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FoodMan

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

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I am curious about any opinions or input about Morton Salt;s Meat cures. While researching salts I came across its site http://www.mortonsalt.com/consumer/products/meatcuring/. and purchased the sugar cure and tender-quick at a local grocery.

Is there something wrong with using these? (I also got some pink salt from the butcher and am using it in an attempt at Lardo.)

Dave

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My promised pork belly did not materialize but I was lucky enough to find two smallish pieces today. I have started to cure the 3lb piece and look forward to sharing photos in a week or so when it should be ready to use. I did some math on the READYCURE instructions and concluded that it was likely "pink salt" more or less and so used it as if it were. We will see.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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gallery_7620_135_12881.jpg

Meatloaf, but not as we know it.

Its actually the Mortadella recipe from Charcuterie, but with extra onion and without the fat cubes or pistachio,

The emulsified sausage recipe makes the best meatloaf I've had for a long time.

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Hey thanks for the Idea. I live in an apartment as well and was wondering how to do some bacon.. Great thinking!!!

My first attempt at Charcuterie bacon (and my first eGullet post! of course it's about bacon...)

We did savory bacon sans nitrite and found it to be not-so-much. Too meaty, too savory, not enough smoke flavor. But it looked good.

79409407_4a75dc9003.jpg

So, I broke down and ordered some pink salt and did a sweet version, adding a little liquid smoke to make up for it not being in a smoker to cook. (Apartment living... alas.) I also added some honey to the party and it turned out deeelicious.

Um. Yum-a-rama.

89865366_9b6ccd6fee.jpg

89865408_81251565ed.jpg

89865416_91d8822cca.jpg

Next on the docket (in the fridge) is a pork belly divided into 3 test bastardized Alton/Charcuterie combo recipes. I know they sound odd, but no harm in tryin'...

1) honey mustard

2) molasses pepper

3) Guinness & chocolate (two great tastes -- they must taste great with bacon, right?)

Will post about the results when they are ready!

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Has anyone tried a stove-top smoker for the hot smoking? I have the smoker and was just wondering if it would work - though I don't see why not.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Has anyone tried a stove-top smoker for the hot smoking?  I have the smoker and was just wondering if it would work - though I don't see why not.

It should work allright, but reduce the smoking time (because the heat source is so close to the meat) and, of course, with those stove-top smokers, removing the smoke-alarm batteries is a must!


"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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Has anyone tried a stove-top smoker for the hot smoking?  I have the smoker and was just wondering if it would work - though I don't see why not.

It should work allright, but reduce the smoking time (because the heat source is so close to the meat) and, of course, with those stove-top smokers, removing the smoke-alarm batteries is a must!

Yeah! I can just see the neighbours panicking over the smoke alarm. If this bacon works out OK then I will repeat and hot smoke the next one.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I got myself a sweet stuffer and tried the hot Italian sausage recipe this weekend. My plan was to make links and I got there -- neither gracefully nor entirely :wink:

I adjusted the recipe in a few ways:

included 3 cloves of crushed garlic

reduced the the fennel seed to 1 T from 2 T

added 2 tsp dried oregano to the fresh called for in the recipe

cut back slightly on the fresh basil and oregano due to packaging increments and yield

The recipe calls for whole fennel and coriander seeds. The fennel seeds are a critical element even though my primary complaint about most Italian sausage that I don't like is that it contains too much fennel seed. That's why I cut the amount in half here. The coriander seeds -- which are important flavor-wise -- didn't all get suitably crushed in the grinder and the few whole seeds which made it into the finished sausage, I found unpleasant. Next time I'll probably pre-grind them a bit after I toast them.

As for the stuffing process, the new equipment, and my first shot at handling casings, let's just say that I know it won't hurt as much the next time. You'll notice a gap in the progression of the pictures in this post. That gap is due to the fact that unless you're a well-seasoned sausage maker -- with your stuffer mounted firmly to your work surface -- stuffing is a 2-person operation. As such, my photographer abandonned her camera and came to my rescue.

By the end of the run, I had learned a tremendous amount. There's no substitute for experience or, in this case, knowing what to expect. I made a ton of mistakes and still the finished product is a delight to eat. I look forward to going at it again with the knowledge I picked up this time.

