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FoodMan

Curing and Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's "Charcuterie" (Part 1)

600 posts in this topic

i have no idea where Rulhman or Brian got the idea that coppa is made with chunks. It NEVER is. It is made from a piece of the pork shoulder, a very specific piece, which is basically behing the head of the pig.

It is hard to explain without pictures where the coppa is located. In italy this is a butchered cut that is sold in supermarkets as a roast. Here you have to buy the whole shoulder (from costco or sam's or whereever) and "carve" it out yourself. Some shoulders come so mangled from the packers that it is almost unretrievable.

jason

I deferred to brian on that one. I'd had a discussion about it with Anne Burrell, the ace dry curer at mario's italian wine merchant, where it is a whole muscle, shoulder, but she didn't say that it was a particular cut from within the shoulder.

I'd love to know specifics of inner shoulder cut if anyone knows them.

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I tried the turkey sausage w/dried cherries and it seemed to me the fat/protien ratio was too high.  When I tried to cook some for testing it seemed broken to me.  I have a couple of questions.  Have you all found it difficult to keep a sausge from brealing when the fat content is high?  Will a longer spin in the mixer help?  I'll try this again next week and post the results.

I made this for christmas and had no problem with fat or breaking. It was very good. I did keep everything very cold, but not frozen. I do have some pics of it early on in the thread


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I will post details about getting a coppa tonight. I'll detail as best as i can. It is a particular cut, it is somewhat cylindrical, and at the "top" of the pork butt. I'll describe it in writing tonight, and take pictures next time i butcher one to get it out.

jason


Edited by jmolinari (log)

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Thanks for the replies. I'll try it again next weekend and see how it goes. Oh BTW I really enjoy e-gullet.

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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

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gallery_18026_2592_6096.jpg

first try curing: tuscan salami recipe, half with / half without fennel

day 4

I'll keep posting once in a while so we can see if they mature normally or bust out Akira-style with strange prismatic fungi


Edited by lgrass (log)

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In the lead post of this thread, Elie showed his cured salmon process. I wanted to see if I could produce pretty good results using my favorite all-around cooking tool, the ziploc bag. So:

Wild king salmon on sale at Whole Foods:

gallery_19804_437_87204.jpg

I slipped it into a snug ziploc:

gallery_19804_437_121513.jpg

The salt and sugars:

gallery_19804_437_179999.jpg

Skin side with the curing mixture on it:

gallery_19804_437_138507.jpg

Our wonderful French friend, which was then sprinkled on both sides:

gallery_19804_437_110755.jpg

The fennel sliced and ready:

gallery_19804_437_75918.jpg

Onto the salmon -- flesh side up:

gallery_19804_437_48151.jpg

The fennel seed and white peppercorns:

gallery_19804_437_225120.jpg

The finished assembly, ready to go in the fridge:

gallery_19804_437_210369.jpg

It already started to release liquid by the end of the assembly:

gallery_19804_437_103874.jpg

It's in the fridge getting a good bit of pressure from above thanks to some black bean soup and rubber bands. More later.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Wow, Chris, thanks for the instructive pictorial! That really looks delicious. As a fellow lover of gravlax -- and the ziploc bag -- I salute you. I'm looking forward to hearing about the results, but seriously, how is that going to be anything other than delicious? I am definitely going 'aquatic' next weekend with the Charcuterie.

Right now, I'm doing some a little smoking (whole butt and some large belly scraps). Last night I started a cure on a slab of paprika bacon and before the weekend's out, I'll be taking another stab at breakfast sausage, which I will attempt to encase, this time around. The meat's in the fridge now, co-mingling with the seasonings.

=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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I couldn't stand the thought of waiting until dinner, so...

gallery_19804_437_90710.jpg

gallery_19804_437_70931.jpg

gallery_19804_437_5406.jpg

gallery_19804_437_145735.jpg

gallery_19804_437_40989.jpg

It tastes remarkable, especially raw, with that unmistakable flavor of cured pork that you find in prosciutto. It is so good I can't quite believe it. The balance is excellent: I can't pick out the shaoxing, which suggests that it melted into the background of the flavor profile as it usually does. It could be a bit sweeter, though, so I'll up the sugar next time. The salt balance is excellent.

