Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
snowangel

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

Recommended Posts

davecap   
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bombdog   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on what you've written, I think you'll be fine to let 'em sit for 3-4 days. Only one way to find out....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bombdog   
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bombdog   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdbasile   
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mdbasile   

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job, mdbasile. I definitely have mold envy too.

What was the overall cure time on those?

=R=

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bombdog   

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ore   

I have to say...all the meats on this topice look great. Glad to see there is such a huge interest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Abra   

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."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bombdog   
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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Chris Hennes
      I just got a copy of Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge"—I enjoyed cooking from "Breath of a Wok" and wanted to continue on that path. Does anyone else have this book? Have you cooked anything from it?

      Here was dinner tonight:

      Spicy Dry-Fried Beef (p. 70)

      I undercooked the beef just a bit due to a waning propane supply (I use an outdoor propane-powered wok burner), but there's nothing to complain about here. It's a relatively mild dish that lets the flavors of the ingredients (and the wok) speak. Overall I liked it, at will probably make it again (hopefully with a full tank of gas).


    • By CanadianSportsman
      Greetings,

      I've cooked several recipes from Keller's "Bouchon" the last couple of weeks, and have loved them all! At the moment (as in right this minute) I'm making the boeuf Bourguignon, and am a little confused about the red wine reduction. After reducing the wine, herbs, and veg for nearly an hour now, I'm nowhere near the consistancy of a glaze that Keller specifies. In fact, it looks mostly like the veg is on the receiving end of most of it. Is this how the recipe is meant to be? Can anybody tell me what kind of yield is expected? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, kindly. 
    • By Paul Fink
      This unfortunately titled book changed my life. I always enjoyed cooking and idealized Julia Child &
      Jacque Pepin. But I was a typical home cook. I would see a recipe and try to duplicate it little understanding about what I was doing.
       
      Cooking the Nouvelle Cuisine in America talked about a philosophy of cooking. It showed me that there is more depth to cooking. A history. A philosophy.
      The recipes are very approachable and you can make them on a budget from grocery store ingredients. I read it as a grad student in Oregon, in the late 80's I had access to lots of fresh ingredients. And some very nice wines, cheap! I was suppose to be studying physics but I end up learning more about wine & cooking.
    • By Smokeydoke
      Here is the discussion thread.
      Here is the Amazon link.
      My first recipe was Mushroom Mapo Tofu p. 132  I was blown away by how good this tasted. Very spicy! Very authentic. I didn't miss the meat at all. I told Mr. Smokey I'd add ground pork next time and he said it didn't need it. Mr. Smokey refused pork? Ha!
      Definitely a keeper and maybe a regular rotation spot.
      If I had anything negative to say, it would be the dish wasn't very filling. The recipe is suppose to serve four but the two of us finished it off, no problem, and Mister wasn't full afterwards. A soup, or an appetizer could be paired with the dish to make a heartier meal.
      Note: I did receive a complimentary copy of the book to review, but all opinions of the book and recipes are mine.


    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      Started in on Rob's book tonight.  Nice pictures, interesting philosophy.  The bit about grapevines reminded me ever so much about my balcony.  My grapevine has been growing ten or twenty years, planted by the birds.  Never a grape, ever.  Only recently did I learn that unlike European grapes, the native grapevines are sexual.  This one is undoubtedly a boy.  He provides lovely leaves and shade, and something for the tomatoes to hang onto.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×