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


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This thread is incredible, I am amazed that it is so large! I recently finished Chef Polcyn's class (I am a student at Schoolcraft College) and have cooked many things out of the book. It is truly an incredible experience to be involved in the world of Charcuterie, and invokes feelings of nostalgia. Congratulations to the authors and kudos to all of you for your passion and dedication to the pig!

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I've made a few sausages out of this book now, and wanted to try my own recipe. I'm thinking of doing a pork sausage with some Thai flavours. I was planning on using some chili's, garlic, and Thai basil, but was questioning whether to use fish sauce as the liquid base. What do you all think? Maybe dilute it with water. I'm just afraid that the fish sauce might over power the sausage and make it taste too salt. I was also thinking of using lemongrass, but think it might be too woody, and give it a weird texture.

Any other ideas?

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I've made a few sausages out of this book now, and wanted to try my own recipe. I'm thinking of doing a pork sausage with some Thai flavours. I was planning on using some chili's, garlic, and Thai basil, but was questioning whether to use fish sauce as the liquid base. What do you all think? Maybe dilute it with water. I'm just afraid that the fish sauce might over power the sausage and make it taste too salt. I was also thinking of using lemongrass, but think it might be too woody, and give it a weird texture.

Any other ideas?

I'd just add some lemon zest. You might think of Thai curry as your liquid base

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've made a few sausages out of this book now, and wanted to try my own recipe. I'm thinking of doing a pork sausage with some Thai flavours. I was planning on using some chili's, garlic, and Thai basil, but was questioning whether to use fish sauce as the liquid base. What do you all think? Maybe dilute it with water. I'm just afraid that the fish sauce might over power the sausage and make it taste too salt. I was also thinking of using lemongrass, but think it might be too woody, and give it a weird texture.

Any other ideas?

I like the fish sauce idea a lot but if you're going to use 8 oz of liquid, I'd suggest only using 2 oz of fish sauce and 6 oz of water the first time out (at least, that's where I'd start). I agree with Bombdog about lemon zest. That's a great idea and you could easily grate it fine enough so that mouthfeel wouldn't even be an issue.

=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 do like that idea. I think lemon or lime zest would be a great addition. With a micro plane I should be able to get the zest fine enough. Thanks for the suggestion Bombdog.

If I had to choose between lime zest and kaffir lime leaves, I'd go the lime leaves route. Also, I have made "Thai-style" sausages, and the lemongrass is not a problem. You simply have to grind it as finely as possible. Also, use the softest pieces. Then again, if you are one of those people who have textural issues with food (like my brother, who won't even eat nuts :blink: ), then maybe stick with the lemon zest for the lemon grass. Regarding the fish sauce, I used it more for seasoning than for liquid. Of course it adds liquid, but I'd recommend, as Ron noted, using mostly water.

A few more things that you may or may not wish to add:

shallots (fresh or fried and dried)

shrimp paste (also salty)

Good luck!

Edited by A Patric (log)
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I've made a few sausages out of this book now, and wanted to try my own recipe. I'm thinking of doing a pork sausage with some Thai flavours. I was planning on using some chili's, garlic, and Thai basil, but was questioning whether to use fish sauce as the liquid base. What do you all think? Maybe dilute it with water. I'm just afraid that the fish sauce might over power the sausage and make it taste too salt. I was also thinking of using lemongrass, but think it might be too woody, and give it a weird texture.

Any other ideas?

I make a Thai chicken sausage with coconut milk, lemongrass, lime juice, chilis, cilantro, garlic, fish sauce and pepper. Yummy!

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We made the Chicago style hot dogs and they turned out pretty good. Our technique is getting better, but we are still waiting for a new KA mixer, which I think, will help in the emulsification process. I’m hell bent on doing corned beef hot dogs with our own homemade sauerkraut. My idea is to use raw brined beef in the same recipe as the Chicago dogs with the kosher and pink salt cut in half (at least). Do you see any problems?

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I got my package of hog casings from butcher & packer, and I'm going to embark on some sausage making and football tomorrow afternoon.

It's likely that I won't use the entire package -- how much salt should I use to re-pack my leftovers? Just salt? or a heavy brine?

s

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You almost certainly will barely make a dent in your casings! A little goes a very long way, and BP gets a lot into that package. I have never added any salt or brine to the leftovers, just put them back in the fridge in a closed container. After maybe a year they still smell as good as ever.

Stan, I'm not sure why you'd cut the pink salt in half. It's not adding perceptible salt to the mix, but the "cured" flavor that you expect in a hot dog comes right from the pink salt. Without it I'm thinking you'll have basically a beef sausage, as opposed to a hot dog. By the way, when I made that recipe I liked it a lot better with a few drops of liquid smoke added - and I really do mean a few drops.

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Stan, I'm not sure why you'd cut the pink salt in half.  It's not adding perceptible salt to the mix, but the "cured" flavor that you expect in a hot dog comes right from the pink salt.  Without it I'm thinking you'll have basically a beef sausage, as opposed to a hot dog.  By the way, when I made that recipe I liked it a lot better with a few drops of liquid smoke added - and I really do mean a few drops.

I'm concerned that there is so much pink and kosher salt in the corned beef brine that it may get too salty. I thought I'd do a little cold smoke like we did the last batch of hot dogs.

