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


snowangel
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Hi everyone,

I am going to do a hot smoked salmon this weekend. I am thinking about doing something quite similar to the cold smoked salmon in Charcuterie, but rather than finish with a cold smoke, do a hot smoke at about 200-250 in my Weber.

Is this approximately the right procedure, or are there other recommendations you'd give me? Also, I'm guessing it will cook in about 25 minutes or so -- is that on target?

Thanks!

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Salt in the *water dish* will stop the water (dish) going mouldy.

Yes, that's exactly what Michael said. I'm sorry I wasn't clear on that point.

I am going to do a hot smoked salmon this weekend. I am thinking about doing something quite similar to the cold smoked salmon in Charcuterie, but rather than finish with a cold smoke, do a hot smoke at about 200-250 in my Weber.

What are you looking for with the cold smoke? The hot smoke will give you a significantly different texture from the cold smoke. Either one is good, just not sure what you will accomplish by cold smoking afterwards.

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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Hi everyone,

I am going to do a hot smoked salmon this weekend. I am thinking about doing something quite similar to the cold smoked salmon in Charcuterie, but rather than finish with a cold smoke, do a hot smoke at about 200-250 in my Weber.

Is this approximately the right procedure, or are there other recommendations you'd give me? Also, I'm guessing it will cook in about 25 minutes or so -- is that on target?

Thanks!

Hey Darren,

When I've done hot-smoked salmon and bluefish in the past it usually takes 45 min to an hour, smoking at around 215 degrees. I use a pretty simple cure that's a 2:1 ration of brown sugar (packed) to kosher salt. You can, of course, add other spices and seasonings. I'll usually stick to black pepper. I cover the fish in the cure, let it cure overnight, rinse it off, and set it out to dry for a couple hours and form a pellicle. If I'm impatient I'll put an oscillating fan in the kitchen to speed this up. Then it's into the smoker. I tend to be paranoid about overcooking things, so I use a digital probe thermometer for just about everything I smoke. When it hits 140, it's done in my book.

Hope this helps,

Rob

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I've read in a few places (I forget if one of them is Michael's book) that adding some acid like vinegar when you soak the casings can help tenderize them.  Also, I've read that not stuffing the casings enough (not stretching them thin enough) can make them tougher, but I think that's a slippery slope: you're tempted to overstuff them (which I did the batch after the bockwurst), and the result is burst links.  So maybe it's best just to get new casings...

I'll definitely try the vinegar. My current plan is to tie one end of the hank shut, and then "inflate" it with water to stretch the casings, and then stuff it normally.

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I am going to do a hot smoked salmon this weekend. I am thinking about doing something quite similar to the cold smoked salmon in Charcuterie, but rather than finish with a cold smoke, do a hot smoke at about 200-250 in my Weber.

What are you looking for with the cold smoke?  The hot smoke will give you a significantly different texture from the cold smoke.  Either one is good, just not sure what you will accomplish by cold smoking afterwards.

Sorry that I wasn't more clear. I am not doing any cold smoking. I am only doing a hot smoke. But to do the hot smoke, I was going to use Ruhlman and Polcyn's cold smoked salmon recipe as a starting point. Namely, use their pre-smoke cure. Then, instead of cold smoking, I was going to do a hot smoke only.

Edited by Darren72 (log)
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... I am only doing a hot smoke. But to do the hot smoke, I was going to use Ruhlman and Polcyn's cold smoked salmon recipe as a starting point. Namely, use their pre-smoke cure. Then, instead of cold smoking, I was going to do a hot smoke only.

Darren, experimentation leads to learning! So give whatever you fancy a go, and report back.

But conventional hot smoking, (not even US-style "BBQ" smoke roasting, just hot smoking), would use a brine rather than a dry cure. (Because you don't want to dry out the salmon before *hot* smoking.) And it'd be probably too quick to get much flavour in - I've brined for an hour or less in an egg-floating (so maybe 40% of the way to saturated) 50/50 salt/sugar brine, dried for a pellicle and then hot smoked (just a kettle barbecue, charcoal and oak sawdust) for maybe an hour. Fabulous cold the following day, after a night in the fridge to let the flavours meld.

Compare the Smoked Salmon recipe with the one that follows it for Scallops. (But you want the salmon to cook just a little, to 'set' it.)

Take care to keep flies off it, for the hour or so, while you are letting the pellicle form. That's the hardest bit. They appear from nowhere!

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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Took out all of the sopressata today:

gallery_19804_437_57628.jpg

And I found green mold! Lots of it!

gallery_19804_437_6380.jpg

gallery_19804_437_22005.jpg

I also found the mystery link that never, seemingly dried out.

gallery_19804_437_1110.jpg

I cut into it but discovered nothing. There was one link that had only a teensy bit of green, and this one that has none at all:

gallery_19804_437_84717.jpg

So I cut off the casings on both and had at 'em.

gallery_19804_437_120895.jpg

They're delicious. Just perfect. They smell the way that really, really great cured stuff smells. Even though I'm disappointed to throw out most of the batch, of course, these two links are very encouraging.

Thoughts on tackling the green mold?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Wow Chris, that sucks!

