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


Bombdog
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Mark, I'm drooling over the guanciale and the 'jowl bacon.' Absolutely beautiful stuff. And yeah, in that one shot, it does look like turkey -- but I'm sure it's a whole lot better than turkey. :wink::biggrin:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I am going to try the soppressata recipe from the book.  Can anyone tell me how to gauge the pH?  Is this done after it is in the casing and has incubated?  If so how do you test with pH paper?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Jim

See Paul Bertoli, Cooking by Hand, where he has you testing the pH as it goes into the casing, then 24 hours later, then eight hours later. wHAT IT involves is putting a little stuffing into plastic wrap, then making a slurry with distilled water at each stage. I just ordered the Oakton pHtestr 2 meter that he recommends.

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Welcome, Wurst Case!

Mark, that crisped guanciale looks great. How hot was your smoker on the smoked guanciale attempt? It looks kind of melty, as if it had been up over 160 for at least some of the time.

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See Paul Bertoli, Cooking by Hand, where he has you testing the pH as it goes into the casing, then 24 hours later, then eight hours later.  What it involves is putting a little stuffing into plastic wrap, then making a slurry with distilled water at each stage.  I just ordered the Oakton pHtestr 2 meter that he recommends.

I'm pleased to see you citing Bertoli's book. The chapter on cured meats is just a small portion of the book, but I find it to be both informative and inspirational. The Ruhlman/Polcyn book is a great resource, but I'm glad that Bertoli devoted so much of his book to the art of hand-cured meat.

FWI: As I type this, John T. Edge is being interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered regarding Armandino Batali's Salumi in Seattle. I think that charcuterie is going mainstream. :smile:

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I have a technical question for all you charcuterers out there.(is that a word?)

I made pastrami, used a 6 1/2 lb brisket. I decided to use a dextrose dry cure because I really like the stick it in a vacuum sealed bag idea rather than dealing with a wet brine. Search as I might online I couldn't find anything that told me if there was a difference in time between a wet and dry cure.

So after 3 days in the cure the brisket had not attained that stiffness that I found with pork belly at the end of the 1 week dry cure for bacon, but I took it out, let a pellicle form and smoked it to 150 F.

After steaming today I noticed an area in the centre of the meat that the cure had not penetrated.

The question would be - what endpoint are we looking for to determine that a cure is finished? Would that change in texture detected as stiffening be accurate, or are there tables out there that allow you to calculate?

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Quick question...

Anyone out there hanging any meats to dry for longer then 3 weeks? We would hang Guanciale and Pancetta for at least 3 months prior to eating. I guess the main difference is that we would eat the dryed meats without the addition of heat. We would simply slice and enjoy.

Is anyone curing like this?

Thanks

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We're so hardcore!

Have to admit, it's not the first time I'm been accused of that! It does sound better than fanatical though.

Halp! Meat curing is taking over my life. I think I am turning into a big sausage!

Welcome, Wurst Case! Yes, this Charcuterie can take over your life. I'm just waiting until I've finished doing some home maintenance and getting the kids re-installed in school until I can get back to the job at hand -- stuffing and curing!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Could there be an error in the 'smoked chicken and roasted garlic sausage' (p. 162)?

It calls for 1 1/2 pounds of pork shoulder for 3 1/2 pounds of chicken. The non-smoked counterparts, (turkey sausage, p. 132, or the chicken sausage with basil (p. 124), call for 1 1/2 pounds of pork fat back for the same amount of chicken/turkey. Considering that pork shoulder is about 30% fat, that makes a big difference in fat content.

In the recipe introduction, it is written that the sausage is not low in fat. It seems to be much leaner than the others. Any thoughts?

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Quick question...

Anyone out there hanging any meats to dry for longer then 3 weeks? 

My salted ham has been hanging for 6 months so far. I weighed it the other day and it still needs at least a month, minimum.

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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My deepest apologies to Bombdog and everyone else for posting a query and then seemingly disappearing, and not acknowledging your kind response. For some reason, "notification of replies" wasn't working for me in midsummer, and so I thought no one had answered. And although I checked in somewhat regularly on the topic, somehow I just missed your response. I must have seemed very inconsiderate. A very belated thanks.

Well, just now I have access to some very fresh, line-caught yellowfin and albacore right off the boat and reasonably priced. I'm ready to try to cure a loin or two. If anyone has any further advice, I'm all ears--and eyes: I will check in religiously.

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Two things:

I too would love to learn from you all about how to tell when a piece of meat has cured- I imagine by touch, but I suppose weight could be used, even when it is in a dry cure- messy as that would be. There ought to be many years of experience among the members of this board by now, especially some of you who mess around with more than one project a week like me!

Also- Salt. Reading this book and Mark Kurlansky's book on salt have filled my imagination for the last six months. First, where can one get large quantities of un iodized salt? Neither Costco nor the more evil twin of it seem to carry it (though I once was able to get unbleahed flour at 25lbs/$5). Any ohter ideas? Also, where might one find other salts? I am happy to pay a bit of money for hand-made salt, but would really love to find interesting salt with mineral 'impurities' for better than the boutique prices I would pay now- after all, natural salt is not all that rare...

