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

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White mold question

I have collected my Chirizo and Tuscan Salami - will post once I charge my camera battery...

I have question about the white mold. I have some pretty heavy white mold on the Tuscan - do I wash it or brush it off?

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I've been feeling like a slacker lately, with nothing new to post about current projects. Checked my notes this morning and found out it was time to do weights on the guanciale and the sopressata. Both have lost 35-40%, so I did a test slice of each.

gallery_16509_1680_226754.jpg

gallery_16509_1680_453494.jpg

Both have excellent flavor, but I'm thinking the sopressata looks a bit fatty.


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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Nice work, Dave. The guanciale looks perfect. As for the sopressata. I can understand that it looks a bit fatty but how is the mouthfeel. Refresh my memory, did you cut that by hand? In either case, I'll bet it tastes great.

=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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Nice work, Dave.  The guanciale looks perfect.  As for the sopressata.  I can understand that it looks a bit fatty but how is the mouthfeel.  Refresh my memory, did you cut that by hand?  In either case, I'll bet it tastes great.

=R=


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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Pork Belly question:

In my search for great pork belly here mentioned up thread, I talked to Central Market about geting a Berkshire pork belly. Today I looked at the bershire site and they list only a pork belly with skin off. Michael and Brian call for a skin-on pork belly. So should I avoid the Berkshire and have a grocery store source a commercial skin-on belly, or look for a local farm-raised skin-on belly?

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Pork Belly question:

In my search for great pork belly here mentioned up thread, I talked to Central Market about geting a Berkshire pork belly. Today I looked at the bershire site and they list only a pork belly with skin off. Michael and Brian call for a skin-on pork belly. So should I avoid the Berkshire and have a grocery store source a commercial skin-on belly, or look for a local farm-raised skin-on belly?

I think the primary advantage of retaining the skin is that it helps protect the belly from getting dried out and hard during the (hot) smoking process. My guess is that you can turn out successful bacon from a skinless belly with just a bit more manipulation during the smoking process.

What does everyone else think about this?

=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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What does everyone else think about this?

=R=

I think I agree Ron. I'm sure you could could smoke without the skin, but not sure I'd want to mess with it.

Then again, maybe we're wrong and Richard could try it and let us know.


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 does everyone else think about this?

=R=

I think I agree Ron. I'm sure you could could smoke without the skin, but not sure I'd want to mess with it.

Then again, maybe we're wrong and Richard could try it and let us know.

I'm not sure I want to mess with it either. I think I'll run over to my nearest carneceria and see if they will save a 3-5 lb belly from the next pig they butcher. They'll be commercial ones, but fresh.

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So happy to report that my peperone -- and my first-ever batch of dry-cured sausage -- turned out great. Unless I drop dead from some odd foodboure illness :wink:, I'd have to say that my inaugural run was a complete success.

I weighed the entire batch on Friday morning and knew that it was pretty near ready. This morning when I checked them, they felt different -- much harder on the outside. I weighed them and they had lost exactly 30% of their weight.

Here are a few pics . . .

gallery_3085_2982_291836.jpg

Net weight 63.7 ounces.

gallery_3085_2982_83803.jpg

A closer look. You can see a slight streak of fat which has run down the outside of the casing. That wasn't there until today.

gallery_3085_2982_219051.jpg

Interior shot . . . really, I couldn't have hoped for better definition.

It's tangy, softly-dense and wonderfully chewy. Just like with good bread, the flavor is in the chew, not just the initial bite. The hot/mild hit of paprika at the finish -- I used some Hungarian half-sharp -- lasts a long time thanks to the slow melt of the fat on the tongue.

Most of successful sausage-making is technical. So much so that at times how a project ends up tasting isn't even the most important detail. Once you understand and can execute a set of processes, the flavors are relatively easy to tweak. However, I doubt I'd change a thing next time out. This is a case where the book nails it on both counts. The recipe is perfectly delicious and totally satisfies the "peperoni" craving. And, from a technical standpoint, I acheived nearly optimal results on my first attempt. The says a lot for the instruction the book provides.

Folks, we have peperone! :smile:

=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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That did the trick. I don't know why I did not think of this first. A 60 second discussion in Spanish and English with the two butchers at Latino Market and I walked out with 3.3 pounds of pork belly at $1.99/lb.

