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snowangel

Curing and Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 3)

597 posts in this topic

I'm with Abra. Lets all rememebr this meat is uncooked, and stored for weeks at theoretically unsafe temperatures. Don't take any chances...be safe, and enjoy it longer:)

I went downstairs and saw the curing chamber and regretted my post above. I think that we need a separate topic for food safety issues with cured or smoked meats, eh?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Well, now we know that Mark and Ron are available to be our green-meat canaries, but I'd sure hate to lose either one of you.  Personally, I'm an utter chickenshit when it comes to potential food poisoning. 

Chris, are you still alive?  I actually think your mold soup looks way gross - how come you don't try the Bactoferm innoculant instead of homemade spore broth?

Someone has to say this sometime, so it might as well be me, since I'm possibly the only one of us with a ServSafe certificate and a semi-anal approach to food safety.  You know how we say that people have been doing this meat curing stuff for millenia?  Well, please, don't be too macho!  People also used to die regularly from food-borne illnesses.  Let's not repeat that part of history!

Thank you for the Love Abra.

For me it is a matter of "what are the chances?" I too want to enjoy the fruits of my labor, and am enjoying life, in general. I think common sense and experience come into play for sure.

It is a balance. I have always believed a little dirt is good for the immune system(my kids never washed thier hands as much as many of thier more concerned peers, and they also have not been as sick nearly as often), and as long as we are careful and not foolish, I believe we will likely not have any problems.


Edited by mdbasile (log)

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I'm with Abra. Lets all rememebr this meat is uncooked, and stored for weeks at theoretically unsafe temperatures. Don't take any chances...be safe, and enjoy it longer:)

I went downstairs and saw the curing chamber and regretted my post above. I think that we need a separate topic for food safety issues with cured or smoked meats, eh?

Hey All, I'm a new member and this my first post. I've been reading this forum for about month and have tried a couple projects from Michael Ruhlman's book. As it relates to the above, I need some help. I'm in the process of making pancetta. I had it in my fridge for 9 days (since it was still soft, I left it an extra couple of days) and I rolled and tied it and have had it hanging in my garage (read: ground floor) in dark place for 5 days now. I live in San Francisco so I don't think its the temp. Everything seems to be fine with it EXCEPT at the very top there is a small batch of white colored mold. Does this mean I need to trash it and start over? If yes, did I not roll it tight enough?Any help would appreciated.

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I'm with Abra. Lets all rememebr this meat is uncooked, and stored for weeks at theoretically unsafe temperatures. Don't take any chances...be safe, and enjoy it longer:)

I went downstairs and saw the curing chamber and regretted my post above. I think that we need a separate topic for food safety issues with cured or smoked meats, eh?

Hey All, I'm a new member and this my first post. I've been reading this forum for about month and have tried a couple projects from Michael Ruhlman's book. As it relates to the above, I need some help. I'm in the process of making pancetta. I had it in my fridge for 9 days (since it was still soft, I left it an extra couple of days) and I rolled and tied it and have had it hanging in my garage (read: ground floor) in dark place for 5 days now. I live in San Francisco so I don't think its the temp. Everything seems to be fine with it EXCEPT at the very top there is a small batch of white colored mold. Does this mean I need to trash it and start over? If yes, did I not roll it tight enough?Any help would appreciated.

White mold = good

Green mold = bad

white is fine....

...keep it hangin

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Well, I don't think that mold on the end necessarily means you didn't roll it tight enough....BUT...in light of Abra's concerns for our health (just kidding), I think I'd cut off the offending portion and probably check the inside to see if there is any mold growth in there. If not, I'd re tie it and re hang and hope for the best. I certainly wouldn't trash it yet.


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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What's the going rate for pork bellies?

I told my husband that the butcher had our order in and by his whistle (and sensing the eyeroll  :rolleyes: ) I fear we will be making extemely overly priced bacon.

Funny - I don't think I have done a cost analysis - but No you will not be saving money vs buying from the grocery store....

