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Bombdog

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

600 posts in this topic

The saucisson sec is my least-favorite recipe from the book so far. It looked beautiful, with the hand-diced fat, but it tasted only of pork. I actually thought it was a boring flavor, but a lovely texture.

I think the acidic flavor you're describing must come from using one of the fermenting agents. I haven't tried that yet myself, but I know lots of other people have.

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Thanks, dls, Mark and Abra, for the Tasso information and feedback. I checked out the gumbo pages and liked what I saw but the Tasso recipe listed there (from Alex Patout) doesn't include pink salt. I think I will modify it slightly, as I did with the Andouille recipe a I found there a few months ago. That turned out splendidly, so I think this is an excellent starting point.

Thanks again,

=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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In continuing my search for information about tasso, I came across tons of it -- much of it useful. One interesting thing is that most of the tasso recipes/methods I've read about do not involve pink salt at all. I'm not sure if that reflects anything beyond the results of my search but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I came across this Nolacuisine.com, where the excellent-looking tasso pictured was made without any pink salt. Yet, the 3-day cure clearly produces a pink-fleshed final product.

I am mulling this over before starting my initial batch. I'm leaning toward no-pink-salt simply because I feel better not using it if I don't have to. But, I don't want to end up with un-cured smoked pork either.

Anyway, at the bottom of that page, there is link back to an interesting thread which lives here on the eG forums:

Eating Louisiana Andouille, Wayne Jacob's / La Place

This is a great thread which features fantastic shots (thank you Jason Perlow) of the production process at the fabled Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse in La Place, Louisiana, where tasso, andouille and other products are made. For anyone who's followed this thread, these pictures -- and the thread, in general -- will be very cool to see -- they are very informative and instructional.

=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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Hi all,

Has anyone made the saucisson sec yet?  When I lived in France for a year I had the opportunity to try multiple different brands of store-bought saucisson as well as some that had been produced by a winemaker, from his own pigs, for his family's consumption.  I have to say that I liked some better than others.  Some seemed to have more pepper and be slightly more acidic than others.  The wine maker's saucisson seemed to have almost no flavor in it aside from pork, and was certainly not acidic.  I'm wondering how you would describe the taste of the one in the book, and if you had to compare it to other dry cured pork sausages that you've made (sopressata, salami, etc.), how would it compare?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Alan

I have some saucisson sec drying up in my basement fridge. Made them last week end from a shoulder of a lovely pig, from a local producer... Cant wait for them to be ready. I hope for a pure pork flavor, with a slight garlic pepper taste. With a good baguette and great burgundy wine (as suggested in the book)!

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Here is the soppresetta - real happy with it.

gallery_33268_2905_55626.jpg

gallery_33268_2905_15509.jpg

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In continuing my search for information about tasso, I came across tons of it -- much of it useful.  One interesting thing is that most of the tasso recipes/methods I've read about do not involve pink salt at all.  I'm not sure if that reflects anything beyond the results of my search but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I came across this Nolacuisine.com, where the excellent-looking tasso pictured was made without any pink salt.  Yet, the 3-day cure clearly produces a pink-fleshed final product.

I am mulling this over before starting my initial batch.  I'm leaning toward no-pink-salt simply because I feel better not using it if I don't have to.  But, I don't want to end up with un-cured smoked pork either.

Anyway, at the bottom of that page, there is link back to an interesting thread which lives here on the eG forums:

Eating Louisiana Andouille, Wayne Jacob's / La Place

This is a great thread which features fantastic shots (thank you Jason Perlow) of the production process at the fabled Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse in La Place, Louisiana, where tasso, andouille and other products are made.  For anyone who's followed this thread, these pictures -- and the thread, in general -- will be very cool to see -- they are very informative and instructional.

=R=

Ron - I've made tasso many times using the Gumbo Pages (A. Patout) and Nola Cuisine recipes as a guide plus a few tweaks of my own. I've never used pink salt and the results have always been great - similar to the NC pic.

A few hints...

