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


ronnie_suburban
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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'm looking at the chart on page 34 of the book, and I misspoke. I thought it was a picnic, but obviously by the shape it is either a portion of the ham or the shank.

On this chart, Michael says that the jowl is cured like pancetta. I've got two here, so I'll do one with the pancetta cure. Still looking for suggestions for the other one.

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

I'm looking at the chart on page 34 of the book, and I misspoke. I thought it was a picnic, but obviously by the shape it is either a portion of the ham or the shank.

On this chart, Michael says that the jowl is cured like pancetta. I've got two here, so I'll do one with the pancetta cure. Still looking for suggestions for the other one.

I sure wish I can find fresh jowls here. I would definitly cure like Pancetta and hang. Also Mario Batali has a recipe for Guanciale in Babbo and Molto Italiano. If I remember correctly he uses a similar mixture to the Pancetta cure but no pink salt.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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On this chart, Michael says that the jowl is cured like pancetta.  I've got two here, so I'll do one with the pancetta cure.  Still looking for suggestions for the other one.

I started with Mario Batale's recipe then read Josh Friedland's piece.

gallery_44960_2854_39961.jpg

As I cannot guarantee an absolutely even termperature and it's already getting hot here in Atlanta, I decided to use sodium nitrate. And after reading a couple of pieces on a gamier guanciale added allspice and juniper berries to the rub/cure.

Here it is before a weeks's curing.

gallery_44960_2854_61169.jpg

Note - The hog's jowl released more liquid than the pancetta that I cured and because of its irregular shape is more of a challenge to keep well wrapped.

I have a question for the butcher's among you. I could not tell whether the jowls had glands or not. Was not sure how/where to locate them.

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Thanks Aaron for the references.

After reading these other two I decided to go with one jowl in the traditional pancetta cure and another with a bunch of fresh herbs, rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme.

gallery_16509_1680_348799.jpg

Here is one jowl in the salt box

gallery_16509_1680_1016020.jpg

And here are both in separate zip locks ready to start the cure.

Like Aaron, I wasn't certain what the glands were, but trimmed a few things away that didn't look like they belonged. Best description I have is sort of like chicken livers. I'm sure that the dogs will love me even more next meal time.

Elie,

I'm surprised that if you have a supply of fresh belly and fat that you can't get jowls from them too.

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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For dinner tonight, I roasted the hot Italian sausages I mentioned up-topic:

gallery_19804_437_70445.jpg

I really feel like this sausage has demonstrated the absurd differences between the over-cooked, poorly made ones I've been used to and the well-cooked, homemade ones I'm starting to make. This photo helps to show a bit of what I mean:

gallery_19804_437_19958.jpg

I followed the Charcuterie recipe almost exactly, and with careful cooking (roasted at 425F to an internal temp of 150F) produced really great links. This roasting method worked really well, too; the skins popped, the sausages were evenly heated, and there was almost no oil residue in the pan when I took them out of the oven. I mean, I'm just blown away by the fact that there is almost no fat loss on the plate following a cut!

From all this, I conclude: cold cold cold before the primary bind.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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For dinner tonight, I roasted the hot Italian sausages I mentioned up-topic:

I followed the Charcuterie recipe almost exactly, and with careful cooking (roasted at 425F to an internal temp of 150F) produced really great links. This roasting method worked really well, too; the skins popped, the sausages were evenly heated, and there was almost no oil residue in the pan when I took them out of the oven. I mean, I'm just blown away by the fact that there is almost no fat loss on the plate following a cut!

From all this, I conclude: cold cold cold before the primary bind.

Chris, those look amazing!

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, regarding the boni in leg of lamb. I must have forgotten to weigh it after curing and before drying. BUT all included, from beginning to end, i had it lose 42% of its weight. It was in the drying chamber for 45 days.

jason

Thanks Jason. I've lost about 27% so far. I'll check it in another 2 wks to see where it's at. I wonder what difference the bone in vs boneless does for the wt loss?

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 the butcher's among you. I could not tell whether the jowls had glands or not. Was not sure how/where to locate them.

they can and you don't want to eat them, though i doubt they'd hurt you.

they're about the size of a quarter sometimes bigger, disc shaped, and a little off color, clearly not fat and not meat.

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Aarontighe, did you buy the jowls locally or have to order them? I looked all over town (atlanta) and could not find them!

Hey Jason

I get them from these guys. I came acrosss them at the Morningside Farmer's Market, Saturdays 8-11am. They don't bring them as standard, so best to ring in advance.

Their telephone number is on the website. I once tried the email address, but they clearly have a life and don't live on it as I do :wink:

Edited by aarontighe (log)
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Has anybody come across a recipe for Felino Salami?

I haven't been able to find 'salame di Felino' in the U.S. and miss it enormously. That's partly what got me thinking about making my own charcuterie.

It's made in the Commune di Felino which is near Parma, so no surprise that it is treasured.

I don't expect to reproduce a perfect copy, but it's definitely something worth striving for.

All help greatly appreciated.

Edited by aarontighe (log)
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aaron, i know them, i do my CSA through them. I'll ask them next time i see them if htey have jowls. How much do they charge for them?

I have some books that talk about felino salame. It is made with about 25-30% fat, and is ground quite coarse. Salt and pepper are added, and just before casing, garlic and pepper are crushed in a mortar and soaked in dry white wine. Then the filtered wine is added to the meat.

It is cased in pork bungs (i believe, it is called budello gentile in Italian)

jason

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aaron, i know them, i do my CSA through them. I'll ask them next time i see them if htey have jowls. How much do they charge for them?

