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Bombdog

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

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Where would I find dextrose?  I know I can order it from Butcher Packer but I feel lately like I've spent enough in shippng charges through there to pay for my own UPS truck.  Is there a product that one might find locally?

I buy mine from the local brewing /wine making store...They call it corn sugar to make beer...Works well and very inexpensive..

.As for if the sausage is good . Since I have not made any bad, I would only suggest you depend on your usual senses. smell ok? green and slimy? green mold on it??? There are some things upthread that would also help indicate...Make sure all of your equip is sanitized etc.etc...Good luck

Bud

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Where would I find dextrose?  I know I can order it from Butcher Packer but I feel lately like I've spent enough in shippng charges through there to pay for my own UPS truck.  Is there a product that one might find locally?

I recently found that my local health food store sells dextrose. It's right there with the cane sugar, agave syrup, etc. Seems kind of odd, but I'm not complaining - it does seem silly to pay shipping for something that's <$1/lb to start with...

-Dan

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Any vitamin store should have dextrose, places like "NOW", or even maybe whole foods, or Vitamin Shop.

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Smoked our first bacon last night, making some for breakfast ATM - had to sneak a piece WOW.

The duck prosciutto did not last long either.

I'm well and truly hooked.

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Reviving the topic a little bit. It has been a while since i've made any charcuterie, but i'm going to start again in teh next couple of month.

Generally, i've been disappointed with my salame results. Everything else is fantastic, but my salame is always a let down. I think it has to do with my fermentation time.

What cultures is everyone using here, and how are you measuring the pH drop? Are you going by time alone? If so how long at what temp?

Are you measuring? If so, to what pH level are you letting the meat drop?

Paul Bertolli in his book specifies a pH value, but it is a bit contradictory in certain areas.

How is everyone fermenting the salame before drying?

jason

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How is everyone fermenting the salame before drying?

jason

Currently the debate is whether starter cultures are even necessary. It seems that they may be advantageous from a safety and consistency-of-results perspective but may impart a flavor that is too strong for certain types of dry-cured sausage. I have been doing some research and am probably going to make a batch of dry cured this weekend that does not contain starter. I am planning to follow the recipe for sauccison sec in the book unless I find something better.

Has anyone tried this recipe? Any advice or something you might change?

Don't worry, the charcuterie thread won't die. We've all taken a pledge...right?...right?

Brian

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Don't worry, the charcuterie thread won't die.  We've all taken a pledge...right?...right?

Brian

I'm still curing hard, I just haven't posted much recently. Some of that comes down to the repetition. I've added bacon, pancetta, fresh sausages, etc. in to my normal repertoire and now it just seems so mundane!

I think I posted some photos of my ham curing a couple months ago - they're done now and I'll post some pictures of the end-results when I cook one up for the first time (planned for my birthday in a couple of weeks).

Here is a shot of my first terrine (basic country pate):

gallery_27805_3593_10446.jpg

(this is a little one that I made as a test from some extra mixture that wouldn't fit in my loaf pan)

Cheers,

-Dan

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I'm definitely still here hacking away at all things land and sea-faring.

I became totally obsessed with cold-smoked salmon (lox) over the winter (when conditions made it much easier to produce safely) and probably made about 10 batches. I think I've really perfected it but now, yet again, it's almost impossible to eat the store-bought stuff because it pales compared to what I can produce myself. It was great being able to cure the fish outside on my front doorstep and then cold-smoke it when the air temp was in the neighborhood of 10 F.

But now, with warmer weather just around the corner I'm trying to figure out if I can somehow continue to produce it on a regular basis. I have a few ideas but all of them will require some retro-fitting of my smoker.

I've also been continuing to produce bacon and even got a great lamb and candied fennel sausage recipe from a chef/friend of mine that yielded a delicious final product. Again, with warmer weather coming, I do plan more sausage in the coming months. This has really become a way of life and it's mostly repetition which keeps me from posting about every single project I work on. But I'm still loving it.

