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

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I chilled the mix before shaping on the skewers, and chilled the skewers before grilling. I formed the small (cat-turd sized) sausages around the skewer, but Elie, you're saying to form them first, then skewer them?

That's what I do, form a log about 4 or 5 inches long and maybe 3/4 inch diameter and then skewer it from end to end. Works best for me. Although this is not the "traditional" way of making it, my grandmother would simply form it on the skewer, but then again she is a better cook that I :hmmm:


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Just to verify my doubts about not being able to make proper cured sausages in Houston without a curing chamber, I made ahalf batch of Peperone. I hung it in my extra refrigerator in the garage. The problem is, we actually need to use that fridge for normal uses, so it is not just for curing. The temperature and humidity are both lower than ideal. This resulted in a peperone that is dried on the outside and still "mushy" in the center :sad: .

gallery_5404_2234_288780.jpg

It does taste great though. So what can I do with it? slice and cook on pizza and such?

In the meantime I am sticking with stuff that does not require dry curing (bacon in all its guises, smoked/fresh sausages, terrines...).


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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i think i've said this in a previous post, but you can make pancetta tesa in a regular frige. Just salt it as normal (for a week or 2 or whatever), then don't roll it. Put it on a cake cooling tray over a plate (so air can circulate around it), and put it in the fridge for about 20-30 days. It'll become rather hard.

then wrap it in moist paper towels and put in a ziplock bag to re-hydrate the exterior a bit, for a few days. Then use! It works just as well as a curing chamber. I did a head to head, and did not taste any difference. It may be because pancetta is thin, and has lots of fat, so it doesn't have a chance to case harden.

jason


Edited by jmolinari (log)

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i think i've said this in a previous post, but you can make pancetta tesa in a regular frige. Just salt it as normal (for a week or 2 or whatever), then don't roll it. Put it on a cake cooling tray over a plate (so air can circulate around it), and put it in the fridge for about 20-30 days. It'll become rather hard.

then wrap it in moist paper towels and put in a ziplock bag to re-hydrate the exterior a bit, for a few days. Then use! It works just as well as a curing chamber. I did a head to head, and did not taste any difference. It may be because pancetta is thin, and has lots of fat, so it doesn't have a chance to case harden.

jason

That's a great tip. Jason; thanks. I have not made pancetta previously due to our humid climate, but I am ready to try this as something different from the maple smoked bacon.

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See with Pancetta, I'm ok if it is not dry cured. I made it a couple of times and rolled it and let it dry in the fridge for only a couple of days, then in the freezer it went. I have a whole roll in there now. It is meant to be cooked and eaten anyways, so I do not fuss too much with getting it dry-cured. Salami, peperone, chorizo and their buddies are a different story since they need that perfect dry texture to be eaten raw.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Just to verify my doubts about not being able to make proper cured sausages in Houston without a curing chamber, I made ahalf batch of Peperone. I hung it in my extra refrigerator in the garage. The problem is, we actually need to use that fridge for normal uses, so it is not just for curing. The temperature and humidity are both lower than ideal. This resulted in a peperone that is dried on the outside and still "mushy" in the center :sad: .

gallery_5404_2234_288780.jpg

It does taste great though. So what can I do with it? slice and cook on pizza and such?

In the meantime I am sticking with stuff that does not require dry curing (bacon in all its guises, smoked/fresh sausages, terrines...).

Hi Foodman,

Don't give up just yet, seal the pepperone into ziploc bags and just leave them for a while, they will equalise! I have heard of some people who seal into the ziplocks, freeze them, then thaw, which is supposed to speed up the process, but haven't tried it myself.

I cannot really see from the Photograph which size casings you used, but sheep casings will facilitate easier drying in your conditions as well.

Best Regards from a hot and humid Jakarta,

Richard


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

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Hi Foodman,

Don't give up just yet, seal the pepperone into ziploc bags and just leave them for a while, they will equalise! I have heard of some people who seal into the ziplocks, freeze them, then thaw, which is supposed to speed up the process, but haven't tried it myself.