Meat - Most recipes call for pork butt or shoulder. I use a well trimmed pork loin roast. The final result is not meant to be moist. Slice it as described in the recipes.

Rub - Lay it own very heavy. Shake off the excess after a 3 day cure. Also, before applying the rub, I "paint" the meat with some homemade worcestershire sauce and let it soak in.

Smoke - You want to smoke it at a low temp. Start off at about 150F then raise it to 170F after a couple of hours. Take it to an internal temp. of 150F-160F. Get the smoke rolling good before you put the meat in. Put the meat in as cold as possible. I usually put it the freezer for 30-45 minutes before smoking.

Wood - If you have access to pecan, go for it. Otherwise, use apple or cherry. Avoid mesquite and hickory.

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So my butcher is going to try and get some fatback from some nearby farms so i can try my hand at lardo ... any tips


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

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Ron - I've made tasso many times using the Gumbo Pages (A. Patout) and Nola Cuisine recipes as a guide plus a few tweaks of my own. I've never used pink salt and the results have always been great - similar to the NC pic.

A few hints...

Meat - Most recipes call for pork butt or shoulder. I use a well trimmed pork loin roast. The final result is not meant to be moist. Slice it as described in the recipes.

Rub - Lay it own very heavy. Shake off the excess after a 3 day cure. Also, before applying the rub, I "paint" the meat with some homemade worcestershire sauce and let it soak in.

Smoke - You want to smoke it at a low temp. Start off at about 150F then raise it to 170F after a couple of hours. Take it to an internal temp. of 150F-160F. Get the smoke rolling good before you put the meat in. Put the meat in as cold as possible. I usually put it the freezer for 30-45 minutes before smoking.

Wood - If you have access to pecan, go for it. Otherwise, use apple or cherry. Avoid mesquite and hickory.

Thank you so much, dls, for sharing this information. I have apple, cherry and maple wood available but will probably use combo of the first 2, as that's normally a combo I end up enjoying. If you're willing to share your rub recipe, I'd love to have it. But if you consider it proprietary, I completely understand.

Thanks again,

=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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Well, I'm doing the confit de porc right now. Tomorrow I'll use some for the rillette de porc which is one of my favorite pork "dishes" ever.

This week I have some extra free time on my hands so I'll be doing the smoked andouille, the smoked garlic and chicken sausage, the tasso, the chicago-style hotdogs, and the corned beef.

It's good that I have a foodsaver. :wink:

I plan on using the exact recipes from the book as a starting point, so I'll let you all know how things turn out.

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It's good that I have a foodsaver.   :wink:

So true, so true.

I plan on using the exact recipes from the book as a starting point, so I'll let you all know how things turn out.

Please do. It sounds like you've got a fun and ambitious week ahead. Can't wait to read about how it turns out.

=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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Ron - I've made tasso many times using the Gumbo Pages (A. Patout) and Nola Cuisine recipes as a guide plus a few tweaks of my own. I've never used pink salt and the results have always been great - similar to the NC pic.

A few hints...

Meat - Most recipes call for pork butt or shoulder. I use a well trimmed pork loin roast. The final result is not meant to be moist. Slice it as described in the recipes.

Rub - Lay it own very heavy. Shake off the excess after a 3 day cure. Also, before applying the rub, I "paint" the meat with some homemade worcestershire sauce and let it soak in.

Smoke - You want to smoke it at a low temp. Start off at about 150F then raise it to 170F after a couple of hours. Take it to an internal temp. of 150F-160F. Get the smoke rolling good before you put the meat in. Put the meat in as cold as possible. I usually put it the freezer for 30-45 minutes before smoking.

Wood - If you have access to pecan, go for it. Otherwise, use apple or cherry. Avoid mesquite and hickory.

Thank you so much, dls, for sharing this information. I have apple, cherry and maple wood available but will probably use combo of the first 2, as that's normally a combo I end up enjoying. If you're willing to share your rub recipe, I'd love to have it. But if you consider it proprietary, I completely understand.