For most of us - that is really not why we started doing all this.

Speaking of Bacon...

I made a maple and a Hosin brown sugar cured maple smoked bacon. Nieman stomachs.... man are these fatty -- also I think I may have used too much cure -- the flavor is very sweet and salty strong. Does this subside when they sit for awhile? I follow the quantities pretty much as directed in the book.

I had no delusions of actually saving money by making bacon myself LOL !

I was really just wondering about the prices others have been paying and if it was a regional difference. I know I could buy bellies at my local Asian market for 1/2 of what the butcher charged.

Maple & Hosin flavored bacon sounds interesting.

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White mold = good

Green mold = bad

white is fine....

...keep it hangin

Is there a more scientific approach than this, for instance if you were confronted with this:

gallery_45743_3164_15437.jpg

Would you be prepared to eat it? Tens of thousands of Indonesians, eat this everyday, but from the white = good, green equals = bad perspective, where does orange come in? :blink: and would it actually do any harm to my salami if they came out this colour?

Just for your information, for those who have never come across it before, Oncom is a fermented peanut or soya bean cake, and tastes a little like nutty mushroom.

Best Regards,

Richard


"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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White mold = good

Green mold = bad

white is fine....

...keep it hangin

Doesn't Michael also make the caveat that any fuzzy mold (as opposed to chalky) is bad, even if it is white?

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I think that the safest method for all of us hobby curists, is following the curing instructions given in the book in regards to temperature, relative humidity, and cleanliness. These instruction will give all of us the best possibility for success. 50 to 55 deg. and R.H. at 70%, bleach solution, gloves! The nose knows and if green or fuzzy mold appears, discard for your safety.

As far as curing in your garage, closet, over the kitchen sink, this will work for some of us depending on where you live (Terroir!). In Toronto, my basement one day is 60 deg. the next day 80 deg. then to 55 deg. the next. Humidity fluctuations all over the place. I wish I lived in Jabugo Spain, but I don't.

So if you have room at your dwelling, do yourself a favor and go and buy yourself the following: Used fridge, computer fan, 12 volt adapter, and a plastic bucket. Turn your fridge to the lowest setting, hook up your fan, and fill your bucket/container with 50% salt and water. Place your Thermometer/Hygrometer in the fridge for 24 hrs and you have a great starting point to creating and controlling your environment for happy and relatively safe curing.

I have do crack my fridge door open from time to time to bring down the humidity.

Cheers!

IMG_0166.jpg

P.S.

My Chorizo and Salami after 2.5 weeks. No Bactoferm (Delicious!). They still require about a week. I made some with bacto and some without, will post tasting notes next week.

IMG_0153.jpg

IMG_0152.jpg


Edited by thomasevan (log)

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Bombdog, mdbasile, et al

Thanks for the advice and soya bean cake lesson. I'm going to untie the pancetta as suggested and see what's inside.

As for the terrior, since I live in San Francisco fog most of the year, I may have wrongly assumed its the ideal conditions described in the book. Next stop the big box store for the curing room equipment.

thxs again,

Mike

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Bombdog, mdbasile, et al 

Thanks for the advice and soya bean cake lesson. I'm going to untie the pancetta as suggested and see what's inside. 

As for the terrior, since I live in San Francisco fog most of the year, I may have wrongly assumed its the ideal conditions described in the book. Next stop the big box store for the curing room equipment.

thxs again,

Mike

Mike, before you write off the City by the Bay completely, consider the following that I just read. It's from the NY times article about Armandino Batali's store in Seattle:

"One of the secrets of the successful aging of artisanal culatello is the high humidity along the Po, in the marshy area known as the Bassa Parmense. Especially during the winter months, the tranquil towns and villages there, such as Zibello and Busseto, Giuseppe Verdi's hometown, are shrouded in fog so dense that the region's highways must sometimes be closed to traffic. Seattle's climate is also famously damp, which has helped him to create "a new tradition not so far from the old," Mr. Batali said."

