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

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Ok, here's a different sort of question. Michael, are you there? Anyone?

I want to make the boudin noir from the book. Our local Asian markets sell frozen pork blood, but it also lists water and salt as added ingredients. I have no idea how much dilution there is, and if this blood will work for the boudin. Has anyone successfully made a blood sausage using a similar product?

I love the blood sausages I've eaten in France, Sweden, and Finland, and the imported Spanish morcilla I've had here, and would be so happy to be able to recreate them at home.

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Ok, here's a different sort of question.  Michael, are you there?  Anyone?

I want to make the boudin noir from the book.  Our local Asian markets sell frozen pork blood, but it also lists water and salt as added ingredients.  I have no idea how much dilution there is, and if this blood will work for the boudin.  Has anyone successfully made a blood sausage using a similar product? 

I love the blood sausages I've eaten in France, Sweden, and Finland, and the imported Spanish morcilla I've had here, and would be so happy to be able to recreate them at home.

not sure why water is added. salt maybe to preserve. i've never used frozen, but i'm told it freezes well. assume you can use according to recipe as is. in that recipe the blood is like a binder for the apple and onion.

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Re the blood. On another forum (sausagemaking.org), this was recently posted

We use blood to train tracking dogs for {deer} stalking and the general way we use to stop it coagulating is to add a tsp of salt to it...
Which suggests to me that the frozen blood may not have had very much salt added to it as an anticoagulent...

Now, the reason that subject came up was a result of the failure of an attempt to drycure a (mock "Parma"-style) ham. The problem was putrid decomposition, which was discovered on 'autopsy' to be centered on the main femoral artery. The chap thought some blood might have been retained there. Now, I've heard of the concept of pumping curing brine up the artery to distribute it quickly through the flesh, (which might have made things worse), but my more fundamental question (esp in the light of the green jowls a few pages back), is whether the slaughtering and immediate butchery needs to be done better, (more carefully? perhaps in some ways differently to modern standard practice?) for meat that is to be cured (particularly air cured) rather than conventionally cooked?


Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Ok, here's a different sort of question.  Michael, are you there?  Anyone?

I want to make the boudin noir from the book.  Our local Asian markets sell frozen pork blood, but it also lists water and salt as added ingredients.  I have no idea how much dilution there is, and if this blood will work for the boudin.  Has anyone successfully made a blood sausage using a similar product? 

Brian who has worked with frozen says, "thaw completely stir with a stick blender then proceed as described in the recipe."

blood coagualates to something like dense Jello almost immediately outside the body (an important trait!), and I don't think any amount of salt (or vinegar) will change that. it becomes liquid again on stirring.

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Ok, it's good to know that it will work! I decided against doing the boudin tomorrow for our Charcuterie Play Day, since there will be a dozen people in the kitchen all grinding and stuffing, except when they're out on the deck smoking. The boudin seems delicate, a la minute-ish, and in need of a cool and concentrated sausage maker. I'm just looking for a near-future good opportinity to do this, though.

Merguez for me tomorrow. I'll take lots of pictures - it looks like we're going to be doing 7 kinds of sausage, bacon, and pastrami, all at once. My smokers are getting overheated just thinking about it.

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I was wondering if those of you who have gained many months of experience with dry curing could give me some feedback on my aging chamber. I live in Texas, so a cellar is an unheard of thing, and there is obviously no place in my house that is anything like 60 degrees!

I have a fridge in the garage that is unused. I have cleaned it with bleach... I set it to its warmest setting, and it keeps between 51-54 degrees F. I have a humidifier that is a basin of water, a pad that soaks up the water, and a fan that pulls air across the filter. I can set it for humidity as high as 65%, and it varies in the fridge now between 60-70% humidity.

So, I think I have decent temperature (if on the low side), decent humidity (again, lowish), and intermittent air movement from the humidifier.

Do these conditions sound workable, given your experiences?

Has anyone had major trouble using a fridge?

Thanks,

Peter

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pedrissimo, thost conditions are very good, and should work really really well. One bit of advice i can give you is that while those cool mist humidifiers will work well, the moisture wicks (the pad) will start to mildew and mold rather quickly. I was having to change the pad every 3-4 weeks. At about $8 a pad it was getting expensive.

I use an ultrasonic humidifier...nothing to change. Just clean the thing off every cuopld of refills. For some reason though, very few ultrasonic humidifiers come with a hygrostat, and definitely none of the cheap ($30-$50) ones i've seen. I happened to find a good deal on ebay on a hygrostat for a greenhouse. I put that in the fridge, and the humidifier plugs into that. Works well. It if made by Greenair products, and costs about $120 retail. It is this one:

http://www.greenair.com/humidistat.htm

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Peter

That's pretty much my set up and the same conditions. So far <knock on wood> I've had pretty good success with it.


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 here is what i was thinking on the wick- I sure don't want to put the fungicide that they sell for the thing in my fridge, but what about vinegar? Or Salt? I know that salt, when an aerosol, would kill the wiring... but across that wick, I can't see much salt moving (could be wishful thinking). So vinegar- ought to lower the pH enough to kill most bad bugs, maybe even fungus? Well, I will try it with some very fatty pork skin I have done the pancetta cure to. It was cheap. And easy.