The pics are in chronological order, and I'll point out the places where that probably should have been changed . . .

gallery_3085_2512_159930.jpg

11' of 35-38 mm hog casings soaking in water.

gallery_3085_2512_99624.jpg

Filling the canister of the stuffer with the sausage mixture. I should have done this after I'd attached the horn the canister and pulled all the casing onto the horn.

gallery_3085_2512_114988.jpg

Positioning the canister prematurely. Again, the horn is not yet attached and the casing is not yet pulled onto the horn. Since it was my first time at this, it took quite a bit of time to get the casings threaded. During that time, I did return the canister to the fridge to keep the mixture cold, but it began to stiffen up which, I'm guessing, made turning the crank of the stuffer a bit more difficult.

gallery_3085_2512_31033.jpg

As condensation forms on the canister, I attach the horn to the stuffer.

gallery_3085_2512_107173.jpg

It starts out easy enough . . .

gallery_3085_2512_81823.jpg

. . . after what seems like several hours. Perhaps this would have come more naturally if I'd turned the lights out. :wink:

gallery_3085_2512_27618.jpg

Proof that it can be done! I so overhandled the casing getting it onto the horn that after making a few links and encountering several breaches, I decided to finish the run with one long coil. I did produce one length of 3 really nice links (before I encountered a burst) but I gave those babies to some friends before I could manage to point the camera at them. I'll probably twist a few links off the coil as needed.

The slightly modified recipe produced a supremely delicious sausage. A friend who is a self-proclaimed sausage hater was snarfing it down merrily. The rest of us couldn't believe she was bogarting our sausage. Luckily, the 5# batch goes a long way.

=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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Looks wonderful, how this mortadella meatload was cooked? Bain marie?

Effectively. Low oven (76C) in a Le Crueset silicone loaf tin to 65C internal temperature, then cooled in an ice bath.

I did not use a bain marie as such, since technology has advanced and we can do low temperature cooking other ways...

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I have made several of the sausages with much success. Would like to try the chicken sausage next...

Question: I have been to 4 what I consider real butchers...none has any pork back fat for sale. They all use it in their own sausage, or don't have any (???)...

I'm in Detroit area, so I'm going to try Eastern Market on Saturday...

Does anyone have any substitution suggestions...I don't want to make it without fat...because fat=flavor...

Thanks in advance.


Expat Russ

Three Passions:

Food

Travel<=click to go to my travel website...

BBQ and BQ<=click to go to my blog about trying to balance great food and qualifying for the Boston Marathon

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I'm not really sure, but it might be easier to find salted fatback (I can easily find it in supermarkets). You could then desalt it by soaking in water or (faster) putting a chunk in cold water and bringing it to a boil, much like you would do with salt fish.


Martin Mallet

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

www.malletoyster.com

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I'm not really sure, but it might be easier to find salted fatback (I can easily find it in supermarkets). You could then desalt it by soaking in water or (faster) putting a chunk in cold water and bringing it to a boil, much like you would do with salt fish.

Mallet, i've tried that, the salted fatback has a different flavor entirely. I wouldn't use it for sausage.

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In Houston, pork backfat is available at ethnic grocers. I usually buy mine at Hong Kong Market or Fiesta Supermarkets. A larger store such as these which do their own pork butchering generates more backfat than they need for their own sausage; hence, they are more likely to have extra than a small butcher.

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Question: I have been to 4 what I consider real butchers...none has any pork back fat for sale. They all use it in their own sausage, or don't have any (???)...

You might want to try calling Byrd's Meats on 7 Mile just east of Farmington Rd. in Livonia if you haven't already. I seem to recall having seen it there.

T.


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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Ronnie,

I have sausage envy! :biggrin:


Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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Thanks to the help of folks here and using the ratios in the book as a guide, I got a 3# batch of lop yuk started this morning. Here are the fantastic strips of pork belly that I got at one of our local Chinese/Phillipino shops:

gallery_19804_437_40489.jpg

I then mixed up the marinade with the following items:

  • scant 3 g DC #2
    10 g kosher salt
    10 g sugar
    50 g dark soy
    50 g soy
    30 g shaoxing

I started with less of the liquids but needed to add more to dissolve the salts and sugar. Here are the strips in the marinade:

gallery_19804_437_122749.jpg

I'm going to let them sit in the fridge for a day and then hang them in the morning tomorrow in the cool attic with a fan. Pictures then as well.

edited to fix formatting -- ca


Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have made several of the sausages with much success. Would like to try the chicken sausage next...

Question: I have been to 4 what I consider real butchers...none has any pork back fat for sale. They all use it in their own sausage, or don't have any (???)...

I'm in Detroit area, so I'm going to try Eastern Market on Saturday...

Does anyone have any substitution suggestions...I don't want to make it without fat...because fat=flavor...

Thanks in advance.

Even the supermarket "butcher" at my local Giant Eagle said he could order fatback for me. I would keep looking.

