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snowangel

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

597 posts in this topic

Peter, i just cut the package that it comes in (just cut the top), scoop out a 1/2 tsp or so, then put the package in a foodsaver bag, and seal. It makes it flat, and i can see all the air is gone.

To measure pH you mash/mince/grind/mush 50g of meat with 50g of distilled water, and take hte pH of the slurry. It makes a mess, and is a pain...i didn't do it for my last batch, as i'm confident that it acidified based on past experience.  You'll have to make a little "sausage" wrapped in plastic wrap, sized in diameter like the ones you are really making, and place it in the warm area with the other...simulating a sausage, but giving you access to meat paste to test the pH of.

jason

For us with no FoodSaver, is rewrapping the Bactoferm tightly and freezing it ok for long-ish (several months) term storing?

I'm now wondering about this too because all I did was cut the edge off the packet of Bactoferm, measure out what I needed and left the packet, with edge folded over, in a ziploc in my spice basket (ambient temp). That was 17 days ago. Is this stuff no longer good? Should I just pitch it? I was under the impression that it was shelf-stable but I have no idea why.

=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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Lovely plate Abra!

I put in my first order of Bactoferm and some collagen casings yesterday from BP and I am ready to do some dry curing this weekend. Problem is where to start....

Coppa

Tuscan Salame

Soppressata

Pepperone

too many choices

Elie, what are you going to use as a curing chamber? I think uptopic, Abra said she got several kinds ready at the same time, and felt that it was faster than doing three or four separate "getting everything ready" sessions.

And Rob, welcome to the party! You've done a very impressive job of getting going, and I'm going to have to try the hot plate method.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Lovely plate Abra!

I put in my first order of Bactoferm and some collagen casings yesterday from BP and I am ready to do some dry curing this weekend. Problem is where to start....

Coppa

Tuscan Salame

Soppressata

Pepperone

too many choices

Elie, what are you going to use as a curing chamber? I think uptopic, Abra said she got several kinds ready at the same time, and felt that it was faster than doing three or four separate "getting everything ready" sessions.

And Rob, welcome to the party! You've done a very impressive job of getting going, and I'm going to have to try the hot plate method.

Being in Houston, humidity is more than available. My problem is the hotter than ideal temperature (probably in the 70s) in my house. So I am not too sure but I think I will try a large cardboard box to start with and see if it works out. If not then the extra fridge in the garage (too low of a temp and humidity) that I used for the Braseola way back when might have to be my chamber.

Any other -inexpensive- ideas?


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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What about a bunch of ice in a bowl in that fridge- it might lower the temp enough in the giant sealed cooler that is a fridge, and raise the humidity... I have no idea how long a bag of ice would last, but if your other fridge has an icemaker....

Lovely plate Abra!

I put in my first order of Bactoferm and some collagen casings yesterday from BP and I am ready to do some dry curing this weekend. Problem is where to start....

Coppa

Tuscan Salame

Soppressata

Pepperone

too many choices

Elie, what are you going to use as a curing chamber? I think uptopic, Abra said she got several kinds ready at the same time, and felt that it was faster than doing three or four separate "getting everything ready" sessions.

And Rob, welcome to the party! You've done a very impressive job of getting going, and I'm going to have to try the hot plate method.

Being in Houston, humidity is more than available. My problem is the hotter than ideal temperature (probably in the 70s) in my house. So I am not too sure but I think I will try a large cardboard box to start with and see if it works out. If not then the extra fridge in the garage (too low of a temp and humidity) that I used for the Braseola way back when might have to be my chamber.

Any other -inexpensive- ideas?

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I like your cold-cmoking setting and it reminds me of one I saw Alton Brown do a couple of time.

Yes, in fact Alton Brown was the inspiration (as is the case for many of my culinary adventures). They've been running his BBQ episode where he smokes with a hotplate in a couple of terra cotta pots...

I also forgot to mention (in case it wasn't obvious) that it's a heck of a lot easier to toss wood chips in the pan every hour or so rather than tend a charcoal fire! I'm skeptical that it will remain cool enough for salmon once the ambient temperature gets up into the 80s/90s, but that seems like a long way off with all the rain we've had in the northeast lately.

-Rob

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What about a bunch of ice in a bowl in that fridge- it might lower the temp enough in the giant sealed cooler that is a fridge, and raise the humidity... I have no idea how long a bag of ice would last, but if your other fridge has an icemaker....