There are many asian and hispanic markets that butcher pigs on site, so if you're having trouble getting a belly, this is an alternative. I would still like to get some kind of farm-raised pork belly, but at least this will be a start.

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Ron, those look fantastic!! Was that beef or pork? Forgive me if you've said that somewhere waaaaaaaaaay up topic.

'Twas pork, unfrozen . . . but I think I'll be okay. :wink:

=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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Ron

What can I say? That stuff looks FABULOUS! Congratulations! I was wondering about the color difference between yours and mine, but I suppose the pork vs beef is the difference. Whatever...it tastes as good as it looks, and I WANT some!


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, what was the name in Spanish for the pork belly? I went to both Mexican and Asian markets today, and found some to start at the Asian place- it was called pork belly there. I like the feel (smell) of the Carniceria better, though. I know we are making semi-rotten food, but I like to control the rot!

Peter

btw, the photos in this thread are AMAZING, and inspirational, too! The glistening fat in the last two photo posts......

That did the trick. I don't know why I did not think of this first. A 60 second discussion in Spanish and English with the two butchers at Latino Market and I walked out with 3.3 pounds of pork belly at $1.99/lb.

There are many asian and hispanic markets that butcher pigs on site, so if you're having trouble getting a belly, this is an alternative. I would still like to get some kind of farm-raised pork belly, but at least this will be a start.

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pedrissimo, I don't recall the word for belly. My Spanish is weak and their English is limited but we manage to communicate well enough to get a belly out the door. Point and gesture when needed. I would have no problem with getting it from the Vietnamese market I shop at regularly either. Just let your eyes and nose be your guide just like they would anywhere. There are plenty of good asian and hispanic markets in most Texas cities.

That's a beautiful peperone, Ron. Congratulations!

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Ron WOW! Those are most beautiful!

Congratulations!

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White mold question

I have collected my Chirizo and Tuscan Salami - will post once I charge my camera battery...

I have question about the white mold. I have some pretty heavy white mold on the Tuscan - do I wash it or brush it off?

Bump...

Looks like the Tuscan will need a couple more days, and the chirizo also. Still wondering about the mold.

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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

Nice pictoral....thanks

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White mold question

I have collected my Chirizo and Tuscan Salami - will post once I charge my camera battery...

I have question about the white mold. I have some pretty heavy white mold on the Tuscan - do I wash it or brush it off?

hard to say withoug seeing it but unless it's furry, it should be fine. I would leave it on while it's drying--good mold competes with bad mold so the more good you have the better--and then brush it off when it's finished.

the only reason you would want mold at all, as far as i'm concerned, is because it prevents bad mold from growing.

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Pork Belly question:

In my search for great pork belly here mentioned up thread, I talked to Central Market about geting a Berkshire pork belly. Today I looked at the bershire site and they list only a pork belly with skin off. Michael and Brian call for a skin-on pork belly. So should I avoid the Berkshire and have a grocery store source a commercial skin-on belly, or look for a local farm-raised skin-on belly?

The skin does help retain moisture, it also helps retain the shape. and skin of course is loaded with collagen and so skin is fantastic to add to stocks and stews for great body. and it's sublime when cooked till crispy. but you don't need skin. I would go for the best quality pork.

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Michael, i've read that good mold acutally consumes some of the lactic acid in the paste, making it a little less tangy, whcih is why it is desireable.

Is this just an "old wives tale" ?

j

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I'm not Michael but I would think that since mold is not supposed to penetrate the casing then it couldn't consume anything in it.


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I just want to post a teaser image from our Charcuterie Play Day. Twelve of us made sausage and smoked bacon and pastrami all day long, and ate and drank enough to sustain ourselves through our mighty efforts. There were five Kitchen Aids in attendance with their owners, although I think our vertical stuffer did all the stuffing, while the KAs were relegated to what they do best: grinding and binding.

This is actually an evening-after shot

gallery_16307_2661_54027.jpg

Duck Sausage with Roasted Garlic and Sage on the far left, nestled in next to Chicken Sausage with Green Chile. And their friends, grilled poblano pepper, grilled plaintain, Rum-Soaked Baked Beans, and salad with walnut mayonnaise dressing.

By the way, the slo-mo sight of a folding table collapsing and four KAs crashing slowly to the floor is one you never want to see, take it from me!

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