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snowangel

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

597 posts in this topic

Damn, Abra!  That looks (and sounds) great and I cannot wait for the full report. :smile:

=R=

I am working on some pancetta and it is hanging in my garage with a black bag around it to keep the light out. After two weeks of walking right by it, my wife finally said "what is that?" and I told her it was my pancetta, like, what, you never see pancetta hanging in here before?! She just gave the roll the eyes and said she must have the only husband making his own pancetta in the county. It really is kinda funny when you think about it! But when I slice that baby up, she will be more than happy to have some.

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Question time. I'm ready to rig up a curing chamber (ala Chris). I have a nice place in the basement that will remain cool and dark all summer. But, we have a cabin up north and I periodically get away with the kids, and I'm thinking I need to time dry curing so it coincides with a time I will be home for the number of days it needs, right? Or can this stuff sit unattended and unloved for 3-4 days?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Question time.  I'm ready to rig up a curing chamber (ala Chris).  I have a nice place in the basement that will remain cool and dark all summer.  But, we have a cabin up north and I periodically get away with the kids, and I'm thinking I need to time dry curing so it coincides with a time I will be home for the number of days it needs, right?  Or can this stuff sit unattended and unloved for 3-4 days?

I think this really depends on the humidity in your curing area and whether or not you need to run a humidifier to maintain the proper level. If no humidity maintenance is needed, you'd probably be ok leaving it unattended for a few days. I doubt that in a MN basement, you'd have significant temperature fluctuations over the course of just a few days.

I'd be curious to hear what others think about this, as well.

=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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I don't think I'd be too worried about it, unless you are right on the brink of pulling something out. I can't imagine you are going to have something in there for less than a couple weeks normally. Hell, my proscuitto went in in March and won't be anywhere near ready before September at the earliest. Okay, I do admit that is a bit of an extreme example. Even if you were to leave something in 3/4 days past the 30 percent time I still don't think you are going to suffer. It's all pretty subjective anyway.


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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Given what you all have said, I think I'll give it a whirl. Although I can get bactoferm locally, it's an awful, 1 hour trip each way, so I'm going to order some. If I want to do pepperone, what size casings do I want from butcher packer? And, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of fat in the recipe in the book. What cut of beef did you all use? For the Tuscan salame, what size casings? (My credit card is sitting here just waiting to be used!).


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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If I want to do pepperone, what size casings do I want from butcher packer? 

I used standard hog casings and they were fine. Traditional is thinner (sheep I think?).

And, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of fat in the recipe in the book.  What cut of beef did you all use?

I used a chuck roast and kept in the tiny bits of fat on it.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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If I want to do pepperone, what size casings do I want from butcher packer? 

I used standard hog casings and they were fine. Traditional is thinner (sheep I think?).

And, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of fat in the recipe in the book.  What cut of beef did you all use?

I used a chuck roast and kept in the tiny bits of fat on it.

Ditto


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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Given what you all have said, I think I'll give it a whirl.  Although I can get bactoferm locally, it's an awful, 1 hour trip each way, so I'm going to order some.  If I want to do pepperone, what size casings do I want from butcher packer?  And, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of fat in the recipe in the book.  What cut of beef did you all use?  For the Tuscan salame, what size casings?  (My credit card is sitting here just waiting to be used!).

For the peperone, I used pork butt :shock:

=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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How much bactoferm should I order? (and thanks for holding my hand)


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Well....my first time out I ordered one pkg (25g) from Butcher-Packer. I ended up going through that pretty fast. So on my next order I got two pkgs. Everyone here has said that it keeps fine, and I pretty much think that I'll use it up before it goes bad.


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 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!

I prefer the sight of those sausages!!! Yum

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I'm not sure how you guys are going through the bactoferm so fast. Each package makes 200lbs of meat!! You only need to add a 1/4 tsp or so to 5 lbs of salame.

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Here is my Chorizo and Tuscan left to right in all the photos.

Yummy - some of the Chorizo needs some more time. Flavor is excellent and texture seems perfect. I am very happy. I didn't even brush off the mold... I was eating some bucheron with a nice baguet and the salami's and they all had white mold on the outside!!

gallery_33268_2905_539907.jpg

gallery_33268_2905_27358.jpg

gallery_33268_2905_522235.jpg

gallery_33268_2905_681014.jpg


Edited by mdbasile (log)

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I'm not sure how you guys are going through the bactoferm so fast. Each package makes 200lbs of meat!! You only need to add a 1/4 tsp or so to 5 lbs of salame.

It's the proportions in the book, Jason. They suggest far higher quantities than the packaging.

Yeah, now that you mention it, I scaled it back a bit too, based on the instructions on the Bactoferm packet. For my peperone, I ended up using about twice the amount called for on the packet, which was still substantially less than called for in the book.

=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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Mark

That stuff looks great! Congrats!

