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

597 posts in this topic

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

Last week just before returning to Africa, I took the remains of my Brisket Bacon which by this time had been sitting uncovered in the fridge for 4 weeks, sliced it and packed it to take away with me. The 4 weeks drying had darkened the meat as would be expected but it had also firmed it up such that it was very easy to slice thinly. I sampled a couple of rashers and it seemed to have improved with age, being seemingly more tender, of course this could just be an effect of the thinner rasher. This morning I decide to open the presliced rashers and found to my suprise that on the end of the rasher was some "Bloom", white and dry, not furry or colourful I hasten to add. The rashers were cooked and were just as delicious as before.

My question is, "What exactly is the Bloom?" I am assuming it is a type of fungal growth, but am not sure. I certainly isn't salty to the taste at all!

Regards,

Richard


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

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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I was thinking about making the dry cured duck breast but then I wondered why not use the recipe that includes maple syrup but instead use hoisin or plum sauce ... Any reason why this may not work?


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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One way to find out! Try it and let us know.

Speaking of tweaking the recipes toward Asia, I found a cheap Niman Ranch tenderloin at Whole Foods and decided to make a pork rub using the sugar/salt/seasoning proportions in the book but with 2T black pepper, 2T roasted red chile powder, 1T galangal, and 1t cinnamon. Rubbed the loin, wrapped it tightly for two days, and roasted it in a 450F oven to 140F. It's great; just had a few slices for lunch, after last night's salad with it.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Speaking of pork loin.

After my first attempt at lomo curado using a tenderloin (and failing miserably) I tried again with a loin.

gallery_16509_1680_1018983.jpg

Wonderful, slightly sweet, with a nice fennel and garlic taste.


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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Country Pate with Vietnamese Flavors

This is a nice light country pate I made today, using the recipe in the book as a template. I wanted something I could use to make Vietnamese subs, especially since the heat is still oppressive. It uses pork, shrimp, and duck eggs, although hens eggs can also be used.

For ease (and since 4x$4.00 is a lot cheaper than a nice terrine mold), I use 12oz Ramekins for making pate. These are the perfect size for a tomato can to be used as a weight:

gallery_41070_2979_25367.jpg

I use caul fat to wrap the pate, so that it ends up in a nice tight shape and is easy to remove.

gallery_41070_2979_13143.jpg

And finally, a somewhat blurry cross-section:

gallery_41070_2979_11878.jpg

The white chunks in the cross section are pieces of shrimp.

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Hi Dave V. and Dave W,

The Lomo and the Country Pate both look excellent, making my mouth water just looking at them!

Regards,

Richard

Absolutly, both look great!

For the lomo, is that just a regular pork loin? It looks more sinewy and fatty than the one you typically find at the store. Details for this successful try would be greatly appreciated.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Dave, that paté seems fantastic. How many cups of paté did you create? I'm trying to figure out the right sized mold.

A standard batch (i.e. starting with around 2lbs of meat) gives a bit over four of the 12oz molds worth of pate.

I take what remains and roll it in plastic wrap and poach it.

I suspect, with a bit more extras folded in (I'm thinking chinese sausage, and possibly some sichuan pepper bacon for the next batch), I could go to a ffith ramekin.

Note to self. Buy fifth ramekin.

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Hi Dave V. and Dave W,

The Lomo and the Country Pate both look excellent, making my mouth water just looking at them!

Regards,

Richard

Absolutly, both look great!

For the lomo, is that just a regular pork loin? It looks more sinewy and fatty than the one you typically find at the store. Details for this successful try would be greatly appreciated.

Elie, you probably have better pork at the grocery than I. It was just a loin that I spied one day. The fat appeared to be good so I snapped it up. Spices are just fennel, sugar, salt ,garlic, and paprika. I'll check on my notes and post again later. But if memory serves I used something from the book as a model.

Now that it's done I guess I'd liken it to a mini proscuitto.


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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Since I am running low on my smoked bacon, I gave the butcher at my local HEB a call and asked for a couple of pieces of pork belly. While I was at it I also asked for a piece of untrimmed-right-off-the-hog-with-skin-and-fat loin. He was more than happy to oblige and actually left a whole half hog un-butchered till I got there. So I ended up with:

11 lbs of nice thick pork belly

3lbs or so of untrimmed loin

With these I started the following:

- 6lb piece of bacon is being cured and will be smoked next weekend

- about a 1.5-2.0 lb piece of belly is curing in the style of Lardo like the book instructs. I actually used Turbinado sugar here, because I like how it tastes and wanted to see if it carries through. I will update you of success/failure of this curing/aging attempt

- about 2.5 lbs belly are cut up and curing/brining in preparation for making pork belly confit. Also recipe in the book

- 1.5 lbs of the pork loin is curing to make lomo curado. I basically used the ratios from the Bresaola recipe but added no juniper and added a good dose of cayenne and paprika. If this works out I'll post my proportions.

- Brined and roasted the rest of the loin on the grill yesterday till the skin got nice and crispy. Damn these people (HEB by Beechnut and the beltway for you Houston folks) sell some good pork with great thick milky white fat and excellent porky good flavor. Not sure it is better than the Neiman stuff, but for essentially a supermarket butcher, they are way more than fine.

