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


jmolinari
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Thank you for your welcome!

I'm afraid my butcher won't be able to help me. Higher nitrite salt can't be used by law. On the other hand, we make some decent cured meats in Europe without it so it can be done. Otherwise I'll have to try the internet.

Funny, here duck (that is farmed duck) is not as expensive as decent pork.

I already made some sausages. They ware a huge succes. I invested in a German metal grinder and stuffer to go with my Kitchenaid. Worked like a dream. Which made me very happy because I heard different about the plastic KA grinder.

Today my butcher called me and told me he can arrange a pigs head for me if I want it. I said yes....!

Edited by kaatje (log)
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... Higher nitrite salt can't be used by law. On the other hand, we make some decent cured meats in Europe without it so it can be done. Otherwise I'll have to try the internet. ...

I'd suggest you check your sources (and their arithmetic) very carefully -- 6.25% Nitrite Cure Number 1 is what is available in the UK... and I'd be very surprised (EU etc) if the Netherlands had more restrictive laws...

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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... Higher nitrite salt can't be used by law. On the other hand, we make some decent cured meats in Europe without it so it can be done. Otherwise I'll have to try the internet. ...

I'd suggest you check your sources (and their arithmetic) very carefully -- 6.25% Nitrite Cure Number 1 is what is available in the UK... and I'd be very surprised (EU etc) if the Netherlands had more restrictive laws...

Dougal,Iwas hoping you would weigh in...It sounds like a math conversion (%vs the number used to calculate)..And if you add based on the real number instead of the % you will have wayyyy wayyyy to much...

Bud

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Thanks for helping me out! I used what is sold as "colorozozout". It is ordinary salt mixed with 0.6% nitrite.It says so on the bucket and my butcher confirmed it. In Holland all butchers use it and they use it pure.

I figured that if you make a dry cure mix of 50 grams American pink salt (6,5%) with 450 gr kosher like in the book (and 225 gr sugar) the end result will have 0,6% nitrite. I mixed the sugar in 500 gr. colorozozout and used 70 grams of the mix for 6,5 pond of belly. So I should be all right with the dry cure. Other recipes will be more of a problem so I keep looking.

So far my belly looks and smells ok. I was actually more worried about using not enough salt. I read "The rivercottage cookbook" Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall. He rubs the meat with salt-mix, discards the liquid every day and then rubs the meat with fresh salt. His other recipes work.... But since my meat seems ok I decided to stick with "charcuterie".

My next worry is the smoking. Cold, warm, just oven roosted or do I leave it "green"? And how do I do it? I have till Sunday or Monday to decide and think up with a solution.

A baby seems to be less troublesome! At least you know what they need! But what fun!

Edited by kaatje (log)
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Thanks for helping me out! I used what is sold as "colorozozout". It is ordinary salt mixed with 0.6% nitrite.It says so on the bucket and my butcher confirmed it. In Holland all butchers use it and they use it pure.

I figured that if you make a dry cure mix of 50 grams American pink salt  (6,5%) with 450 gr kosher like in the book (and 225 gr sugar) the end result will have 0,6% nitrite. I mixed the sugar in 500 gr. colorozozout  and used 70 grams of the mix for 6,5 pond of belly. So I should be all right with the dry cure. Other recipes will be more of a problem so I keep looking.

So far my belly looks and smells ok. I was actually more worried about using not enough salt. I read "The rivercottage cookbook" Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall. He rubs the meat with salt-mix, discards the liquid every day and then rubs the meat with fresh salt. His other recipes work.... But since my meat seems ok I decided to stick with "charcuterie".

My next worry is the smoking. Cold, warm, just oven roosted or do I leave it "green"? And how do I do it? I have till Sunday or Monday to decide and think up with a solution.

A baby seems to be less troublesome! At least you know what they need! But what fun!

Ok, I will take a shot at it...

First, I do bacon in ziploc bags, adding the % of salt I want in the finished product, and let it sit till esentially all of the salt/nitrite has been absorbed. For bacon I use 3.5%residual salt.

