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jmolinari

Curing and Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 5)

538 posts in this topic

Here are some images from the latest adventure:

Boudin blanc:

gallery_56799_5407_9669.jpg

Hot-smoked Andouille:

gallery_56799_5407_15329.jpg

Smoking the Salmon in the Ghetto Smoker 4000:

gallery_56799_5407_36746.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I just finished up a nice coppa. A bit too clove-y, but still rather tasty!

gallery_15167_3011_17673.jpg

Is the yellowish hue at the center normal in home-cured coppa? I think if I saw that my first time making it I would be freaked out... yellow meat doesn't seem like a good thing.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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It may be a white-balance issue with the camera or the lighting, there isn't any yellowness at the center.

Also though, a commerical chunk of cured meat i got from Italy, using a hunk of pork leg, has a central chunk of fat that is bright yellow. I've been eating it no problem. I don't know what the chemistry behind the yellowing is.

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Hi jmolinari

The Coppa recipe seemed REALLY interesting, I had never tried nor heard of it, a little while back I tried it, BUT it was a disaster!

Did you follow the recipe in the Book, I did.

The first problem I came to, was that whenever I tried to squeeze the air out, I couldn't, it was a too irregular shape, what with using chunks instead of mince; tying it up was difficult and hanging it up was almost impossible.

From the looks of the photo, it seems a LOT smaller than the one I used, what kind of casing have you used?

Also it wasn't clear (to me) how much of the seasoning was to remain on the meat, yours seems quite free of herbs, peppers, etc. and finally, I thought from memory that it was supposed to be lean meat, yours seems to have a fair amount of fat?

To cut short, it started to turn fuzzy, ... with green fuzz, I didn't have the courage to try it.

Jon.

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I've been following this thread for some time now and using the book. Recently I've been working on the cured sausages, having done the Tuscan Salume and the Peporone. Both were in hog casings. I'm now wanting to move up to larger middles and have a question. Along with the beef middles that I ordered, I got some netting since it looks really cool. Do I need to clean the netting in some way before I use it with the stuffed sausage and let it dry? So much of this seems to be centered on cleanliness and keeping the number of bad bacteria to a minimum, I didn't know if I should do something to clean the netting first.

Anyone have any experience they could share?

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I haven't got the book, but we just finished wet-curing a whole wild boar ham, and this seemed like the right place to post results in case they help someone else. We loosely followed the 'York-style Ham' recipe in Aidell's Pork book.

We started with a whole ham, bone-in, skin-off. Not sure about the exact weight, but from a 200lb field dressed pig; guessing the ham is a little over 20 lbs. Ham was frozen for several months before brining, but still in excellent condition.

Brine:

5 cups Mortons kosher salt (~750 g)

1.5 cups brown sugar (~350 g)

5 Tbsp #1 curing salts (~50 g)

1.5 gallons water (~6 L)

Frozen ham was placed a Ziplock XL utility bag (25 gallon size), which worked very well (although be careful not to pierce bag with any protruding cut bones). Brine added, bag loosely wrapped with duct tape to get it to mostly cover the ham. An oven bag (Glad) was tried first, but ripped immediately --- not recommended for brining.

Bag containing ham and brine put in a cooler. Ice added on second day after ham had mostly thawed. Brine and bag changed (replaced with same recipe) after 4 days. Probably not necessary, but I had a lot of leakage out of the bag due to leakage (user error). Ham considered done after 8 days [see below]. The combination of frozen ham and a 20 lb bag of ice in a decent cooler kept everything nicely cold for the first seven days, but we added an extra 3 lb bag of ice the last night since almost everything had melted by then.

Ham was cooked in an Glad oven bag at 325F (160C) for about 4.5 hours. Bag probably not necessary, but used it since we had one left over after trying to use one for brining. Glazed at the end with honey and orange juice. Didn't take a final temperature, but estimated 165F, then rested for 30 minutes.

