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ronnie_suburban

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

594 posts in this topic

I still haven't worked up the nerve/time to work on sausages yet, but I've had great luck with batches of bacon.

This week I did a small truffled bacon (about 1lb of pork belly, and I included 1 TBS of white truffle oil in the cure), and a larger (around 1.75lb) herbed bacon (using fresh rosemary, oregano, and thyme from the gardon, and basil and garlic from a nearby farm).

Currently curing, a chai bacon (brown sugar, lapsang souchong tea, green cardamom, black pepper, allspice, and cloves).

--Dave

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I still haven't worked up the nerve/time to work on sausages yet, but I've had great luck with batches of bacon.

Dave, work up the courage. As you'll notice just up-topic, I wanted plenty of hand-holding, but sure didn't need much, and the rewards...

We'll grill the sausages tomorrow (yes, I know I wanted to do them tonight, but not being sure of the outcome, I have something else in the hopper that needs to be used tonight).

Courage, my friend! We are here to help, and I can honestly say it was much easier than I expected and a ton of fun.

Call me an addict.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I still haven't worked up the nerve/time to work on sausages yet, but I've had great luck with batches of bacon.

This week I did a small truffled bacon (about 1lb of pork belly, and I included 1 TBS of white truffle oil in the cure), and a larger (around 1.75lb) herbed bacon (using fresh rosemary, oregano, and thyme from the gardon, and basil and garlic from a nearby farm).

Currently curing, a chai bacon (brown sugar, lapsang souchong tea, green cardamom, black pepper, allspice, and cloves).

--Dave

Dave, those bacons sound really great. How did that truffled bacon taste? I may have to give that one a shot.

One thing I did (and recommended several pages ago) is to make your first sausage attempt a relatively easy one. I used the breakfast sausage recipe in the book and made "bulk" sausage without any casings. I did this before I'd even researched stuffers. Of course, one taste of those delicious sausages and I started this thread. :wink:

=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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Susan, beautiful sausages.  how did you know what to do with the plastic thingy?  I don't understand from the description here (have I read the instructions yet?  Why, no.)

I don't remember the plastic thingy being in the instructions. It is used to support the impeller thingy when a cutting disk isn't in place. Look how the tabs of the grinding disk fit into the body of the grinder. The plastic thingy fits into the same slots when a grinding disk isn't in place, as when you are stuffing. I think it will be obvious once you look how things fit together.

Edited to add one more thing: Silver skin really clogs up the KA grinder, especially when using the finer grinding disk. Plan on disassembling several times midstream unless you trim carefully.

Jim


Edited by jmcgrath (log)

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Dave, those bacons sound really great.  How did that truffled bacon taste?  I may have to give that one a shot.

The truffled bacon was really nice around the edges, but not so pronounced inside. Next time I do it, it will be with another very small piece of bacon, and I'll cut it into smaller blocks (and score it down the center).

--Dave


Edited by Dave Weinstein (log)

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I don't remember the plastic thingy being in the instructions. It is used to support the impeller thingy when a cutting disk isn't in place. Look how the tabs of the grinding disk fit into the body of the grinder. The plastic thingy fits into the same slots when a grinding disk isn't in place, as when you are stuffing. I think it will be obvious once you look how things fit together.

gallery_16509_1680_298303.jpg

Does this help?


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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Edited to add one more thing:  Silver skin really clogs up the KA grinder, especially when using the finer grinding disk. Plan on disassembling several times midstream unless you trim carefully.

Uptopic some, Michael told me not to be so paranoid about the "silverskin" on the thighs. He was right. My first grinding ever...nary a clog! I know I will be much more careful with venison and pork.

Now, to my next question. One fix and we (my kids and I) feel like junkies. We are looking at the recipes. We see a turkey with cherry sausage. We see a venison and cherry terrine. We see a smoked venison sausage.

We are thinking of a venison and cherry sausage, not smoked.

Michael, if you are out there, answer a question about the cherries. Every dried cherry I see is a tart cherry that has been sweetened. Is this appropriate? If you were to do what I'm thinking of, can you suggest some seasonings?

