Pork, chicken, lamb and turkey sausages

Cured and smoked pork loin

Hungarian paprika sausage

Polish sausage

Linguica

Duck and pork confit

Smoked ham hocks

Hey, they're only doing pork butts over there!


Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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I love it that they should look "a little sad."  I'll refrain from any and all off-color analogies, but I know you know what I'm thinking.

Why, I have no idea what you're thinking. Could you please elaborate :raz::biggrin::raz:? [just kidding]


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Geez, Dave, nothing sad about your accomplishments so far! You've done about 8 times as much as I have. Assuming that your "pork jowls" are the same as my guanciale, the only thing I've got going that you don't mention is lardo.

The main difference between the butt thread and this one are the butt jokes. It's not that sausages aren't a great inspiration for jokes, is it?

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  It's not that sausages aren't a great inspiration for jokes, is it?

Especially if they are "overstuffed" or "sad" looking.... :biggrin:

Yes, my jowls are indeed the same as your guanciale, I just didn't know how to spell it at the time I was posting. :blush:


Dave Valentin

Retired Explosive Detection K9 Handler

"So, what if we've got it all backwards?" asks my son.

"Got what backwards?" I ask.

"What if chicken tastes like rattlesnake?" My son, the Einstein of the family.

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I have a question for all the bacon makers on the board. I am now three days into making savory bacon using the pancetta spicing, and flipped the bellies yesterday afternoon. I've made the maple flavored bacon in the past, and quite a bit of liquid has exuded as the spiced bellies cured in the fridge. This time, I am getting much less liquid exuding from the bellies, despite the fact that both recipes have the same amount of salt in them. The only other difference is that this time I bought the whole pork belly from a local Korean market, whereas in the past I got the bellies from an Amish farmer. Is this difference in liquid normal? Anything to be concerned about? I'm puzzled, to say the least :wacko:.


Edited by hwilson41 (log)

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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I have a question for all the bacon makers on the board.  I am now three days into making savory bacon using the pancetta spicing, and flipped the bellies yesterday afternoon.  I've made the maple flavored bacon in the past, and quite a bit of liquid has exuded as the spiced bellies cured in the fridge.  This time, I am getting much less liquid exuding from the bellies, despite the fact that both recipes have the same amount of salt in them.  The only other difference is that this time I bought the whole pork belly from a local Korean market, whereas in the past I got the bellies from an Amish farmer.  Is this difference in liquid normal?  Anything to be concerned about?  I'm puzzled, to say the least :wacko:.

Based on my experiences and something I think I remember reading way upthread, this is normal. There's something about using maple syrup that ultimately produces a lot more liquid in the curing vessel. Without that component, the liquid output during curing seems consistently smaller.

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Thanks Ron. I was concerned that maybe I'd done something wrong because the amount of liquid was so small, but I followed the cure recipe to the letter, except that I had to make extra because the pork belly weighed almost 13 pounds. I'll report back after the project is finished next weekend.

Also need to get going (again :wacko:) on the revised andouille recipe. I'm really anxious to produce a jambalaya that isn't so spicy it's overpowering :raz:.


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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So far so good. Made a ton of sausages - filled today with hog casings.

gallery_33268_2905_521493.jpg

From right to left top to bottom:

Merguze(sp?), Brats

Duck, Hot Italian

I'll post em cooked later tonight.

It is alot of sausage - like 20 pounds and 80 links....

I have close-ups in case anyone is interested...

Thanks all for your posts.

Mark

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Looks good, mdbasile! I too wondered about the soy protein -- but I figure that these are Polcyn's adjustments after many years of tweaking for flavor, texture, etc.

This is the 3rd time I have made them, and I liked the first ones the best -- with no Soy protien at all, but it has been awhile -- I need to try again and compare. I think it gives a little too much of a "bready" taste.

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Way to go, mdbasile!! That picture is simply glorious. About how long did that take you? I'd love to run that many batches back to back but I don't know if I have the capacity to do so. Can you describe the process a bit? I'm in awe!

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Way to go, mdbasile!!  That picture is simply glorious.  About how long did that take you?  I'd love to run that many batches back to back but I don't know if I have the capacity to do so.  Can you describe the process a bit?  I'm in awe!

=R=

Thanks Ronnie!!!

Just had mothers' day dinner(or in my case Muthas' Day) Cooked some of these babies up - here's the photos...

FWIW - took us - my wife maura and I - 4 hours prepping and grinding on Sat. and about 2 hours on Sunday stuffing. Had some good success - even made the tart cherry mustard to go with the duck sausage....

Here they are grilled w/ mustard same order left to right top to bottom:

Merguiez, Brat

Duck, Italian

gallery_33268_2905_451134.jpg

Cut - as you can see the Italian is a bit over cooked... I'll fix it next time - Hell I have 20 more...

gallery_33268_2905_886223.jpg

gallery_33268_2905_2344.jpg

Served as a very nice Muthas' day hors d'oeuvres w/ various condiments...

gallery_33268_2905_1281611.jpg

It was alot of fun and work!!!

Though my feet are a little sore.


Edited by mdbasile (log)

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That's a lovely sausage array, mdbasile!

Me, I'm still having problems with my Italian sausage. Today I tried roasting some, to see whether even heat all around would keep them from bursting out of the casings. Yes, it did. They remained whole, but got very, very small. Why? Because an incredible big-ass lake of fat melted out of them, right through the casings. And then they were dry.

So, did the fat need a coarser grind? Was it not bound properly? I'm at a loss, since no one else has reported on any problems. Can it be that I have bad sausage ju-ju?

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That's a lovely sausage array, mdbasile!

Me, I'm still having problems with my Italian sausage.  Today I tried roasting some, to see whether even heat all around would keep them from bursting out of the casings.  Yes, it did.  They remained whole, but got very, very small.  Why?  Because an incredible big-ass lake of fat melted out of them, right through the casings.  And then they were dry.

So, did the fat need a coarser grind?  Was it not bound properly?  I'm at a loss, since no one else has reported on any problems.  Can it be that I have bad sausage ju-ju?

Funny that you say this. This is my second batch of Italian and I have been having problems too. I am not so sure about the grind either. I used a small die for 3 of the 4 and only the large die for the Marguze, and that has a much better texture. So it could be the grind.

It is so odd how it is different though. I made all 4 batches at the same time - and the method is all the same - really only the seasoning and what kind of meat is different(well except for the brats - with all that cream and egg).

This sausage is much better than the last Italian I made and I am thinking 2 things made it different.

1) I didn't paddle the susages for more than about 30 seconds - just enough to get a mix.

2) No coriander seeds. I think the seeds have an effect as to how the sausage cooks - not sure how - but it seems to make a difference. The Marguze and duck are much more uniform and less tempermental and neither have anything real solid in them - the ad-ins are soft. The fennel is bad enough, but the coriander is like these little pebbles - maybe if we crushed them like in the tuscan salami - it would help.

Have you tried any other sausages?

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