Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sorry folks, i'm on a mini hiatus

As you can see, the last post was quite a while ago. Sorry about that. I also wanted to let readers know that for at least another couple of months I most likely won't be doing much of any curing.

Certain events have taken over all my weekend time, and let's face it, cured meats are pretty low on the priority list of life events.

thanks, and i hope you keep an eye on the blog. Hope to be back to posting soon enough.

67 comments:

Jon in Albany said...

Hope all is well. I've enjoyed going through you past posts and look forward to seeing what you do in the future.

scott said...

Hey, Jason, take care of your business. I'll try to pick up some of your slack. Although, I don't think I stack up. Come visit me often!

dmjnola said...

Hope all is well Jason. Thank you for all of the guidance and inspiration.

David

Elie said...

Hope all is well. See you soon.

Larbo said...

Jason, I'll overlook the heresy that would put cured meats "pretty low on the priority list of life events" and join everyone in wishing you the best and hoping all is well.

Don't be a stranger! Cured meats has brought you a lot of friends out here.

jasonmolinari said...

Thanks everyone for the wishes.
I'll keep reading everyone's blogs for new and exciting things for me to try when i get back into it!

Kelly said...

Sad to hear you're not posting anymore because I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm just starting to get interested in curing meat. I'll have to enjoy your old posts.

Jasonmolinari said...

I'll get back to posting soon enough. Birth of my daughter has left no time. I wonder when i can feed her some salame:)

dmjnola said...

Jason,

First: Congratulations on the new addition!

Second: Fear not. As the father of twin girls, I have found that sausage-making and meat curing is one of the hobbies that I can most easily fit into my schedule.

I can make 10 lbs of chaurice and clean up the kitchen during their afternoon nap.

After they go to bed at 7:30, I can mix up a cure for bresaola.

You just need to hang on through the first few months, then you'll be fine.

David

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks David. Hope to have some time soon. I'm runnign very short of salame!

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks David. Hope to have some time soon. I'm runnign very short of salame!

Bill said...

Well, I had feared the worst ~ Job loss or the like :O Congrats on your new addition! They change your life in many ways. LOL Good ways ;~) Hope to see you back at it soon. Maybe, you can sneak a pic of your little girl in your next post :)

Take care,

Bill

Jhon said...

Hope every thing go good. Hope to have some time soon.
Thanks for sharing...

--
Jhon
Are you scared to be alone at home need security

robv said...

I finally got my sausage curing chamber up and running after wracking my non-technical brain on how to get the Love thermal control working correctly. After taking it to one of my engineering friend Professors at Rochester Institute of Technology, it is now wired and ready to fire.

This morning I assembled everything to make my first batch of three different salamis - Tuscan Salami (Ruhlman/Polcyn), Spanish Chorizo (Molinari), and Salume Brianza (Molinari).....got the meats and spices all portioned out and partially froze the meat and grinder parts. THEN, when I started it all up, the grinder knife broke in two pieces! Darn!

I'll go to Bass Pro Shop tomorrow to buy a new blade and start it over tomorrow. Such is the life of a Charcuterist.

Larbo said...

robv, the grinder knife breaking might just be due to a flaw, but I can't help wondering if putting it and the rest of the grinder in the freezer made it more brittle.

I know, I know, Ruhlman and others tell you to freeze your grinder, but I think this is bad advice. If all the parts of your grinder are freezing cold, then anything the least bit wet (such as meat) will freeze and stick to it instead of passing through Think tongue and frozen flagpole.

Try just refrigerating the grinder. That's good enough and much safer!

robv said...

larbo - thanks for the input. I think you are right that the freezing brittled up the steel, and the "tongue on flagpole" reference brought back some traumatic memories (from my fortieth birthday!).

I'll g the refrigeration route tomorrow when I grind and stuff.

Jasonmolinari said...

RobV, could also be that you froze the meat way too hard?

I never even chill my grinder parts, just chill the meat very well, until slightly crunchy, but not rock hard.

Larbo said...

As Jason says, meat temperature is also very important. Too frozen and firm and any grinder will have trouble with it. After a while, you get a feel for what your grinder can handle.

Back when I was using the Kitchen Aid grinder, I stuck it in the freezer between batches. I thought I had given it enough time to thaw before grinding the second batch, but must not have, because when I turned the mixer on, the plastic housing exploded dramatically, spraying plastic and metal bits, as well as semi-frozen meat, everywhere!

robv said...

All is good in river city - - went out and bought a new knife for the grinder and managed to make all three types of salami today: Tuscan, Brianza, and Sp. Chorizo.

Removed all the air and sprayed with mold and am now waiting for mother nature and "the miracle cure" to take effect.

