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jmolinari

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

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Leave the skin on.

When you hang it you want to tie it the way you'd tie a roast: in concentric circles along the length of the breast. I've just tied and hung two bellies for pancetta and will snap a shot when I get home tonight if you'd like.

There may be some dripping so put a plate under it. (Hopefully there'll be no droppings -- definitely kill it first! :wink:)

thank a lot. should i use parchment paper again for the 2nd stage as well?

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Leave the skin on.

When you hang it you want to tie it the way you'd tie a roast: in concentric circles along the length of the breast. I've just tied and hung two bellies for pancetta and will snap a shot when I get home tonight if you'd like.

There may be some dripping so put a plate under it. (Hopefully there'll be no droppings -- definitely kill it first! :wink:)

thank a lot. should i use parchment paper again for the 2nd stage as well?

Here's the relevant section from the recipe:

Rub the duck breast with this mixture, wrap it loosely in wax paper, and refrigerate for 4 days. Unwrap the breast, then wrap it like a package with string, leaving one long end.

The idea is to hang and dry it, so you don't want any parchment, just the string. Here's that photo I mentioned -- still working on that technique:

gallery_19804_437_548752.jpg

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Thanks. But how do you calculate how much salt you want? That is what percentage are you aiming for?

It depends on what your taste is. I like 3 to 3.5%. that would be 30 to 35 grams of salt per kilo of weight..

Bud

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Leave the skin on.

When you hang it you want to tie it the way you'd tie a roast: in concentric circles along the length of the breast. I've just tied and hung two bellies for pancetta and will snap a shot when I get home tonight if you'd like.

There may be some dripping so put a plate under it. (Hopefully there'll be no droppings -- definitely kill it first! :wink:)

thank a lot. should i use parchment paper again for the 2nd stage as well?

Here's the relevant section from the recipe:

Rub the duck breast with this mixture, wrap it loosely in wax paper, and refrigerate for 4 days. Unwrap the breast, then wrap it like a package with string, leaving one long end.

The idea is to hang and dry it, so you don't want any parchment, just the string. Here's that photo I mentioned -- still working on that technique:

gallery_19804_437_548752.jpg

thanks a lot, i will start it tomorrow

i assume its ok to use dry herbs as i dont have any fresh ones atm

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I am finally sick and tired of hand cranking to grind meat. Clean up for the damn heavy hand cranked model takes almost as much time as grinding too! So, after research on and off this thread I figured this grinder from Northern Tools is the best deal for my money. It seems sturdy, with all metal parts, powerful enough and is a great deal at this price. Better yet, apparently there is a NT store 15 minutes from my work. So, I did not have to pay for shipping.

Looking forward to to giving it a try ASAP and reporting on the results. Anyone else has more experience with it? I know a couple of posters early on in this thread mentioned buying a NT grinder.

edit: borken link


Edited by FoodMan (log)

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For anyone interested, a fellow charcuterie-ist had custom made some Kitchenaid grinder plates, one is 10.5mm and one is 12.5mm.

I haven't tried this fellow's plates, but i had previously also had my own made, and i love the larger one for salame.

In case anyone is interested, they are only $15 on his ebay store:

http://cgi.ebay.com/10-5mm-Kitchenaid-Food...7QQcmdZViewItem

Seems incredibly reasonable to me.

jason

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I am finally sick and tired of hand cranking to grind meat. Clean up for the damn heavy hand cranked model takes almost as much time as grinding too! So, after research on and off this thread I figured this grinder from Northern Tools is the best deal for my money. It seems sturdy, with all metal parts, powerful enough and is a great deal at this price. Better yet, apparently there is a NT store 15 minutes from my work. So, I did not have to pay for shipping.

Looking forward to to giving it a try ASAP and reporting on the results. Anyone else has more experience with it? I know a couple of posters early on in this thread mentioned buying a NT grinder.

edit: borken link

Elie,

I received that unit as a gift a few months ago and it's been a real pleasure to use. It's fast and easy to clean. It also stores relatively compactly, too, which is nice. The only thing I can't yet assess is the durability (because I haven't owned it long enough) but the warranty seems pretty good.

=R=

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I am finally sick and tired of hand cranking to grind meat. Clean up for the damn heavy hand cranked model takes almost as much time as grinding too! So, after research on and off this thread I figured this grinder from Northern Tools is the best deal for my money. It seems sturdy, with all metal parts, powerful enough and is a great deal at this price. Better yet, apparently there is a NT store 15 minutes from my work. So, I did not have to pay for shipping.

Looking forward to to giving it a try ASAP and reporting on the results. Anyone else has more experience with it? I know a couple of posters early on in this thread mentioned buying a NT grinder.

edit: borken link

Elie,

I received that unit as a gift a few months ago and it's been a real pleasure to use. It's fast and easy to clean. It also stores relatively compactly, too, which is nice. The only thing I can't yet assess is the durability (because I haven't owned it long enough) but the warranty seems pretty good.