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As for the stuffing process, the new equipment, and my first shot at handling casings, let's just say that I know it won't hurt as much the next time.  You'll notice a gap in the progression of the pictures in this post.  That gap is due to the fact that unless you're a well-seasoned sausage maker -- with your stuffer mounted firmly to your work surface -- stuffing is a 2-person operation.  As such, my photographer abandonned her camera and came to my rescue.

By the end of the run, I had learned a tremendous amount.  There's no substitute for experience or, in this case, knowing what to expect.  I made a ton of mistakes and still the finished product is a delight to eat.  I look forward to going at it again with the knowledge I picked up this time.

You'll find threading the casings onto the horn much easier if you've got it attached to the filled cylinder. Without something blocking the air flow on the back of the horn the casings will snag on the leading edge over and over again and you'll end up with small holes all along the casing. With something behind the horn you get a small air bubble at the front and threading the casings is much much easier.

One of the big problems I have with the book is the way temperature management is explained. Having the forcemeat get hot enough to start cooking will cause it to break but it makes no mention of having the forcemeat too cold to use. After mixing the filling if you let it get cold enough it'll get firm enough that you won't be able to stuff the sausages. You can see that in a lot of raw sausage photos where there are clear or white lines across the sausage from the filling folding against itself instead of merging.

You can avoid breaching the casing by cranking more slowly and adjusting the casings on the horn as you go. Slide out a little more casing if the sausage is getting over filled, pull the casing back onto the horn if its under filled. If you overfill the casings they explode when you twist off the links anyway. Small holes in the casing will weep a little liquid, just find those spots when you are twisting off the links and adjust the length of the links so you can place the hole in the pinched part of the casing where there wont be any filling to leak out.

The more I cook from this book the more limited I find it. The bactoferm quantity in the pepperoni recipe, the pork in the merguez, the weight inaccuracy for powdered milk, the excess sugar in the pastrami, the temperature explanations - most of these are things that better narration could solve, the others could be solved with a bit more research. In general I'm finding the book does a great job of motivating me to do more curing but no one seems to be very happy with using the recipes verbatim. I'm thrilled that the book is available since there really aren't very many alternatives out there. I just wish the book had more depth and better commentary.

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Thanks, Melkor, for the guidance.

Perhaps some of the deficiencies you allude to will be addressed in subsequent editions. I too, find the book highly motivating but I've also picked up a few other charcuterie books, just to help myself fill in the blanks.

=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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As promised, the next series of bacon:

Starting product from the good people of Golden Gate Meat Company. I got one 6 lb pork belly and asked them to split it into 3 pieces so I could try different flavors with minimal risk.

97201059_f7a39450b4.jpg

For some reason, I thought it best to make a stout jello first. Something in my mind about making it less wet? I just sort of made it up, so no real rhyme or reason, but that's what I did.

97201058_5627c7872b.jpg

The three mixes (honey mustard, pepper molasses, chocolate stout)

97199647_d0148a7bca.jpg

Rubbing honey mustard in:

97199646_ee993462a8.jpg

All three bagged and ready to go:

97199644_3d9d42b531.jpg

After a week in the fridge, molasses pepper was much darker than honey mustard.

97199641_cdf67b06d8.jpg

Chocolate stout got another couple days because it was so wet still. It was still pretty drippy by the time we put it in the oven.

97199636_932a040f63.jpg

All in all, honey mustard seemed to be the crowd pleaser, although pepper molasses was still quite good, just a little more savory and strong flavored. Chocolate stout was apparently quite good, but tasters for that were pretty much already in their cups, so to speak, so they weren't really providing much worthwhile feedback other than "mmmm... bacon". More after chocolate stout has been retasted by sober folks.

Ingredients (sorry, no amounts, I just kind of portioned the measurements out as I saw fit):

Honey Mustard

- honey

- dry mustard

- sugar

- salt

- pink salt

Pepper Molasses

- molasses

- black pepper

- sugar

- salt

- pink salt

Chocolate Stout

- Guiness jello

- chocolate (sweetened powder)

- brown sugar

- salt

- pink salt

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One of the big problems I have with the book is the way temperature management is explained.  Having the forcemeat get hot enough to start cooking will cause it to break but it makes no mention of having the forcemeat too cold to use.  After mixing the filling if you let it get cold enough it'll get firm enough that you won't be able to stuff the sausages.  You can see that in a lot of raw sausage photos where there are clear or white lines across the sausage from the filling folding against itself instead of merging.

Dave, can you paste a photo in that indicates these lines?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Perhaps some of the deficiencies you allude to will be addressed in subsequent editions.  I too, find the book highly motivating but I've also picked up a few other charcuterie books, just to help myself fill in the blanks.

Ron, what books have you been using?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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