I have the venison, and Thursday or Friday I will have the back fat. Who cares that I have 25-30 coming over on Easter and I need to clean the house? We need to stuff more sausages!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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While folks are discussing them here, I thought I'd add a couple of thoughts about the KA grinder pieces. It's really worth sticking every piece into the freezer for a good while to chill them fully. I also found that sharpening the grinding blade makes a big difference: just run each edge of the wheel-like blade along a flat sharpening stone (I use the ones from my EdgePro system) several times.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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While folks are discussing them here, I thought I'd add a couple of thoughts about the KA grinder pieces. It's really worth sticking every piece into the freezer for a good while to chill them fully. I also found that sharpening the grinding blade makes a big difference: just run each edge of the wheel-like blade along a flat sharpening stone (I use the ones from my EdgePro system) several times.

Golly, gee, for all of the hand holding, I'm feeling pretty darned smart, because I stuck everything in the freezer last night (including the KA mixing bowl that I knew I'd be grinding into). And, did sharpen the blade using a plain old stone.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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While folks are discussing them here, I thought I'd add a couple of thoughts about the KA grinder pieces. It's really worth sticking every piece into the freezer for a good while to chill them fully. I also found that sharpening the grinding blade makes a big difference: just run each edge of the wheel-like blade along a flat sharpening stone (I use the ones from my EdgePro system) several times.

Golly, gee, for all of the hand holding, I'm feeling pretty darned smart, because I stuck everything in the freezer last night (including the KA mixing bowl that I knew I'd be grinding into). And, did sharpen the blade using a plain old stone.

Yep, that's where I've actually been storing my stuff. It goes into the freezer directly from the dishwasher, so it's always ready to go.

=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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While folks are discussing them here, I thought I'd add a couple of thoughts about the KA grinder pieces. It's really worth sticking every piece into the freezer for a good while to chill them fully. I also found that sharpening the grinding blade makes a big difference: just run each edge of the wheel-like blade along a flat sharpening stone (I use the ones from my EdgePro system) several times.

Golly, gee, for all of the hand holding, I'm feeling pretty darned smart, because I stuck everything in the freezer last night (including the KA mixing bowl that I knew I'd be grinding into). And, did sharpen the blade using a plain old stone.

Yep, that's where I've actually been storing my stuff. It goes into the freezer directly from the dishwasher, so it's always ready to go.

=R=

Saves valuable cupboard space, BTW. Tossed all sorts of odd freezer burned and unlabled things today to make room for a permanent freezer fixture!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Thanks for the explanation and the picture, Jim and Dave! That's perfectly clear.

That chai-spice bacon sounds really cool to me, Dave W. How did it turn out?

I guess the two ice cream canisters that already live in the freezer are gonna have to learn to share, now that the grinder parts will be moving in.

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While folks are discussing them here, I thought I'd add a couple of thoughts about the KA grinder pieces. It's really worth sticking every piece into the freezer for a good while to chill them fully. I also found that sharpening the grinding blade makes a big difference: just run each edge of the wheel-like blade along a flat sharpening stone (I use the ones from my EdgePro system) several times.

Golly, gee, for all of the hand holding, I'm feeling pretty darned smart, because I stuck everything in the freezer last night (including the KA mixing bowl that I knew I'd be grinding into). And, did sharpen the blade using a plain old stone.

Yep, that's where I've actually been storing my stuff. It goes into the freezer directly from the dishwasher, so it's always ready to go.

=R=

Saves valuable cupboard space, BTW. Tossed all sorts of odd freezer burned and unlabled things today to make room for a permanent freezer fixture!

After all this curing and stuff and smoking, Ron and Susan, you've got freezer space?!?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I am in ht NYC area and having trouble locating back fat. I tried Niman ranch but they wanted $19 for 5 lbs and $20 to ship. Almost $40 for 5 lbs of fat seems a little over the top. Any suggestions.

Jim

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That chai-spice bacon sounds really cool to me, Dave W.  How did it turn out?

It's on day 2 of curing, so I won't know until next week.

Tonight I need to freeze some of this weeks batch (the herb and truffle bacons), or they will go away too quickly...

--Dave

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I am in ht NYC area and having trouble locating back fat.... Any suggestions.

Try one of the Latino mercados. Most of them keep fatback for making their own sausage. If memory serves, I paid about $1/lb, if that, the last time I bought some here in northern VA.


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

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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.

