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ronnie_suburban

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

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Well, I completely forgot to take pictures yesterday when I took the lamb out of the cure and hung it.

On the bright side,

gallery_16509_1680_1047369.jpg

I took the pancetta out this morning

gallery_16509_1680_898469.jpg

Very happy with the results. I guess I got it rolled tight enough, as it seems fine inside. You're so right Ron, about how difficult that process can be.

Dave


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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Very happy with the results.  I guess I got it rolled tight enough, as it seems fine inside.  You're so right Ron, about how difficult that process can be.

Well, Dave, it looks like you handled it swimmingly. That pancetta is beautiful. A nice, tight roll for sure. :smile:

Per request, here's a quick version of the modified Folse/Ruhlman-Polcyn Andouille recipe I made. I'll also enter it into Recipe Gullet later today.

5 1/2 pounds fatty pork shoulder or butt, diced into 1-2" chunks

1/2 cup minced garlic

1/4 cup freshly-cracked black pepper (I'd decrease this next time)

2 T cayenne pepper

1 T dry thyme (I'd increase this next time)

3 T kosher salt

1 t curing (pink) salt

1 C ice water

10' hog casings

Mix the garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and salts together. Sprinkle that mixture over diced pork chunks and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate, covered for up to 24 hours. Grind seasoned mixture, once, through a 1/4" die. Then, using the paddle attachment of the stand mixer, slowly add 1 C of ice-cold water to the mixture until it becomes a sticky, homogenous paste (1-2 minutes).

Tube off the mixture into hog casings and twist the casings into links. Let the links dry, uncovered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Once dry, hot-smoke the links at about 180 F, over the wood of your choice. I used hickory on my first try. Next time out, I'll try pecan or cherry. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until the links reach an internal temperature of 150 F. Once fully smoked, dunk the links in a bath of ice water to impede any carry over. Dry links and refrigerate them.

=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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Jason, I actually meant the process you used of putting half the cure on the lamb, refrigerating it for 2 weeks, then the other half of the cure and back into the fridge. That seems novel.

By coincidence, my calendar tells me that my prosciutto might be ready today too. It's been hanging for 2 weeks - how long did yours hang, Dave, to look the way it does today?

I have a wood question. I've been looking for a local source of apple, cherry, or maple wood, so that I can have logs or big chunks instead of having to use chips. I found a guy with a bunch of cherry, but here's the thing. It's not dry, as in kiln-dried. It's been cut, but outside, for a year. I'm not clear on the science of wood drying. On the one hand, it seems like I'm going to soak it anyway, so wet wood is ok. On the other hand, it also seems like in the drying process some volatiles, not water, are probably emitted from the wood, and that their presence in wet wood might not be desirable for cooking. Any ideas? And how about bark, on those fruit and nut woods? Do I need to strip the bark? On alder I've been leaving the bark on, but alder has a very thin bark.

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By coincidence, my calendar tells me that my prosciutto might be ready today too.  It's been hanging for 2 weeks - how long did yours hang, Dave, to look the way it does today?

Abra, I hope you meant your pancetta, not proscuitto. Mine was cured for 10 days and then into the curing chamber on March 22.

Dave


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 guess this is my lucky day. When I checked my notes for Abra, I discovered that the Tuscan salami should be ready.

gallery_16509_1680_236591.jpg

gallery_16509_1680_335625.jpg

Flavor is wonderful, nice and firm to the touch. I'm pretty full of myself today!

Dave


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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Abra, I always take all the bark I can off wood I'm using to cook with as the bark can cause acrid smoke. I think you're fine using wood that's been seasoned a year, even if it's not bone dry. I used to live next to an orchard and got trimmings all the time and they were fine after even a summer.

That salami looks great! And I can't wait to make the andouille!

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I have a wood question.  I've been looking for a local source of apple, cherry, or maple wood, so that I can have logs or big chunks instead of having to use chips.  I found a guy with a bunch of cherry, but here's the thing.  It's not dry, as in kiln-dried.  It's been cut, but outside, for a year.  I'm not clear on the science of wood drying.  On the one hand, it seems like I'm going to soak it anyway, so wet wood is ok.  On the other hand, it also seems like in the drying process some volatiles, not water, are probably emitted from the wood, and that their presence in wet wood might not be desirable for cooking.  Any ideas?  And how about bark, on those fruit and nut woods?  Do I need to strip the bark?  On alder I've been leaving the bark on, but alder has a very thin bark.

I've been getting my smoke wood from barbecuewood.com. They are way cheaper than local (Seattle) sources and the quality is good.

Wood should be dried covered for at least a year, so you're probably ok.

I never soak smoke wood. I think it just delays the inevitable as the water needs to evaporate in order to smoke.

I don't like wrestling small chunks of wood and losing, so I take the bark off if it looks like I can get it off easily.

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I was making a garlic sage brine for 8 1/2 lbs of what was marked "pork picnic shoulder" at a local Korean supermarket (Hmart) when I realized there was another application for something I had in my freezer. I keep a 72 oz plastic mayo jar filled with water (becomes ice, duh to the duh power) to keep the freezer cold and take up empty airspace. The original idea was to chill my hands when my wife said they were too hot in the summertime.