I cannot really see from the Photograph which size casings you used, but sheep casings will facilitate easier drying in your conditions as well.

Best Regards from a hot and humid Jakarta,

Richard

I agree Elie, don't give up hope yet. I think tristar and Jason have both given some good advice here. I think you can re-hydrate the exteriors via refrigeration and a bit of added moisture to the point where the interiors can again lose more moisture. If that fails (and if it were my stuff), I'd throw them on the smoker and cook them at a very low temperature (to 160 F internal temp).

=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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Another version of my Kielbasa from further upthread, this time with the mustard seeds left out but with the addition of a garnish of Brisket Bacon. managed to control the temperature better this time and the result, no cavities in the sausage!

gallery_45743_3164_280707.jpg

My apologies if this all seems like simple stuff to you more experienced guys but for me it is still magical!

Regards,

Richard


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

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Richard, tell us more about brisket bacon. Now there's a concept!

It was hot here for a few days and the temp in my garage curing chamber seemed too high, so I haven't started any new projects. But now we're having a cold snap, and I might be able to get going again.

Elie, what did you end up doing with your peperone?

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Thanks for the advice folks. The pepperone are tighlty wrapped in the freezer. I am sure they will be more than acceptable as topping/filling for baked goods and such.

I used pork casings BTW.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Just to verify my doubts about not being able to make proper cured sausages in Houston without a curing chamber, I made ahalf batch of Peperone. I hung it in my extra refrigerator in the garage. The problem is, we actually need to use that fridge for normal uses, so it is not just for curing. The temperature and humidity are both lower than ideal. This resulted in a peperone that is dried on the outside and still "mushy" in the center :sad: .

gallery_5404_2234_288780.jpg

It does taste great though. So what can I do with it? slice and cook on pizza and such?

In the meantime I am sticking with stuff that does not require dry curing (bacon in all its guises, smoked/fresh sausages, terrines...).

I had to put my foot down with my wife about the extra fridge, and convvince her that we just have to go shopping more often! :biggrin:

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Another version of my Kielbasa from further upthread, this time with the mustard seeds left out but with the addition of a garnish of Brisket Bacon. managed to control the temperature better this time and the result, no cavities in the sausage!

gallery_45743_3164_280707.jpg

My apologies if this all seems like simple stuff to you more experienced guys but for me it is still magical!

Regards,

Richard

That looks delicious Richard! I have some trepidation in attempting the european style sausages, as I believe they require a greater degree of difficulty to perfect them. Good on you!

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Salami and Chorizo after one Month, Very, Very pleased! I did 2 sausages without bactoferm, and my wife and I actually prefer them!

The salami is basically Salame-finocchiona with nutmeg and cinnammon.

Chorizo contains only Pimenton de la Vera, Garlic, nutmeg, oregano, salt, nitrite.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y282/thom...od/P7070017.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y282/thom...od/P7070019.jpg

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Richard, tell us more about brisket bacon.  Now there's a concept!

Hi All,

Maybe for the purists here, I should just call it smoke cured brisket! I know how some people get upset when they feel the word bacon is being stolen from the pig! :biggrin:

I have not eaten any pork for ten years , but I used to, and there is still something about the smell of a piece of bacon frying in the pan in the morning which gets my salivary glands working overtime! :smile:

Not eating pork I had to find something to replace it with, I had in the past purchased commercial beef bacon, but here in Indonesia it is incredibly expensive, when it is available! So after reading on sausagemaking.org about some of the forum members making their own bacon, I decided to have a go myself with beef. I realise that the commercial versions use beef plate, but that seems to be impossible to obtain here so I looked for the closest layering of beef and fat which was similar to pork belly. Brisket! I bought a commercial dry cure with smoke powder and rubbed up some brisket and stored in the fridge. 7 days later delicious Brisket Bacon! This is different from the American style bacon as it is not hot smoked and partially cooked, this is more akin to British Bacon which is only cold smoked!

