Author Topic: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn  (Read 19873 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #50 on: December 24, 2012, 02:39:51 PM »
So much for no more pancetta posts. This pancetta recipe is worth the price of admission for the Salumi book. I tried to get the best, freshest pork belly I could - in this case from a Red Wattle pig. The pancetta is so intensely porky and the fat so unctuous. There is nothing about the flavor that would prevent it from being used in this ramen dish I made that calls for braised pork belly. Just before serving, I places slices of pancetta in the shoyu-based broth to heat it through. This is one of the best dishes I have served all year.

 


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #51 on: January 17, 2013, 06:38:47 PM »
Status update:

Pancetta Tessa: Incredibly delicious and easy. I must have used this in a few dozen recipes. All gone. I never did get around to cold smoking a piece after dry curing for bacon. I've got another beautiful belly in the freezer that will be cured soon.

Lardo Typico: Still curing. Supposed to be ready in 3 more months

Simple Salame: Done curing. We've eaten half of it. Very good, but for all the effort I expected it would be much better. Will not repeat.

Guanciale with Black Pepper: A few days ago I covered a beautiful piece of pork jowl with salt and pepper. Cured in refrigerator for 4 days. Rinsed, washed with white whine, applied some more pepper, and it is now dry curing for 3-5 weeks. Photo below.

Offline deb415611

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2013, 07:22:45 PM »
great posts Bill.  I bought this book and have only looked through it quickly.  I have a nice belly in the freezer that is destined for pancetta tessa. 
Deb

Offline jak123

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2013, 08:58:01 PM »
received a giant box of samples from creminelli today....excited to delve into everything...vert artistic folks

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2013, 12:35:36 PM »
Bill - Did you stick to the recipes as printed, using the 3% salt ratio, and was the final product a good salt level for you?

John

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2013, 12:37:27 PM »
Bill - Did you stick to the recipes as printed, using the 3% salt ratio, and was the final product a good salt level for you?

John

Yes and yes.

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2013, 12:41:41 PM »
Yes and yes.

Excellent. Off to the store to order some heritage pork belly, jowls, and back fat.

John

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2013, 12:53:34 PM »
Excellent. Off to the store to order some heritage pork belly, jowls, and back fat.

John

Pancetta, guanciale, lardo?

Photos, please!

Offline dellavecchia

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2013, 12:51:14 PM »
Local pork belly is in the fridge for it's cure. I cut it in half for easier handling. I have visions of all the pizza and pasta I am going to enhance with this pancetta - fingers crossed it works! The salt level seemed low per the book recipe, but I am sticking to it since Bill had such a good end product. I used coarse Maine sea salt.

John


Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, by Ruhlman and Polcyn
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2013, 01:26:20 PM »
Local pork belly is in the fridge for it's cure. I cut it in half for easier handling. I have visions of all the pizza and pasta I am going to enhance with this pancetta - fingers crossed it works! The salt level seemed low per the book recipe, but I am sticking to it since Bill had such a good end product. I used coarse Maine sea salt.

John

Looks good, John. Where are you going to dry cure it after it comes out of the refrigerator?

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.
Back to being a civilian pizza maker only.

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!

Deb