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


ronnie_suburban
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I've got a dinner for 12 tomorrow. I'm smoking salmon for chive crepes with home made creme fraiche, capers, pickled red onions. Then a salad with my latest batch of bacon, candied pecans, apples and blue cheese. I just made a batch of Lyonnaise sausage (not from the book, but yummy anyway) with orange zest, pistachios, thyme, madeira that I'm putting inside butterflied pork tenderloins that are brining and wrapping the whole thing in the rind from the last batch of bacon. Served with spaetzle and some rhubarb apple chutney I just finished. Also making olive bread. Dessert will be crisp meringues with lemon semifreddo and the last of my huckleberry sauce from last year.

Did I forget anything?

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Did I forget anything?

Yeah....my invitation!

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've got a dinner for 12 tomorrow.  I'm smoking salmon for chive crepes with home made creme fraiche, capers, pickled red onions.  Then a salad with my latest batch of bacon, candied pecans, apples and blue cheese.  I just made a batch of Lyonnaise sausage (not from the book, but yummy anyway) with orange zest, pistachios, thyme, madeira that I'm putting inside butterflied pork tenderloins that are brining and wrapping the whole thing in the rind from the last batch of bacon. Served with spaetzle and some rhubarb apple chutney I just finished.  Also making olive bread. Dessert will be crisp meringues with lemon semifreddo and the last of my huckleberry sauce from last year.

Did I forget anything?

You forgot to invite me!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Pallee, you MUST cough up that recipe! Lyonaise sausage in tenderloin in smoked pig skin? I've got to try that!

Dave, your lamb prosciutto looks beautiful. Makes me think I need to run downstairs and weigh mine. Last time I looked it seemed to be a lot dryer than I expected. Tell us how you served it.

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Here's my Lyonnaise sausage recipe.

Pork shoulder 5#

Thyme 1 1/2 tspn

Sage 1/2 tspn

White pepper 1 1/2 tspn

Salt 1 1/2 Tblspn

Cayenne 1/4 tspn

Zest from one Orange

Pistachios 3/4 cup

Madiera 1/2 cup

I rough chop the pistachios and fold them in at the end. The pork butt I get is plenty fatty, so haven't needed to add more fat - adjust accordingly. Sometimes all you can get are salted pistachios, so reduce the salt and taste a sample before casing.

I use fresh herbs and a microplane for the zest.

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Loosely related, very fun piece -- including quotes from Brian Polcyn -- in today's NYT by Julia Moskin (free registration required):

Dry-Cured Sausages: Kissed by Air, Never by Fire

I agree that portions of that piece were "fun", but I found this part heartbreaking:

On Monday inspectors destroyed all the cured meats at Il Buco restaurant in NoHo. They did so, according to the owner, Donna Lennard, not because of any evidence of contamination but because the temperature in the curing room was six degrees higher than it should have been.

"These are pigs that were raised for us," Ms. Lennard said. "We knew their names. We were trying to do something sustainable and traditional, and this is what happens."

The saddest thing is that the meat was probably at the right temperature for best results, but as Polcyn states in the article, this process is too complex for the authorities to "get".

I've seen what Dominic Cerino (in Cleveland) has to do to please the inspectors. Expensive dedicated coolers, digital monitors for temperature, humidity, and pH. His grandma just hung the stuff in the cellar. :smile:

Agreed. Actually, that section of the piece made me angry and made me realize just how important this book and our projects are.

Here in Chicago, they've already taken away our foie gras and the folks at Paulina Market quietly admitted to us they'd taken to cooking their dry-cured products at very low temperatures because they didn't have enough space for a "government-approvable" drying area. Who knew Charcuterie could be so delightfully subversive? To the City of Chicago, I heartily raise both my middle fingers. :angry:

=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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Pallee, since you use fresh herbs, are you using triple the amount in the recipe? That looks like dried herb proportions. And are you stuffing the tenderloin with loose, raw sausage?

I have to agree that it's a sad state of affairs when raw milk cheese and cured meats become contraband. Foie gras, well, I see a bit more how people can get worked up about it, although I eat it without qualms myself.

Thanks, Dave, for pulling your lamb prosciutto today, which caused me to inspect mine. After hanging only a bit over 2 weeks, it's already lost 50% of its weight from the day I hung it! Of course, it did cure for a little over 3 weeks, but still, that's fast. My humidity has been within the recommended limits the whole time, so I have no idea why it went so quickly. I was really worried that it would be lamb jerky but no, instead it's ultra-plush and delicious prosciutto.

I pulled the smaller of the jowl pieces too, to see how the guanciale is doing. It's been hanging over 5 weeks, and still feels somewhat tender to the touch. I know guanciale isn't meant to be eaten without cooking, but holy porker, that stuff is delicious just as it is! Sweet, mild, and almost all fat. It really makes me look forward to my lardo.