It is a little tougher than real bacon, but the taste and more especially the cooking aroma is mouthwatering! and it still makes a good sandwich!

gallery_45743_3164_14284.jpg

Regards,

Richard


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

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Another version of my Kielbasa from further upthread, this time with the mustard seeds left out but with the addition of a garnish of Brisket Bacon. managed to control the temperature better this time and the result, no cavities in the sausage!

gallery_45743_3164_280707.jpg

My apologies if this all seems like simple stuff to you more experienced guys but for me it is still magical!

Regards,

Richard

That looks delicious Richard! I have some trepidation in attempting the european style sausages, as I believe they require a greater degree of difficulty to perfect them. Good on you!

Hi Thomasevan,

I just followed the instructions in the book but halved the quantities as I cannot deal with a larger load in my mixer! If I can do it, anybody can :rolleyes: I know that in the book it stresses temperature control during the emulsification process, but I have to work in a kitchen with 28-32 degree centigrade ambient conditions, and still had no problems with forming the emulsion. This process is so good I have started to use a slightly modified version for my regular sausages, the definition on them has improved so much it is just incredible! I am sure you will have success if you give it a try, the results are well worth it.

Regards,

Richard


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

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Greetings, all. I thought I'd report on my lastest project. The bluefish are just starting to appear in the northeast, and I figured it was worth some experimentation. For those of you that aren't familiar with bluefish (I had never seen one until I moved east), they're voracious eaters with oily flesh like salmon. I've often seen bluefish listed as an "alternative ingredient" for smoked salmon recipes, and that got me thinking...

So, I cured a couple of freshly caught (by me!) bluefish fillets using a recipe for gravlax (salt, white pepper, and LOTS of dill). I knew they would taste good, but I was worried about their appearance, as the raw bluefish fillet looks a bit gray and unappetizing (see the photo below). Fortunately, when it's sliced thin an put on the plate, they don't look too bad. I cured them for about 36 hours, rinsed off the cure and dill, decided they were too salty, and put them in cold water for about 5 hours. The final product was outstanding. It makes a nice appetizer served with crackers and a whipped cream, horseradish, and mustard sauce.

Since this went so well, I might try to do some cold-smoked bluefish in the fall, as the blues keep getting bigger and bigger through October.

-Rob

gallery_45897_3230_18007.jpg

gallery_45897_3230_32987.jpg

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After talking with Ruhlman about "The Reach of a Chef" for an article I'm doing, he suggested I get this book. So, this weekend I did (after having to ask the desk people at Barnes and Noble where it was...in with French cooking and there I was looking at the meat specialty section the whole time) and over the course of this week I am determined to work my way through all the pages of this thread so that I don't ask questions that have been answered before. I'm starting easy with the duck proscuitto.

The only thing is, any guy that I bring to my apartment is going to think I'm some sort of psycho when they see various animal parts hanging in cheesecloth from my ceiling. Being a single girl, living by herself in a small apartment, and with a social life makes curing meats an unusual thing to explain to random people. I can't wait to start.

Shannon


my new blog: http://uninvitedleftovers.blogspot.com

"...but I'm good at being uncomfortable, so I can't stop changing all the time...be kind to me, or treat me mean...I'll make the most of it I'm an extraordinary machine."

-Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine

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After talking with Ruhlman about "The Reach of a Chef" for an article I'm doing, he suggested I get this book. So, this weekend I did (after having to ask the desk people at Barnes and Noble where it was...in with French cooking and there I was looking at the meat specialty section the whole time) and over the course of this week I am determined to work my way through all the pages of this thread so that I don't ask questions that have been answered before. I'm starting easy with the duck proscuitto.

The only thing is, any guy that I bring to my apartment is going to think I'm some sort of psycho when they see various animal parts hanging in cheesecloth from my ceiling. Being a single girl, living by herself in a small apartment, and with a social life makes curing meats an unusual thing to explain to random people. I can't wait to start.

Shannon

Welcome to the fold, Shannon! The duck prosciutto is a good place to start and promises impressive results.