=R=

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I made the saucisson sec from the book and reported on it here.

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Regarding the starter cultures, i don't think they are NECESSARY. I believe they are good from a safety standpoint. In fact the first salame i ever made, did not have starter cultures.

It was a very thin (15mm) artificial casing, and as i remember, now that you mention it, it was darn tasty. That is when i started reading about starter cultures and how they should be used.

Now, as to whether i trust the salame without starter cultures, i'd have to think about it.

I do know that a butcher friend in italy does not use them, and the health inspectors have no problem with that, and health inspections in italy are rather rigorous.

What we're assuming if we don't use starter cultures is that OK bacteria is going to reproduce faster than bad bacteria, which seems to be a crapshoot to me.

I wonder what kind of "sickness" one could get. The botulism risk i think is removed by using nitrites, so that seems to leave just regular food poisoning (which can be rather unpleasant from what i've heard).

Something to think about. Maybe my next batch i'll risk making a few salamis with culture, and a few without, and see if there textural and flavor differences.

jason

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I made the saucisson sec from the book and reported on it here.

Thanks Abra, I was thinking about adding some spices to mine, now I am pretty sure I will. I though about adding toasted ground fennel seeds to get the taste of the Tuscan fennel sausage without the sour flavor of the starter.

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I know there are other smoker mod posts here on eG.. I've been meaning to post pics of the modifications to my smoker that i use to get cold smoke. I was super cheap, takes about an hour to build and works pretty well. It is easy to convert from hot smoke to cold smoke and can even be done on the fly, i.e. with the meat in the smoker.

Here is the parts list.

1 - 13 3/4 gallon galvanized steel bucket

1 - Galvanized steel pan

1 - Dryer hose, 10 feet

2 - Starter collar from the ductwork section of the hardware store

You will also need tin snips and a pair of pliers and maybe some duct tape. I think the whole thing was $30 at home depot.

Step 1 - Cut the bottom out of the bucket to a diameter that is less than diameter of the smoker.

Step 2 - Cut holes for the starter collars in the side of the bucket and the bottom of the steel pan and attach the starter collars.

Step 3 - Attach the dryer hose between them.

here is ole' trusty (or maybe that should read 'rusty') before in hot smoke mode.

gallery_39076_4071_82514.jpg

Here is the connector apparatus that i described above.

gallery_39076_4071_171592.jpg

And here is the smoker in cold smoke mode.

gallery_39076_4071_191109.jpg

To convert it you simply lift the top part with the meat inside over to the overturned bucket section and cover the fire pan with the galvanized pan. It takes only a few seconds. My smoker is electric so I don't need to worry about airflow so much in the fire pan. If your smoker was wood you woudl probably need a damper of some sort so you could regulate airflow. They have those at home depot also.

If I was doing it again I would move the handles on the pan to the sides. They get very hot. Also the overturned bucket is open at the bottom. I have wondered whether it would be possible to close the bottom and add a damper of some sort to the overturned bucket section. That may allow some measure of temperature control.

Anyway, just thought I'd post that in case anyone needs an easy and cheap cold smoker.

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Nice mod.

If i can get a good porky flavored meat from a salame without cultures, that is what i'm looking for. I'mnot into all the flavorings. Some are good, but i prefer a plain robust "cacciatore" salame, which is just meat, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic and wine.

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Nice mod.

If i can get a good porky flavored meat from a salame without cultures, that is what i'm looking for. I'mnot into all the flavorings. Some are good, but i prefer a plain robust "cacciatore" salame, which is just meat, salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic and wine.

I have done several with no cluture, but as I said above they were 1 1/4" hog casings. and according to the blurb from FDA that I found on Polis site, it needs 17 days or so. When you go up in diameter you get up to 50 days. I saw some of your recipies there, so I think you have probably looked at it. Both tastes have their place, its just what rings your bell...

The tyrolian that I was trying to duplicate I was sure there were no cultures , so I made a batch and split it . One half with and one half without. The one without was just what I was looking for, and caused no problems.I think the salt levels and the nitrates/nitrites take care of most everything..(I hope!)

