Author Topic: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn  (Read 13490 times)

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Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2013, 02:39:33 PM »
Looks good, John. Where are you going to dry cure it after it comes out of the refrigerator?

In a wine fridge. I am using the setup you described for yours earlier in the thread.

I am really trying to figure out a larger walk-in space for dry curing, so I can do larger muscles like prosciutto. There is very little reference out there on creating such an environment. In the book "Cooking by Hand" by Paul Bertolli he describes a partially underground space open to the air, but there is not enough information or specific plans to recreate it. Plus, I don't think my neighborhood is such a good place for open air meat drying - he lives in northern California in believe.

I have access to some pretty amazing local pork. Western Mass has alot of great farms and heritage breeds.

John


Offline jeff v

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2013, 02:54:09 PM »
In a wine fridge. I am using the setup you described for yours earlier in the thread.

I am really trying to figure out a larger walk-in space for dry curing, so I can do larger muscles like prosciutto. There is very little reference out there on creating such an environment. In the book "Cooking by Hand" by Paul Bertolli he describes a partially underground space open to the air, but there is not enough information or specific plans to recreate it. Plus, I don't think my neighborhood is such a good place for open air meat drying - he lives in northern California in believe.

I have access to some pretty amazing local pork. Western Mass has alot of great farms and heritage breeds.

John


I believe Jason is a member here and his blog http://curedmeats.blogspot.com/ has some great info on curing chambers.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #62 on: February 01, 2013, 05:40:29 PM »
Failure. The belly has developed mold. This is the second time I have tried to cure meat, and it has not worked out either time. I am resigned to buying my salumi - alot less dangerous!

John

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #63 on: February 01, 2013, 06:24:23 PM »
Failure. The belly has developed mold. This is the second time I have tried to cure meat, and it has not worked out either time. I am resigned to buying my salumi - alot less dangerous!

John

So sorry to hear that, John. Please don't give up!

Do you have a photo of the mold on the belly? Seems surprising that it could be ruined so quickly if the humidity and temp were in the proper range with a little air circulation. Has the chamber ever been sterilized? I steam cleaned mine and then sprayed down the walls with Mold 600 Bactoferm (I also sprayed some directly on the salame - not on the belly). I've only observed "good" white mold.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #64 on: February 01, 2013, 08:36:56 PM »
The mold is white but it just does not look right. I need to investigate further. I will post a photo in the morning.

John

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #65 on: February 02, 2013, 07:47:24 AM »
It turns out my humidity level was WAY off. The sensor placement I had said 68%. I took it out and moved it to the bottom of the chamber, and after that it was 95%. So I aired out the chamber completely, took out all the equipment, and set a pan of saturated salt in the bottom. I have the door slightly ajar now, and temp is 55 and the humidity 72%. I am going to see how things progress with the low tech method. The mold is white and not fuzzy, so I will just see where things go.

John

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #66 on: February 02, 2013, 07:53:06 AM »
It turns out my humidity level was WAY off. The sensor placement I had said 68%. I took it out and moved it to the bottom of the chamber, and after that it was 95%. So I aired out the chamber completely, took out all the equipment, and set a pan of saturated salt in the bottom. I have the door slightly ajar now, and temp is 55 and the humidity 72%. I am going to see how things progress with the low tech method. The mold is white and not fuzzy, so I will just see where things go.

John

Glad you're back on track, John. You might want to wipe down the surface of the belly with some vinegar just in case there are lingering spores of something undesirable.

Offline Qarl

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #67 on: February 02, 2013, 10:45:05 AM »
Can anyone share a pic of their drying chamber if they built one (i.e., aren't using just a cool basement)?

I'm looking for ideas. 

I have the book mentioned by the OP and several others and all of the casings and salts and equipment. I just need to built out the drying/curing chamber as I'm in warm and humid Florida.


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #68 on: February 02, 2013, 03:17:14 PM »
Can anyone share a pic of their drying chamber if they built one (i.e., aren't using just a cool basement)?

In my garage - the small wine cooler on the left is for fermenting/proofing bread and pizza dough. The taller wine cooler on the right is for dry curing. There is a small, slow fan on the very bottom shelf. On the lowest wooden shelf is a humidifier. Hanging from the middle wooden shelf is the controller for the humidifier (and the jowl that is curing for guanciale).
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 06:18:42 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Qarl

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #69 on: February 02, 2013, 06:05:24 PM »
Thanks. 

Quick question.  I know the fan circulates the air to keep it from getting stagnant...  But, do you open the door regularly to get fresh air in/out?  If so, how often?

I have an upright fridge that I'm going to modify with a Johnson Control external thermostat over-ride and I have a humidistat and humidifier to control the humidity on the interior... and of course, a fan.







Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #70 on: February 02, 2013, 06:18:16 PM »

Quick question.  I know the fan circulates the air to keep it from getting stagnant...  But, do you open the door regularly to get fresh air in/out?  If so, how often?


I briefly open the door at least once per day just to check on the status and admire the curing meat. The door is always slightly open (<1/16") due to the power cables for the fan and humidifier. I only run the fan for the first few days since that is when the most moisture is being released from the meat. I could drill an access hole for the power cables, but it turns out this setup works beyond my expectations in maintaining the perfect humidity and temp.  
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 06:41:25 PM by Bill/SFNM »

Offline Qarl

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #71 on: February 04, 2013, 11:59:36 PM »
I started converting my upright freezer this evening.  I have my Johnson Controls installed and its running around 60 degrees.  I can set it to whatever I want.

Tomorrow I get power to the inside and I can wire the humidistat and fan

Muhahahahaha

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #72 on: February 09, 2013, 10:32:14 AM »
I pulled one of the bellies today with 30% weight loss. I will leave the other in for another week - maybe two. The white mold was brushed off and I wiped them down with vinegar. No more mold came back once I got the humidity at 65%. I fried some up to test and it tastes phenomenal, probably the best pancetta I have ever eaten. I want the other belly to dry out more to see what the difference will be in texture.

Next up will be guanciale, and hopefully what I have learned here will result in a better/smoother cure process. Thanks to Bill for spurring my interest!

John

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #73 on: February 09, 2013, 10:52:05 AM »
Sensazionale!!!!

Looks like the belly you started with was excellent. Glad it worked out for you. Have you tried a raw thin slice?

Offline deb415611

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #74 on: February 09, 2013, 10:52:39 AM »
beautiful John!


Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #75 on: February 09, 2013, 12:48:24 PM »
Thank you Deb and Bill.

I have not tried a raw slice - I am little concerned about that. I think after I get the cure perfect for the full duration I will be ready try some crudo.

I left the skin on and it is hard as a rock. The book urges you to do so, but I am thinking next time I won't.

John

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #76 on: February 09, 2013, 05:42:12 PM »
I made a quick dough so I could top it with pork belly. The porky flavor and subtle herb note is ridiculously addicting. I will probably have it with pasta tomorrow night.

John

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2013, 05:52:48 PM »
I wish I could think of words that would adequately describe how good that looks.
Pizza is not bread.

Offline Qarl

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2013, 06:00:08 PM »
So my 14 cubic foot upright freezer is working and humidifying... now to make the fermentation chamber to get warm temps and high humidity for fermented sausages...

I have everything else... :)


Offline trosenberg

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #79 on: February 10, 2013, 06:39:06 PM »
That is some seriously good looking meat.  You are inspiring me to pursue another hobby. Making pizza, curing meat, sous vide, drinking wine, growing vegetables... How the hell am I supposed to find time for work ?
Trosenberg