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


snowangel
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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

Thanks Jason! I have a vacuum sealer, so that is no problem- how do you package them? As for pH, maybe I am a dodo, but how does one check the pH of a piece of meat? I am good with liquids...

Cheers,

Peter

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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

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Thanks, Abra, for giving us a glimpse of what must have been a great time. The food all looks sensational.

My friends all like eating the stuff I've made but it seems that's where their interest ends. :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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Oh my goodness. I have been reading this thread from the beginning, in awe. I never said anything because it's unlikely that I will ever do anything remotely Charcuterie-ish. :laugh: (If only I had a Kitchen Aid, a backyard and a smoker...)

But I love reading along. The experiments, the successes and failures, the drama (mold :shock: ) and the beautiful shots of glorious pork. And now we even have a charcuterie party!

This thread is one of eGullets very best!

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Oh my goodness. I have been reading this thread from the beginning, in awe. I never said anything because it's unlikely that I will ever do anything remotely Charcuterie-ish.  :laugh: (If only I had a Kitchen Aid, a backyard and a smoker...)

You can do wonderful bacon in the oven. In fact, although I do have a smoker, that's how I do all of mine.

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Oh my goodness. I have been reading this thread from the beginning, in awe. I never said anything because it's unlikely that I will ever do anything remotely Charcuterie-ish.  :laugh: (If only I had a Kitchen Aid, a backyard and a smoker...)

You can do wonderful bacon in the oven. In fact, although I do have a smoker, that's how I do all of mine.

Not only that, but the book starts and ends with many simple recipes that have no grinding- from bacon on- and some, as Michael Ruhlman points out, involve nothing but adding salt! The salmon and the lemon confit, for example, are simple, and all you need for equipment is tupperware!

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If you've read this entire tome, Klary, you'll remember waaaaaay back there, that most of us started with the cured salmon...you can do that!

Actually, waaaaay back there equates to about 7 months....whoa...come to think of it we've really come along ways haven't we?

Well, I suppose that although it's been said before

"Thank you Michael and Bryan...you guys are the best!"

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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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."

Wow, Abra, what am amazing experience. It would be a dream to gather a crowd to share a day like the one you all had. Like Ronnie, I know a lot of kean eaters but that's where the interest ends. Bravo.

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

What was the overall cure time on those?

=R=

Thanks Ron.

16 days... but there is still some of both hanging... I found that they were not all quite dry. I did not weight them so I am going by feel only.

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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."

Wow, Abra, what am amazing experience. It would be a dream to gather a crowd to share a day like the one you all had. Like Ronnie, I know a lot of kean eaters but that's where the interest ends. Bravo.

Abra - I agree -- what a awsome Pork PARTY !!!

PORK FAT DOES RULE !!!

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If you've read this entire tome, Klary, you'll remember waaaaaay back there, that most of us started with the cured salmon...you can do that!

Actually, waaaaay back there equates to about 7 months....whoa...come to think of it we've really come along ways haven't we?

Well, I suppose that although it's been said before

"Thank you Michael and Bryan...you guys are the best!"

Here Here !!!

It is amazing what we have all learned. So much more to do too!! I am still waiting on my smoker!!

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I have a quick question slightly on topic, not worth its own thread.

I just bought a Dry Salami (Salametto) from Fra Mani, Paul Bertoli's new salumi making place in Berkeley.

It's about 8 inches long, covered with white mold, and equipped with strings to hang. And delicious!

I can't eat this all in one day - how do I store it? In the fridge? Just hang it up with a fresh cut open to the air?

Thanks!

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Thanks, Abra and Rocky, for posting great pictures of the charcuterie spree. So far, I've enjoyed a yummy duck sausage and egg breakfast and some really lovely bacon. I've frozen the chorizo, merguez, garlic and chicken sausages and a couple of others and am planning on some good pastrami sandwiches soon. Abra's lamb prosciutto was a thing of beauty and tasted really good.

