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Duck Ham


mikeycook
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I recently made two different variations of duck ham, one the recipe for Air Dried Duck Breast in Paula Wolfert's The Cooking of South West France, the other the recipe for Duck Prosciutto from Gary Danko in Culinary Artistry. Given that I was using Moulard Duck breasts, I used the Danko recipe's recipe's specfications for marinating (including the amount of salt) and hanging (the Wolfert recipe calls for a smaller variety) and I marinated for 36 hours instead of the minimum 24 recommended.

I made two breasts for by each method with the intent of hanging one of each for 15 days and one of each for 30 days. I wrapped them in several layers of cheesecloth and chose to hang them in my Eurocave, because the temperature and humidity seemed to be in line with the requirements of most dry-cured charcuterie.

When I pulled the first pair of breasts out, both had a bit of mold growing on the meat side of the breast. It was easy to scrape away and the rest of the breast was fine, but, obviously, the mold was a cause for concern. I was left with the following possibilities.

1. While the breasts were able to hang freely, perhaps the Eurocase does not provide enough air circulation or perhaps the humidity level was still too high.

2. The cheesecloth was not thick enough or not wrapped tightly enough (although I wrapped it in several layers) or perhaps it was too thick and didn't allow enough air circulation.

3. The mold was natural, similar to the molds that develop on dried sausages as they age.

4. Some other problem I haven't thought of.

I am less tempted to think #3 is the right answer (and, besides, figured it best to rule out everything else first). None of the recipes I have found speak to this as a potential problem.

Has anyone else made either of these recipes or had a similar experience. If anyone has made duck ham, by this or any other method, can you tell me the conditions under which you marinate and hang the breasts and whether you have had any issues?

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I have successfully made duck prosciutto using a modified recipe for Peterson's The Duck Cookbook (who credits La Cuisine Gourmande). My modified recipe using a dry salt cure without nitrites or nitrates. I haven't had any mold growth. You refer to a "marinade", is this a brine liquid? Perhaps the moisture content of the meat at the time of hanging is creating the conditions for mold growth. (I personally would be more concerned about the moisture content becasue of potential bacterial growth more than anything else.)

You're a daring guy. I was reluctant to cure by hanging the duck in my basement (as Peterson's recipe recommends) or in my wine cellar out of fear of bacterial growth. After researching the issue, I now cure in my refrigerator at 39 degrees (i.e., below 41 degrees where bacterial growth begins).

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I have successfully made duck prosciutto using a modified recipe for Peterson's The Duck Cookbook (who credits La Cuisine Gourmande).  My modified recipe using a dry salt cure without nitrites or nitrates.  I haven't had any mold growth.  You refer to a "marinade", is this a brine liquid?  Perhaps the moisture content of the meat at the time of hanging is creating the conditions for mold growth. (I personally would be more concerned about the moisture content becasue of potential bacterial growth more than anything else.)

You're a daring guy.  I was reluctant to cure by hanging the duck in my basement (as Peterson's recipe recommends) or in my wine cellar out of fear of bacterial growth.  After researching the issue, I now cure in my refrigerator at 39 degrees (i.e., below 41 degrees where bacterial growth begins).

Would be so kind to share some details on your technique? This is always something I wanted to try in my refridgerator, but I was unsure if it was the correct environment. I live in Florida so there aren't any basement options.

South Florida

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Lacking a mountain air environment, I suggest that city dwellers hang their wrapped duck breasts about 3 feet in front of a fan or air conditioner in such a way that the breasts don't touch each other and swing free.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Hey, I just had a brainstorm! I've been wanting to make Duck Prosciutto for ages but always worried because I lived in very humid, warm climates.

If I could talk my boss into it, do you think I could hang them in a wine cellar (about 55 degrees) pretty safely?

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I have successfully made duck prosciutto using a modified recipe for Peterson's The Duck Cookbook (who credits La Cuisine Gourmande).  My modified recipe using a dry salt cure without nitrites or nitrates.  I haven't had any mold growth.  You refer to a "marinade", is this a brine liquid?  Perhaps the moisture content of the meat at the time of hanging is creating the conditions for mold growth. (I personally would be more concerned about the moisture content becasue of potential bacterial growth more than anything else.)