Ham came out delicious --- quite salty on the outside and shank, perfect for most of the interior. Outer ham was a pretty ham-colored pink from the curing salts, innermost 1.5" was dark from since it hadn't been penetrated yet by the brine. Very clear line of distinction between cured and uncured. Uncured interior was fine, but taste, texture and appearance of the pink cured part was definitely preferable.

Second ham is still in the freezer, and we'll probably do it for Christmas. Not sure if we should just brine it longer to get full penetration of brine, or to try some other way getting the brine to the interior. Probably will make a deep slit on the bottom of ham (to the bone) and see if that is enough. Could bone it, but the appearance of the whole ham on the bone is great.

Comfortably feeds 20 with lots of leftovers, probably fine for 30.

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Jon, no i didn't follow the recipe from the book.

As i've said before, i don't know why the recipe in the book calls for chunks of shoulder. That isn't what coppa is. I hope there is an error correction in the next edition.

You can see my blog for how to butcher a coppa from a shoulder.

Oh, the casing i use is 100mm.

jason


Edited by jmolinari (log)

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Thanks Jason. I've got everything set up and will put it all together tonight. Any hints about using the netting? I can't find any real instructions or info about using.

Matt

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The few times i used it i just stretched it over the bresaola/coppa. I didn't really find any use for it though. So i just use butcher's knots know along the length of the product.

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My back fat will be in on Friday! I'm driving two hours to Portland than two hours back to get it :)

Lardo, here I come

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I may be making boudin noir in the next few weeks. Charcuterie says they don't keep well, but do they keep well frozen (I see plenty of online frozen boudins)? Should they be frozen before or after poaching?


Edited by Mallet (log)

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I've successfully frozen boudin noir in the past (purchased, not homemade), and I've never poached it after thawing - I just reheated it by frying. So I agree that you should probably poach it before freezing.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Hello, Folks,

Just seeking advice.

I regularly make fresh sausages (Italian, breakfast, merguez), air dried sausages, bacon, and brine cured ham. I would like to make Lonza (not sure if I spelled that right) an Italian air-cured boneless pork loin but I'm getting different suggestions from different people.

Should I brine cure first? Should I simply rub with salts/spices and hang/air dry in a stretchy netting? Should I stuff into a man made casing (this was suggested by someone who makes plenty of lonza, but I'm worried about the casing being a moisture barrier and air curing being slowed). Should I weight down the loin during a first stage of curing?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Chad

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I would definitely salt cure it before drying, it needs time for the salt/cure to penetrate the meat.

As for casing, i would use a collagen casing, 90 or 100mm should work well. It will slow the drying, but that is a good thing. I believe that the slower the drying (without allowing it to rot!), the better the flavor developed. I made a bresaola once without a casing and it came out quite well, but i preferred the ones with a casing.

The latest coppa i made took 60 days to dry, and it is better than the ones i've made in the past which took about 30-40 days. I changed the drying time by holding the humidity at about 70% instead of my usual 60%.


Edited by jmolinari (log)

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How long can a cured pork belly be left in the fridge before it is smoked to make bacon? I've got a belly curing right now, and it will probably be completely cured several days before I'm able to smoke it on Saturday. Will it be OK to leave the cured belly in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before it gets smoked? If so, should I leave it uncovered the whole time to form a pellicle, or should I just uncover it for the last 24 hours? Thanks for any help! :smile:

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How long can a cured pork belly be left in the fridge before it is smoked to make bacon? I've got a belly curing right now, and it will probably be completely cured several days before I'm able to smoke it on Saturday. Will it be OK to leave the cured belly in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before it gets smoked? If so, should I leave it uncovered the whole time to form a pellicle, or should I just uncover it for the last 24 hours? Thanks for any help!  :smile:

The smoking itself does negligible preservation, so the bacon is as preserved as it will be after the cure is done. I wouldn't leave it uncovered for 3 or 4 days, though -- I'd worry that the meat would dry out and get leathery.