Thanks again for this wonderful resource!

This week I made my first successful confit. That duck seemed to be half fat! But oh, how tasty it was, all garlic and sage and juniper and salty

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Mark, I'm drooling over the guanciale and the 'jowl bacon.'  Absolutely beautiful stuff.  And yeah, in that one shot, it does look like turkey -- but I'm sure it's a whole lot better than turkey. :wink::biggrin:

=R=

Thanks Ron... I am liking the Jowl Bacon -- nice a sweet with a big smokey flavor.

I will be interested to see how the cold smoked one that is hanging turns out.

I have one problem though. I will be leaving on a 2 week trip in about 2.5 weeks. Do I keep it hanging for the 5 weeks or pull it down after 2.5 weeks?

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Welcome, Wurst Case! 

Mark, that crisped guanciale looks great.  How hot was your smoker on the smoked guanciale attempt?  It looks kind of melty, as if it had been up over 160 for at least some of the time.

Yea I smoked it at 200. Should I have done it at a lower temp?

I smoked it about 4 hours and internal temp never went above 135...

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Quick question...

Anyone out there hanging any meats to dry for longer then 3 weeks?  We would hang Guanciale and Pancetta for at least 3 months prior to eating.  I guess the main difference is that we would eat the dryed meats without the addition of heat.  We would simply slice and enjoy.

Is anyone curing like this?

Thanks

My lamb procuitto was about 6 weeks...

I have a Guanciale, that will probably be the 5 weeks before I take it down... though I will probably add some heat...

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Here is my cold smoked Chirizo... great flavor and makes Paella very special....

As you can see it is somewhere between salami and sausage. I have decide to take one link and hang it dry for another week or so - just to see....

gallery_33268_2905_1213316.jpg

That is a bit of sliced jowl bacon on the side....

gallery_33268_2905_1233967.jpg

gallery_33268_2905_606932.jpg

... and the Paella....

gallery_33268_2905_1324363.jpg

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We're so hardcore!

Have to admit, it's not the first time I'm been accused of that! It does sound better than fanatical though.

Halp! Meat curing is taking over my life. I think I am turning into a big sausage!

Welcome, Wurst Case! Yes, this Charcuterie can take over your life. I'm just waiting until I've finished doing some home maintenance and getting the kids re-installed in school until I can get back to the job at hand -- stuffing and curing!

Hear Hear !!! Just getting back myself....

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Terriffic lomo Dave!!

Speaking of pork loin.

After my first attempt at lomo curado using a tenderloin (and failing miserably) I tried again with a loin.

gallery_16509_1680_1018983.jpg

Wonderful, slightly sweet, with a nice fennel and garlic taste.

The lomo is beautiful. What's your recipe?

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Two things:

I too would love to learn from you all about how to tell when a piece of meat has cured- I imagine by touch, but I suppose weight could be used, even when it is in a dry cure- messy as that would be. There ought to be many years of experience among the members of this board by now, especially some of you who mess around with more than one project a week like me!

Weight is the only really objective measure, and I rarely use it. There is no substitute for experience and the touch/feel you learn.

Also- Salt. Reading this book and Mark Kurlansky's book on salt have filled my imagination for the last six months. First, where can one get large quantities of un iodized salt? Neither Costco nor the more evil twin of it seem to carry it (though I once was able to get unbleahed flour at 25lbs/$5). Any ohter ideas? Also, where might one find other salts? I am happy to pay a bit of money for hand-made salt, but would really love to find interesting salt with mineral 'impurities' for better than the boutique prices I would pay now- after all, natural salt is not all that rare...

I just buy Kosher salt in 3 lb boxes from my local market

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Okie dokie. HEre are the best directions i can describe on getting the coppa from a whole shoulder.

Locate the shoulder blade in the butt;  orient the butt so that the blade is on you left. The coppa will be on the right side. Now, If you slice the butt in half (blade piece on the left), the piece on the right will show that you cut through a large muscle with out any fat. The coppa is to the right of this muscle, so you can begin trimming the piece into a round shape.  Trim off any surface fat, but leave the interior fat...you should end up with a nice coppa!!

I'll take pictures next time i butcher a shoulder.

jason

Hi Jason,

Did you ever post  photos of isolating the coppa muscle?

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Thanks for the compliments on the lomo folks.

My notes are not as complete as they should be, but I remember kinda like this.

I cured the pork loin like a slab of belly with LOTS of fennel seed, brown sugar, kosher salt, curing salt, LOTS of minced garlic, black pepper corns, and smoked paprika for about 10 days. From there I rinsed the loin, leaving some pepper corns and fennel seeds, then retied the loin and hung in the curing chamber until it reached 30 percent wt loss.

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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