Edited by StanSherman (log)
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Nice job, Kent! :smile:

Your pics reminded me of a batch of cold-smoked salmon that I made a few weeks ago for a party. This was made from a really fatty and well-marbled, 4.5-pound side of Wild Tasmanian King Salmon. I cured it (slightly modifying the recipe in the book) for about 60 hours and then cold-smoked it over a mixture of apple and maple wood for about 4 hours. The result was very nice. The fish was so thick that even after a 60-hour cure, it was not overly salty and when it came to room temperature, the fattiness and the mild, sweet smoke showed up even more deliciously than I could have wished for . . .

gallery_3085_3591_62175.jpg

I have to say that I've (again) been spoiled by what I've been able to make using this book. I've been keeping home-made cold-smoked salmon around the house for the past few months. I went back and tasted my favorite commercial brand -- the one I used to buy and eat on a regular basis -- and by comparison, it had virtually no flavor. I don't think I can ever go back.

=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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Stan, I'm not sure why you'd cut the pink salt in half.  It's not adding perceptible salt to the mix, but the "cured" flavor that you expect in a hot dog comes right from the pink salt.  Without it I'm thinking you'll have basically a beef sausage, as opposed to a hot dog.  By the way, when I made that recipe I liked it a lot better with a few drops of liquid smoke added - and I really do mean a few drops.

I'm concerned that there is so much pink and kosher salt in the corned beef brine that it may get too salty. I thought I'd do a little cold smoke like we did the last batch of hot dogs.

you're right to be concerned about the salt level. the brine for the corned beef in charcuterie is salty--compensated for by the fact that it's poached which allows the salt to equalize. assuming the bined beef is perfectly seasoned, I would add salt at a ratio of .3 percent of the weight of the fat, with a fraction of that salt being pink salt.

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I made the Chicken Galantine from the book this weekend. It turned out really well I think. We had some people over for Super Bowl and served it...big hit!

gallery_39076_4071_154433.jpg

Anyone who says I'm hard to shop for doesn't know where to buy beer.

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I'm sure that someone more expert would be a more useful respondent, but I'm pretty darned sure that the answer is no, you can't use lard, schmaltz, or bacon drippings instead of uncooked fat. The texture of the fat is crucial to the emulsion, definition, texture, and so on.  There may be recipes that use lard, bacon grease, etc., that's not what you want in the recipes in this book.

Again, I'm pretty sure.

There is 1 recipe in the book that uses rendered beef suet, for the hot dogs.

Its rendered, strained, chilled and diced.

Maybe you could do the same with lard, after all its pork fat.

wallie

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I have just finished reading number 37, what a fantastic thread!

You guys and girls have produced some awesome stuff.

Those pictures have me salivating at the mouth and my future charcuterie plans have my head ringing.

Pepperoni, Summer sausage, Andouille, Mortadela, bacon, god where will I start.

I will have to dust down my sausage stuffer which I last used a few year ago and get cracking its going to be stuff, stuff, stuff.

Thankfully I am retired so I will be able to put a few 24 hour shifts in.

Pictures will be popping up shortly.

My sausage stuffer is a hand cranked vertical job which I purchased from Northern Industrial in the UK its great, a lot better than the food mixer stuffer attachments.

Northern is an American company which does great engineering jobs, I have started eyeing up there grinders which are heavily fancied on the UK website www.sausagemaking.org.

Anyhow I have really enjoyed this thread and would like to know if this is the longest thread on EG, if not what is?

wallie

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I made the Chicken Galantine from the book this weekend.  It turned out really well I think.  We had some people over for Super Bowl and served it...big hit!

gallery_39076_4071_154433.jpg

Hi everybody, I have a question and as I am away in Africa at the moment and don't have my copy of 'Charcuterie' with me I hope that somebody here will indulge me with an answer. The Chicken Galantine appears to have Pistachio nuts in it, is this the case? If so are these the same as the Pistachio nuts which you can find salted and in snack packs all over the world or are they fresh?

Best Regards,

Richard

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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The pistachios are the roasted salted or unsalted. Not fresh.

:shock: I wish I had asked this question before, I have spent the last year looking in shops in various countries for fresh ones!

Duh!

This opens up many more chances for experimentation on my return home, thank you so much.

Regards,

"Don't be shy, just give it a try!"

Nungkysman: Food for the Body and the Soul.

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The Chicken Galantine appears to have Pistachio nuts in it, is this the case? If so are these the same as the Pistachio nuts which you can find salted and in snack packs all over the world or are they fresh?

Best Regards,

Richard

My local Whole Foods Market carries them both salted and unsalted. I opted for unsalted.

Anyone who says I'm hard to shop for doesn't know where to buy beer.

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The Chicken Galantine appears to have Pistachio nuts in it, is this the case? If so are these the same as the Pistachio nuts which you can find salted and in snack packs all over the world or are they fresh?

Best Regards,

Richard

My local Whole Foods Market carries them both salted and unsalted. I opted for unsalted.

Generally speaking, salted are usually roasted as well. Unsalted are usually raw. In the pates I've made (pictured somewhere upthread), I've always used raw pistachios.

=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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