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Bombdog

Curing and Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 4)

600 posts in this topic

edsel

Thanks for the info. I have been to Shapiro's, for take out, and they are about the best deli we have here!

I'm glad I made the corned beef, since it was SO good, and I love doing my own thing :wink:

It also has urged me on to more ambitious projects - virtually everything in the book!

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So I though I would show a picture of the first duck breast I sliced into ... this one had truffle oil on it and I wonder if that prevented it from drying as much as it is intended to dry.

gallery_33145_3718_124781.jpg

I thought that the color gradient to a brighter red in the center shows that maybe it should have been dried more. This is my first time so I'm not sure what it is supposed to look like ... Anyone else have a clue if this dried out enough.


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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I am going to be preparing my first dried sausage tomorrow -- I chose the peperrone for my first try. I solved the drying box problem with the purchase of a 4.0 cubic foot refrigerator with a temp control. On its warmest setting it stays at 57 degrees. I removed the shelves and cut dowels to slide into the grooves the shelves used to occupy. I'll then hang the sausage from the dowels. The vegetable crisper sans cover is the perfect container for salt water. The beef is in the fridge, the ingredients are all pre-weighed and ready. I remembered to buy distilled water. You'd think I've thought of everything.

But I haven't.

It struck me that there is nowhere in my house that is even near 85 degrees -- the temperature for incubating the lactobacillus. Andv we don't own a space heater! What am I going to do?


Aidan

"Ess! Ess! It's a mitzvah!"

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I've never smoked jowls, just cured and then hung.  I've never had any problems with mold using that method.

The only time I have had any green mold was a result of (to my thinking) hanging too much and not getting sufficient air circulation in the chamber.

With that reasoning, I would suspect that the cheesecloth might be the culprit.  OTH, I really don't know, just guessing.

Yea -- I think it is right though... never had any problems before, and it just seemed like it was too moist in there... not enough ventilation...

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Interesting post in the Texas forum regarding Iberian pork products at Central Market. It's nice to know that Spanish cured pork (including the legendary Jamón ibérico) is making it to the U.S. now, but I'm curious as to how it compares to carefully crafted products made here.

Has anyone compared, say, imported Spanish lomo to cured pork loin made with high-quality (e.g. "Heritage breed") pork and artisinal technique here? I've made the pork confit recipe from Charcuterie, but haven't attempted a dry-cured lomo.

I recall dining in a restaurant in San Juan where there were hams hanging from the ceiling, their dainty little black hooves pointing to the ceiling. The ham was incredibly expensive, and was sliced by hand from an elaborate stand that kept it clamped in place. The stand was located in an alcove lit from above.  :raz: I decided to pass on the ham course. Only later did it dawn on me that those hams looked an awful lot like Jamón ibérico. I could kick myself for not trying some, and asking where it came from. Is Puerto Rico not subject to the food-nanny FDA?

I have had the iberico both in France and in spain, and let me tell you -- it is fantastic - as good as any ham I have ever had - period!!

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Francois, it's fine to re-use the fat from making confit, so long as you've filtered it so it's absolutely clear, and kept the temperature very low while you were simmering the duck.  I always save mine - it should be pure white to pale ivory colored.  If's it's brown, toss it. 

The jellied duck juices you get after making confit are fabulous too.  Somewhere here I read the neatest trick.  Pour the fat and juice through a filter into a jar, screw the lid on tight, then put it in the fridge upside down.  After it chills, turn the jar right side up and you'll have all the duck jello at the top, right under the lid, for easy removal and use.

Hey Abra - I like that trick!!

That jelly is very nice to finish off a risotto also... esp Duck Confit risotto

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I am going to be preparing my first dried sausage tomorrow -- I chose the peperrone for my first try.  I solved the drying box problem with the purchase of a 4.0 cubic foot refrigerator with a temp control.  On its warmest setting it stays at 57 degrees.  I removed the shelves and cut dowels to slide into the grooves the shelves used to occupy.  I'll then hang the sausage from the dowels.  The vegetable crisper sans cover is the perfect container for salt water.  The beef is in the fridge, the ingredients are all pre-weighed and ready.  I remembered to buy distilled water.  You'd think I've thought of everything.

But I haven't.

It struck me that there is nowhere in my house that is even near 85 degrees -- the temperature for incubating the lactobacillus.  Andv we don't own a space heater!  What am I going to do?

Use your oven - I bet it might be close to that right now, but if not turn it on until it hits about 90 (not long) and then it will stay fairly warm for what you need.