Or a block of ice instead of cubes?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Ronnie, i'm pretty sure bactoferm is not shelf stable at ambient temp. It is stable at freezer temps. One way for you to check it is to put some in some distilled water with some dextrose, and measure the pH with some paper strips after a couple hours, and see if it acidified. But that doesn't tell you anything other than SOME of the bacteria is alive. I would toss it, and store your next one as cold as possible.

Foodman, no idea about storing...i would put it in a tupperware, or something that is as airtight as possible..a ziplock and then tupperware. Sorry, i'm not much help. You could call butcher-packer and ask how to store it.

You can also buy single containers that have a little hand pump on them to pull a vacuum, they are used in labs, check ww.vwr.com for a "vacuum saver" container..they have a small one that is 600ml that would work well for $19...i think that is what i have sitting on my desk at work:

http://www.vwrsp.com/catalog/product/index...ght=WLS62344-26

OR, i see VacuVin has a canister as well..this is the first page i found in searching...

http://baldmountaincoffee.com/page/BMCC/PR...rage/VV_2872450

then all you need is the vacuvin pump..so for about $20 you can get a vacuum canister, which in my mind SHOULD prolong the life of the bactoferm when stored in the freezer.

Here at the bottom is the comple set with pump for $20

http://www.wineaccessory.com/vacu-vin.htm

jason


Edited by jmolinari (log)

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For us with no FoodSaver, is rewrapping the Bactoferm tightly and freezing it ok for long-ish (several months) term storing?

it should be wrapped and kept frozen, i believe it will keep for several months. if it's thawed and been sitting around for a while i don't know if i'd have confidence in it when i went to use it.

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Ron - welcome!!

If you are going to try salami, I suggest that you make sausages first. It helps one get the "feel."

Food Man -- welcome back!! What have you made so far? You started this thread with the Salmon, I know - anything else?

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Ronnie, i'm pretty sure bactoferm is not shelf stable at ambient temp. It is stable at freezer temps. One way for you to check it is to put some in some distilled water with some dextrose, and measure the pH with some paper strips after a couple hours, and see if it acidified. But that doesn't tell you anything other than SOME of the bacteria is alive. I would toss it, and store your next one as cold as possible.

I'm just going to toss what I have left because I know I won't have another chance to make dry-cured sausage for a couple of weeks. By then, new product will have had a chance to arrive. I was misled because the packet I ordered from Butcher-Packer showed up dry (without refrigeration), so I just assumed that it was safe that way indefinitely. And you know what they say about assuming . . . :biggrin:

=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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While we're on the subject of bactoferm, has anyone tried out the "M-EK-4 Bactoferm" sold by Butcher Packer?

http://www.butcher-packer.com/pg_sausage_culture.htm

If I understand the description correctly, this is the "good mold" that we want to have growing on the dried sausages. Since I remember Michael writing that the good stuff keeps the bad stuff at bay, I'm wondering whether it's a good investment for the Tuscan salame I'm considering doing.

-Rob

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I haven't but I'm thinkin' about it with the next order, so I'm eager to hear.

We need to get a Butcher & Packer person around here, methinks.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Ron - welcome!!

If you are going to try salami, I suggest that you make sausages first. It helps one get the "feel."

Food Man -- welcome back!! What have you made so far? You started this thread with the Salmon, I know - anything else?

Bacon

Pancetta

Braseola

different sausages (hunter, andouille and fresh stuff)

terrines

Duck Roulade

...just to name a few :smile:

I posted about them when I made them


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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After spending a long time reading this thread, I somehow found myself standing in line at Borders with a copy of Charcuterie in my hand. I'm not sure what happened - I'm pretty sure I went in looking for a Father's Day card. After leafing through it, it appears I may have bought myself some kind of lifestyle overhaul. I've already told my parents I'm using their grill for smoking bacon sometime this month. What have a I gotten myself into?


"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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After spending a long time reading this thread, I somehow found myself standing in line at Borders with a copy of Charcuterie in my hand.  I'm not sure what happened - I'm pretty sure I went in looking for a Father's Day card.  After leafing through it, it appears I may have bought myself some kind of lifestyle overhaul.  I've already told my parents I'm using their grill for smoking bacon sometime this month.  What have a I gotten myself into?

LOL! It is a vortex, but meat-filled and damned tasty one! :biggrin:

Welcome aboard!

=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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For those of you in the metro Detroit area, or those willing to travel to go to heaven here is your chance to worship at the altar of the pig...

Chef Brian is having an....

