LTH Home

Cure Meat Everyday...

Cure Meat Everyday...
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 3
  • Cure Meat Everyday...

    Post #1 - April 17th, 2010, 4:20 pm
    Post #1 - April 17th, 2010, 4:20 pm Post #1 - April 17th, 2010, 4:20 pm
    I have read about several LTH members' adventures into curing meats and, similar to the "Smoke Meat Everyday..." thread, I am really interesting in seeing other members' charcuterie.

    Since picking up Ruhlman's "Charcuterie" a few years ago, I have made a few items from the book (bacon, guanciale, duck prosciutto, duck confit, rillettes, etc.), but, most recently, I cured a pork belly from Slagel Farms, rolled it, and hung it to dry. 3 months later, I ended up with Pancetta.

    Before Cooking:
    Image

    After cooking:
    Image

    I had tried this before, but, like most things, improvement comes with practice. This last batch is really porky and the pepper really comes through strongly. Since temps are rising, I am not sure how many more times this year that I'll be able to hang large chunks of meat to dry in the house, but in the winter months, it is a really cool project.
  • Post #2 - April 20th, 2010, 9:16 am
    Post #2 - April 20th, 2010, 9:16 am Post #2 - April 20th, 2010, 9:16 am
    After having a left over half belly of lamb and wanting to cut my losses in case the lamb bacon was bad (it wasn't, it was really good), I wanted to try something new. I hadn't seen lamb pancetta anywhere and I could not find any sources, so I adapted the pancetta recipe from Charcuterie to include rosemary, coriander, and fennel seeds in place of thyme and juniper that would go into regular pancetta.

    The results were very good. The drying period was less than 10 days to get to 70% of original hanging weight, which surprised me. The lamb still takes a lot of salt, so I'd likely shorten the cure next time, but the spices and lamb made for a really interesting and tasty cured meat. I used the first bit in a salad with peas and feta.

    Cured and Dried
    Image

    Cooked
    Image
  • Post #3 - April 20th, 2010, 9:25 am
    Post #3 - April 20th, 2010, 9:25 am Post #3 - April 20th, 2010, 9:25 am
    msmre wrote:After having a left over half belly of lamb
    Both pork and lamb pancetta look terrific. I haven't used Ruhlman's "Charcuterie" in a while, seems time to break it out.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - April 20th, 2010, 12:54 pm
    Post #4 - April 20th, 2010, 12:54 pm Post #4 - April 20th, 2010, 12:54 pm
    Thanks Gary. I have a few projects in the hopper from Charcuterie, but have been looking at a book by Bertolli (Cooking By Hand) and another from Grigson (Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery). Not sure in which order, I should pick these up.

    If anyone has experience with either, I'd be happy to hear about them.
  • Post #5 - April 20th, 2010, 6:00 pm
    Post #5 - April 20th, 2010, 6:00 pm Post #5 - April 20th, 2010, 6:00 pm
    msmre wrote:Thanks Gary. I have a few projects in the hopper from Charcuterie, but have been looking at a book by Bertolli (Cooking By Hand) and another from Grigson (Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery). Not sure in which order, I should pick these up.

    If anyone has experience with either, I'd be happy to hear about them.

    Bertolli's Cooking By Hand is great but it was inaccessible for me until I worked though Charcuterie. It takes a very scientific approach, which I may not have been able to handle if I'd started with it.

    I like Grigson in that the recipes look very cool but it's a very old-fashioned book and the recipes are not precise. When using cures, that made me a bit nervous (I want a better description than "a pinch"), so I've avoided cooking from it, at least up to now.

    Fritz Sonnenschmidt's Charcuterie is also worth a look. I didn't love the recipes, which I felt were underseasoned, but the technique aspect is outstanding. I made really good hotdogs the first time out. The second time, once I personalized the recipe, they were outstanding. Both times, the definition and physical attributes were perfect.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #6 - April 20th, 2010, 6:51 pm
    Post #6 - April 20th, 2010, 6:51 pm Post #6 - April 20th, 2010, 6:51 pm
    Thanks for the information, ronnie_suburban.

    I agree about precision when hanging meat out for months. I have a hard enough time opening the pages in Charcuterie to the fermented sausage section. That whole "beneficial mold" business is a hard line to cross. I'll likely grab the Bertolli book and check the Grigson book out from the CPL to see if I can deal with the lack of gram measurements.
  • Post #7 - April 20th, 2010, 8:14 pm
    Post #7 - April 20th, 2010, 8:14 pm Post #7 - April 20th, 2010, 8:14 pm
    Bertolli is the one chefs usually reference. The Eckhouses, of La Quercia, did their first prosciutto with Kathy holding the book open reading aloud, and Herb cutting and salting the ham.