The max level of nitrite allowed is 200 ppm. That comes out to 0.2g per kilogram of meat.

So, if you want 3.5%residual salt,in your meat,That is 35g.

Using 0.6% (nitrite),that is,(.o6% of 35g)= .21g nitrite..Probably close enough for government work.

BUT,,,, at any other residual salt level , the nitrite level is to high or to low..

I don't know how big your chunk of belly is but, you can scale the measurements so it will fit the weight...

I think this is correct, but let Dougal weigh in on it before you do anything. He has more experience than I.

Bud

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So if I understand correctly, I use about 35 grams of salt per kilogram of witch o,6 % (0,2grams) is nitrite. My belly is 3 kilo's so I should have used 105 grams of salt. My 70 grams are not enough. I used 70 grams because the book said to use 50 grams of the dry cure mix for 2.25 kilo of meat. What should I do? Just ad some extra salt for the rest of the curing time (about four days?). And should I discard the liquid?

Thanks's again guys for letting me in on your knowledge and experience.

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So if I understand correctly, I use about 35 grams of salt per kilogram of witch o,6 % (0,2grams) is nitrite. My belly is 3 kilo's so I should have used 105 grams of salt. My 70 grams are not enough. I used 70 grams because the book said to use 50 grams of the dry cure mix for 2.25 kilo of meat. What should I do? Just ad some extra salt for the rest of the curing time (about four days?). And should I discard the liquid?

Thanks's again guys for letting me in on your knowledge and experience.

Depends on your taste. 3.5% residual Is my taste. Yours will be about 2.3%. If that is your taste, just leave as is.

The liquid stays in the bag untill the end of the cure. If you discard it before, you are discarding the cure.

You can put another 35g of your .6%salt in. Then keep it in the plastic bag for at least a total of a week( I find a week and a half ,or even more, is better), rotating the bag every day. The bag of course, is in the refrig.

Then at the end, rinse and dry .Then let it dry for a couple of days.in cool (at least10C place),Then roast or smoke at 93C to internal 66C /150F.

But all this assumes the "Pink salt" you have, is in fact ,0.6%(not the usual 6.25%) nitrite. if it is not, nitrite level is to high..

Bud

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I'm very sure mine is 0.6%

Of course I didn't have any patience so I decided to discard the liquid (stupid!) dried the pork lightly and added a handful of cure. Ok, I know, if you don't know what you are doing leave alone.

On the bright site. It's in the fridge, turned every day and I already planned to leave it there for a week and then rinse and dry.

I like it on the salty side, so I hope I'll be all-right in the end.

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I hope this is an ok thread in which to post the following.

I've been curing pieces of the boston butt, skinnier pieces than the coppa section, then seasoning it in the way that you would a coppa and finally tying it and hanging it as you would a coppa, but not stuffing it into a beef bung as you would a coppa. Am I making coppa or something else?

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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I'm just curing my first bacon, so hardly an expert. But if you are curing pork like coppa it seems to me you are making coppa! Even with the small variations.

Like I said, I'm curing my first bacon and I'm sorry but I have lots of questions! Got my bacon out of the fridge, rinsed and dried it. It looks just right. Tasted a bit and everything seems OK. Put it back to dry and now, after 24 hours it has a wonderful "skin".

I also improvised a smoker. Now my problem: it's absolutely pouring! No way I can start smoking outsite (no shelter). So can I just leave it in the fridge (and for how long?), do I cover it with cling-film or something?

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Got my bacon out of the fridge, rinsed and dried it. It looks just right. Tasted a bit and everything seems OK. Put it back to dry and now, after 24 hours it has a wonderful "skin".

I also improvised a smoker. Now my problem: it's absolutely pouring! No way I can start smoking outsite (no shelter). So can I just leave it in the fridge (and for how long?), do I cover it with cling-film or something?

Air in the 'fridge' is pretty dry - if you think you'll need to pause the process for a significant length of time then I'd advise minimizing further moisture loss. You want some 'skin' [the pellicule, or surface tackiness] on the meat going into the smoker but probably not air-dried pig-pemmican :smile:

Cling film or a freezer bag for a day or so, into the freezer if it's going to approach a week before you can fire up the smoker. Just my opinion....