Making the pate was quite an involved process and a real learining experience for me, as I'd never done one before. Luckily, thanks to Little Ms Foodie, it was saved from disaster in the great table colapse by a quick swoop and the 10-second rule!!

Jan

Seattle, WA

"But there's tacos, Randy. You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile....A beef smile."

--Earl (Jason Lee), from "My Name is Earl", Episode: South of the Border Part Uno, Season 2

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What an awesome day of porky goodness! Thanks Abra for hosting the event.

I can see now that I'll probably be making more charcuterie than I ever intended!

In fact, I'm curious about a comment made earlier. Since I'm without a smoker, someone mentioned above about doing bacon in the oven. Is that method discussed in the book? That bacon Della made has got me itching to make my own. :)

Traca

Seattle, WA

blog: Seattle Tall Poppy

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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

Wow Abra. The lamb prosciutto looks fabulous and surely tastes exceptional. What a remarkable party. Now I know what I'm missing. PORK !!! Unfortunately it don't agree with me :angry:

H.B. aka "Legourmet"

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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

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Start simple and easy! The hook for me was the miraculous transformation of the first piece of fatty pork into a pancetta-like object with a bit of salt, spice, and nitrite. It goes from cheap by-product to this amazing thing that will make the house smell heavenly when you fry it up to start a soup....

My first dry cured meat will be a coppa- I won't cut it up. Part of the reason I am starting simple is that I am trying to learn from my mistakes, and i don't want my disasters to come in the form of a sausage that I made from meat i carefully trimmed, chilled, ground, mixed, stuffed, and hung. I am trying cure, cure, hang.

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

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At last! I've finally made it through the "long march" of all 45 pages of this thread. At this point I feel like I know all of you like old friends, so I suppose I should introduce myself.

I'm a struggling (ok, not really) grad student with a love of good meat. Though I live in a university-owned apartment, I seem to get by, with an offset smoker tucked away in the bushes for BBQ, grilling, you name it. While I've been making sausage (hand grinder - too much work!) for about a year, it wasn't until I stumbled across Michael and Bryan's book that the heavens opened up and I basked in the glory that is charcuterie.

Since then (about 3 weeks ago), I've been trying like mad to catch up with all of you. Here's what I've done or am working on:

-Duck prosciutto (turned out fabulous, I had to try it 24 hours before I let the fiance taste it - no sense both of us keeling over)

-Pancetta is cured and drying

-Bresaola is still curing

-Chef Milo's venison sausage - out of this world!

-cold-smoked bacon

On the smoked bacon, I thought I'd share my setup in case someone else can benefit from it. As I mentioned, I have a low-end offset smoker. It leaks like a sieve and the steel doesn't hold heat well, which makes it tough to BBQ, but turns out to be great for cold-smoking. I ran an extension cord out my apartment window (2nd floor, no less!) and plugged it in to an $8 Walmart hotplate, which went in the firebox with a metal pan of hickory chips on top. The hotplate was set to high, and in a couple of minutes was producing plenty of smoke. Into the food chamber went the cured belly and the venison sausage.

Over the course of 5 hours, the smoker temperature never got above 75 degrees (it was about 65 outside that day). The nice thing about the hotplate is that it produces a lot of smoke but not enough heat to really heat up the cooking chamber. The result - deliciously smoked sausage and bacon, although I've decided the hickory is a little harsh for the bacon. Maybe I'll try to track down apple next time.

Of course, being a fish-lover as well, the real goal was to see if I could keep the smoker cool enough to do smoked salmon. I figured the bacon was a safe test-run, since it would be fine if things got too hot. Looks like we're in the clear, so salmon is up next as soon as the wild stuff makes its annual appearance in Costco.

Anyway, hope this is helpful or interesting to someone. And thanks to all of you for the wisdom I've been soaking up during the last 45 pages!

-Rob

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Welcome to the Society on to this fantastic thread Rubashov. I like your cold-cmoking setting and it reminds me of one I saw Alton Brown do a couple of time.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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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?

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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