    That said, I've made three things out of it, and all three had something in common: a much stronger clove flavor than I would have liked. I don't know if it's because I just don't like clove as much as he does, or because I got an especially pungent jar at Whole Foods, or what. But it's happened on three different things (coppa, sopressata, a cured baked ham).

    Incidentally, I bought mine used, and didn't notice until after I'd had it a few months that it was actually autographed. Cool, though it didn't stop me propping it up amid the mess as I worked...
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #8 - April 20th, 2010, 8:29 pm
    Post #8 - April 20th, 2010, 8:29 pm Post #8 - April 20th, 2010, 8:29 pm
    msmre,

    That lamb pancetta looks absolutely brilliant. Where did you get the lamb belly?

    Thanks for the great pics and info.

    H
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #9 - April 20th, 2010, 9:20 pm
    Post #9 - April 20th, 2010, 9:20 pm Post #9 - April 20th, 2010, 9:20 pm
    MIke G,

    That is great luck to get an autographed copy used. I am having a hard enough time finding one new locally. I am close to ordering one used from Amazon. Good to know about the clove flavor profiles. I'll adjust accordingly.

    Habibi,

    I got the lamb belly from Slagel Farms. I had gotten pork belly, jowls, and fatback from them a few times in the past and have nothing, but great things to say about them. The lamb belly was just what I was looking for. On the belly came the ribs, some lamb skirt steak, and enough lamb belly to make this pancetta and some bacon.

    Image
  • Post #10 - April 22nd, 2010, 7:14 pm
    Post #10 - April 22nd, 2010, 7:14 pm Post #10 - April 22nd, 2010, 7:14 pm
    In an effort to step away from the Ruhlman book, I took on the salmon rillettes recipe from Bouchon by Thomas Keller. The recipe is relatively simple for a Thomas Keller recipe (I used only 1 steamer, 1 bowl, and 4-5 ramekins and did not strain anything). In place of the pernod, I used homemade anisette, but everything else was easy to find. Lox, shallots, egg yolk, olive oil, butter, and creme fraiche. The rillettes have a great smooth texture and a light taste that is slightly milder than lox.

    The big advantage to this recipe is that you can make this and serve it in the same day.

    Image
  • Post #11 - May 2nd, 2010, 8:37 pm
    Post #11 - May 2nd, 2010, 8:37 pm Post #11 - May 2nd, 2010, 8:37 pm
    Had some really good luck with making alternative hams lately with

    Tasso
    Image
    w/ Pimento cheese and pickled okra
    Image

    and

    Duck Ham
    Image

    The duck ham is more hammy than I expected. Tastes like country ham, but with a slightly more rich quality. Texture is also very ham-like.
  • Post #12 - May 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
    Post #12 - May 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm Post #12 - May 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
    I have Ruhlman's charcuterie book and haven't experimented with some of the dry cured stuff (i.e. pancetta, salami, etc) b/c I am worried about the dry curing process. Do you guys just hang the meat in a basement or do you have some sort of curing chamber? I have read online about ways to rig up a curing chamber and when I have more space, I will eventually get around to building something like that to control both temperature and humidity. Anyway, I was just looking for tips on how to make pancetta at home without a proper curing chamber.
  • Post #13 - May 7th, 2010, 3:50 pm
    Post #13 - May 7th, 2010, 3:50 pm Post #13 - May 7th, 2010, 3:50 pm
    In colder months, I hang meat downstairs in a cold corner. It rarely gets above 60 before June, so I feel that it is pretty safe.

    In the summer, I use an old beer fridge on its warmest settings, but I put some water in a bowl at the bottom to keep humidity levels a little higher than a fridge would normally have. I also put salt in the water to keep it from going bad.
  • Post #14 - May 8th, 2010, 10:51 pm
    Post #14 - May 8th, 2010, 10:51 pm Post #14 - May 8th, 2010, 10:51 pm
    msmre wrote:
    In the summer, I use an old beer fridge on its warmest settings,


    When raw hams went on sale last October, I thought I would try to make some Prosciutto. I too have a beer fridge and with the weather warming up, placed my two hope to be hams inside. On my fridge's lowest setting the temperature inside is 45 degrees. Somebody told me that 60 degrees would be better ??

    In the past, I lagered my homemade beers in this fridge and employed a Johnson Controls Temperature Controller.
    ( http://morebeer.com/view_product/16663/ ... Controller )

    With this flexibility, what temperature would be the best to set it to??