I have some books that talk about felino salame. It is made with about 25-30% fat, and is ground quite coarse. Salt and pepper are added, and just before casing, garlic and pepper are crushed in a mortar and soaked in dry white wine. Then the filtered wine is added to the meat.

It is cased in pork bungs (i believe, it is called budello gentile in Italian)

jason

It's hard to say as I normally buy several packages of goodies from them. I think they are roughly $9-10 a jowl, which I think is good for the quality of pork.

Thanks for felino info. It's pretty clear to me that this is about the quality of the pork rather than the seasoning. I am wondering if Michaels's suggesting to dealcoholize the white wine might make make sense too.

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Chris, that's one magnificent sausage. My mouth is watering and I've gone weak at the knees. Save me from scrolling up endless pages -- how (if) did you modify the recipe?

And, how cold was the meat during the primary bind? My last venison sausage was almost frozen when I did the bind, and it just flat didn't want to bind.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Thanks, everyone, for the propers. Susan, I changed only one thing in the recipe: I used up some red wine that had been getting sour on the fridge door instead of using vinegar as the recipe indicates. As for temperatures, keeping in mind that the temperature threshhold is listed in the book at 40F, they were at 43F after the grind, below 35F (around 33F if I remember correctly -- and, perhaps troublingly, it is a good bet that I am doing so) at the start of the paddling; 37F after the paddling. Then I stopped worrying about the temperature, assuming that the emulsion had set. You can get the full description by clicking the pink snapback box at the end of this quotation:

So my tentative conclusions were as follows. It's a good idea to keep the meat as cold as possible throughout the dicing, combining with seasonings, and grinding. However, this time around I was less diligent about keeping things cold through these stages (see above) -- but I was hellbent on leather to bring the ground meat way below 40F and keep it there in order to achieve the primary bind. Once I got the emulsion, I didn't worry so much about temps.

That is all to say: I hypothesized that, while keeping things cold is a good goal throughout the process, one can get away with less-than-frigid temps here and there but NOT during the paddling to set the primary bind.

I'm not McGee, but the evidence in that photo (and in my mouth) is pretty compelling. The crucial matter for sausage emulsion, like other emulsions, seems to be the temperature of the ingredients at the time you are attempting to create the emulsion (paddling), and not before (grinding) or after (stuffing). As someone who doesn't want a non-air-conditioned kitchen to prevent sausage-making now that grilling season is here in force, I find that pretty good news.

One more thing: my package from Butcher & Packer just arrived with hog casings, some dextrose, and -- very excitingly -- some bactoferm F-RM-52. I think I have to commit now to a curing chamber of some sort.... :huh:

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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One more thing: my package from Butcher & Packer just arrived with hog casings, some dextrose, and -- very excitingly -- some bactoferm F-RM-52. I think I have to commit now to a curing chamber of some sort....  :huh:

Eerie, indeed. :smile:

Just yesterday I received a very similar package from Butcher & Packer, but mine included sheep casings (the ones I got from the last place have been problematic), 1 pound of Cure #2 and some butcher's twine. My box also included some bactoferm. Mr. A., I believe we are on parallel courses, although I still have some jowls to cure tonight before I start trying to fabricate a curing chamber.

=R=

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

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Eerie, indeed. :smile:

An X Files moment. Mine arrived Wednesday. More bactoferm and beef middles this time. I'm going to go for some large salame

My jowls are curing nicely as we speak...

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 must be somewhere in the vicinity, but not quite at the confluence described above. I have my Canadian bacon drying in the reefer so I can smoke it while I rake the yard and keep my eye on the K. Derby. Then the plan is to have it for breakfast Sunday with some sage and thyme sausage I made yesterday. Made bacon for Easter morning, but didn't smoke it, and had the corned beef for March 17. And I come home today to find out I must now be on Butcher Packer's mailing list. (Actually it's Sausage Maker's) I'd love to do the dried sausage thing, but my cellar is home to any number of pernicious molds.

Edited by McDuff (log)
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I must be somewhere in the vicinity, but not quite at the confluence described above. I have my Canadian bacon drying in the reefer so I can smoke it while I rake the yard and keep my eye on the K. Derby.

Pictures, McDuff...Pictures...let's see these projects!

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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So I need to figure out this drying box/curing chamber business before I get grindin' and stuffin'. From the book and the posts here, I've come up with some basics:

  • block light
  • keep it humid (65-75%), with a pan of salty water, say
  • cool (55F)
  • enclosed but with air circulation

I need to do this in some rudimentary way, I think. Don't say old fridge because I'm not going to have one of those in enough time, and there's no room in the basement, which is the only sufficiently cool spot. Any ideas? I was thinking about going to Home Despot and getting some big box of some kind and inverting it, so that the "cover" is on the ground and the links are hanging from a rack on the base of the "bottom"....

Also, I have a couple of other questions. Can someone help me understand the enclosed with circulation issue? What does that mean functionally? Drill holes in the sides? Open it now and then? A fan?

Taking over my own fridge is a possibility short-term, but is it too cold?

Thanks in advance, and apologies if I've missed something in this gargantuan topic!

edited to clarify -- ca

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris, a regular fridge will be too cold and too dry. I use an enclosed fridge with a humidifier inside, and i have poor circulation of fresh air. My next modification is to make a hole in the side nad put a computer fan on a timer so every 6-12 hours it blows fresh air in. I don't know if this is really necessary.

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