Thanks again,

=R=

Ron - They apple and cherry mix will work well. Nothing proprietary about my rub. Similar to the GP / NC rubs with a few additions. As I mentioned, I "paint" the meat with homemade worcestershire sauce (Emeril's recipe) and let it sit for 30 minutes. If I'm feeling really exotic, I might add a thin layer of Creole mustard. Then, add the rub...

4 T smoked Spanish paprika (dulce or agridulce).

3 T coarse salt

2 T garlic powder or granulated garlic

2 T coarsely ground black pepper

2 T white pepper

2 T brown sugar

1 1/2 T cayenne

1 T ground allspice

1 T Coleman's dry mustard (omit if you have layered with Creole mustard)

1 t cinnamon

1 t onion powder

1 t celery salt

1/2 t ground cloves

1/2 t ground nutmeg

Mix & Rub - Heavily.

Also, the foodsaver is a godsend when making tasso. When finished, I seal in 1/2 lb packs then freeze.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.

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A few hints . . .

. . . Also, the foodsaver is a godsend when making tasso. When finished, I seal in 1/2 lb packs then freeze. 

Good luck and let us know how it works out.

Thank you so much for this, dls. I plan to start the curing today and then smoke the tasso mid-week. I'll definitely report back on the results.

=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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Update:

The pork confit recipe from the book is excellent! I love it, and will certainly make it again. I used a small proportion of home-rendered duck fat with it too.

The rillettes made from the pork confit using the recipe from the book had too much fat for my taste.

To change it a bit, I'd brown the chunks of confit first, then make the recipe, adding the pork jelly, but not adding any additional fat, or only a little at any rate. I know that rillettes are supposed to be really fatty, but I think that using confited meat adds enough fat. Others of you might have different tastes of course.

I'm currently brining the corned beef, and it is seeming promising. I'll be using the Russian dressing recipe from the book as well for some nice sandwiches.

I made the hot dogs. They were great, but note to self: Poaching doesn't mean a rolling boil. :sad: Oh well, split sausages are still good sausages!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the other pork products this past Friday, so it won't be until this weekend that I get to make a few other things. I'll give another update at that point. By that time I'll have my definitive opinion of the corned beef too.

Even further down the line, but before the year's end, I'll be doing sopressata, the smoked american-style "holiday" ham, and starting a dry-aged ham too.

I hope this thread keeps going because it has been an inspiration to me, and is filled with a wealth of great experience.

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So,

I'm working on my remedial Charcuterie course, and I'm working through the pancetta recipe. Its been about a week since I took that sucker out of the cure, trussed it and hung it up to dry.

The problem is that it seems to be drying a bit too fast for my taste -- its been a very dry week in Massachusetts. The outside is a bit tough, but not hard yet (I would say, springy).

What do I do? My instinct is to declare it "done" after a week and get snackin', but would I be missing a step, or two?

s

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What determines whether or not to do an incubation? Michaels book has an incubation period on several dry sausages , but not on spanish chorizo.The bactoferm has directions for one in the detail sheet.

I was getting ready to do a sopressa venta da friuiti and that calls for one. however I am going to do it in hog casings , not a large diameter sausage.

I have another book by Predika that does not use a starter and does a "dry cure"with cure #2 for 48 hrs in the refrig. then direct to drying...

any comments would be appreciated...

Bud

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So,

I'm working on my remedial Charcuterie course, and I'm working through the pancetta recipe.  Its been about a week since I took that sucker out of the cure, trussed it and hung it up to dry.

The problem is that it seems to be drying a bit too fast for my taste -- its been a very dry week in Massachusetts.  The outside is a bit tough, but not hard yet (I would say, springy).

What do I do?  My instinct is to declare it "done" after a week and get snackin', but would I be missing a step, or two?

s

Mine goes pretty fast too. Made it twice and @ about 1 week each time. Since it is sliced and cooked, you won't have any real"doneness" issues.... I'd get snackin' !!

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When the weather changes, for some reason, I get in the mood of making a nice pork terrine. Even though it is eaten cold, something about the whole process and look just makes sense in the fall. So, from Charcuterie I made the "Pork Terrine with tenderloin inlay" with few minor modifications.