Plus I have incubated in the 70's without too many problems...

Good luck and be patient -- don't expect too much on the first attempts. I have about a year into this (ok 9 months) and have made alot of stuff, and still have failures... I am thinking it takes years and years to perfect....

... nothing like experience...

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I am going to be preparing my first dried sausage tomorrow -- I chose the peperrone for my first try.  I solved the drying box problem with the purchase of a 4.0 cubic foot refrigerator with a temp control.  On its warmest setting it stays at 57 degrees.  I removed the shelves and cut dowels to slide into the grooves the shelves used to occupy.  I'll then hang the sausage from the dowels.  The vegetable crisper sans cover is the perfect container for salt water.  The beef is in the fridge, the ingredients are all pre-weighed and ready.  I remembered to buy distilled water.  You'd think I've thought of everything.

But I haven't.

It struck me that there is nowhere in my house that is even near 85 degrees -- the temperature for incubating the lactobacillus.  Andv we don't own a space heater!  What am I going to do?

I think the oven with the light on might be about the right temperature. Works for proofing bread.

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Aidan, I think that several people here have used the oven to do the initial cure. That's what I plan to do when I get around to doing dry-cured sausages.

The Bactoferm LHP application notes specify both temperature and humidity:

Optimum growth @95°F internal meat temperature and a relative humidity of 95%.
I think a pan of warm water in the oven should help keep the humidity up, and the thermal mass should help hold the temperature steady. I pizza stone or some bricks would also help hold the heat.

The F-RM-52 instructions don't specify humidity for the fermentation stage, but the temperature range is fairly broad:

Maximum growth @100ºF, Optimum growth @85°F, Minimum growth @68ºF internal meat temperature.
As long as you stay within those bounds you should be fine. The important thing is not to get the meat so hot it kills the bacteria. Better to err on the cool side of the range.

Good luck, and report back. :smile:

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I mostly have used the F-RM-52, and used the oven with a light on. I sat a digital thermometer on top of a half pan filled with salami and it read 78 F. So far (knock on wood) it's worked everytime for me.


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 have a quick question about various sugars for the fermentation of dry-cured salami. In recipes that use powdered milk, do I really need to add dextrose too? When I made my tuscan salame, I found it to be a bit more sour than I prefer. My thought is that the powdered milk has enough sugar (granted, lactose - are bacteria lactose-intolerant?) that I'm not sure I want to add more food for the bacteria (I'm using F-RM-52).

As an aside, I'm not really sure what the powdered milk is for. Any clues?

-Dan

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It struck me that there is nowhere in my house that is even near 85 degrees -- the temperature for incubating the lactobacillus.  Andv we don't own a space heater!  What am I going to do?

I have a 5 gallon barrel of vinegar working as we speak. it is in a cardboard box in the garage with a drop cord with a 40w bulb inside. it has a wireless thermometer sender in the box and it stays 75 to 85º all the time..So a drop light in the oven would probably do the same , or just leave the light on in the oven and it would probably be close.

Bud

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I just got a sausage stuffer thru the mail. Got it on ebay, "buy it now," it's a Grizzley brand and looks just like the ones in Sausage Maker web site, but at $59.99, it was at least half the price!

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I just got a sausage stuffer thru the mail.  Got it on ebay, "buy it now," it's a Grizzley brand and looks just like the ones in Sausage Maker web site, but at $59.99, it was at least half the price!

They sell those here too:

http://grizzly.com/products/h6252

I also just bought one, but haven't received it yet. I'm hopeful.

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I just got a sausage stuffer thru the mail.  Got it on ebay, "buy it now," it's a Grizzley brand and looks just like the ones in Sausage Maker web site, but at $59.99, it was at least half the price!

They sell those here too:

http://grizzly.com/products/h6252

I also just bought one, but haven't received it yet. I'm hopeful.

Yes, I realized it when they sent me their huge catalog, with the most amazing machinary you'd ever want to see! I was a bit surprised after looking thru it that they sold sausage stuffers! Mine looks great, sturdy, just the same as the high priced ones I looked up. I should have included their website :wacko:

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jbehmoaras - I'd say that your duck needs to hang for another 10 days or so. It's hard to tell becasue it's so shiny, but when I do it the fat is much more of an ivory color and the duck is a lot less red. You can also tell with the knife - if it's really dry, it doesn't offer much drag to the knife. Of course, if you've got a real slicer, all bets on that tip are off.

dansch - here's a little ditty i found for you on the milk question

"Milk-protein derived extenders are used widely in processed meat products. These include nonfat dry milk, dried whey, and buttermilk solids and are added to improve binding qualities, flavor, cooking yields and slicing characteristics. They also help to stabilize meat emulsion products such as bologna and frankfurters." So says U of Connecticut Extension.