Curing box appears to be working just dandy and tomorrow I have to cleanse my cheese cave (third refrigerator) to hang the meat for the next couple of months. This should be interesting --> I'll report back with results, good or bad. Rob

Jasonmolinari said...

Rob, please do keep us updated with teh progress. I hope they turn out well!

scott said...

OK, Jason. Time to get back on the horse. Throw some salted belly in the fridge or something. Put your helmet on, get in the game.

Jasonmolinari said...

You're right scott! I need to at least make something that doesn't take much effort like a bresaola or a coppa or something that doesn't take all day grinding and stuffing.

Maybe a lamb prosciutto...haven't made one of those in a long long while...yes...that's next!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog today. I started a single Lonza this past Sunday and after 4 days it is getting firm. I sliced a thin piece off the large end of the loin and it seems to be about half cured. Yesterday I went near Helen and bought a lamb, and started a lamb prosciutto tonight. I am thinking of starting a bresaola and some South African "Biltong" tomorrow. I am new to this, but thought I would dive in!
davedellinger@yahoo.com

Jasonmolinari said...

Sounds great Dave! Sounds like you jumped right into the deep end!

Anonymous said...

I'm not on Google so I have to post "anonymous".
Do you use casings on everything? Mold too?
With the ziplock, aren't you actually using a brine rather than dry curing? I wonder how this changes the process. By keeping it enclosed, you aren't gaining any of the drying that an open cure adds to the process.But I don't know if there is any perfect way as long as the final result is delicious.
Please, anyone feel free to email me and discuss methods.
Dave
BTW, after 4 days I took some thin slices from the pork loin, and cooked since it wasn't cured yet. It tastes exactly like nice southern country ham. I am not sure how long to leave the meat curing in the salt mixture, but my gut is telling me the inner half will take longer than the first half, so I am thinking two weeks total.

robv said...

After three weeks in the curing/drying chamber, the nine salami I stuffed on September 14th are drying down pretty nicely.
I've been having a tough time controlling humidity since the old refrigerator I'm using to cure is NOT frost-free and consequently it builds up lots of moisture inside. Fortunately the nights are cooling off here in Rochester so I can just unplug the fridge and throw open the door and let the meat enjoy 50 degree coolness and 70 percent humidity.
All nine salami have dropped between 28% to 38% of their weight - the smaller Brianza more and the larger Tuscan less but all in all, they look good.
The white mold is still there doing it's protective thing and the early bit of green mold I saw on the Tuscans is completely gone, overrun by the white stuff.
I figure two to three more weeks and I'll cut into one if them for a tasting. More to follow.

Jasonmolinari said...

Dave, the first part of the "dry cure" is the curing, which, as you say can be sort of a brine situation once the salt pulls out the moisture from the meat. Some recipes/methods call to dump out this exuded water, but i never do. The "dry" portion is step 2, where you let the meat dry out.
as for how long a loin takes to cure, it depends on the thickness and other factors, but 10-14 days should be about right.


rob, sounds like you're almost ready to chow down on some tasty treats!

Anonymous said...

I hope to hear how Rob's turns out.

Jason, I have been draining mine of the liquid daily at first, but now very little liquid is coming off. I kept a lid on the tupperware the first few days, but now I am leaving it open in the fridge. It is a typical pork loin, about 4" thick and 6" wide on the big end. I plan to wash the excess salt at the 2 week point and then hang to dry. I am an hour north of you, but weather should be about the same. How long do you think it should dry? I don't have an accurate way to weigh it.

I left the bone in my lamb leg, should it be a problem? I poured the liquid from it the first couple days too, but it is much drier than the pork loin bought at Publix. My gut feeling is to go a month in the salt, then probably 6 months hanging. I don't know if I will be able to wait long enough on either before I want to try them.
Have you done anything with deer or wild hog?
Dave

Jasonmolinari said...

Dave, how long it'll take to dry depends very much on the environment you're drying it in. At 55 deg. F and 70% humidity it normally takes about 25 or so days.

I've made the lamb prosciutto with and without the bone, and i preferred it boneless. I think for bone in, about 3 weeks in salt/cure sounds about right, i'd have to look at my notes. Actually, if you go to Len Poli's page he has my recipe and method in his formulations page for a bone in lamb prosciutto.

I have not done any wild hog or deer as i'm not a hunter. Wish i had some!

Anonymous said...

On the next lamb I will debone then. Unless this one comes out better than I expect. I got the idea from the Batali Salumi website, and was buying lamb anyway.
I'll have to find this Len Poli, not familiar with him.
I'm not a hunter either, but the idea of free meat is tempting.
Dave

Jasonmolinari said...