Since the first terrine I made from this book only filled my terrine mold about 3/4 of the way, I made about 1.5 times the forcemeat this time, to make sure I have a nice even square. That was a good idea, and the amount of meat was perfect.

My other modifications included adding dried sour cherries (an idea from the venison terrine in the book) that were soaked in homemade Vin de Noix. I added the soaking liqour to the rest of the liquids in the recipe. I also decided to use some shard leaves to line the mold with in addition to the plastic wrap. That is meant to give the terrine a more attractive look. That also was a good idea, only I should've squeezed the blanched leaves a bit more to make sure I do not have a pool of chard liquid to be drained off at the end.

The recipe worked out perfectly and my terrine never shrank which means that I certainly worked my temp controls correctly (cold, cold, cold) and the emulsion held up because of that. This time I also did include the teaspoon or so of Pink Salt and it really made a huge difference in how attractive the sliced terrine came out.

Taste was outstanding as well with perfect seasoning and a perfect texture. Even my 3 year old son could not get enough of this and he had already eaten his dinner. He kept asking for more "chicken". No, it did not taste like chicken, but any meat product that is not fish, to him, is chicken.

Here are some production pictures

gallery_5404_2234_181957.jpg

gallery_5404_2234_122732.jpg

Finished Terrine after being weighed down and refrigerated for a couple of days

gallery_5404_2234_384304.jpg

Served with some onion jam among other things not pictured

gallery_5404_2234_278411.jpg

gallery_5404_2234_236482.jpg

I still have about 1/4 of it left, so that's tonight's dinner :wink:


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Elie, that's just beautiful!  I love the vin de noix idea.  Since you altered the amounts - do you have the Le Creuset mold like I do, or a larger one?

I believe it is the same one. If am not mistaken it is a 1.5 quart capacity.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I made two very nice organic bellies into bacon using a dry cure with dextrose. I am detecting a flavour that I don't really care for and I think I detected that same flavour in my first bacon experiments when I used some commercial California Ham spice.

I wonder if it might be the dextrose. Anyone else noticed any odd flavour when they have used dextrose?


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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Just wanted to say hello as this is my first post. To get the introduction out of the way, I am Jamie and live in Chicago, IL. Found the site after searching for more info on sausage making to help hone some skills (whatever skills I actually have) and discovered this thread. I had heard mention of the cookbook in the past but after reading this thread I couldn’t get it fast enough.

I have had a Weber Smokey Mountain (WSM) for 5 or so years and my only past curing experience was 25lbs of Buckboard Bacon (pork shoulder) I had made last year.

I decided to start by making the maple cured bacon and pastrami. Started curing them last Saturday and finally put the meat to the smoke yesterday. One thing is thank you again to Ronnie_Suburban, who I mailed with a few pastrami questions. Mainly I can get packer cut briskets cheap, but would pay a fortune for flats. Seemed a waste to trim out the flat from a packer, so I wanted to cure the whole cut. Based on Ronnie’s advice I brought the cure up to 7 days instead of 3. As I had a 13lb brisket, I also increased the brine recipe 2.5x.

I had 2 bellies for bacon, one I cut into 2 pieces the other; I left whole as it didn’t weigh 5 lbs. In the end the quality of these bellies left something to be desired, but the taste of the finished product was fantastic. I can’t wait to try it again with better quality belly. I also skipped the 12-24 hours of drying in the refrigerator, which I assume is to form a good pellicle for smoke adhesion. As can be seen in my fridge pic, curing 13lbs of brisket and 14lbs of bacon does not leave much room. As I wanted to do these in one smoke, it just made sense to skip that step.