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My maple cured bacon was smoked with apple in the Bradley last night. Of course, I had to sneak a small nibble (OK, big chunk) after it finally got to 150 at about 1140P (makes that 5am alarm all the more pleasurable).

OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH MY GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I made noises usually associated with other nightime activites. The bacon is incredible...we have a good butcher around here that makes his own, but this blew it away...I almost had to wake the wife up to try it (the bacon, not the other activities)

It is unbelievable and I can't wait to get home from work and have some for dinner...

It even looked beautiful, but I was too tired to take pics...and this with a belly that I got from a wholesale butcher in Detroit's Eastern Market (Kapp's)...can't imagine what a really good quality belly would produce.

all hail the might pig !!!


Expat Russ

Three Passions:

Food

Travel<=click to go to my travel website...

BBQ and BQ<=click to go to my blog about trying to balance great food and qualifying for the Boston Marathon

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The fennel salmon turned out fine. While the anise flavor is not over-powering, eaten alone the salmon is overly salty to me, but when eaten with anything else that is a non-issue.

Now I have been calling grocery stores around the city to get a pork belly. I talked to the meat manager at one of the Central Market stores, and he can get a Berkshire, but he said I want a "pork side" rather than a pork belly, because if I ask for the belly it will be mostly fat. He was quite clear that I wanted a "pork side" if I was going to make bacon. All their pork is Berkshire, but this will take about two weeks for him to get it in.

So pork side vs pork belly. Are we really talking about the same thing, or is he essentially getting me a leaner piece of belly?

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Richard- this is tangential, but are you in Austin going to central market? I am trying to find pork bellies in Austin, and have had no luck yet- CM wants $3.99/lb for 7-8 lb pork bellies in 2-3 weeks. Have you found pork anywhere else?

They didn't call them sides- just bellies.

Peter

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. . . he said I want a "pork side" rather than a pork belly, because if I ask for the belly it will be mostly fat. He was quite clear that I wanted a "pork side" if I was going to make bacon. All their pork is Berkshire, but this will take about two weeks for him to get it in.

So pork side vs pork belly. Are we really talking about the same thing, or is he essentially getting me a leaner piece of belly?

I'm not sure about the difference between a side and a belly but isn't it being 'mostly fat' the entire point? :smile:

I've always ordered and received belly. One time, it still had the ribs attached and they were also delicious (I brined and slow-roasted them separately).

=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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Perhaps this guy means side by keeping the ribs on? Beats me actually. I would just be very specific with him that you want a belly.


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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Richard- this is tangential, but are you in Austin going to central market? I am trying to find pork bellies in Austin, and have had no luck yet- CM wants $3.99/lb for 7-8 lb pork bellies in 2-3 weeks. Have you found pork anywhere else?

They didn't call them sides- just bellies.

Peter

pedrissimo - I am in Dallas. The $3.99/lb at CM is because they are Berkshire pigs. If you talk to a meat manager at other stores, they can get them but will have to special order them, and they will be the thinner commercial pork bellies, as far as I can tell. They may not know what you are asking for because it's not on their order list, but can call up the chain to take care of your request.

The CM meat manager here is checking on the belly/belly side and will call back before he starts the order. My best guess is that bombdog and Ron are onto what he was talking about -- probably means with the ribs attached.

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Mmm, lots of fat! I suppose that the thicker the belly, the longer the cure? Are there issues about speed of cure through fat vs. through meat? I take it from what you said and what I have heard about Berkshires that they tend to put on a bit more fat, and this is why the bellies would be heavier...

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Pedrissimo...i'm not sure about using vinegar...problem with that is that it is going to make the whole chamber smell, and it may permeate your cured meats.

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Well, last weekend i finally put up in cure 2 more coppe, and took the opportunity to take pictures of the butchery. I figured people would be interested in how to "harvest" the coppa from the shoulder.

This is a boneless shoulder from costco. You can see the bone was removed on the left of the picture. The coppa is circled in blue on the right. Notice the characteristic fat striations. This is the part that is at the top of the shoulder, right above/behind the head on the back.

gallery_15167_3011_15660.jpg

This picture has the shoulder flipped over, and the coppa is in my hand. It is just the backside of hte piece in the above picture in my left hand.

gallery_15167_3011_9844.jpg

This is the coppa removed. How you remove it and how much meat you leave around it and shape it is not super critical..it is pretty hard to see exactly where it begins and where it ends.

gallery_15167_3011_69285.jpg

This is the coppa again, just showing the fat striations. They are very evident and quite large in the middle of hte coppa.

gallery_15167_3011_6331.jpg

Another picture of the coppa

gallery_15167_3011_50966.jpg

If you can make bresaola, you can make coppa, it is MUCH easier than salame, as there is no acidification needed. Just salt cure, then put in casing, then hang.

good luck!

jason

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I have to agree with Jason. I've just used a liberal amount of salt in the water, as Michael suggested in the book, and it's seemed to work just fine.


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 for the pictorial Jason. I've wanted to do this, but was a bit reticent without the pictures.

What size casing do you need for this?


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, i use 100mm collagen casings i bought from butcher packer.

glad i could help with pics

You definitely did. Thanks, Jason, for the pics and the information.

=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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