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Charcuterie......

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
this may belong under pork bellies but I'm athinkn' that pork bellies are braised the majority of the time for restaurant dishes.....I've got a cured bacon slab as well as pork belly coming in from a Berkshire pig fed Jersey milk....so, figured I'd go get some non-descript belly and practice prior to the good stuff showing up.
I like pancetta and I like Nueske's bacon.......I was all for letting the processor cure the belly but one of the more adventursome chefs (veal hearts in crapinettes with housemade saurkraut on potato pancake at this year's picnic, last year was braised beef cheeks with Humboldt Fog mac and cheese) asked why I didn't cure my own. Well.....making bacon and cheese appear easy until you're done and then realize that there is a real artistic nuiance to curing/making cheese.....same actually with croissants, the few times I've tried to make them the temp was either too high and melted the butter or too low for the dough to rise correctly.

So, have any of you smoked bacon/pancetta? Any suggestions? be specfic.....types of wood, smoker, length of time, cure proportions, etc....
Thanks!!!

Oh yeah, I also ordered 2" chops.....and of course the leaf lard.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 19
Shroomgirl:

Mastering the Craft of Smoking Food. This is the book just for you. I have a copy and it is quite informative concerning the art of curing:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/explorer/15...70137-2696748?

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #3 of 19
I have to second Kokopuffs recommendation. I just read this book and did a review of it for CT and thought it was great. Anyone serious about smoking and curing should check it out.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
thanks guys, I'll check it out.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 19
There is also a great book by Brian Polcwyn and Michael Ruhlman called Charcuterie, which I highly reccomend. Don't know if it specifically has any smoked bacon recipes in it, but it's a fantastic overall charcuterie book.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've also got access to a whole lotta pig heads and wanna start making French pate le tete (?).....wonder what the shelf life is on it......
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post #7 of 19
I'm fluent in French and that would be pate LA tete. (Tete is feminine in French.)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #8 of 19
:eek: Shroom'...

Bruce Aidells in his Complete Book of Pork says
"Making bacon couldn't be easier: The process consists of soaking a chunk of pork belly or other cut for a few days in a solution of salt,sugar, curing salts, and water; then it's patted dry and cold-smoked right in the backyard kettle barbecue for several hours."

He gives a detailed recipe which is only a couple paragraphs long. If you don't have the book I can write it out for you.

Mike

Wow- you're sure lucky to have access to a "whole lotta pig heads" :eek:

Don't forget to serve the eyeballs to the guest of honor. In Turkey that's a part of banquet etiquette.:(

M
travelling gourmand
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post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
You know I do have Adeill's book......wonder what he's doin' since he sold the sausage biz. His wife owns/chef at Blvd. in SF. I remember reading about him YEARS ago when he started up his sausage shop in Berkley (or SF?).....I just loved the story of the scientist that went to Europe fell in love with charcuterie and decided for a mid-life career change into artisan food making.
Ending up in Berkley (or SF?) with Acme bakery, Alice Waters....several people that were making interesting food at that time.

Remember I have access to just about any cut of any critters I want. I've got alot of farmer buddies. Pig heads are not a high demand item, and the processors usually have to pay to be rid of them.....
I had the "joy" of recieving goat gonads as a gift from a chevre maker....passed them right along to a friend that will make some great braised dish for a mutual acquaintance. It was a hoot calling up a variety of cooking buddies to find out how to cook them. One Mexican said either they can be chewy or braised to the point of mush....but use alot of red wine to cut the muskiness.

:)
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 19
Shroomgirl:
Would his sausage shop have been named PIG BY THE TAIL located in Berkeley and closed its doors in the 80's? Acme Bakery was located a few miles north in Kensington and just around the corner from Narsai's Restaurant that has been long shuttered, I believe.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #11 of 19

Home cured bacon and Pigs' Ears recipes

From a BBQ wesbite thread on makin' bacon:

Start with fresh pork bellies. I cured mine in batches about 2 pounds each with the skin still on but the ribs removed. These are modified from the book Charcuterie by Ruhlman & Polcyn and by no means perfect. Feel free to add to the recipe and make it better.

Maple Cured Bacon

Trim your belles so they are pretty square. Mix 1/4 cup Morton Tenderquick with 1/2 cup of maple syrup (at this point i did add some honey and brown suger too). Mix it up and put in a nonreactive container (I use ziploc bags. See below the garlic recipe for further instructions.

Garlic Cured

It takes around 1/4 cup for a large chunk, but what is needed it taking Morton Tenderquick and Laying the peice on it. Then take the peice and do it on all the surfaces . Tap it lightly anthing that stays on is enough. Then add 4-6 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of crushed peppercorns, and two crushed bay leaves. Spread the mixture over the belly and add to the bag.

Put bags in the fridge and flip every other day for 7 days.

Remove and rinse the bellies.

Let them air dry (I skipped this last time due to being in a hurry still turned out good).

Fire up the smoker. I used two midsized (slighlty less than baseball sized) chunks of apple.

Smoke them till they reach 150 degrees. I did mine at a lid temp of 200 degrees.

Pull off the smoker and remove the skin while they are still hot. Slice off a bit and sample your creation!

This book recommends frying a small peice to see if it's too salty. If you think it is it recommends blanching the bacon in simmering water for 1 minute to reduce the saltiness.

Fry the bacon. If your cure had a lot of sugar such as the maple cured or honey you wil want to fry your bacon on a lower heat so the sugar doesn't burn.