Now that sounds an awful lot like San Francisco as well, so maybe some continued experimentation is worth it. If that doesn't work out, maybe you can try developing your own sourdough starter instead!

For the whole article on Batali's shop, here it is: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/17/dining/17cula.html

Best,

Rob

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Kielbasa (Polish Smoked Sausage)

gallery_45743_3164_83781.jpg

Modified from the original by the replacement of Pork Back Fat by Beef Fat, doubled the garlic, added whole mustard seeds, and used collagen casings. The sausages were hot smoked in a kettle grill! albeit at too high a temperature as is evidenced by the cavities, but the texture and the taste are just fantastic.

Best Regards,

Richard

P.S. It sure is difficult taking sexy photo's of your own sausage! :wink:


"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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P.S. It sure is difficult taking sexy photo's of your own sausage! :wink:

Yes well when I first started posting here - after I had made some Tuscan Salami -- I actaully said out loud...

"You know, I should really take a picture of my salami and post it"(I am told I added "on the internet").

....my wife is still laughing,,,,


Edited by mdbasile (log)

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Nice job, tristar! Great-looking stuff.

How do the whole mustard seeds come through the grinder? Do most of them stay whole. If so, are they palatable that way? Did you toast them first?

And yes, taking pics of one's sausage requires, among other things, great dexterity. :biggrin:

=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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Hi Guys,

I just take the mustard seeds and mix them in, I haven't tried toasting them as I don't want them to lose their seedcoat! It's just that I think they may soften too much if they don't have that protection. They seem to absorb enough moisture from the forcemeat without any problems, and they seem to pass through the mincer plate without damage but I am using the the medium plate for the second grind and not the fine!

I just like the little extra bite they give to the sausage, texturally I mean, rather than flavourwise, as you probably already know during the cooking they loose all their heat and just add a little nuttiness when one pops between your teeth!

Regards,

Richard


"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Maple & Hosin flavored bacon sounds interesting.

This is actually 2 separate bacons...

One maple

One Hosin

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Hi everyone,

I am going to do a hot smoked salmon this weekend. I am thinking about doing something quite similar to the cold smoked salmon in Charcuterie, but rather than finish with a cold smoke, do a hot smoke at about 200-250 in my Weber.

Is this approximately the right procedure, or are there other recommendations you'd give me? Also, I'm guessing it will cook in about 25 minutes or so -- is that on target?

Thanks!

Hey Darren,

When I've done hot-smoked salmon and bluefish in the past it usually takes 45 min to an hour, smoking at around 215 degrees. I use a pretty simple cure that's a 2:1 ration of brown sugar (packed) to kosher salt. You can, of course, add other spices and seasonings. I'll usually stick to black pepper. I cover the fish in the cure, let it cure overnight, rinse it off, and set it out to dry for a couple hours and form a pellicle. If I'm impatient I'll put an oscillating fan in the kitchen to speed this up. Then it's into the smoker. I tend to be paranoid about overcooking things, so I use a digital probe thermometer for just about everything I smoke. When it hits 140, it's done in my book.

Hope this helps,

Rob

How important is it to let the salmon dry (after curing) in a fridge versus out of it, and covered versus uncovered? In some places I've read that the fridge is too moise to sufficiently dry out the salmon.

Thanks in advance.

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I think the tradeoff is cool (you want the fish cold to grab that smoke for as long as possible) versus moist (too much moisture prevents a good pellicle).


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I think that Batali quote about Seattle's famously damp climate is a bit disingenuous. I've seen Armandino's curing chambers - you can bet your bresaola they're enclosed, super-clean, temperature and humidity- controlled rooms. It's not like he's hanging the odd bits of meat out in the Puget Sound breezes or anything!

We've got Copper River sockeye for $8.99/lb now, so I see no way to avoid smoking/curing/sausaging some salmon, pronto. It'll be my maiden fish-charcuterie voyage, except for the gravlax I did last December.