You're a daring guy.  I was reluctant to cure by hanging the duck in my basement (as Peterson's recipe recommends) or in my wine cellar out of fear of bacterial growth.  After researching the issue, I now cure in my refrigerator at 39 degrees (i.e., below 41 degrees where bacterial growth begins).

The "marinade" is a dry-rub of salt and pepper (Paula's recipe) in one case and salt, pepper, coriander, and thyme (Danko's recipe) in the other. I had considered that I may need to increase the amount of salt and try again. I tried to avoid the refrigerator, because the Danko recipe specifically recommended against it, but I may try that as well (although it is hard to find any free swinging space in my refrigerator). :)

Lacking a mountain air environment, I suggest that city dwellers hang their wrapped duck breasts about 3 feet in front of a fan or air conditioner in such a way that the breasts don't touch each other and swing free.

The breasts do not touch each other in the Eurocave and are free-swinging, but I was wondering if the fan was necessary to inhibit mold growth (there is no real air circulation in the Eurocave - it is a 50 bottle wine cellar). We live in a one-bedroom apartment and there is no good place to hang the breasts in the living room (can't leave a window open because of the cat and my wife would object to decor anyway.) :-)

Is the constant blowing of air on the breasts a key to inhibiting the mold growth?

For what it's worth, I ate some of the meat after removing the mold (stupid I know) and didn't have any problems (it was a few days ago and I figured I would have gotten sick/died by now).

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I don't know why a mold formed on your duck hams. If it is any solace, bayonne hams are dred in caves and they form molds on the surface. The mold is cut away before being sold.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Hey, I just had a brainstorm! I've been wanting to make Duck Prosciutto for ages but always worried because I lived in very humid, warm climates.

If I could talk my boss into it, do you think I could hang them in a wine cellar (about 55 degrees) pretty safely?

Safely is the operative word here. In my opinion (and by my standards), no. Bacteria thrive between 41 and 140 degrees. BUt you can cure duck safely in a refrigerator.

When I get home later, if Mikeycooks doesn't mid, I'll post my recipe, technique, some background info on why I believe this method is safest and maybe a few pictures.

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I don't know why a mold formed on your duck hams. If it is any solace, bayonne hams are dred in caves and they form molds on the surface. The mold is cut away before being sold.

The duck ham seemed fine, had no off odors and tasted great, so I am not letting the mold worry me. I didn't realize that about Bayonne ham, but that makes me feel better since the process is similar (as far as an initial salting, following by hanging in a climate controlled environment.) I have two more hams that will be done in another 2 weeks. I will report on the mold growth on those as well.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Hey, I just had a brainstorm! I've been wanting to make Duck Prosciutto for ages but always worried because I lived in very humid, warm climates.

If I could talk my boss into it, do you think I could hang them in a wine cellar (about 55 degrees) pretty safely?

Safely is the operative word here. In my opinion (and by my standards), no. Bacteria thrive between 41 and 140 degrees. BUt you can cure duck safely in a refrigerator.

When I get home later, if Mikeycooks doesn't mid, I'll post my recipe, technique, some background info on why I believe this method is safest and maybe a few pictures.

Don't mind at all. :biggrin: I would love to see more recipes (in fact, I will probably go buy the Petersen book as well to have a third method).

I have a series of professional charcuterie books by Marcel Cottenceau and for dried hams (somewhat similar process) it talks about an initial rubbing and resting period at around 41-44F, following by a drying and aging at 53-57F with 75-80% humidity. This is consistent with how most charcuterie is made in France and, I would assume, in the U.S. as well. That is what gave me the idea for the using the Eurocave. I am under the impression that it can be done safely in a wine cellar provided you have the proper humidity control. A true wine cellar would be even better that the Eurocave, because you can circulate the air a lot more easily. All the recipes seem to agree with the temperature range (at least I hope they wouldn't publish them if they were not safe). I would try one in your wine cellar following a recipe and if you have a problem, throw it out.

That being said, I understand the concern about bacteria growth about 41F (harkening back to my ServSafe), but I also wonder if too low a temperature inhibits some of the natural chemical reactions needed to develop the flavor in the meat, however not having tried it I couldn't say. Certainly the refrigerator should be used for the initial salting period.

There are a couple of other points I should also mention.

1. Paula specifies fresh breasts only (not frozen), so this is one requirement I have been following in all recipes.

2. The ideal PH level, at least in pork, is between 5-6.5. Too much water or too high acidity could cause problems. (I would assume the same is true of any meat being cured.)