Anyway, I found that the ice in the jar cools off the brine faster after heating it up. Being the analytically retentive person that I am, I first wrapped it with 2 sheets of plastic wrap first, to keep the jar clean to use another day.

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That Tuscan salami is simply glorious.  How many of those have you done?  What are the potential pitfalls that a first-timer should keep in mind?

Thanks Ron.

Hard as it may be to believe, that salami was my first curing project. I followed the recipe in the book to the letter and never had one bit of a problem. I checked them at the recommended time and decided another week was a good idea. At that point, they were just a bit softer than I thought they should be, although the taste was great.

I'm guessing <knock on wood> that it was just beginners luck. Michael speaks to so many things that can go wrong that I was pretty much resigned to having some sort of problem.

I can't see you having any problems with the project Ron. Other than the curing time, they really are not any different from so many of the other projects you've already done.

Dave


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'm in absolute awe of everything presented. So, my questions make me feel like well, a novice (which I am).

I'm planning on making sausages tomorrow. The kids are home on spring break, and it seems like a good project. So, my questions:

Can I dice up the meat and mix everything together today, stick in the fridge to grind tomorrow? (Peter's question)

Can I grind and stuff on the same day?

I'll be using a KA meat grinder and stuffer. Any tips, hints and potential pitfalls welcome.

Should this be a successful and fun endeavor, I'll think about investing in more equipment, but a friend leant me the KA attachments, and I thought I should give this a go before I think about buying more stuff.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Can I dice up the meat and mix everything together today, stick in the fridge to grind tomorrow?  (Peter's question)

Sure can. Gives the spicing a chance to sink in deeper, and makes grinding easier.

Can I grind and stuff on the same day?

Sure can. Just make sure everything is frostbitten-fingertips coooooooold.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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...I'm planning on making sausages tomorrow.  The kids are home on spring break, and it seems like a good project.  So, my questions:

Can I dice up the meat and mix everything together today, stick in the fridge to grind tomorrow?  (Peter's question)

Can I grind and stuff on the same day?

I'll be using a KA meat grinder and stuffer.  Any tips, hints and potential pitfalls welcome.

Susan, I think for the most part all of us here are novices at this adventure, with the exception of Jason.

I have chopped and mixed and left overnight before grinding a couple of times. I can't see where it makes any difference at all.

You can certainly grind and stuff on the same day (depending on what you are making). Unless your choice calls for an overnight rest before stuffing...go for it. The only suggestion I have is to let the grind chill real well before stuffing.

I know that others have had bad things to say about the KA grinder/stuffer. Personally, with an extra set of hands, I haven't had any real issues. It's not the most professional set up, but HEY, I'm still a rookie too.

I would clean your grinder atachment after grinding and put it in the freezer while the ground filling chills, just to make everything as cold as you can. AND, even though Ron thinks I am really talented at tubing, stuffing the grinder and taking pics all at once, I found that having an extra set of hands feeding the grinder/stuffer while I tube seems to work pretty well.

Just take your time during the tubing process...don't be afraid to turn the machine off and make adjustments to your process. Keep your filling COLD and you shouldn't have any problems.

Good luck

Dave


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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Dave, what grind did you use for the tuscan salame? It looks nice and coarse.

Abra, i read about hte double cure on Len Poli's site...and i just kept using it. Don't know why really:)

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So far, no one has mentioned how unbelievably tedious it is to remove the silverskin and tendons. Is there an easier way? BTW, I'm doing the chicken sausage with tomatoes and basil, which is what the kids chose.

I'm used to smoking whole cuts of meat, the process of which just leads these undesireables to simply dissolve.

Back to work I go!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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So far, no one has mentioned how unbelievably tedious it is to remove the silverskin and tendons.  Is there an easier way?  BTW, I'm doing the chicken sausage with tomatoes and basil, which is what the kids chose.

I'm used to smoking whole cuts of meat, the process of which just leads these undesireables to simply dissolve.

Back to work I go!

By chance, I made this very sausage yesterday, and i don't know what you're talking about re: silverskin. The connective tissue in chix thighs is not that tough, nor does recipe call for this. I just check the thighs for missed cartilage and then dice, fat connective tissue and all.

I like the description higher up of noticing that the fingers on the hand you're feeding the grinder with should be uncomfortably cold. you know then your meat's cold enough.

re: kitchen aid grinder stuffer. this does work (I believe judy rodgers uses a similar grinder-stuffer arrangement, or for years did), but it prevents three things. First, it doesn't allow you to create a good bind, resulting in a crumbly texture (though some people prefer this and it's what they're used to); second, it doesn't allow you to distribute the seasoning evenly; third it doesn't allow you to incorporate additional liquid; all of which are achieved in the paddling stage. One of the cool things about Brian's chix sausage recipe is the incorporation of the vinegar wine and olive oil (he's put the sauce, the vinaigrette, inside the sauage--i love that).

good luck.

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Dave, what grind did you use for the tuscan salame? It looks nice and coarse.

Jason, it was the largest die on the KA grinder, 1/4 inch I believe.