As for your concerns about the impression you'll make on guys visiting your apartment, my only advice is this: any man that can't appreciate cured meat products isn't worth keeping around!

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!

-Rob

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I've been reading along in this thread; you guys are doing beautiful things.

Does the book, by any chance, have instructions for mojama--the cured tuna from Spain? I've only read about it, but it sounds wonderful, and at this time of year where I live, I often have access to beautiful loins of tuna fresh off the boat. Anyone have any experience or references?

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Hi All,

Just a quick update on my latest projects, Beef Chorizo and Peperone, I made them last week and stuffed them into sheep casings. My old fridge is on its warmest setting and has maintained an average of 6 -7 degrees Centrigrade, the RH was initially 75% and fell after 2 days to 55% when I added a tray of saturated salt solution to raise it back up to 60-65%. As you can see the definition of the Chorizo is not what you would normally expect but these were made with Brisket without any special effort on my part to select the hardest fats from the meat, as an experiment I think it worked reasonably well! The Peperone were dry after 7 days, but I will leave the Chorizo for another day or two as the fat seems to be slowing down the drying process.

gallery_45743_3164_158155.jpg

gallery_45743_3164_328352.jpg

gallery_45743_3164_286521.jpg

gallery_45743_3164_214208.jpg

I love this hobby don't you?

Regards from a hot and humid Jakarta,

Richard


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

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Hi Rubashov,

RE: Cured Bluefish

That is TRUE product innovation and something that most food companies are lacking when it comes to Value-Adding to their product ranges. I think if you get this right, you could be on to a commercial winner there let alone creating true charcuterie legend!!

Well done.

BTW I think your product also looks great!

Doc-G

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i've never heard of anyone curing blue fish to slice and serve raw. that's fantastic.

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Hi Rubashov,

RE: Cured Bluefish

That is TRUE product innovation and something that most food companies are lacking when it comes to Value-Adding to their product ranges. I think if you get this right, you could be on to a commercial winner there let alone creating true charcuterie legend!!

Well done.

BTW I think your product also looks great!

Doc-G

Thanks, Doc-G and Michael, I appreciate it. As with most things, this one follows the saying that "necessity is the mother of invention." In my case, it's a necessity to find new and interesting things to do with bluefish. By late August, they will almost literally be jumping into the boat, and while we throw back most of what we catch (50+ fish days aren't uncommon), you still end up with a lot of fillets. There's only so much panfried, grilled, and poached bluefish I can take, so I figured it was time to add a new preparation method to the arsenal.

There's another experiment built in too: blues are notorious for freezing poorly. Apparently their high oil content goes rancid before too long in the freezer, resulting in something that "tastes like cat food," according to my fishing partner. I intend to put a cured fillet in the freezer for a while to see if the salting/curing process mitigates that effect. If not, I guess I'll be left with some salty dill-flavored cat food!

-Rob

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i've never heard of anyone curing blue fish to slice and serve raw.  that's fantastic.

It seems to me knowing what I know now - we can cure just about anything. We had a dinner party then other night and served Chilean sea bass - i had one extra small piece left over - uncooked.....

.... well I saw it there in the fridge - in its food saver bag, all alone.... and thought hmm....

....dug out the Kosher, sugar and some Baccardi limone, lemon zest and -- poof - 2 days later I have some very nice cured sea bass!!!

BTW - I pulled down my Guiancale - will post photos - but man that stuff is awsome!!!!

Hey Shannon welcome!!

You will get all kinds of interesting comments - so far my favorite is -- after serving a nice platter of:

Maple Bacon

Pancetta

Guiancale

Merguez

Duck garlic sauage

Brats

Italian sausage

Chirizo

Tuscan Salami

Venison Salami

Lamb Procuitto

Scotch Salmon

Baccardi Sea Bass

I got a phone call from one of my friends - she said - "damn Mark all I can think of today is how much I liked your meat!!"

:hmmm:


Edited by mdbasile (log)

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