Uh, am I the only one with weight issues? This is SO not what I should be eating day after day!

gallery_16307_2661_42520.jpg

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This is a truly amazingly wonderful thread. I admire all your delicious work.

I have one question (well, actually I could have dozens, but...), for those of you who are using the meat grinder attachment for your KA, does that work reasonably well? I really want to avoid spending $300 or more for a serious dedicated grinder, since I will be doing small quantities -- mostly fresh sausage, max 5 pounds at a time, at least for the time being.

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I have one question (well, actually I could have dozens, but...), for those of you who are using the meat grinder attachment for your KA, does that work reasonably well?

Thanks everyone....Abra, your lamb looks 10X better than mine...wonderful! I haven't done anything but snack yet. I'm sure I'll come up with something special this weekend though. Weight issues? I'm running for an hour and a half a day on the treadmill just to keep this stuff from killing me!

Richard, the KA grinder seems to work well for me. It's just that the KA stuffer is pretty weak. It'll do the job, but you really seem to have to work at it.

Most of us here who have gotten into the sausage gig either have purchased a stuffer or are seriously considering it. I think Ron can give you some good advice there.

Except for Mark and his marathon sausage making fest and a few other rare instances, I think most of us do 5 lb sessions.

Edited by Bombdog (log)

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'll second what Dave just said. The grinder is just fine, but the sausage stuffing is a farting pain in the rear. Literally. There is a Northern Tool very close to my house, and I'm about to find myself in their parking lot and check out their stuffer. In fact, when Diana helped me stuff that last batch, I gave her permission to swear at the thing. Don't waste the $10.00 on the stuffer nozzles.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Don't waste the $10.00 on the stuffer nozzles.

Plus, they are very limiting. If you want to do anything larger than hog casing you are stuck doing it by hand.

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, Abra, those legs o' lamb look terrific. I want some . . . baaaaad! :biggrin:

I've been making my parts list and hope to shop for and construct my curing chamber this Saturday. After that, peperone and prosciutto will not be far behind.

Richard, I've had no problems with the KA grinder at all. And really, it's not the grinder per se, that would limit you to a 5-pound batch, it's the bowl itself, which really cannot functionally contain much more than that. As for the KA stuffer, there was enough warning about it in the book that I just avoided investing in one. After making a few batches of bulk sausage and deciding that I wanted to pursue it further, I invested in a stuffer, which I've been very happy with. In case you missed it, here's a link to discussion about stuffers:

Sausage stuffers - what to look for?, Recommendations, please

=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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Dave, Abra, those legs o' lamb look terrific.  I want some . . . baaaaad! :biggrin:

I've been making my parts list and hope to shop for and construct my curing chamber this Saturday.  After that, peperone and prosciutto will not be far behind.

Richard, I've had no problems with the KA grinder at all.  And really, it's not the grinder per se, that would limit you to a 5-pound batch, it's the bowl itself, which really cannot functionally contain much more than that.  As for the KA stuffer, there was enough warning about it in the book that I just avoided investing in one.  After making a few batches of bulk sausage and deciding that I wanted to pursue it further, I invested in a stuffer, which I've been very happy with.  In case you missed it, here's a link to discussion about stuffers:

Sausage stuffers - what to look for?, Recommendations, please

=R=

Ron raises an interesting point about the bowl. The bowl will handle a 5 pound grind, but you really need to divide it into two bowls for the bind, IMHO. Dividing the ground meat into two bowls is definitely the way to go for the bind. Just wait for one of those Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons and get the second bowl. Don't use an extra coupon for the stuffer attachment.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Dave - I used Jason's recipe on the lamb prosciutto. Is that what you used too? An hour and a half a day? Now I see the problem. That's a lot of treadmill! Too bad we can't figure out how to power a grinder and stuffer with exercise-power.

Somewhere I read this trick, and I can't even remember if it was here, but if it was it must have been way upthread, so it bears repeating. After using the KA grinder, run a piece or two of bread through the grinder. Cleans out the crud like a charm. Plus, if your dog eats pork, you can toss the little squidgy bread bits into the kibble for a real dog treat.

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Dave, Abra, those legs o' lamb look terrific.  I want some . . . baaaaad! :biggrin:

I've been making my parts list and hope to shop for and construct my curing chamber this Saturday.  After that, peperone and prosciutto will not be far behind.