Not having a PH meter on hand, another possibility is that my meat had a PH that was too high. Perhaps I will try and get some test strips for my next test.

Edited by mikeycook (log)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Sorry for the treatise but as I mentioned, I found a version of this recipe in The Duck Cookbook by James Peterson, who notes in his book that he first saw the technique in Michel Guarard’s La Cuisine Gourmande. Peterson’s recipe follows a traditional salt-based curing method, at room temperature (actually he says to cure the duck breast in a “cool dry place”). Although I have no reason to question Peterson’s approach to curing, I was uncomfortable with the idea of hanging a raw salted duck breast in my basement for two weeks before eating it. Therefore my natural inquisition of funky things led me to do a little research project the process of curing and the effect of bacteria in the process of meat preservation. In the end, I was successful in making fantastic duck prosciutto using a process that employs an abundance of caution. My version of the recipe follows, but first a little background on curing from my research.

What I Learned About Curing on My Day Off…

Before the advent of refrigeration and meat processing, people preserved meat by treating it with salt or salt mixtures or packing the meat in salt. Meat, with its high protein content and water content, coupled with the presence of favorable temperatures, provides perfect grounds for cultivating bacteria. Bacteria growth and the enzymes and toxins resulting from such growth, cause the decomposition or decay of the meat, the production of off flavors and food borne illnesses. Therefore in order to properly preserve meat, the bacteria which cause spoilage and food borne illnesses must be inactivated and destroyed [FN omitted].

There are several ways to control and destroy bacteria. Cooking, which kills the bacteria through heat (which is not used in the cure process), drying, which inactivates and kills bacteria through the reduction of water, chilling, which reduces the temperature necessary for bacteria to thrive and reproduce and curing, which uses salt to inactivate and destroy bacteria are all methods for preserving meat. The method I ultimately chose for making duck prosciutto relies on three of these methods: curing, drying and chilling.

Curing is the addition of salt and/or sodium nitrate (or saltpeter), nitrites, sugar and seasonings to meat (traditionally pork) for preservation, color development and flavor enhancement. The meat is treated with the cure mixture on the surface, or in some processing techniques, injected into to meat. Salt is an effective means of controlling bacterial growth for two reasons. First, direct contact with salt can destroy or inhibit microbial growth. The resistance of bacteria to salt varies widely among different types of bacteria; the growth of some bacteria is inhibited by salt concentrations as low as 3%, e.g., Salmonella, whereas other types are able to survive in much higher salt concentrations, e.g., Staphylococcus [FN omitted]. Second, through the process of osmosis, salt has the effect of drawing out the water contained in the meat, therefore decreasing the “water activity” in the meat. Water activity is defined as the vapor pressure of the food divided by the vapor pressure of pure water. Bacteria need moisture to thrive. The water activity of fresh meat is 0.99 or higher, and is near optimum for the growth of many microorganisms. Shelf stability (or the likelihood the cured product will spoil in non-refrigerated temperatures) can be achieved by reducing the water activity of the product. Tests have demonstrated that the lowest water activity value at which a food borne illness organism will grow is 0.86. Consequently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider foods with a water activity value of 0.85 or below not to be potentially hazardous [FN omitted]. Properly cured meat will have a low water activity in the safe range. Salt therefore has the two-fold ability to preserve food by directly inhibiting bacterial growth and by reducing the moisture or water activity in meat necessary for bacterial growth.

In pre-refrigeration times, particularly where pork products were cured, consumers noticed that certain types of salt contributed to the fixing of the pink color to hams, which would otherwise turn a grayish color after curing. Later researchers determined that the particular salts used in the curing process had trace amounts of sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate is source of nitrite, and the reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide reacts with the myoglobin (the muscle pigment) to contribute to the characteristic cured flavor and reddish-pink color of cured pork. Researchers also found that nitrite directly inhibits the outgrowth of Clostridium botulinum, a deadly microorganism which produces toxins that result in botulism [FN omitted]. Although the use of nitrates and nitrites will aid in the reduction of undesirable bacteria, I have omitted it. If you so desire to experiment with these cure agents, you have to be careful to mix the salt and saltpeter in the recommended proportions since saltpeter is poisonous in higher concentrations (if you are curing large cuts of meat, such are hams, you must use the cure agents to ensure a proper cure). Alternatively, you can buy pre-mixed curing mixes from commercial manufactures like Morton’s. Since duck meat has a higher content of myoglobin, it is often considered a “dark meat” rather than a “white meat” and may benefit form the use of nitrate or nitrite in the curing process to help fix the color. However, as I mentioned, I did not use it and the duck ended up turning into a desirable mahogany color.