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I think that Batali quote about Seattle's famously damp climate is a bit disingenuous.  I've seen Armandino's curing chambers - you can bet your bresaola they're enclosed, super-clean, temperature and humidity- controlled rooms.  It's not like he's hanging the odd bits of meat out in the Puget Sound breezes or anything!

We've got Copper River sockeye for $8.99/lb now, so I see no way to avoid smoking/curing/sausaging some salmon, pronto.  It'll be my maiden fish-charcuterie voyage, except for the gravlax I did last December.

Good point, Abra. I didn't catch that, and they clearly mention it in the full article. But I guess for little people doing stuff at home in foggy areas, if it's close in climate to the original regions in Italy where they still do it the "real" way, maybe they can get similar results.

Where are you getting your Copper River salmon? I was out of town when it showed up in our Costco, and my fiancee thought I was crazy when I told her to buy 6 of them for the freezer! It's nice to get such great salmon for such a low price. Are they appearing in Costcos around the country?

-Rob

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Out of the mouths of babes. As Peter and I finished stuffing 15 pounds of sauges, using the KA stuffer (at 1:00 yesterday morning), he said "mom, this is a piece of crap." Normally, crap is not a word I would permit, but I went on to say "Peter, it is not a piece of crap, it is a piece of something worse." And, he knew I meant the S word. I think I will not make any more sausage until I have something more roadworty, and something that is less likely to provide that awful sausage stuffing fart that causes yet more airpockets.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Out of the mouths of babes.  As Peter and I finished stuffing 15 pounds of sauges, using the KA stuffer (at 1:00 yesterday morning), he said "mom, this is a piece of crap."  Normally, crap is not a word I would permit, but I went on to say "Peter, it is not a piece of crap, it is a piece of something worse."  And, he knew I meant the S word.  I think I will not make any more sausage until I have something more roadworty, and something that is less likely to provide that awful sausage stuffing fart that causes yet more airpockets.

Hi Snowangel,

I suffered for months with a similar stuffer from Kenwood, the fats in my sausages were smearing causing poor definition, it used to take forever to complete a batch, and was generally a right royal pain in the butt! Not caused by wind though!

I sought advice from different forums and was convinced that the problems were of my making and possibly from lack of experience or skill, I tried all the recommended solutions, temperature lowered, added water, minced more finely but nothing seemed to help.

Three months ago I bought one of the small cheap vertical stuffers and my life changed completely, so quick, easy to clean, more clear definition in the sausages, well worth the cost which I have to say was not too high anyway!

I can only assume that from the number of hobby sausage makers who are happy with their KA or Kenwood stuffers, that they don't know what they are missing! I certainly do now!

Take the plunge and buy a plunger :rolleyes: style stuffer and you will find a whole new world opens up to you and your enthusiasm for sausage making will return with a vengance!

I bought this model Sausagemaking.org, but i am sure you can find something from Northern Tool or one of the many Stateside suppliers for a much more reasonable price.

Regards,

Richard


"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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My take on Pancetta from 'Charcuterie' using a loin and breast of lamb, substituted Rosemary and rainbow peppercorns in the recipe. What else to call it but Lambcetta! :rolleyes:

gallery_45743_3164_112101.jpg

I will let you know how it turns out after drying!

Regards,

Richard


"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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What do you so with a failed terrine?

Things were going badly last night with my veal gratin, and I think the emulsion broke. It's cooling now, but it shrank, and a good deal of fat accumulated at the edges. (I had trouble grinding, things got too warm, I knew I was in trouble. Oh dear)

If things go as ill as I expect, I could chalk it up to experience. But there's all that nicely seared pork butt, and lovely veal, and lots of my best home-cured bacon.

I'm not looking to salvage it, so much as to use the remains intelligently. Who shall guard the unguarded garde manger?

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don't despair until you taste it. if it did in fact break, slice it and serve it like a meat loaf sandwich, maybe make a good mustard.

if that doesn't work, batter and deep fry it, that seems to work with just about anything...

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