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And one for "Galician Pigs' Ears" from a U.S. transplant to Spain:

Here we go, pigs' ears for four. Good, cheap eatin´.

Ingredients:

2 pigs' ears
1 onion
1 sprig parsley
Water
Virgen olive oil
Hot paprika, preferably the smoked Spanish kind. (If you only have sweet paprika, add some cayenne to it.)
Kosher salt

Instructions:

Cover the ears, the onion and the parsley with water. Cook in a pressure cooker for about 12 minutes from the time steam starts to come out of the valve or, if you're using a regular pot, for about 30 minutes from the time the water starts to boil.

Take the ears out of the pot and cut them in two-inch strips. Serve them (traditionally on a wooden plate) sprinkled with some of the Kosher salt, the paprika and the olive oil.
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H.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you Henry! I love maple bacon.....sweet salty crunchy chewy....yummmmm

Would his sausage shop have been named PIG BY THE TAIL located in Berkeley and closed its doors in the 80's? Acme Bakery was located a few miles north in Kensington and just around the corner from Narsai's Restaurant that has been long shuttered, I believe.

Not sure what the name of the sausage shop was....funny story about Narsai's. My mother, brother and I used to travel....dining as we went. As a teenager I got to pick a restaurant on our trip to SF gotta be late 70's. I chose Narsai David. My younger by 15 mos. brother sat and listened to the litany of aps spewed by the waiter. After asking him to repeat the offerings, my cherub brother asked him if they didn't have anything other than innerds.
I was soooo embarrassed, now it seems hilarious....poor kid, hauled to a fine dining restaurant and everything is non-familiar and virtually pretty gross sounding. Aw, well I do it to his children now.....they wanna know if Aunt Julie is going to take them to a restaurant with snails or other "weird" food.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #13 of 19
It's actually "Fromage de tête de porc"
http://www.marmiton.org/recettes/rec...m_recette=7863

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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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Chris Ward
 
http://eatsleepcookschool.wordpress.com - The true story of the year I spent learning how to be a professional cook at catering school in Avignon, Provence, while working as a dishwasher.
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post #14 of 19
Charcuterie by Polcyn and Ruhlman is a good working book. It is said to be written for the ambitious home cook. The batches are easily expanded and is very useful for the medium sized pro kitchen. Highly recomended. Plan on doing sausage as well. It is easy and versatile (no you don't want to stuff a batch using nothing but a pastry bag)
I also have a book from the French series on Profesional Charcuterie (by Marcel Cottenceau) which contains many old-school (aka aspic galore)techniques. You should see the old banquet pig's heads in this book. They are glazed and stuffed with varieties of pates formed in leaf lard to make decorative paterns. This is a hard to come by book (aka $$$). I would work-out a loaner agreement with you, but this is bad timing. I am currently establishing my charcuterie program in the kitchen. Remind me in a few months if you are interested.
I do have a few dozen files in my charcuterie folder. Contact me if you would like me to email them to you.
I have cured pork bellies in the past. It is easy. Not any harder than curing a side of salmon (just takes longer). I never fine-tuned the smoking for the bacon. I found that the cheap bellies I had in stock were not worth the effort(although having salt pork in the freezer is handy). I am going to bring in bellies from a local farmer for my next run. Pancetta is just as easy but you must hang it to develop the flavor (no smoke). I do not have a controlled environment to do so, so I have not attempted it. Lack of humidity might be a problem here.
I have ducks coming in tomorow for confit, sausage, and stock.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
I just found out that my chicken guy has been selling feet for stock.....where have I been?!!!
Also have access to local ducks, how cool is that?
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post #16 of 19
Shroom'-
Re your goat gonads recipe...

"...but use alot of red wine to cut the muskiness." :crazy:

I would use a HE*L of a lot of red wine, but mainly on me.

Mike
travelling gourmand
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post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm one of the few anglos that eat tripa tacos at the tacqueria....and cold tendon at the Chinese banquets.

The gonads were a definate surprise, both in getting them and their size. These were young goats, gotta be 20 some odd pounds, the gonads were alittle bigger in diameter than a golf ball. Personally, I'm not eating them. Or at least I have no intention of eating them...they were gifted to a chef that makes incredible charcuterie and who did me a huge favor by teaching a farmer-chef class.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm putting together a networking event on Mon, Oct. 23....farmers and chefs, potluck at a restaurant.....afterwards having a continuing ed piggy bits and pieces class.....get some of the guys to show us how to make sausages, hams, possibly bacon or pancetta, ears.....

Most if not all of the guys are used to working with the farmers a large percentage buy whole critters now and then.....usually lambs....pigs are a large commitment unless they are getting little ones which are hugely exspensive.

figure we'll start around 4:30 finish potluck and farmer networking by 7pm then move on to piggy parts.

Thoughts? What would you find valuable to learn?
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Interesting shtuff from the guys.

The request is for raw belly with skin on and some loin to taste
What the pigs ate
How big they were when butchered
Genetics
How to make buying a whole pig fiscally feasible (even for a white linen restaurant)
I wanna know how to clean the offal when it shows up from the processor in a plastic baggy. How to work with the head.....

We've got berkshire, berkshire fed jersey milk, a couple of heirloom mutts, possibly red wattle and ossabow.......should be a fun night.
One of the guys is making bacon foam, one is showing us how to cure ham,
make stuffed bacon, another is making lardo.....I'm making leaf lard pies.....
should be a fun time.
cooking with all your senses.....
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