Lastly, chilling is a method which can be used in conjunction with dry curing to significantly reduce the chances of microbial growth. Bacteria thrive at temperatures between 41° and 140° Fahrenheit [FN omitted]. Since I live in Virginia, I was particularly interested in traditional Smithfield ham curing. I found it that it was common in Virginia to cure the pork hams during the months of December and January, where the ambient temperature averaged between 36° and 41° degrees. As one curing expert put it, “Bone Sour” was the description applied to meats which spoiled by too high of temperatures during the cure process, which is caused by bacteria that attack the interior of the meat when the meat temperature is allowed to rise above normal refrigeration (he also noted it had smell that one could not forget as a spoiled ham). Bone Sour occurs in dry cured, large cuts of meat because of the time required for the cure to reach the interior of the meat [FN omitted]. Thus, in the race between bacterial growth and the completion of the curing process, chilling helps ensure that the race is won by the cure process. Hence my preference for refrigerator curing.

On to the recipe…

Ingredients:

1 – 1 lb+ large duck Magret breast (the one I used was 1.15 lbs)

½ cup kosher salt

1½ tbs dried juniper berries

1½ tbs whole black pepper corns

1 tbs coriander seeds

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp Aleppo pepper

1 cotton rag, about 12” square, washed and dried (but do not use any perfumed detergent)

First, you must make sure your refrigerator is above 36°. If the temperature is below 36°, the salt will not be absorbed (and the moisture extracted) and thus a proper cure will not occur. Conversely, your refrigerator should not be above 41°, or you run the risk of microbial growth (and not just in the duck breast).

Day 1: Place the duck breast unwrapped in a small dish, but covered with a paper towel in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to allow some of the moisture to evaporate.

Day 2: Grind the juniper berries, black pepper and coriander seeds in a spice mill until only a few coarse bits remain. Mix thoroughly with the salt, paprika and Aleppo pepper. If the duck fat is greater than 3/8” thick, trim slightly in slivers until its approximately 3/8” thick (the fat trimming is optional). Divide the salt mixture in half and reserve half of the salt mixture for Day 5 salting. Rub the duck breast thoroughly with the salt mixture and place skin side up in a dish slightly larger than the duck breast. Pour the rest of the salt mixture on top of the duck and place in the refrigerator covered only with a fresh paper towel.

i6747.jpg

Day 3: Change the paper towel on Day 3 (the duck moisture should be weeping and the salt at the bottom should be damp and clumpy, this is ok).

i6748.jpg

Day 4: Change the paper towel and redistribute the dry salt in the dish onto any areas where the salt has fallen off or has been dissolved. Turn the breast over so the skin side is down.

Day 5: Place the duck breast on a paper towel. Lay the cloth flat and sprinkle generously with salt mixture. Place the breast on the cloth and add more salt, carefully covering all sides best as you can. Roll the cloth up and tie the ends of the cloth with twine. Place the breast back in the refrigerator.

i6750.jpg

Day 6-12: The duck should continue weeping slightly and eventually stop. Turn the breast over on alternating days.

Day 13: Unwrap the duck breast. It should be fully cured. Using a vegetable brush, lightly brush the excess salt and spices from the breast. The breast should be stored wrapped with plastic wrap or in a ziplock bag; left uncovered it will eventually dry out.

i6751.jpg

Serving: Use a very sharp knife to slice thin slices. I find that the chilled breast is easier to slice with the skin side down. I have no idea how long the breast will last; purportedly since it was cured it should last (refrigerated) for several weeks, note however that when the breast is sliced open, the interior becomes exposed and is subject to the introduction of microbes at the exposed site.

i6752.jpg

Footnotes omitted, but here are some sources

Rapid and Quantitative Detection of the Microbial Spoilage of Meat by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Machine Learning, David I. Ellis, et al. Institute of Biological Sciences, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3DD, Wales, United Kingdom, Received 13 September 2001/ Accepted 14 March 2002.

“Curing of Meat and Poultry Products”, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service Publication.