Edited by Abra (log)

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It struck me that there is nowhere in my house that is even near 85 degrees -- the temperature for incubating the lactobacillus.  Andv we don't own a space heater!  What am I going to do?

Use a lamp or two in a closet. The heat from the lamp(s) at 60 or 75 watts should do the job. MAKE sure thee is nothing above the lamp nor able to touch it.


Robert

Seattle

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jbehmoaras - I'd say that your duck needs to hang for another 10 days or so.  It's hard to tell becasue it's so shiny, but when I do it the fat is much more of an ivory color and the duck is a lot less red.  You can also tell with the knife - if it's really dry, it doesn't offer much drag to the knife.  Of course, if you've got a real slicer, all bets on that tip are off.

I think you are right ... do you think it is ok to hang them up to dry again after having cut into one and having been in a fridge for 4-5 days.... I did vaccum pack them but I dno if that makes a difference.... haha still a newbie at this.


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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Oh, good golly that's some tasty pastrami! Between myself and a couple of friends that I promised some to, I can't see this 6-lb brisket lasting more than 2 days. Tomorrow's Jewish Rye day at the local bakery...

On the same day that I smoked the pastrami, I also smoked three slabs of bacon - which were all rather disappointing. Each time I make bacon I keep going back and forth between too salty and not salty enough. I just can't seem to get a hang of the right amount of cure for a given slab of belly. This got me thinking about the pastrami - which is perfectly salted - why not use a brine for bacon? Theoretically, meat left in a brine will reach an equilibrium of salt with the surrounding solution, right? So as long as I start out with the right salt concentration in the brine, everything should be more-or-less foolproof...

Has anyone on the board played around with brining bellies for bacon? Is there a reason that recipes in the book for beef (pastrami, corned beef, etc.) call for brining and pork (pancetta, bacon, hams) for dry-curing?

Cheers,

-Dan

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Has anyone on the board played around with brining bellies for bacon?

No, but I've had some success brining whole filets of wild salmon, which I've come to prefer over dry-curing. I'm ultimately cold-smoking that fish, which is why I decided to try brining in the first place.

I bet brining would 'work' with pork belly too, although I'd be curious about the texture of the finished product. Still, unless anyone can specifically advise against doing so, I'd say it's at least worth trying. If you're already baconizing 3 bellies at a time, there's no reason not to experiment, right? :smile:

=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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Has anyone on the board played around with brining bellies for bacon?

I bet brining would 'work' with pork belly too, although I'd be curious about the texture of the finished product.

That was my thought as well, that brining might introduce too much moisture and leave you with bacon that doesn't crisp right and splatters a lot when you cook it. Once I make it through this batch (which tastes fine if I pre-salt the slices a bit before frying), I'll try brining.

If you're already baconizing 3 bellies at a time, there's no reason not to experiment, right? :smile:

Well, I've simply found that once I give away a little bit to a handful of friends, I'm suddenly out.

I will say that between the bacon and pastrami, the Hobart slicer I got off of eBay is paying off... slicing all that bacon by hand was always a huge pain....

Cheers,

-Dan

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I just returned from Barcelona yesterday and had an experience that prompts the following question. While I was checking out the back room of a local charcutier who was taking care of the hams and sausages, I saw him grab a link of the dry-cured sobresada that was covered with the infamous green mold, grease up his hands with some olive oil, and rub the thing down with the oil. He then wiped it off a bit with a paper towel and put the sausage back in the display case. He proceded to do the same thing to the other sausages, most of which were just white-mold-y. When I asked the only person there who was fluent in English what was up, he shrugged and said, basically, that that's what's done. No muss, no fuss.

Thoughts?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Dave - how long have you had your soppressetta hanging? Did you incubate for long?

I just checked mine and hard outside, but soft and not very red inside.... I am at 3 weeks - beef middles.

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Dave - how long have you had your soppressetta hanging? Did you incubate for long?

I just checked mine and hard outside, but soft and not very red inside.... I am at 3 weeks - beef middles.

Me?

I took mine down late last week...perfect!


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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