=R=

Thanks Ron and fellow 'Duderino' (I couldn't help but make a commnet about your sig line). I'm hoping to break it in by this weekend, but like you said and barring any factory/QA bugs, only time will tell.

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Duck Advice needed!

Okay, so I've been curing my duck prosiutto for exactly a week, but I butchered the duck myself so the pieces aren't real even, and the outer edges, the thinner parts are like rock solid. Mean while, the meatiest parts are definetly harder than they were, but still have a good amount of bounce in the flesh.

What is the desired hardness? Right now the centers are like...a medium steak? should I let those get rock solid? or is there a happy medium?

Any advice or soothing words ("I'm sure your duck will be fine..." or "I made it too, and it worked") would be welcomed.

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Duck Advice needed!

Okay, so I've been curing my duck prosiutto for exactly a week, but I butchered the duck myself so the pieces aren't real even, and the outer edges, the thinner parts are like rock solid. Mean while, the meatiest parts are definetly harder than they were, but still have a good amount of bounce in the flesh.

What is the desired hardness? Right now the centers are like...a medium steak? should I let those get rock solid? or is there a happy medium?

Any advice or soothing words ("I'm sure your duck will be fine..." or "I made it too, and it worked") would be welcomed.

Air drying has a happy medium. You need about 60% humidity to evenly dry the ham or duck ham in this case. What is happening in your case is the thin parts are drying out too quickly and the thicker parts are not. The end product should feel like a thick piece of proscuitto.

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I bought the Jupiter grinder for KA. It's metal and much sturdier than the plastic KA one. It comes with 3 plates. No idea if you can order it in the USA but you can in Europe.

Here is a picture:

Jupiter grinder

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I have a question for the experts here about smoking possibilities...

This is the smoker setup I am using:

gallery_56799_5311_186699.jpg

What I am wondering is, can I hot-smoke a pork shoulder in the hot chamber, and simultaneously cold-smoke some bacon in the cold chamber? Would I need to make any adjustments? The hot chamber smokes a little warmer than I would like, anyway, so I am hoping that adding the smoke vent at the top will help with that, as well. Do I need a lot more wood chips to do this?

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I have a question for the experts here about smoking possibilities...

This is the smoker setup I am using:

gallery_56799_5311_186699.jpg

What I am wondering is, can I hot-smoke a pork shoulder in the hot chamber, and simultaneously cold-smoke some bacon in the cold chamber? Would I need to make any adjustments? The hot chamber smokes a little warmer than I would like, anyway, so I am hoping that adding the smoke vent at the top will help with that, as well. Do I need a lot more wood chips to do this?

I'm certainly no expert, but I've done exactly what you're considering several times using a setup quite similar to yours with excellent results. My hot smoker is a Cookshack electric, and my cold smoker is a cheapo styrofoam cooler. The units are connected and vented as you have done.

Following my standard procedure for pork butts, the meat goes in the hot smoker around 10:00 P.M. I add 2-3 ice cube sized chunks of maple, close the door, and set the temp to 180F. I then add several frozen ice packs to the bottom of the cooler, insert a cooling rack that's been cut to size so that it "locks in" about 5" from the bottom, add the maple cured bacon (Ruhlman with a few spice tweaks), close the box, and go to bed. Around 8:00 A.M. the following morning, I remove the bacon, increase the smoker temp, and fiish the pork butt.

With the Cookshack, maintaining a low temp for an extended period of time is not an issue. I'm can't identify your smoker, but that might be a challenge. I recommend that you give it a try anyway.

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I have a question for the experts here about smoking possibilities...

With the usual caveats about anyone claiming to be an expert [i'm not]: As shown in this post up thread, a similar setup has worked fine for us. It's my experience that things work more smoothly if the smoke flow is up-hill, or at least along the horizontal, but that should be easy to arrange. I don't think you will need to make any adjustments to smoke, wood quantity or anything else. You're just economically re-purposing waste smoke here :smile:

Two other things strike me about the setup you have shown: There appears to be no obvious way to regulate the out flow smoke overall, and at least on our Weber based rig, a vent the size you have on the tote would cause the whole set up to draw much too vigorously for good temperature control. I'd suggest dispensing with the nice cap on the exit pipe and substituting some piece-of-scrap lid to allow you to throttle things back at will.

Secondly, be prepared for a substantial volume of condensate either in the cross piping or in the cold box and plan accordingly - you probably don't want that gunge dribbling onto the food product at either end. Regardless of smoke flow, the gunge definitely runs downhill :smile:

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Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

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Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

That is a geat idea!!!!! Thanks...

Bud

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Cold smokes some salmon last week with a similar construction which turned out excellent . After several tries I now use a burning gel for food. It's a little pot with ethanol gel to be used to keep food hot on a buffet. Put it in the bottom of my burner with above it some foil with holes poked in it and woodchips on it. The pot burns for eight hours, no temperature change. All I do is top up the woodchips. Easy!

That is a geat idea!!!!! Thanks...