Dave, the link to Len's page is in my useful links section on the right.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't find it in his "formulations" page. Maybe I missed it or it is gone.
Anyway, I'll let it cure for a while and then dry it.
But after reading through his site and yours, I really want to try some type of sausage/salami again.

Jasonmolinari said...

Dave, here is the link:
http://lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/Prosciutto-lamb.pdf

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason, by chance that is what I am doing, except this lamb was really lean and I didn't do any trimming. As it has shrunk, I keep pressing the salt crust back into the meat, and I flip it every few days so the bottom stays coated and the ends too. As the liquid has drained from the meat, it tends to carry off some of the salt mix, so I am doing my best to keep it drained and coated.
Same with my pork loin, although after nearly two weeks there is very little liquid draining. It really poured out of the pork the first few days, but it came packed in a sealed bag with liquid.
I am not using any prepackaged cure or nitrates, so it will be interesting to see how it comes out.
I'll update Sunday after I rinse the pork.
I hate cold weather, but for hanging the meat I wish it was colder...

robv said...

So, today I couldn't wait any longer and cut into one of the two Tuscan Salami that I made from the Ruhlman's/Polcyn's Charcuterie book.

I stuffed them four weeks ago and both have lost about 32% - 34% of their weight curing in the garage refrigerator. The weather has been cooling off so I left the door open most of the time with temperatures in the mid-fifties and humidity around 66% - 78% during that time.

The white mold did its job admirably and the green mold that appeared at the outset was totally engulfed by the white spores.

Net, the texture is very good and the taste - IMHO - is pretty darn good for a first try at salami. The color is nice and pink but there is a quarter inch darker band around the perimeter, probably due to humidity variations. The peppercorns are great and the salt level is pronounced but very acceptable.

Now I'm eyeballing the three Spanish Chorizo and four Salami di Brianza just waiting for a knife, some cheese, and a baguette.

Yum!!

Kooper said...

Cure#2
I am new to the blog and new to curing meats. I wanted to try your Pancetta recipe but I do not know where to get Cure#2. I read your posting on cure and why it is necessary. Would a good butcher carry Cure#1 and #2?

Thanks,
Bruce

Jasonmolinari said...

Bruce, unless the butcher cures their own meat, it's unlikely.

Order it from butcher-packer.com

Ken and Patricia said...

greetings, jason, from a neighbor (just east of atlanta)..

you intrigued me into building a curing chamber of my own.. i just finished installing the temp controller and humidistat (http://www.rancoetc.com/) and i am monitoring the results...it is in a detached garage, and recent cold nights forced me to utilize the dimmer controlled light (100w)..

target temp is 56 degrees with 65% RH...and i am fine tuning the lamp to getting pretty close to target...

i am attempting to control humidity with an outlandish idea... hoping to be required to replenish water less often than a humidifier, i have humidistat controlling an aquarium pump (30-60 gal) pushing air thru 2 lines plugged with stone aeration plugs...looks like alka seltzer tablets going crazy in the plastic pan filled with water..placed a low speed small fan in bottom chamber to move air around.. seems to be working...

found juniper berries at dekalb market yesterday, and almost ready to attach our first pork belly... (any tips on where to find pork bellies atlanta)

many thanks for sharing your info and knowledge...

will let you know how it goes

ken

Jasonmolinari said...

Ken, your humidification idea should work fine. I would also connect the fan to the humidistat so it's only on when the pump comes on. I'm not sure if you want a fan going 24/7.

You can easily get pork bellies at any of the asian markets on buford highway. My personal favorite is BUford Highway Farmer's Market, just outside the perimeter off the BuHi. exit on 285.

Ken and Patricia said...

jason,

that's exactly how i attached the fan....sorry i forgot to mention it...

found 1st pork belly at Lilford International Farmer's Market.. only $1.30 per pound... i saw you mentioned leaving skin on...so i did...

they now rest...all rubbed down and sealed....

anxiously waiting...tick..tock

Jasonmolinari said...

Waiting is the hard part!

Ken and Patricia said...

pancetta has a new home in brand new "curing chamber"...been monitoring and with light dimmed to 20%....maintaining 55f and 66RH...interesting how this weekend's rainy weather impacts fluctuations...it is in a detached, unheated garage...now we wait...again!!

did i see a youtube of someone with your name with a pretty cool expresso machine?

if so, where do you get your beans?

i built a coffee roaster that roasts out-of-this-world beans..with green beans (costa rica) at about $4.00 per pound...
happy to share info if interested...

this is what old retired farts do....lolol

krr02@mindspring.com

Jasonmolinari said...

Yeah, that's my espresso machine. I'm also an espresso freak. I used to also roast my own with a home made 1 lb. drum roaster, but it just got too time consuming.
I rotate between Counter Culture Coffee, Batdorf and Bronson and Caffe Fresco.