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How long can a cured pork belly be left in the fridge before it is smoked to make bacon? I've got a belly curing right now, and it will probably be completely cured several days before I'm able to smoke it on Saturday. Will it be OK to leave the cured belly in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before it gets smoked? If so, should I leave it uncovered the whole time to form a pellicle, or should I just uncover it for the last 24 hours? Thanks for any help!  :smile:

The smoking itself does negligible preservation, so the bacon is as preserved as it will be after the cure is done. I wouldn't leave it uncovered for 3 or 4 days, though -- I'd worry that the meat would dry out and get leathery.

There is a restaurant here in the Chicago area which makes and serves something they call "old school" bacon (and I believe they learned the technique from someone in Tennessee). It's actually bacon that's been cured normally but then dried for an extended period of time before smoking. They keep it in a temperature and humidity controlled chamber, wrapped in cheesecloth, during this stage. I think they hold it for about 30 days before smoking it.

In either case, the final product is remarkably tasty, so tasty that it could be argued that holding the bacon for an extended period of time before smoking may actually improve it. I suppose this is because the additional moisture loss leads to a more concentrated flavor. Perhaps there is also some additional 'aging' that takes place over those 30 days, too.

Regardless of which method you choose, I wouldn't leave it uncovered for more than 24 hours or the exterior will likely become dry and unpalatable. It will also absorb odors from other items in your refrigerator. I'd definitely save the pellicle stage for the 24 hours right before the smoke, keeping it wrapped in plastic up until that point. If you go "old school," I'm not sure if the pellicle stage is still necessary but I'm guessing it isn't.

=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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There is a restaurant here in the Chicago area which makes and serves something they call "old school" bacon (and I believe they learned the technique from someone in Tennessee).  It's actually bacon that's been cured normally but then dried for an extended period of time before smoking.  They keep it in a temperature and humidity controlled chamber, wrapped in cheesecloth, during this stage.  I think they hold it for about 30 days before smoking it.

Friends from former Yugoslavia taught me how to make slanina, a dry-cured, cold smoked pork belly that is eaten raw. Skin-on bellies are salted with 3% coares sea salt (meat weight basis) and cured about 2 weeks under refrigeration (~36 F). They were adamant about not using sugar but for my tastes a little sucanat or brown sugar (.5%) adds a nice touch. The bellies are then cut into full-length strips about 4 - 5 inches wide and hung in a drying chamber at around 55 F/ 75% RH for 5 - 7 weeks. The humidity is kept fairly high throughout the drying period and any incidental mold is scrubbed off periodically. During the final week, each day the slabs are cold smoked (always below 80 F - its a winter time thing) with very light smoke (kissed by the smoke!) for a few hours, then returned to the drying room.

The skin (which turns fairly hard) is left on and serves as a cutting board. Cut slices about 2 - 3 mm thick, wrap a slice around a shaving off a big clove of garlic. Serve with a nice crusty coarse-textured bread, and if you're ever lucky to get some, accompany with homemade double-distilled plum brandy (slivovica) or a nice bitter ale.

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Has anyone experimented with the sauerkraut recipe from the book? It came out too salty but I want to try the brine technique again. Something less salty and more tangy is what I'm shooting for. Making kraut the traditional way with dry salt on cut cabbage, hasn't been fail-safe on small batches (single head of cabbage).

I'd like to try it cutting the salt back to 40 g/l and adding a small amount of fermentable carbohydrate (perhaps 1 g/l dextrose to start). If you've made brine-cured kraut I'd love to hear about your experience. Some web recipes use as little as 10 g/l of salt but I'm a little jittery about the safety aspects, not having much experience with fermenting veggies.

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Charcuterie says you can leave the cured bacon covered for up to 3 days before smoking/roasting.


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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Thank you to everyone for the helpful advice! I can't wait to smoke my first batch of bacon in my Big Green Egg this weekend! :biggrin:

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