Safety of Duck and Goose…From Farm to Table, Publication of Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Feb 2003

Graham, Paul P., et al., Dry Curing Virginia Style Ham, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Publication 458-223, Revised 1998, pg 2.

Edited by bbq4meanytime (log)
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I've made duck "prosciutto" two times once using Mario Batali's recipe and once using Ariane Daguin's recipe from the D'artagnan cookbook. Both came out very good but I prefer the D'artagnan one. In both cases I hung the breasts to dry in the refrigerator. I am planning on trying Peterson's recipe next. Right now I have a pork butt hanging in the fridge in an attempt to make Fergus Henederson's cured ham recipe from his The Whole Beast. We'll see how this turns out.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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bbq4meanytime, that is an excellent and well-researched approach. I am certainly going to try a batch by your method. I am curious as to why more sources don't focus on refrigerator curing, but, to your point, this was a method born before refrigeration.

Thanks for the excellent source material as I fully intend to utilize it.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I've made duck "prosciutto" two times once using Mario Batali's recipe and once using Ariane Daguin's recipe from the D'artagnan cookbook. Both came out very good but I prefer the D'artagnan one. In both cases I hung the breasts to dry in the refrigerator. I am planning on trying Peterson's recipe next. Right now I have a pork butt hanging in the fridge in an attempt to make Fergus Henederson's cured ham recipe from his The Whole Beast. We'll see how this turns out.

Elie

Thanks for the note on the additional recipes. If you don't mind, post some details of how the pork butt works out. I am thinking about trying some cured pork next and would love to know the details. Maybe we can even have this thread converted to a cured meat details/issues discussion at that point. Thanks Elie. :biggrin:

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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bbq4meanytime, that is an excellent and well-researched approach.  I am certainly going to try a batch by your method.  I am curious as to why more sources don't focus on refrigerator curing, but, to your point, this was a method born before refrigeration.

Thanks for the excellent source material as I fully intend to utilize it.

The fact that folks have been curing meat without refrigeration for ages is why I struggled with this process. I ultimately decided that it [refrigeration] was a technique that adds a valuable benefit with little downside. The key is to make sure that the refrigerator temp. is 39 degrees. I use my digital wine cellar thermometer. In fact, I read in one ham publication the cure time was extended day-for-day for each day the temperature dropped below 36 degrees, because the cure process simply stops below that temperature.

I suppose you could cure using the refrigerator, but age (like hams) in a non-refrigerated environment. I'm not sure if this aging would effect duck significantly, but I know its a necessary part of traditional Virginia ham production.

Edited by bbq4meanytime (log)
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bbq4meanytime, that is an excellent and well-researched approach.  I am certainly going to try a batch by your method.  I am curious as to why more sources don't focus on refrigerator curing, but, to your point, this was a method born before refrigeration.

Thanks for the excellent source material as I fully intend to utilize it.

The fact that folks have been curing meat without refrigeration for ages is why I struggled with this process. I ultimately decided that it [refrigeration] was a technique that adds a valuable benefit with little downside. The key is to make sure that the refrigerator temp. is 39 degrees. I use my digital wine cellar thermometer. In fact, I read in one ham publication the cure time was extended day-for-day for each day the temperature dropped below 36 degrees, because the cure process simply stops below that temperature.

I suppose you could cure using the refrigerator, but age (like hams) in a non-refrigerated environment. I'm not sure if this aging would effect duck significantly, but I know its a necessary part of traditional Virginia ham production.

I printed out the material from the USDA that you cited and it certainly seems like above 36deg and below 41deg is the ideal range for curing (the material is great, although the federal code requires some patience).

My initial impression, from reading various recipes, was that the 24-36 hours in the refrigerator were the equivalent of the curing (the rubbing and resting periods) in ham and that the hanging (15-30 days) was similar to the drying/aging. In the Virginia ham method, a metric of 1 1/2 of curing per pound of meat is mentioned, which would roughly correspond to the 24-36 cure time for a 1lb duck breast in most recipes. However, these recipes usually involve the addition of Saltpeter as well, which, I would think, would accelerate the cure and some of the dried hams are also immersed in salt for resting periods. So maybe a longer cure at 37-40 deg is the key.