Talk about a full fridge. Try living with this for a week…

fullfridgemw9.jpg

Here is the pastrami rinsed, rubbed and ready to go on the smoker:

readyforsmokewv2.jpg

Here is the pastrami after about 5.5 hours of smoke, ready to be pulled to start the braising:

finishedonsmokernx4.jpg

This is the pastrami on the range, waiting for braising water to simmer:

readyforovenyb2.jpg

closeinbraisejz5.jpg

After a ‘3-hour braise’ (sung to Gilligan’s theme song), the pastrami waits to be sliced. One thing that surprised me was how much of the coriander/pepper crust stayed on during the braise. It really didn't look much different:

braisedoneji0.jpg

Finally get to slice it. There are not many meals that take a week to prepare (at least that I have made), but this was worth EVERY day of it. The meat was so incredibly tender, but still maintained plenty of moisture. I wish there was a way to take a picture of the smell of braising pastrami through the house...

pastramisliced1ql9.jpg

pastramisliced2il1.jpg

Here is the bacon, rinsed and ready for the smoker (two other pieces are wrapped in paper towels under this one):

readyforsmokerbj3.jpg

readyforsmokercloselx5.jpg

The bacon is off the smoker and ready to be chilled and sliced.

baconoffsmokersa1.jpg

baconclose1sm2.jpg

One thing I can say about the bacon is that it has a really nice balance of sweet from the maple syrup and sugar in the cure, and a good salty edge to it. You can tell these were cut with meaty spare ribs in mind, so the quality of the bacon suffered a bit. The top belly in the picture above basically had a single 1/16" strip of meat running through it. That entire belly (near 5 pounds) will be frozen and used for cooking. Here is the sliced bacon porn none the less, with dreams of better quality bellies for next time:

baconsliced1mq8.jpg

baconsliced2qc1.jpg

Jamie


Edited by Jamieson22 (log)

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Just wanted to say hello as this is my first post.  To get the introduction out of the way, I am Jamie and live in Chicago, IL.  Found the site after searching for more info on sausage making to help hone some skills (whatever skills I actually have) and discovered this thread.  I had heard mention of the cookbook in the past but after reading this thread I couldn’t get it fast enough.

Welcome Jamie, those are some gorgeous cured meat pictures. Can't wait to see what you make next!

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Beautiful work, Elie. That terrine looks great.

And welcome, Jamie, to the thread. That pastrami and bacon both look sensational. I'm glad the spice crust stayed on the pastrami when you braised it. That's also been my experience and I would have hated to misguide you.

I'm about to cold-smoke one more fillet of wild coho today. I've pretty much got my method worked out. Today I'm going to use only apple wood -- but I have some green limbs I'm going to mix in with the dried wood. We'll see how it goes.

I also produced the tasso per dls's recommendations (upthread) and was quite happy with the results. I hope to post some additional details and pics shortly.

=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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And welcome, Jamie, to the thread.  That pastrami and bacon both look sensational.  I'm glad the spice crust stayed on the pastrami when you braised it.  That's also been my experience and I would have hated to misguide you.

I also produced the tasso per dls's recommendations (upthread) and was quite happy with the results.  I hope to post some additional details and pics shortly.

=R=

Ronnie-

Your advice was spot on. Thanks again for all your help!

Can't wait to see the tasso pics and details, as I am thinking I may do that next.

Jamie

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      Novice at meat-curer looking for advice. I'm making 2 pancettas this season.
       
      The first one I used the over-salting technique. What I didn't expect was that the salt would all turn into brine in a day, and I expected that I could scrape away the excess salt at the end. Instead, I left it on the brine for too long, and the result was too salty. The meat firmed up in 2 days so I should've taken it out then.
       
      For my second one, which is currently in the fridge, I used the equilibrium salting technique. I added about 100g salt for 3.5kg meat. The problem now is that it's not firming up seemingly at all! It has been 9 days in the fridge, and flipping it every day or 2. After 6 days, however, there was no pool of brine left. I put the meat in a folded over but unsealed bag. Did the brine evaporate or resoak into the meat?
       
      Any advice on how to continue would be appreciated.
    • By davidcross
      I made some Lonza and cured it for 2 weeks.
       
      In the drying chamber (70% humidity and 55F with gentle air flow) it's only been 4 days but it's already lost 30% of its pre-drying chamber weight. Normally that can take weeks.
       
      Is that normal, and is the meat ready?
       
      Thank you
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