I really really hope and look forward for my Lardo and Lomo to workout.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Bacon Rind:

I believe bacon is always smoked with the rind on, and removed afterwards. I've always assumed this was because the bacon was hung vertically and the hooks need something to grab onto. When I smoke bacon, it's always on racks, so I'm wondering why I need the rind. Are there other reasons why I should leave the rind on?

Phil


Monterey Bay area

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. . .Are there other reasons why I should leave the rind on?

I believe Michael posted somewhere upthread that doing so keeps the belly from curling while it smokes.

=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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Freezing Pork Back Fat:

Hi, I have just joined eGullet and found this thread. I am about to take my first baby steps in charcuterie and have a couple of questions that I hope can be answered by the gurus here.

I work at a cooking school and so can leverage our relationship with various suppliers and this allows me to buy at a better price than the local stores. BUT! I must buy in quantity - so for example to aquire pork back fat I need to buy 40 lbs at a time. I can't imagine that there would be any issues with cryovacing it and freezing it but wondered if anyone has done so and if there is any feeling as to how long it could be stored frozen.

Also has anyone had any experience with storing hog casings for longer periods of time? I can't remember how much I had to buy length wise but it was not small :)

Thanks and I look forward to someday being able to share my experiences with smoking, curing, etc. I just need to make room in the wine cellar for the salami I want to hang.

Kevin Barker

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. . .Are there other reasons why I should leave the rind on?

I believe Michael posted somewhere upthread that doing so keeps the belly from curling while it smokes.

=R=

I suppose I could live with curly bacon....

If there's no rind, would the bacon have a smokier flavor, or is it only the meat that absorbs smoke?


Monterey Bay area

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Freezing Pork Back Fat:

Also has anyone had any experience with storing hog casings for longer periods of time? I can't remember how much I had to buy length wise but it was not small :)

Kevin Barker

Kevin

I've frozen fat back with no adverse affects. I can't tall you how long it will last, as it doesn't take long to use it up around here. I'm thinking I've had some in the freezer for a month or so before use.

I buy my casings from Butcher Packer.com. They come salted and will last quite some time in the refrigerator. I forget the length, but it's fairly substantial.


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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Thanks Bombdog and JMolinari for your input!

Kevin

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I have my backfat in 1 lb portions in the freezer, and next time I might make that 1/2 lb portions. It's a lot easier to deal a smaller amount with when you're ready to make somehting. Forty pounds is going to last you a long time!

Elie, that's a wonderful assortment of stuff you got started all at once. I'll look forward to your lardo reports. I haven't tried again since mine turned green, and next time I think I'm going to try the brine method.

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Also has anyone had any experience with storing hog casings for longer periods of time?

Kevin Barker

Welcome Kevin,

I don't use pork so cannot tell you about the storage of hog casings, but sheep casings will last indefinitely as long as they are occassionally resalted and stored in the refigerator. I live in a very humid climate and the inside of my storage container (an old icecream tub) when opened becomes somewhat damp, I just sprinkle some additional coarse salt on top of the remaining casings replace the lid on the container and return them to the fridge. My present batch of casings have been in use for 15 months with no sign of deterioration whatsoever.

Regards,

Richard


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

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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Just a time saving tip. When I freeze fat back I cut it into pieces just large enough for the grinder. Like Abra, I usually store in 1 lb packages. When it's time to use it I only have to thaw a slight amount before grinding.


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 don't know why for sure why bacon is smoked rind on, but i suspect it is indeed because of the hook. It's easier to remove when the belly is cooked. the skin can then be used like a ham hock for flavoring. It can be removed half way through smoking. or remove it raw and use it in stocks purely for its gelatin.

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I have my backfat in 1 lb portions in the freezer, and next time I might make that 1/2 lb portions.  It's a lot easier to deal a smaller amount with when you're ready to make somehting.  Forty pounds is going to last you a long time!

Elie, that's a wonderful assortment of stuff you got started all at once.  I'll look forward to your lardo reports.  I haven't tried again since mine turned green, and next time I think I'm going to try the brine method.

Speaking of green pork, your comment reminded me of something. Well, I planned on cooking a large piece of bone in pork butt a week or so ago. I removed it from the freezer to defrost and placed it in the fridge. When I was ready to cook it, I removed the plastic wrap and one side, the one with most of the fat had distinct greenish edges and color like the ones we've seen here. This pork was NOT cured, aged or in any way treated as charcuterie. I bought a large butt, portioned it and froze it. That's all. This leads me to think that whatever you guys did to your pork product (cure, age,...) had nothing to do with the discoloration of the fat, and that it was indeed perfectly safe to eat, but not very good looking. I just shaved off the greenish part and cooked the pork as usual BTW.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Am I stoked or what!

My son works on the line at a local restaurant. He calls me today and says his chef wants to meet with me on Thursday to try a variety of my products, as he is interested in putting an antipasto plate on the menu.

I have sopressato, Tuscan salame, pepperone, chorizo and lomo curado right now. I guess I'll take some of all and see what he is interested in.

I'm fresh out of bresaola and duck breast proscuitto at the moment, but can certainly make some up for him in a fairly short time.

I'll post back on Thursday when I find out how it goes.


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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