All Pig Dinner

Recipes From Chef Brian’s Book Charcuterie

Monday, June 19, 2006

First Course

Assorted Charcuterie

Country Terrine with Ginger Marmalade

Pork Rillettes

Smoked Garlic Sausage with Michigan Tart Cherry Mustard

Second Course

Slow Braised Hog Short Ribs

With Caramelized Onion Tart, Hand Rolled Gnocchi, Guanciale and

Mustard Sauce

Third Course

Crispy Hog Shoulder Confit Steak

With Michigan White Bean and Smoked Ham Hocks,

Werp Farms Baby Vegetables and Truffle Demi Glaze

Fourth Course

Sage and Garlic Stuffed Smoked Berkshire Hog Loin

With Creamy Caraway Cabbage, Matignon Vegetables, Pancetta,

Forest Mushroom Sauce and Crisp Celery Root

Fifth Course

Sweet Pancakes

With Maple Cured Breakfast Sausage, Chantilly Cream,

Stewed Michigan Apples and Hard Cider Reduction

For more information, go to http://www.fivelakesgrill.com

I hope to see you there


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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... If I understand the description correctly, this is the "good mold" that we want to have growing on the dried sausages.  Since I remember Michael writing that the good stuff keeps the bad stuff at bay, I'm wondering whether it's a good investment for the Tuscan salame I'm considering doing.

Molds.

Cheesemakers use a technique that the french call "affinage". I think it comes from "fin" (end) and gives the english word 'affinity'. The final maturing of the cheese is deliberately in company with other cheeses - to encourage mold transfer. Hence, I'd think that hanging a bit of mature (and properly molded) salami along with some fresh young stuff would likely be A Good Thing.

Another thing cheesemakers do is to take some of the 'right' mold, whizz it with some (unchlorinated, or boiled and cooled) water and then use that suspension to immerse, paint or penetrate (as appropriate) their cheeses.

Now, my understanding is that the right mold on salami is a very close relative of the white mold on the outside of a Camembert (and Brie?) cheese. (This idea may have come from Len Poli http://home.pacbell.net/lpoli/page0002.htm at the bottom of the page.)

Pulling all that together, couldn't one make a suspension from (say) a little of the rind of some decent Camembert, and then benefit the salami by painting or spraying this onto the drying sausage...? Is this reasonable, or a very bad idea?


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

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On my last batch of salame, i took the moldy skin of a good commercial one (i've kept that skin in the fridge in a ziplock back for about 8 months now!), put it in a spray bottle with distilled water, and a pinch of dextrose...shook it hard, and sprayed that moldy water on the salami as they were in the warm maturation chamber. Did this twice over 12 hours, and thats all.

I learned the hard way, that if you keep doing it, you'll actually KILL anything you've put on there to begin with since after about 36 hours the solution becomes very acidic and vinegary from the mold fermenting. This time i only sprayed twice, and i have some pretyt nice white mold on my salami, not very even..but not bad. I may try the butcherpacker stuff next time.

jason

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it's not unreasonable. molds are alive and they compete. i've heard from some sausage makers that it is indeed a good idea to hang a sausage with good mold on it next to the new ones. I hadn't heard of making a mold slurry but i can't imagine it would hurt.

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jason and i were posting simultaneously. i'm glad to know about the spray bottle experiment, and would like to know how butcher packer stuff works.

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I hadn't heard of making a mold slurry but i can't imagine it would hurt.

Having dug up the full information sheet BP has online (http://www.butcher-packer.com/newsarticle.asp?id=38), it looks like a mold slurry is exactly what you make with the product, either spraying or dipping the sausages. Interesting suggestion that some good cheese might make a suitable alternative (and one that you can eat the byproduct from!)

I may have to hold off on the salame and experimentation with the mold, as I'm starting to bump into scheduling conflicts with my impending wedding. This charcuterie business is like having a pet to take care of!

Another frustrating intersection of charcuterie and my wedding: somebody bought the KA grinder attachement off our registry (yes, I have a very understanding fiancee!) MONTHS ago but hasn't sent it yet! The wait is killing me! Don't they know how much joy and happiness it would bring RIGHT NOW?

OK, enough rant for today.

-Rob

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Well, I asked BP about the freezing of Bactoferm. According to them, in a normal houshold freezer that does not go below -10F, it should last about a month only. Ideally you want to store it at 30 below :wacko:. He said he would not use it if it has been stored at a temp above -10F after a month. Not much of a "freezer-life" is it? I really don't see me using the whole batch in one month so, I will probably still use it later anyways and see if it works. what do u all think?

Edit: expert opinion needed, is a temperature in the mid to high 70s too hot to properly cure and age salame/coppa?


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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