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Thank you. Followed your advice and covered it. Tonight it was dry enough to give my smoker a first try. Temperature is excellent (20-25' C.) Find it difficult to keep it burning. I made a small fire with brikkets. Once they were grey I put on some wet wood chips. I also have some saw-dust but no idea how to use it. I leave it for tonight (it's cold outside!) and start it up again tomorrow morning. This better be the best bacon ever!

Edited by kaatje (log)
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Wrap your wet wood chips in a small packet of aluminum foil and then poke a few holes in it. Throw this packet right on the hot briquets. I've found that this gets more smoke out of the chips than putting them directly on the fire. In my cheap smoker, they tend to dry out quickly and stop smoking pretty fast otherwise. Wrapped in foil, I can get a solid 45 minutes of smoke out of a small handful of chips. I smoked some bacon last weekend and this was key for me - I only had to run outside twice in the freezing cold!

This should work well for the sawdust as well. There is no need to soak the sawdust.

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Oh, and as long ad you did everything right, it could very well be incredible!

:unsure::unsure::unsure:

I know it's hardly an exact science, but how long do you smoke 3 kg. of bacon for? I try to keep the temperature under 30'C.

I smoke in batches of several hours at the time.

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Oh, and as long ad you did everything right, it could very well be incredible!

:unsure::unsure::unsure:

I know it's hardly an exact science, but how long do you smoke 3 kg. of bacon for? I try to keep the temperature under 30'C.

I smoke in batches of several hours at the time.

Way upthread there is a reference to cold smoking bacon for 8+ hours; most uf us myself included lack the equipment to cold smoke and hot smoke until the internal temp of the bacon reaches 65 C ish. That takes 2-4 hours depending on the exact smoker set up used.

Also way upthread is a comparason someone did on cold smoked vs. hot smoked bacon IIRC that individual found the differences in the final product to be negligable.

I don't have exact quites of the above posts referenced as I've been re-reading this whole thread over the past several days

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Oh, and as long ad you did everything right, it could very well be incredible!

:unsure::unsure::unsure:

I know it's hardly an exact science, but how long do you smoke 3 kg. of bacon for? I try to keep the temperature under 30'C.

I smoke in batches of several hours at the time.

Way upthread there is a reference to cold smoking bacon for 8+ hours; most uf us myself included lack the equipment to cold smoke and hot smoke until the internal temp of the bacon reaches 65 C ish. That takes 2-4 hours depending on the exact smoker set up used.

Also way upthread is a comparason someone did on cold smoked vs. hot smoked bacon IIRC that individual found the differences in the final product to be negligable.

I don't have exact quites of the above posts referenced as I've been re-reading this whole thread over the past several days

I believe this is the post you are thinking of with the hot- vs. cold-smoked comparison.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I have been reading up on all the older posts and just reached the posts about hot/cold smoking.

I used a very simple smoker. Made a very small fire which turned out to be incredibly difficult to maintain. Added wet wood-chips. On the bowl above I threw blocks of ice. Above that my bacon. The air temperature in the top was about 20-25' C. Smoked it for about 5-6 hours (Like I said, it was difficult to keep it going.) Got it out, left it resting for an other hour. Never thought about measuring the internal meat temp. since I was cold smoking. I will try and add some foto's. It's now in cheesecloth and in the fridge. I didn't think I needs extra cooking since it will be cooked before eating. Or is it necessary for keeping?

But the proof of the pudding (or bacon) is in the eating. I'll let you know tonight.

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Since we're on the topic of bacon ... I've got a couple of batches curing in the fridge right now and have been curious about Ruhlman's recipe. Can anyone tell me why he instructs that the bacon be roasted off immediately after curing, prior to packaging? Seems counterintuitive to me - with other meats I'd never dream of cooking something twice, and commercially available bacons are all raw. The first couple of batches I've made have been maple cured and I've just sauteed slices as needed or put them straight in the freezer after curing ... Can anyone explain the rationale for roasting the large piece?