Bud

Make sure you get some distance between the pot and the woodchips. You want them in the flame but not right on the pot. Look for the hottest part of the flame.

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Is that burning gel something other than Sterno? Because Sterno has a pretty unpleasant odor as it burns, if I remember correctly. I don't think I'd want my food in an enclosed space with Sterno fumes.

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Just picked up a whole Berkshire from Paradise Locker in Trimble, MO. The hogs are raised elsewhere in Missouri by Newman Farms, who does only Berkshire. Interestingly, the websites of both companies sport photos of Mario Batali with the owners, and I think that I read that this is where he is getting his Berkshire.

I can hardly wait to start a few new projects with this pork, including some spanish chorizo, dry-cured ham, pig ear confit, pork belly confit, more bacon, and some nice BBQ too. I will certainly keep you all posted as to the quality of the Berkshire, for all those of you who have been thinking about spending a bit extra on your pork but haven't been sure that it is worth it.

By the way, I read in this thread a while back about the benefit of having the belly with the ribs attached, so I had them cut it this way. Now, however, I can't remember what the benefit was. Does anyone remember? I think that Ruhlman even commented on the superiority of "rib-on" bellies.

Best,

Alan

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Is that burning gel something other than Sterno? Because Sterno has a pretty unpleasant odor as it burns, if I remember correctly. I don't think I'd want my food in an enclosed space with Sterno fumes.

I do not know Sterno. I buy something that is called "Gastro Heat" by Bolsius, a Dutch firm. It's more or less odourless since it's normal use is indoors. For that reason also it's not harmful in any way. I'm sure there must be an equivalent where you live.

Also, the fire is separate from the smoke chamber. But yes, the smoke does go to the food so I'm careful in what I use. Like you, I don't want any nasty smells or anything on my food.


Edited by kaatje (log)

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I made two fresh sausages since I bought this machine. It is such a pleasure to use and clean up and so far, no complaints. The first sausage was not very good, due to err..user error. I so badly wanted to use the machine and the only meat I had on hand was some beef round. I ground that up with some pork fat in order to make 'Beef Shawarma Sausage'. Unfortunatly I screwed up my proportions some how and used way too much liquid (red wine) and not enough pork fat. 'nough said. It's edible, but not worth photgraphing or posting about. However, the idea of making Shawarma flavored sausage kept on haunting me until I made the chicken version. Now this was awsome. I falvored it with all the traditional flavors of the Lebanese Shawarma and used Ruhlman's chicken with tomato basil recipe as a template. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested:

3.5 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced

1.5 lbs pork fat back, diced

Spices, to be mixed in before grinding the meat:

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground pepper

2 tsp finely crumbled bay leaf

30 gr. kosher salt

50 gr. mashed garlic

Liquids, to be mixed in after grinding (but you all know that...):

4 Tbsp Lemon juice

2 Tbsp Yellow Mustard

6 Tbsp white wine

Here are some pistures. I cooked them on the grill (one busted real bad, the rest were great) and served them just like a Shawarma sandwich i pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and fries. This is a sausage I'll certainly be making again.

gallery_5404_2234_166494.jpg

gallery_5404_2234_334595.jpg

gallery_5404_2234_79913.jpg

I am finally sick and tired of hand cranking to grind meat. Clean up for the damn heavy hand cranked model takes almost as much time as grinding too! So, after research on and off this thread I figured this grinder from Northern Tools is the best deal for my money. It seems sturdy, with all metal parts, powerful enough and is a great deal at this price. Better yet, apparently there is a NT store 15 minutes from my work. So, I did not have to pay for shipping.

Looking forward to to giving it a try ASAP and reporting on the results. Anyone else has more experience with it? I know a couple of posters early on in this thread mentioned buying a NT grinder.

edit: borken link

Elie,

I received that unit as a gift a few months ago and it's been a real pleasure to use. It's fast and easy to clean. It also stores relatively compactly, too, which is nice. The only thing I can't yet assess is the durability (because I haven't owned it long enough) but the warranty seems pretty good.

=R=

Thanks Ron and fellow 'Duderino' (I couldn't help but make a commnet about your sig line). I'm hoping to break it in by this weekend, but like you said and barring any factory/QA bugs, only time will tell.

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I made some lardo from the book recently, and it was an unevenly shaped piece (thick at one end, thin at the other) the thick end is a bit greenish in the middle when sliced. The thin end is perfectly white. Is it safe to eat the thin end? The thick end? What exactly would I be risking by eating the green parts?

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Hi everyone. This cookbook has fascinated me since I discovered it a few months ago, so I suppose it is only fitting that this is my first post.

We just bought half a pig, and I can't wait until we bring it home so I can start experimenting. I know most of the recipes in the book call for shoulder. Is there any reason not to use the other cuts, like the ham, to grind for sausage as well? I asked them to save all the fat for me, and since it was a sow I was told it is pretty fatty and a "good sausage pig". Thanks!

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