I think, as an experiment, I will make a duck ham using your method, but following the curing (15 days, I think), try aging the duck breast from 2 weeks to a month, similar to a ham, at 53-57deg at 75% humidity (in a wine cellar), and compare this to a ham cured using your method for 30 days (I may need another refrigerator for this). :wink:

Thanks again for all the great info. :biggrin:

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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I've made duck "prosciutto" two times once using Mario Batali's recipe and once using Ariane Daguin's recipe from the D'artagnan cookbook. Both came out very good but I prefer the D'artagnan one. In both cases I hung the breasts to dry in the refrigerator. I am planning on trying Peterson's recipe next. Right now I have a pork butt hanging in the fridge in an attempt to make Fergus Henederson's cured ham recipe from his The Whole Beast. We'll see how this turns out.

Elie

Thanks for the note on the additional recipes. If you don't mind, post some details of how the pork butt works out. I am thinking about trying some cured pork next and would love to know the details. Maybe we can even have this thread converted to a cured meat details/issues discussion at that point. Thanks Elie. :biggrin:

According to Mr. Henderson’s comments this cured pork recipe is based on the way Coppa is cured, which is the pork collar meat. He said a pork butt is a good substitute so that’s what I did. The meat is first soaked in a mixture of salt, red wine, garlic and cloves for about two weeks, it smells so good when you take it out of this mixture. Then it is cured in salt and sugar for another two weeks. The last step is to wrap with cheese cloth and tie VERY tightly and hang for two months (he says in a cool dark place, aka the fridge in my book :smile: ). I just hung the meat this past weekend so we still have some time to go before we see any results, hopefully it will work out and I can post some nice pics. I will let this thread know either way.

Elie

P.S. I am lucky enough that my wife’s grandparents had an older fridge/freezer they wanted to get rid of so it sits in my garage and all my mad scientist experiments happen in there (my wife would not appreciate a pork butt hanging in the kitchen fridge). I love having the extra freezer and refrigeration space as well.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey all, glad i found this thread! I just got into meat curing in the last couple months, i've VERY succesfully made bresaola, and quite succesfully made some Salame Toscano, and have some guanciale currently in the "curing station"

The bresaola was cured in the real fridge for about 3 weeks, and then hung in a spare fridge, which I keep at 50 deg. F and 75% RH, for another 3 weeks. It turned out superb.

My next experiment is with coppa and duck prosciutto, i'm having trouble identifying the coppa in the shoulder though. Foodman, how did you cut the coppa out of the butt? Have any pictures or anything? Does Ferguson's book show good pictures? I don't see that book on Amazon.

I found lots of great recipes at Len Poli's page , check it out...it is an outstanding resource.

I do use real curing salts, with nitrates and nitrites, mostly for peace of mind.

Lets start a thread about meat curing! Its very hard to find people to talk about it....

jason

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I do use real curing salts, with nitrates and nitrites, mostly for peace of mind.

I've read that nitriates/nitrates are necessary when making cured sausages because of the high potential for the introdcuiton of bacteria since the meat is chopped (as opposed to left whole).

I'd be interested in learing more about your techinique and results making sausages.

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BBQ4, i'd be happy to discuss the sausages and tecniques, pretty much everything i've learned i got from Len Poli's page...take a look at it. He discusses everything from additives to meats to spices to curing...

The hardest part for me was finding an appropriate "curing station" where i cuold cure/dry my meats. I ended up buying an old used refrigerator, adding an external thermostat so i could set it to whatever temp. i want between 32 and 75, (instead of using the fridge thermostat which wont allow the temp to go high enough), and putting a humidifier in the bottom of the fridge to control humidity. This system seems to be working well so far!

Have you made any cured products? Or just wanting to try?

jason

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Well, if you have a grinder, you can get a stuffer attachment really cheap, which i thikn is fine for cooked sausages. But if you're trying to make salame and dry cured sausages, the problem with those is you're running the ground meat/fat through the auger again then through the stuffing tube, and i've found that it caused a lot of fat smearing, which is a problem in salame.

I bought a push stuffer from ebay relatively cheap, about $40, its basically a giant extruder, on which you put casings, and push a big handle down, pushing the meat/fat out of the tube and into casings...havnt' even used it yet though, last batch i made i hand stuffed with a funnel.

jason

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I'll try to rememebr to post a pic tonight of my bresaola and salame.

jason

Jason-

I am looking forward to the pics. Can you elaborate a little further on how to manually stuff sausages using a funnel? Is it farily simple? What do you push the stuffing with?

Thanks

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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