Jason, I have since reduced my bactoferm amounts somewhat after a waaaay earlier discussion here on the subject. Still, I found myself going though the stuff pretty fast at first.

I've since become overloaded in cured salame and am not making it as fast as I did a few months ago.


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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Given what you all have said, I think I'll give it a whirl.  Although I can get bactoferm locally, it's an awful, 1 hour trip each way, so I'm going to order some.  If I want to do pepperone, what size casings do I want from butcher packer?  And, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of fat in the recipe in the book.  What cut of beef did you all use?  For the Tuscan salame, what size casings?  (My credit card is sitting here just waiting to be used!).

For the peperone, I used pork butt :shock:

=R=

Has anyone does a side by side comparison of butt ( :wub::wub::wub: ) with beef?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Here's my Charcuterie Play Day report. I was so busy charcuting that I didn't get a lot of good pictures, but a couple of other cameras were hard at work, and I'll try to get those guys to post here too.

Before the chaos descended, I managed to arrange this plate of my lamb prosciutto and saucisson sec. The saucisson is actually my least favorite of the stuff I've made so far, but other people seem to really like it.

gallery_16307_2661_44005.jpg

If we had anything, we had the gear! These are 4 of the 5 KAs we had to work with, before the great crash.

gallery_16307_2661_15582.jpg

Here's the absolutely scrumptious Pate de Campagne, wrapped in caul fat, and made for us by SeaGal

gallery_16307_2661_30508.jpg

and in its incarnation as tonight's dinner, on sandwiches with chicken breast and Creole mayonnaise, with a bit of chive blossom, lemon thyme, and salad burnet.

gallery_16307_2661_9736.jpg

Prepping that Duck Sausage was a lot of work, requiring Little Ms Foodie and TallDrinkOfWater as butchers and Sparrowsfall as supervisor

gallery_16307_2661_10862.jpg

Grinding the Merguez - contains vegetables!

gallery_16307_2661_34704.jpg

At one point we had three smokers going. Here's the big one, with three bacons and a pastrami smoking over cherry wood.

gallery_16307_2661_37565.jpg

and a pile of Tamiam's Smoked Andouille waiting for smoker space

gallery_16307_2661_54444.jpg

Slicing into the bacon fresh off the smoker

gallery_16307_2661_39861.jpg

There's also a shot of a slab of bacon being held in revealing proximity to a portion of the anatomy sometimes associated with porky goodness. I'll be auctioning that one off on eBay.

It was major fun, and I highly recommend getting a bunch of your porkiest friends together for a similar exercise. As one of us said "in this group, there's no shame in admitting to loving pork fat."

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Dave, Ronnie, Chris, i thought we had a conversation way way back in the topic. When i first read the book i was very thrown off by the 1/4 cup requirement, and if i remember Michael acknowledged it was too much.

I've always used exactly what is needed (based on the whole packet making 220lbs of meat), plus a tiny bit more, and have never had a problem with acidification.

jason

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Dave, Ronnie, Chris, i thought we had a conversation way way back in the topic. When i first read the book i was very thrown off by the 1/4 cup requirement, and if i remember Michael acknowledged it was too much.

I've always used exactly what is needed (based on the whole packet making 220lbs of meat), plus a tiny bit more, and have never had a problem with acidification.

jason

Exactly. I first used what the book called for, but, after reading some of your posts back then, reduced my amounts significantly. I haven't had any problems with acidification using the lesser amounts.

Still, I found that it was easier to order more bactoferm than to find myself having everything to make salame and not having the bactoferm on hand.


Edited by Bombdog (log)

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, Ronnie, Chris, i thought we had a conversation way way back in the topic. When i first read the book i was very thrown off by the 1/4 cup requirement, and if i remember Michael acknowledged it was too much.

I've always used exactly what is needed (based on the whole packet making 220lbs of meat), plus a tiny bit more, and have never had a problem with acidification.

jason

Jason,

When you say exactly what was needed, do you mean, say .57g bactoferm/5 lbs of meat? (given the packet has 25g/220 lbs). I am considering dividing my bactoferm in 44- I work at a lab with a fantastic balance and many tiny plastic tubes we use for storing bacteria at -80 C all the time. Even if I double the amount- shouldn't I have billions of the little guys mixed in water when I mix it with my meat? So, from experience, have you found that there is such a thing as too little?

Peter

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Peter, yes, i've used as little as 0.57g per 5lbs. I have a scale at home ( a pretty crappy one) that does 1/100 of a gram, so i have weighed out 0.6g or so..(usually with a little extra in case the scale isn't accurate, since more doesn't hurt, normally about a gram).

I would divide the bag into 1g "shots"...but i don't know how long they survive in air (in a test tube). I store mine in a vac. bag in my chest freezer.

That is just my personal experience. If you try, and your salame doesn't acidify, and you have no way of checking it (i have a pH meter), and get sick, don't blame me!

jason

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