    Ron
  • Post #15 - May 13th, 2010, 9:11 am
    Post #15 - May 13th, 2010, 9:11 am Post #15 - May 13th, 2010, 9:11 am
    My understanding is that optimally you want temps between 55 and 60. I keep the fridge that I am using at 55 and that seems to work.
  • Post #16 - May 14th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    Post #16 - May 14th, 2010, 4:21 pm Post #16 - May 14th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    Inspired by the successes of Dr. Shoebock's curing I've been experimenting a bit with curing lately (using Ruhlman's book as a guide). Recently I did a variation on Guanciale where I hung it for about 2 weeks after curing and then gave it a short smoke (1.5 hr.s) at about 175-80. It turned out REALLY well, I wish pigs had larger cheeks and jowls.

    Image

    Image


    I'm going to be doing some bacon pretty soon and was wondering what places in the city carry pink salt? I tried Paulina last week but they were out.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #17 - May 14th, 2010, 4:37 pm
    Post #17 - May 14th, 2010, 4:37 pm Post #17 - May 14th, 2010, 4:37 pm
    Attrill wrote:I'm going to be doing some bacon pretty soon and was wondering what places in the city carry pink salt? I tried Paulina last week but they were out.

    The Spice House (GNR thread)

    The Spice House (web site)

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #18 - May 17th, 2010, 10:40 am
    Post #18 - May 17th, 2010, 10:40 am Post #18 - May 17th, 2010, 10:40 am
    Attrill,

    The smoked jowl looks great. I'd love to see a picture once the jowl has cooled off. The fat content looks spectacular.
  • Post #19 - May 18th, 2010, 1:29 pm
    Post #19 - May 18th, 2010, 1:29 pm Post #19 - May 18th, 2010, 1:29 pm
    So I made a big batch of sausage last week and there was a small, but perfect, piece of pork butt left over. Rubbed it with a simple dry cure of salt, dextrose, and Instacure. Hot smoked until tender (sliceable, not pullable) with pecan/oak fire this morning. "Ham" this way is so much tastier and juicier than the commercial stuffed pumped full of water and junk. Made sandwiches with freshly baked focaccia with the fixings. Smoked yam puree on the side.

    Image

    Image

    Image
  • Post #20 - May 19th, 2010, 9:22 am
    Post #20 - May 19th, 2010, 9:22 am Post #20 - May 19th, 2010, 9:22 am
    Great pictures Bill/SFNM. That ham looks ridiculous. Is there a reason that you aren't smoking directly on the grill grates? I am smoking some shoulder on Friday and thought that your way might be a good way to catch rendered fat.
  • Post #21 - May 19th, 2010, 10:20 am
    Post #21 - May 19th, 2010, 10:20 am Post #21 - May 19th, 2010, 10:20 am
    msmre wrote:Great pictures Bill/SFNM. That ham looks ridiculous. Is there a reason that you aren't smoking directly on the grill grates? I am smoking some shoulder on Friday and thought that your way might be a good way to catch rendered fat.


    I usually smoke directly on the grates (there is a big pan under the grate to catch drippings. The way I did it yesterday is just easier to clean-up.

    Just to add a additional comment about the taste of this "ham" which IMO has a totally different flavor profile than that of most commercial stuff which is often smoked using smoldering sawdust. For me, smoke from a small, hot fire is very different from than that of smoldering sawdust or chips or chunks. The taste imparted by smoke from a live fire gives a much cleaner and, to me, a vastly superior flavor to the meat. It seems to bring out the sweet porky goodness.
  • Post #22 - May 27th, 2010, 9:31 pm
    Post #22 - May 27th, 2010, 9:31 pm Post #22 - May 27th, 2010, 9:31 pm
    I didn't have a great idea where to post this. It could have gone in Smoke Meat Everyday or Fun with Leftovers. As to not completely infuriate the BBQ purists, I thought that this would be a fine place to put it.

    Basically, I used the basic rillettes method of whipping fat and stock into slow cooked meat and used it for a BBQ Pork Shoulder. While smoking the pork shoulder, a pan was used to catch the drippings below. At 6 hours, I removed the drippings from the smoker and cooled it to separate the fat. Just before the shoulder was ready, I added 1/4 cup of the fat to 1/4 cup of pork stock made from previously smoked shoulder bones on low heat.

    Directly after completing the smoke, I took about a cup of the pulled pork and whipped it in a stand mixer, finally adding enough of the fat/stock mixture to create a texture that was rillettes-like. After cooling the mixture in a jar, I sealed it with the remainder of the smoked fat.
    Image