Since I have to get to work, I just decided to throw together some quick scrambled eggs -- results here.

edited to add link -- ca

:angry: That does it! I've resisted. Another cookbook? where will I put it? Oh, yes the gravlax kickoff almost did me in, but, after all, I have a pretty good gravlax from Samuelsson. Now it's all I can do to not rush out, this minute, to the bookstore to get a copy. Doomed, doomed, I say. :unsure::unsure::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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My second attempt at breakfast sausage was pretty disastrous. I tried to use smaller, sheep casings this time around and they were busting open constantly. I think that the smallest horn which came with my stuffer was still too large for the casings. I was having trouble sliding them off the horn as the sausage came out. Eventually, the casings would stop sliding off and the sausage would burst through. FWIW, the modified recipe I tried (omit ginger, add 2 T of dry sage, double the black pepper, add 1 T of red chile flakes) tasted delicious, so it wasn't a total wash.

I've now got about 5# of bulk sausage in the fridge, stiffening as we speak. And I have to leave the house shortly. Tonight, after I return, I'll try to remix it into a softer state and at least fill larger casings with it.

My butcher showed me some casings he uses which are already pre-threaded onto a piece of removable plastic. You still soak them first but afterwards, you simply slide the entire casing onto the horn and pull out the plastic backing. This option suddenly has great appeal for me. :biggrin: I'm going to ask him for a couple the next time I see him.

=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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My butcher showed me some casings he uses which are already pre-threaded onto a piece of removable plastic.  You still soak them first but afterwards, you simply slide the entire casing onto the horn and pull out the plastic backing.  This option suddenly has great appeal for me. :biggrin:  I'm going to ask him for a couple the next time I see him.

Ron, do they look like this?

gallery_19804_437_81518.jpg

Those are the ones I get from Whole Foods. A bit more than I'd like to spend, but they're clean, easy to use, and ready to go.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Just made my second batch of both classic brauts and Duck/garlic sausages. Using my Kitchenaid for grinding & stuffing... The Duck filled easily and prefectly, but I have been having problems with the Brauts - the filling is really sticky and does not fill without really pushing it hard into the filler wheel.

Any other experiences?

I just got my bactoferm so this weekend I am going to try some Tuscan...

.... and maybe some bacon while I am making a mess.....

This stuff is fun!!

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Tuscan Salami, Day 8

gallery_18026_2592_27051.jpg

Uh-oh ... green mold!

gallery_18026_2592_15697.jpg

Well there are some small islands of green mold on a few of them ... maybe a fan next time to keep the air moving a bit better.

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lgrass, how do you maintain temp and humidity in your, what looks like, fridge?

I have a donated mini-fridge (as you noticed) ... I installed my own dual (heating & cooling) thermostat & a hygrostat. I have these din-rail mounted inside the fridge. I also installed a double outlet in the fridge. The cooling side of the thermostat controls the fridge, the heating side controls one of the outlets (I plugged a 75W bulb into that one for now) and the hygrostat controls the second outlet. I have a terrarium air-pump humidifier plugged into that (http://www.thatpetplace.com/MainPro/Itemdy00.aspx?T1=R46JX+0542+0600)

I thought maybe the airpump humidifier would give me enough airflow to avoid a fan ... maybe not!

I cranked the heat & humidity way up for the fermentation period, then cranked down for drying. I live in Atlanta, and am keeping my house at around 60F (gas prices are sucking me dry), so I cranked the temp on the cooling side way down because using the fridge's cooling isn;t necessary. I've been trying to crack the door of the fridge a little as well to keep the air from getting stagnant.

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Regarding the growth of green mold, has anyone tried inoculating with "good mold" spores? Butcher-packer sells p. nalgiovense culture (tech sheet here). Note that despite the Bactoferm™ brand, this is a mold, not a bacterium.

From the application notes:

M-EK-4 is particularly recommended for the production of traditional sausages dried at low temperature and/or low humidity. M-EK-4 suppresses the growth of undesirable organisms such as indigenous moulds, yeasts and bacteria. The culture has a positive effect on the drying process by preventing the emergence of a dry rim. Furthermore, the mould degrades lactic acid during maturation resulting in a pH increase and a less sourish flavour.

Sounds like it might be worth a try.