Bud

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Bud, yes, Len's site is fantastic, a great resource.

I'm not sure i follow the connection between cultures, diameter and drying time?

I agree with teh salt/nitrate comment. MAYBE if you don't use cultures, the salt % should be increased? For example, i see Len's site says a minimum 3.5% salt should be used, yet his recipes often use less....always wondered why.

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BRM AKA MacGyver - Very nice mod. I may "upgrade" to something like that.

For a really cheap cold smoke mod....

Cheap styrofoam cooler + dryer hose+ duct tape. Cut a hole in one end of the cooler for the dryer hose. Insert and secure with the duct tape. Tape the oher end of the dryer hose over the smoker vent. Cut a small hole out of the other end of the cooler to act as a vent. As an option, cut a cooling rack to size to fit about halfway down the slanted sides of the cooler.

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Bud, yes, Len's site is fantastic, a great resource.

I'm not sure i follow the connection between cultures, diameter and drying time?

I agree with teh salt/nitrate comment. MAYBE if you don't use cultures, the salt % should be increased? For example, i see Len's site says a minimum 3.5% salt should be used, yet his recipes often use less....always wondered why.

On the salt much more than 2.5% is to salty for my taste.

I think other the difference is that a large diameter sausage takes much much longer to dry ,and the additional time in a high moisture state may (?) lend itself to spoilage.

A low moisture content being one of the things that inhibits bactieral growth.

I would be hesitant to hang a 5"dia sausage for 43 days without a culture vs 17 days for a 1 1/4"

Bud

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The link to the FDA sausage page is HERE

I hope Its OK to post it ,its from Lens website, Which is the best on the web by far..

Bud

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Bud, that link you sent is for the elimination of trechinea from the meat, but doesn't address other pathogens necessarily.

Trechinea can also be eliminated by freezing for certain periods of time as well. Either way, even my smallest salami tend to dry for at least 3 weeks.

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So, one of the advantages of teaching at a culinary school is that charcuterie can be done during both my meat fabrication and Advanced Garde Manger class! You would be suprised how many students are interested in both the new school of Molecular Gastronomy, as well as the old school of Charcuterie.

Soppresatta with Garlic and Red Chili Flake

gallery_23382_2525_679276.jpg

gallery_23382_2525_468132.jpg

Used some Bactoferm, and it ended up a bit more tangy origionally desired. I will try the starter-less next time. But this stuff came out great. Nice even drying, dried for about 20 days before it hit 30% loss. So, maybe a little bit more garlic, chili flake, and time next go around.

Looks like everyone is having fun, keep up the good work!

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Here is a shot of my first terrine (basic country pate):

gallery_27805_3593_10446.jpg

(this is a little one that I made as a test from some extra mixture that wouldn't fit in my loaf pan)

Cheers,

-Dan

Beautiful pate! What is the recipe - and what would you change next time (and why)? Looks like raw pistachios, and pink salt?

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Bud, that link you sent is for the elimination of trechinea from the meat, but doesn't address other pathogens necessarily.

Trechinea can also be eliminated  by freezing for certain periods of time as well. Either way, even my smallest salami tend to dry for at least 3 weeks.

It is for that , but the dry times to lose 40% are still pretty close to the times in there . My hog casings(1 1/4")take almost exactly 17 days at 70-75%rh and 60º.

So a 5" would take the 43 days (Ithink it calls for) then you would have some highly hydrated meat sitting there for a lot longer...

maybe Michael will check in and set us straight

Bud

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I thikn we should all make salame with no starter, and the 1st person to get sick reports back!

I kid, i kid!!

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I thikn we should all make salame with no starter, and the 1st person to get sick reports back!
 


Don't you think it should be: everyone who doesn't get sick reports back and by a process of elimination we'll know who didn't make it? ;-)

-Dan


 

[Moderator note: This topic continues here, Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 5)]


Edited by Mjx Note added. (log)

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