BTW, my smallish NY apartment (a 6th floor walkup) isn't very accomodating of smoking equipment so we're talking fresh bacon here.

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Since we're on the topic of bacon ... I've got a couple of batches curing in the fridge right now and have been curious about Ruhlman's recipe. Can anyone tell me why he instructs that the bacon be roasted off immediately after curing, prior to packaging?  Seems counterintuitive to me - with other meats I'd never dream of cooking something twice, and commercially available bacons are all raw. The first couple of batches I've made have been maple cured and I've just sauteed slices as needed or put them straight in the freezer after curing ... Can anyone explain the rationale for roasting the large piece?

BTW, my smallish NY apartment (a 6th floor walkup) isn't very accomodating of smoking equipment so we're talking fresh bacon here.

I just made another batch this weekend of fantastic smoked bacon from Neiman Ranch pork (About 20 lbs total). As I've been doing from the get go, I cold smoked them. I am not sure why Ruhlman asks for the meat to be cooked. I just never cook it.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Just tasted my first bacon. It's excellent! For perfection it needs a little bit more salt and a bit less sugar. But the smokiness is wonderful. All in all not bad for a first attempt. Thank you all very much for answering my questions and letting me in on your knowledge.

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Thanks, Chris, for the thorough "report from the field."  Detailed information like that is incredibly valuable as we all work on our projects, in our separate locations.

Today I talked to a man who's been making sausage for decades at Paulina Market here in Chicago.  He was a font of information.  It was very cool.  Prompted by my inquisitive companion, I asked him about the sausage "spider lines" we've been discussing here, throughout the thread.  He referred to them as "whiskers" and said, without hesitation, that they should not be there.  But, he also said that they have nothing to do with any part of the actual sausage-making process.  Sometimes, that's just how the casings come from the processor.  But, they're not supposed to be that way.  Not exactly a bad batch, but something along those lines . . . a QC lapse, perhaps.

=R=

I know that I am replying to a two-year-old post, but I have just finished reading the first 16 pages of this thread, and I have noticed how early on it was theorized that the whiskers were due to the meat being too cold, and perhaps not filling the casing fully. Later, someone suggested that they were remnants of veins that had surrounded the casing and not due to the filling. Well, I can say that a couple of years ago I had done some reading about the issue online, and here is what I found: http://www.dewied.com/trouble_fresh.html

Threads of connective tissue or whiskers visible on sausage. Hog casings processed with a knife to separate them from connective tissue during production, often have threads of fatty connective tissue left on the inside curve of the casing. These white threads vary in length. On fresh sausage they are most visible immediately after stuffing sausage but become translucent and are almost unnoticed after the sausage takes on its bloom. DeWied has REAL™ brand hand pulled hog casings that do not have threads of connective tissue or whiskers. DeWied’s FRESHLINK™ casings also offer whisker free appearance but added strength and long strands of a knife cut casing.

In other words, it isn't something "wrong" with the casings, it is just that if you buy the hand-pulled casings, you can get them without the connective tissue whiskers. As mentioned above, and as I'm sure you have all noticed, since the whiskers are quite fatty, they virtually melt away during cooking. There is nothing to be worried about, and they certainly don't signify that something is wrong with the filling--too cold or otherwise.

One thing to note is that the knife-cut casings are actually stronger, and have less risk of tearing. See here: http://www.alliedkenco.com/catalog/popup_t...l/howtos/key/17

What is the difference between hand pulled and knife cut casings - North American hand pulled casings do not have threads of connective tissue on the outside (Called whiskers). They are delicate and usually have shorter strands than knife cut. They may have more holes or weak spots. Knife cut casings have the small threads of connective tissue (Whiskers). They have an extra membrane for strength. Their strands are usually longer and have fewer holes. The threads of connective tissue on knife cut casings will melt off on smoked or cooked sausage.

So, the moral of the story is not to worry about the whiskers, they actually result in stronger casings, but if they do bother you, then look for hand-pulled casings.

Best,

Alan

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