I've been thinking about this and I'm going to cut the black pepper to 2T from 4T and increase the cayenne pepper to 3T from 2T. At least, that's my plan for the next run, which hopefully, will be this weekend. I'm also going to make another batch of breakfast sausage this weekend and tube them into sheep casings. Those are the 2 types of sausages that I feel I've really zeroed in on, both preference-wise and trial & error-wise. I think, using what I've learned so far, those batches should both come out exactly how I'd like them to.

After that, I still want to cure and cold-smoke some salmon and get into the dry-cured sausages too. I will definitely need some guidance when it comes to rigging a curing chamber. I've got a basement but because it's finished, it doesn't get particularly cool down there until I start running my AC for the season.

=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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I've been thinking about this and I'm going to cut the black pepper to 2T from 4T and increase the cayenne pepper to 3T from 2T.  At least, that's my plan for the next run, which hopefully, will be this weekend.

Must be the "great minds" phenomenon at work again :wacko:. After reading your comments about the bitterness in the finish, those are the exact proportions I decided on. I'm still in search of Pecan right now, and probably won't try the Andouille until I find some...soon, I hope.


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

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Lots of stuff going on around here the last two days. We got the peperone into the curing box today and hot smoked some linguica

gallery_16509_1680_77952.jpg

Getting ready to grind some more meat for Tuscan salame. That stuff is gonna go fast and I feel a need for replacements.

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, when making your tuscan salame, are you grinding meat and fat at the same time, or separately and then mixing them? Also how long are you paddling your meat/fat/spices/bactoferm?

What are you using as your incubation chamber?

jason

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The Chicken tomato and basil sausages, grilled:

gallery_6263_35_25161.jpg

They were a bit crumbly, as you can see. I'm thinking I didn't have a high enough proportion of fat, which was fine because I served these to my folks, and my dad has had bypass surgery (which is why I sort intentionally kept the fat to a minimum). Perhaps I didn't mix the stuff long enough after I ground it, but I think I did.

Anyway, these are absolutely wonderful. The Teen who does not really like pork sausage (maybe I got the wrong baby at the hospital???) loved these.

The flavor is wonderful and they are a nice different twist on a sausage.

Off to plan my next batch. I think it's going to be until early next week until I can get to my reliable sourse of fat back; this place also has sheep casings and you can get trimmings, etc. -- think ultimate meat market attached to a slaughterhouse.

I must say I've done a lot of cooking. A lot of odd things. Never have I done anything as rewarding as making bacon or sausages.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Dave, when making your tuscan salame, are you grinding meat and fat at the same time, or separately and then mixing them? Also how long are you paddling your meat/fat/spices/bactoferm?

What are you using as your incubation chamber?

jason

Jason, I do it pretty much as Michael says in the book...I cube the fat back and pork, chill it, then grind it together. Then I paddle it with all of the above for about a minute and a half (or so).

As suggested upthread, I am now using the oven with the light on to incubate. I did the peperone that way last night and used an instant read to check. 78 degrees. Perhaps not ideal...but not bad.

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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They were a bit crumbly, as you can see.  I'm thinking I didn't have a high enough proportion of fat, which was fine because I served these to my folks, and my dad has had bypass surgery (which is why I sort intentionally kept the fat to a minimum).  Perhaps I didn't mix the stuff long enough after I ground it, but I think I did.

this place also has sheep casings and you can get trimmings, etc. -- think ultimate meat market attached to a slaughterhouse.

I must say I've done a lot of cooking.  A lot of odd things.  Never have I done anything as rewarding as making bacon or sausages.

Susan, I couldn't agree with you more. This is THE most rewarding thing I have every done.

As far as the texture of the sausages...I think you're right about the amount of fat. I had nearly the exact results with my first batch of chicken sausages. I had reduced the fat for the same reasons. I also think that I did not keep everything as ice cold as I should. Remember Jason's recommendation..."frost biting finger cold".

My supplier is the same...a meat market attached to a slaughter house. What more can you ask for?

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, I will say that my meat was numbingly cold. It was as close to frozen as it could be without being frozen. I discovered it is easier to get it really super cold if you put it in two bowls, and sort of "reverse mound" it. Deep indent in the center, with the meat going up the sides, so you basically have a layer of meat all over the bowl. I also stuck the bowl I was to be grinding in, as well as the ice bowl in the freezer. Makes me wonder about putting the grinding -into bowl in the ice bowl with some water into the freezer. This is more than an addiction, it is a sickness if you start thinking things like that!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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