Richard, I've had no problems with the KA grinder at all.  And really, it's not the grinder per se, that would limit you to a 5-pound batch, it's the bowl itself, which really cannot functionally contain much more than that.  As for the KA stuffer, there was enough warning about it in the book that I just avoided investing in one.  After making a few batches of bulk sausage and deciding that I wanted to pursue it further, I invested in a stuffer, which I've been very happy with.  In case you missed it, here's a link to discussion about stuffers:

Sausage stuffers - what to look for?, Recommendations, please

=R=

Ron raises an interesting point about the bowl. The bowl will handle a 5 pound grind, but you really need to divide it into two bowls for the bind, IMHO. Dividing the ground meat into two bowls is definitely the way to go for the bind. Just wait for one of those Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons and get the second bowl. Don't use an extra coupon for the stuffer attachment.

I have a KA which has a 5-quart bowl and it's usually very full with a 5-pound batch in it but I've never had to split the batches. I know that some KA models only have 4.5 quart bowls and with some of these recipes, that probably isn't enough capacity to effectively bind an entire batch of sausage in one take.

=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 -- Susan, Ron and Dave.

I had planned on visiting the Northern Industrial shop here for the stuffer (looks like a very good deal), but was hoping to keep the grinder cost down. I discovered a potential alternative in the last few minutes. I have a 7 qt DeLonghi and the grinder attachment for it has three screens rather than the two that I think come with the KA. I'll call tomorrow. If the grinder doesn't cost twice as much, would the added capacity help with the bind? Or would I still need two bowls. (I already have an extra 5 qt. KA bowl, so this requires a certain kitchen calculus to make a decision.)

Edited by Richard Kilgore (log)
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If the grinder doesn't cost twice as much, would the added capacity help with the bind? Or would I still need two bowls. (I already have an extra 5 qt. KA bowl, so this requires a certain kitchen calculus to make a decision.)

Richard I have a 5 qt bowl too, and it works, it just that 5 lbs is pretty much the max it can handle. I'm sure that the advantage Ron and I have over Susan is that we can wrap our big mitts around the top of the bowl and pretty much keep it all in there during the bind. I think Susan has a good idea, with the second bowl, if you have one. But I don't think it's essential.

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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My KA is really old. It was a wedding present, and we are soon to celebrate 25 years. Back then, there was only one KA available, and I just checked. My bowl is 3.5 quarts. No wonder I need two bowls!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Pallee, since you use fresh herbs, are you using triple the amount in the recipe? That looks like dried herb proportions. And are you stuffing the tenderloin with loose, raw sausage?

Abra,

I used these quantities today fresh, but had just snipped the herbs from my garden. It tasted "herby" enough, so I left it as such. I am using the loose raw sausage and butterflying the tenderloins and rolling them together, then wrapping in the bacon rind. This batch of bacon's rind was way more pliable than the last. I'm guessing it's from a younger pig.

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My KA is really old.  It was a wedding present, and we are soon to celebrate 25 years.  Back then, there was only one KA available, and I just checked.  My bowl is 3.5 quarts.  No wonder I need two bowls!

Thanks for checking that out, Susan. I couldn't figure out why the discrepancy. So now my decision rests more on the cost of the DeLonghi grinder and whether having three screens vs two is a real asset.

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My oringinal Kitchenaid had a great grinding blade. I gave it to a friend in a fit of generosity and a few years later got a new Kitchenaid. The blade that came with the new one was very different and seemed to me it smeared the meat more than cut it. I make alot of bread and ended up buying the Electrolux Magic Mill and the grinder that comes with it is far superior to even my original Kitchenaid.

Has anyone noticed any improvement when grinding at a higher speed? I seem to get a "cleaner" grind at higher speed with a better rope.

Mybig confession is that I don't use the mixer to emuslify. I finish grinding, chill the mix, and put on gloves. I mix until it gets sticky with my hands, chill again and put in casings later. Never had a broken sausage.

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My oringinal Kitchenaid had a great grinding blade.  I gave it to a friend in a fit of generosity and a few years later got a new Kitchenaid. The blade that came with the new one was very different and seemed to me it smeared the meat more than cut it.  I make alot of bread and ended up buying the Electrolux Magic Mill and the grinder that comes with it is far superior to even my original Kitchenaid.

Has anyone noticed any improvement when grinding at a higher speed?  I seem to get a "cleaner" grind at higher speed with a better rope.

Mybig confession is that I don't use the mixer to emuslify. I finish grinding, chill the mix, and put on gloves. I mix until it gets sticky with my hands, chill again and put in casings later.  Never had a broken sausage.

I've definitely noticed a cleaner cut when I up the speed on my KA while grinding. I usually run at speed 2 because running any higher seems to warm things up too fast.

As for the mixing, Pallee, no need to confess that you do it by hand, you should be boasting about it. That's downright old skool. I've always avoided it, figuring that my hands are warmer than the KA paddle, which I store in the freezer up until the moment it's used. But clearly sausage has been mixed successfully by hand for a lot longer than it's been done by machine. Generally speaking, how long does it take to acheive the primary bind when mixing 5 pounds by hand?

=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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