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Regarding the growth of green mold, has anyone tried inoculating with "good mold" spores? Butcher-packer sells p. nalgiovense culture (tech sheet here). Note that despite the Bactoferm™ brand, this is a mold, not a bacterium.

From the application notes:

M-EK-4 is particularly recommended for the production of traditional sausages dried at low temperature and/or low humidity. M-EK-4 suppresses the growth of undesirable organisms such as indigenous moulds, yeasts and bacteria. The culture has a positive effect on the drying process by preventing the emergence of a dry rim. Furthermore, the mould degrades lactic acid during maturation resulting in a pH increase and a less sourish flavour.

Sounds like it might be worth a try.

For what it's worth, I used the "LHP" starter from this page

http://www.butcher-packer.com/pg_sausage_culture.htm

Frankly, their web page doesn't give much detail about the differences between the 3 start cultures they sell. All of the descriptions are very similar. I just rolled the dice & picked one!

I guess if I continue to have the mold problem I should switch to the one you suggested, which at least is the only one that mentions mold control.

Seems to counteract the acidification that occurs when fermenting w/ other types of starter culture, so you get less tang.

Add both & let them fight it out I suppose...


Edited by lgrass (log)

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This thread is absolutely fascinating, not to mention educational. I've read Charcuterie cover to cover at least twice since getting it for Christmas, and will be joining the fun this weekend :raz:.

A friend and I located an Amish farmer in southern Maryland who raises grain fed hogs and we're gettting 10 lbs or so of fresh pork belly on Thursday. I intend to start with the "sweet" version of regular bacon, which will be smoked over apple wood, and pancetta. At this point, my inclination for the bacon is to use Turbinado sugar in the basic cure (same amount?), add maple syrup and some dark brown sugar, and a fair amount of ground black pepper to the recipe(s) in the book. I'm looking for opinions, suggestions, or what-have-you from those who have led the way here, Ronnie, Anna N, bigwino, Chris, et al. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. TIA.


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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hwilson41, that's great about your pork source. I'm curing fresh bacon belly #2 right now. The first one was a black pepper cure, and this one is a dark brown sugar cure. I'm trying to get a sense of the base line for these before I start smoking, since I'm hoping to do this regularly.

I'm also trying to convince myself that I deserve a Bradley Smoker. But that's another issue.... :wink:


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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hwilson41, that's great about your pork source. I'm curing fresh bacon belly #2 right now. The first one was a black pepper cure, and this one is a dark brown sugar cure. I'm trying to get a sense of the base line for these before I start smoking, since I'm hoping to do this regularly.

Chris, I think you should buy the Bradley Smoker post haste. Tell your wife that I said it was OK :wink:.

So how did the black pepper cure turn out? Tasty, or too bland to be worth the trouble, or what? Since this is my first time out making bacon, I'm flying blind. I've made a lot of sausage, but I'm as green as you can get when it comes to making bacon (hmmm...makin' bacon...has a nice ring to it :biggrin:).


"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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. . . I'm looking for opinions, suggestions, or what-have-you from those who have led the way here, Ronnie, Anna N, bigwino, Chris, et al.  Any and all suggestions are appreciated.  TIA.

I found the bacon and the pancetta to be fairly simple. In fact, the first bacon I made, for which I followed the recipe in the book exactly, turned out better than the second one, which I improvised by adding some garlic and black pepper. The primary quality difference manifested as a very thin hard layer on the exterior of the belly after it was smoked.

When I cooked a few slices from the 2nd belly, instead of being consistently tender like they were from the first batch, there was a bit of hard chew along the top edge. It was still tasty but almost jerky-like in texture. I definitely don't have enough experience to say if the ingredient change caused the problem. If I had to guess, I'd guess not. It probably had to do with some other variable like the (difference in) thickness of the belly, the temperature to which I smoked it (went slightly over 150 F), outside air temperature during the process, wood type or the fact that I smoked it skin-side-up instead of skin-side-down.

As I mentioned above, I've got 2 more bellies curing this week (one exact to the recipe, another paprika-assisted), which I plan to smoke on Sunday. I'll be sure to report back on the results -- and I'll try to do a better job of noting the conditions.

I look forward to reading about your results. Good luck!

=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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