But the stuff you cut open looks great!

I guess if your options are to toss 'em, I'd open one...remove the casing and see if it looks like the mold has penetrated. If not, give it the sniff test. I'm guessing this green stuff has developed fairly quickly, as it didn't look like it was there the other day in your pictures. Perhaps it's not had a chance to do any real damage.

I did 5 lbs each of pepperone, Tuscan salame, and Spanish chorizo the past 2 days. The last 2 are inoculating at the moment and I hung the chorizo this morning.

I can't believe I have kept putting off the purchase of the Grizzly stuffer. Well, after this ordeal, I can guarantee that the KA stuffer is history!

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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Wow Chris, that sucks!

But the stuff you cut open looks great! 

I guess if your options are to toss 'em, I'd open one...remove the casing and see if it looks like the mold has penetrated.  If not, give it the sniff test.  I'm guessing this green stuff has developed fairly quickly, as it didn't look like it was there the other day in your pictures.  Perhaps it's not had a chance to do any real damage.

I did 5 lbs each of pepperone, Tuscan salame, and Spanish chorizo the past 2 days.  The last 2 are inoculating at the moment and I hung the chorizo this morning.

I can't believe I have kept putting off the purchase of the Grizzly stuffer.  Well, after this ordeal, I can guarantee that the KA stuffer is history!

Chirs, I agree with Dave -- if they peel ok - and smell ok - then I would think you are ok.

Dave -- get the stuffer - It will change your life - believe me - and your sausages and salami will be better too.

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Dave -- get the stuffer - It will change your life - believe me - and your sausages and salami will be better too.

This I promise...I'll get the stuffer or NEVER do another sausage or salame.

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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Damn, Chris. That sucks about the green mold, especially because the link you cut open looks so damned good. I'm not sure what to advise. Of course, you know what I'd do if it were me :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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  Of course, you know what I'd do if it were me :biggrin:

=R=

Yeah, Ron...you pretty much confirmed how you handle questionable food stuffs when you ate the green jowl...

Then again, I would too.

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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Glad to hear that not all is lost, Chris. When did you first notice the mold?

Now, a question for me. I'm having a sausage making party tomorrow (with three 10-year old boys; oy, I must be crazy or smart -- the verdict will be in tomorrow). Anyway, can I grind some of this tonight, let it set in the fridge overnight, and stick in the freezer for a great chill before I bind? Or, should I do it all in one fell swoop?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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What's the going rate for pork bellies?

I told my husband that the butcher had our order in and by his whistle (and sensing the eyeroll :rolleyes: ) I fear we will be making extemely overly priced bacon.

*Bacon...The adventure begins!*

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What's the going rate for pork bellies?

I told my husband that the butcher had our order in and by his whistle (and sensing the eyeroll  :rolleyes: ) I fear we will be making extemely overly priced bacon.

*Bacon...The adventure begins!*

I get them for anywhere between $1.29 and $1.49/lb, but I'm sourcing from a slaughterhouse or a friend's neighbor. But, I need to buy two of them (totalling about 25 pounds), which really isn't a problem given how fast the bacon goes. I'm giving bacon for Christmas presents this year.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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What's the going rate for pork bellies?

I told my husband that the butcher had our order in and by his whistle (and sensing the eyeroll  :rolleyes: ) I fear we will be making extemely overly priced bacon.

*Bacon...The adventure begins!*

'Round these parts the good stuff runs about $3/pound.

=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 just scored 25 pounds of Niman Ranch pork -- two big bellies -- from Whole Foods on special order. Two halves are curing now, the rest are in the freezer vacuum-sealed. $4.29 per pound. I'm very interested to see how they stack up to the $1.59-1.99 stuff I've gotten at the local carnicaria. I'll tell you one thing: the carnicaria bellies don't smell sweet and wonderful like these Niman ones do, and they're about 40% as thick.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Well, now we know that Mark and Ron are available to be our green-meat canaries, but I'd sure hate to lose either one of you. Personally, I'm an utter chickenshit when it comes to potential food poisoning.

Chris, are you still alive? I actually think your mold soup looks way gross - how come you don't try the Bactoferm innoculant instead of homemade spore broth?

Someone has to say this sometime, so it might as well be me, since I'm possibly the only one of us with a ServSafe certificate and a semi-anal approach to food safety. You know how we say that people have been doing this meat curing stuff for millenia? Well, please, don't be too macho! People also used to die regularly from food-borne illnesses. Let's not repeat that part of history!

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What's the going rate for pork bellies?

I told my husband that the butcher had our order in and by his whistle (and sensing the eyeroll  :rolleyes: ) I fear we will be making extemely overly priced bacon.

Funny - I don't think I have done a cost analysis - but No you will not be saving money vs buying from the grocery store....

For most of us - that is really not why we started doing all this.

Speaking of Bacon...

I made a maple and a Hosin brown sugar cured maple smoked bacon. Nieman stomachs.... man are these fatty -- also I think I may have used too much cure -- the flavor is very sweet and salty strong. Does this subside when they sit for awhile? I follow the quantities pretty much as directed in the book.

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