    I served it with some slaw and carolina gold sauce. Originally, I did this to see if I could preserve the smoked pork a little longer than normal without freezing it. The result was very cool. Smooth texture with crunchy little edge bits and a really smoky flavor. The downside was that my experiment to see if we could preserve BBQ this way basically failed because we finished the rillettes 2 days after the party with regular pork leftovers to spare in the fridge.
    Image
  • Post #23 - May 28th, 2010, 6:13 am
    Post #23 - May 28th, 2010, 6:13 am Post #23 - May 28th, 2010, 6:13 am
    msmre wrote:we finished the rillettes 2 days after the party with regular pork leftovers to spare in the fridge.
    Not sure it would have lasted a day in my house. Looks delicious, very imaginative, can't wait to give it a try.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - May 28th, 2010, 9:13 am
    Post #24 - May 28th, 2010, 9:13 am Post #24 - May 28th, 2010, 9:13 am
    msmre wrote:Basically, I used the basic rillettes method of whipping fat and stock into slow cooked meat and used it for a BBQ Pork Shoulder. While smoking the pork shoulder, a pan was used to catch the drippings below. At 6 hours, I removed the drippings from the smoker and cooled it to separate the fat. Just before the shoulder was ready, I added 1/4 cup of the fat to 1/4 cup of pork stock made from previously smoked shoulder bones on low heat.

    Directly after completing the smoke, I took about a cup of the pulled pork and whipped it in a stand mixer, finally adding enough of the fat/stock mixture to create a texture that was rillettes-like. After cooling the mixture in a jar, I sealed it with the remainder of the smoked fat.


    Thanks! You just doomed me to another holiday weekend hanging out with my smoker :D. Looks great and I'm still drooling over the lamb belly too.
  • Post #25 - June 8th, 2010, 9:48 am
    Post #25 - June 8th, 2010, 9:48 am Post #25 - June 8th, 2010, 9:48 am
    Now that it is smoking weather and had 3 lbs. of flat left unused, pastrami seemed like a natural choice. A week later and neighbors inviting themselves for lunch, none of it is left. The Ruhlman recipe is really great, but my only qualm is that the rub of black pepper and coriander is really light. I added juniper berries, but I'd likely double the amounts or change it up altogether next time.

    Right off of the smoker
    Image

    On Rye with some Koops.
    Image
  • Post #26 - June 8th, 2010, 9:57 am
    Post #26 - June 8th, 2010, 9:57 am Post #26 - June 8th, 2010, 9:57 am
    Crack it more in a grinder and it will go further... or just use more. Since there's very little on each slice, you can really heavy it up on the outside, I think.

    Mmm, pastrami. Nice pics.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #27 - June 18th, 2010, 11:51 am
    Post #27 - June 18th, 2010, 11:51 am Post #27 - June 18th, 2010, 11:51 am
    Has anyone ever cured and smoked a pork loin, a la kassler rippchen? I'm considering embarking on this adventure and was looking for any advice as to curing time, smoking method etc...
  • Post #28 - June 18th, 2010, 12:12 pm
    Post #28 - June 18th, 2010, 12:12 pm Post #28 - June 18th, 2010, 12:12 pm
    I did one last fall, talked about it a little bit here: viewtopic.php?p=283473#p283473

    I recommend either a long pre-smoke soak to get some salt out after the cure (I believe I brined mine for about 4 days) or doing what I did, a brief smoke to get some smoke flavor into it and then finishing it by braising. Otherwise it would be pretty salty.

    I only did it that one time though so I don't nearly qualify as an expert
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #29 - June 18th, 2010, 12:42 pm
    Post #29 - June 18th, 2010, 12:42 pm Post #29 - June 18th, 2010, 12:42 pm
    Hi,

    I cured peameal bacon (recipe/method here), which is favored in Canada. I took a pork loin, then prepared a rub of 1 tablespoon Morton's Tender Quick and 1 teaspoon brown sugar per pound of pork. I massaged it in, then let it rest in the refrigerator turning once a day.

    I put all the pork into one bag to cure together. I think I made a small error. Instead of just flipping the bag, I should have rotated the pieces. I see there is a pink border where the loins touched each other in the bag. I have a feeling this peameal bacon is partially uncured. I am thinking there is still a chance it is cured completely, but the pink section not exposed to air didn't oxidize. Crossing my fingers.

    I took the loins out this morning, rinsed them, then return them to the refrigerator to rest in cool water for an hour. I removed, dried and rolled each loin in cornmeal. They are back resting in the refrigerator until I slice and fry them later tonight.

    These will be served with real maple syrup, which makes anything taste swell.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #30 - July 14th, 2010, 8:40 am
    Post #30 - July 14th, 2010, 8:40 am Post #30 - July 14th, 2010, 8:40 am
    Cathy2,

    How did the peameal bacon turn out? I am thinking of making a batch of Canadian Bacon for a farewell party for a friend moving back to Ontario and if peameal is the way to go, I may switch.

    Also, recently made a batch of chorizo from Bayless's Mexico: One Plate at a Time. A worthy venture. In my opinion, much of the chorizo made in supermercado's that I have visited have been made at a temp too high and the fat melts in the process. Doing it at home allowed me to control it a little more which resulted in a texture that I like better. In either regard, it made great tacos.

    Image

    Mark

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more