Dave


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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re: kitchen aid grinder stuffer.  this does work (I believe judy rodgers uses a similar grinder-stuffer arrangement, or for years did), but it prevents three things.  First, it doesn't allow you to create a good bind, resulting in a crumbly texture (though some people prefer this and it's what they're used to); second, it doesn't allow you to distribute the seasoning evenly; third it doesn't allow you to incorporate additional liquid;  all of which are achieved in the paddling stage. 

good luck.

Michael,

I'm kind of confused. Are you saying that the KA doesn't work for those reasons if you grind and stuff in one session?

I usually grind my mixture into the KA bowl (in ice) and then paddle it. I take a few minutes to re chill everything and then put the mixture into the attachment with the blade and die removed to stuff it.

gallery_16509_1680_127314.jpg

This is a close up of the lamb sausage I made last week. I didn't think it was crumbly, but now I'm not sure.

Dave


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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The Folse-based andouille turned very well.  The stuff is delicious and very near my ideal.  It needs a little more tweaking.  I think I'd cut the black pepper significantly; maybe even in half.  The heat is fine but there is a bitterness which shows up at the finish with that much black pepper.  I might add a bit more thyme too.

Here are some pics . . .

gallery_3085_2744_28855.jpg

The finished sausages.  A bit darker in color than the cold-smoked batch.

gallery_3085_2744_254189.jpg

It's a bit hard to tell, but I think the pic reveals the piece identity within the sausage, which is larger than with batch #1.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind this sausage even more coarse, but I don't know if have all that hand-chopping in me.  Maybe next time I'll dice a portion of the meat into small cubes and mix it in by hand right before tubing.  I also wouldn't use hickory again even though it is preferred in some quarters.  Next time, I'll try either pecan or cherry.  In spite of the bold seasoning in this recipe, I think the hickory overpowers somewhat.

I'm a bit late to the party, but we were out of town over the weekend and I just got caught up this morning. Beautiful work, Ron, as always. And I'm glad to get the tips about the recipe before I start on mine (this week, I hope). Re reducing the black pepper, did you give any thought to increasing the cayenne a bit to hold the heat constant? I'm thinking I might try that, but not sure yet.

You are correct that hickory is too assertive for most sausages as it tends to overpower the flavor. Pecan, which is a member of the same family, has a milder flavor and would be much better. Some Andouille pros in LA recommend a combination of Pecan and Sugar Cane (which I wouldn't have a clue where to find :raz:), but straight Pecan should work fine.

The last two sausages I tried I used pork shoulder, trimmed of all fat, and then used fatback (courtesy of the Amish farmer) for the fat. It works really well, and I love the flavor, so that's probably what I'll do on this batch also. Thanks again for being the lead experimenter :biggrin:.


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

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Michael,

I'm kind of confused.  Are you saying that the KA doesn't work for those reasons if you grind and stuff in one session? 

I usually grind my mixture into the KA bowl (in ice) and then paddle it.  I take a few minutes to re chill everything and then put the mixture into the attachment with the blade and die removed to stuff it.

That's exactly right, grind into the bowl then paddle then stuff. only concern is that the meat stays cold. the temptation is to grind it directly into the casing.

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Just a side note here on the cost of pink salt to those of us north of the border.

After many attempts to source the salt in Canada I cried uncle and ordered it from "The Sausage Maker". Service was prompt, efficient and accurate and I have no complaints about the company. But here's a breakdown of my cost:

1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF

1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF

Shipping and handling $11.80 USF

Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

By the time I factor in the exchange rate I will have paid at least $60 Cdn. for 2 lbs of salt!

So much for free trade.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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That sucks, but 2lbs of instacure will last you pretty much for ever, given that you use 1 oz. of 25lbs of meat, so each lb of will make 400lbs of meat!

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Just a side note here on the cost of pink salt to those of us north of the border. 

After many attempts to source the salt in Canada I cried uncle and ordered it from "The Sausage Maker".  Service was prompt, efficient and accurate and I have no complaints about the company.  But here's a breakdown of my cost:

1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF

1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF

Shipping and handling $11.80 USF

Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

By the time I factor in the exchange rate I will have paid at least $60 Cdn. for 2 lbs of salt!

So much for free trade.

What are Brokerage Fees and GST? Do you have to pay them because it's being sent to Canada, or because you're a Canadian buyer? Do the fees apply if someone in the US buys it and then sends it to you, or buys it and has it sent directly to you? FYI, Butcher-Packer sells #1 and #2 for $1.50 lb. each....

Phil


Monterey Bay area

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1lb insta cure #1 8.99 USF

1lb insta cure #2 8.99 USF

Shipping and handling $11.80 USF

Brokerage fees and GST (a Canadian tax) $21.43 Cdn!

Anna

This isn't going to help you now...but as Michael has suggested in the past, Butcher-Packer.com is a much better resource for supplies, as far as costs go.

Dave


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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That sucks, but 2lbs of instacure will last you pretty much for ever, given that you use 1 oz. of 25lbs of meat, so each lb of will make 400lbs of meat!

Yes, I really just wanted to point out that things can get very expensive when they travel across a border where supposedly we have "free trade".


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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