Frank said...

Hi Jason, first of all, very nice blog. I use it as my bible. I have never seen a post about prosciutto, is there one? if not can you direct me to one. In the last few days I've been busy makilng bresaole salami and sausages. I am also trying to make mortadella (you recipe. I let you know the results.
Ciao

Jasonmolinari said...

Hey Frank. Thanks for the compliments.
I do not hav ea prosciutto recipe, as i have not tackled that one yet.

Len poli (see links on my sidebar) has a couple prosciutto recipes, take a look there.

小劉 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hey Jason! Where should we look for head cheese instructions? Emile

robv said...

Re: Head cheese - - my first attempt was the recipe in Charcuterie by Ruhlman & Polcyn. Everything was fine except that in my haste to finish up I didn't boil the broth long enough to produce a truly solid gelatinous mass to hold all the porky goodness that fell off the head. Tasted fabulous despite this minor glitch.

Jasonmolinari said...

Hey Emile, i'm not sure i can help. I guess i'd follow RobV's advice and take a look at Charcuterie. I don't think there is one in "Cooking by hand"

scott said...

Cotechino time.......get cracking!

Jasonmolinari said...

Actually, you're right Scott. I have to make some for New Years!

Jon in Albany said...

If you've got 20 minutes, Michael Gebert made a nice video about making some head cheese. Here's the link. Save me a piece...

http://skyfullofbacon.com/blog/?p=91

Jasonmolinari said...

Thanks Jon, i thikn i've seen that video, but i'll definitely re-watch it!

Todd said...

Hi Jason:

I've been a fan of your blog for some time, and have created many many pounds of ham, bacon, lardo, and pancetta...

I decided to try something new.. and saw the link to the quick basturma recipe ( from Len Poli's page. )

I made it ( cured 6 days, then hung for 6 days ).. and it tastes ok ( even my wife liked it )... but to me it still feels a little unfinished in the middle.. just a tad 'soft'".

I'm assuming that hanging for another week might solve that.. but worried about the outside getting even harder than it was.

any ideas?

todd

Todd said...

Ps.. my neighbor and I did a proscuitto last year ( from a pig we purchased from a farmer and had butchered )

It cured for 30 days and hung for 14 months.. and oh my god.. was it good.

we're sourcing 4 more legs and going to cure them later this month.

( next.. on to duck and lamb proscuitto.. had them both and love them)

there's a book.. called the river cottage or something like that, that has great recipes.

cheers.

Jasonmolinari said...

Todd, it sounds like the basturma didn't stay in the cure long enough. 6 days is not very long, unless the piece is quite thin.

Any information on the prosciutto i'm sure would be appreciated, since i've had a few requests for recipes, but i've never made it. Tell us more!

Kooper said...

I have done a couple of duck procuittos and they are amazing.
Make sure you are watching your humidity or they get too dry.

Jasonmolinari said...

Yup, duck prosciutto is great. (and easy!)

Kooper said...

HELP!!
I have a bresaola drying in my basement and I noticed that it has a bit of white on the top. Is that typical? I am using the book Charcuterie the craft of salting and curing and it doesn't mention anything about mold. I did let the humidity get too high, about 72-76% for 2 days have I ruined it? Please tell me no.

Jasonmolinari said...

White mold is fine. Just brush it off with a clean scrubby.

Jasonmolinari said...

If it's directly on the meat. If you have a casing on the bresaola, leave the mold alone.

Kooper said...

Will the mold go away? Was it a one time thing because I let the humidity get to high?

Sorry for all the questions but the mold really put a damper on an already bad day.

Jasonmolinari said...

nope, it won't go away, in fact, it will likely spread. You can leave it if you have the meat cased, or just keep brushing it off.

It's actually beneficial in salame making. Look back at my previous posts, and notice that i actually spray it onto my cured meats.

The mold actually lowers the acidity, making the salame less sour, and some say adds flavor.

Kooper said...

Should I just leave it and scrape it off at the end? Can I eat it?

Thanks for all your help.

P.S. Are you thinking of ending your Hiatius?

Jasonmolinari said...

If it's directly on the meat, i would scrape it off. If its on a casing, leave it.

Honestly, i just don't have time for anything on weekends. A baby takes up 100% of your time (well, mine does at least) I do hope to get back into curing soon, i just don't know when.

robv said...

Hey Jason - why don't you start a new string/blog so we can begin (again) at the beginning.
I understand about the baby(s) - my two are nineteen and twenty two and just about out of the nest. It goes fast. Rob

Jasonmolinari said...

What do you mean Rob? You mean a comment thread?