clivef
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sat Nov 19, 2011 6:57 pm

Insofar as this is predominantly a tech forum I've noticed that it has a higher than average foodie* subculture (and I mean serious foodies such as writers and restaurateurs as opposed to, say, bloggers taking pictures of chicken legs in Nandos on their iPhone).

So while we wait for pudding (ahem) I though we could talk food...

Today I spent a very pleasant two hours making brawn (whilst listening toThe Smiths - hence the title, sorry :)) from Fergus Henderson's "Nose to Tail". I found that salting the head per the recipe improved the texture but made the concentrated stock far too salty (like seawater) so I had to substitute in concentrated stock + gelatine and an extra trotter. Anyone else made this recipe? Or have any other fave headcheese recipes?

I'm also planning a "pig in a day" soon: get friends and neighbours round, turn a pig into charcuterie while drinking lots of cider and calvados. Anyone else done this and/or have any tips?
--
*not a big fan of the word but it serves a purpose.

E
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:03 pm

I'd consider myself a borderline foodie. Nose-to-Tail is actually on my Xmas list, though I've never attempted anything like "a pig in a day" so I can't help you there I'm afraid. This may be well know to you (and other foodies), but I'd really recommend the book The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit. I really enjoy making recipes up, and refer to it over and over again for inspiration. Lovely looking book too.

clivef
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:37 pm

Quote from E on November 19, 2011, 20:03...Nose-to-Tail is actually on my Xmas list, Do get this, it's a true classic and a genuinely useful cookbook. There's a second volume too but the first one is the original and best IMO. I met Fergus once at the Abergavenny Food Festival. He was with friend Anthony Bourdain. Two of my food heroes - I did my best to chat to them about food but went to pieces and just gibbered :o

My last meeting with Fergus was a demo of how to make a "lip-smacking" Valentine's Day supper for two out of a pig's head. Beautiful.

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liz
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:32 am

Jack makes superb bacon - I've been given a packet, and it's *fabulous* stuff. He's a man who understands the importance of fat in conveying flavour; you should ask him what smoke he uses, because it's dense, velvety, wonderful stuff and does brilliant things to a pig.

I don't have a dry and cool enough space to make dried sausages or hang bacon or hams, so rillettes are about my limit at home (along with confit duck). But my Grandad was a butcher, and I have a lot of happy childhood memories of brining giant cow's tongues in bins, making really revolting sausages with him that went down a treat among the good burghers of Cleethorpes, and disguising the bad bits of turkeys at Christmas by rubbing in a handful of flour. Those were the days - sawdust floors, awful meat pies and great big tubs of dripping to take home and spread on toast.

I spent a day with Darina Allen last year at Ballymaloe, where the charcuterie was something to behold. I really, really need some outbuildings...
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clivef
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:18 pm

... you should ask him what smoke he uses, because it's dense, velvety, wonderful stuff and does brilliant things to a pig.I will do. I currently get my oak shavings from Felixstowe Ferry smokery - they come from the fishing boats there when they are being repaired. It tastes good and I like the connection when I smoke fish with them. I've been using an old laser printer box as a cold smoker but I now have my eye on the kids' play-shed thing as the next step :D

... But my Grandad was a butcher, and I have a lot of happy childhood memories of brining giant cow's tongues in bins, making really revolting sausages with him that went down a treat among the good burghers of Cleethorpes, and disguising the bad bits of turkeys at Christmas by rubbing in a handful of flour. Those were the days - sawdust floors, awful meat pies and great big tubs of dripping to take home and spread on toast.Happy days! A course in food adulteration and all the dripping you can eat :). The sausage thing makes me smile - I once gave some brawn to my brother and family. They refused to eat it becuase it was made of "pig's head" and feasted on Richmond sausages instead (42% EU pork) :?

I spent a day with Darina Allen last year at Ballymaloe, where the charcuterie was something to behold. I'd love to go to Ballymaloe 8O . I bought Allen's "Forgotten Skills of Cooking" last week which has some fantastic stuff in like "Pig's ear with radish and cucumber salad" and an excellent charcuterie section (called "Pig", of course). Plus lots of interesting backstories and old school tips and advice. Recommended.

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liz
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:31 pm

Oh wow - I used to have a boyfriend from Felixstowe many years ago, and trips to the Ferry for smoked fish were a real treat. Didn't like much else about the place, though (including the boyfriend).
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E
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:34 pm

Meant to come back to this thread for a while but some family stuff came up.

Anyway, cold smoking. I'm intrigued, as it's something I've always fancied trying, especially if you can do it on the cheap in an old printer box ;-) I'm guessing there's whole forums devoted to the topic out there?

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piglet
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:51 pm

I'm also planning a "pig in a day" soon: get friends and neighbours round, turn a pig into charcuterie while drinking lots of cider and calvados. Anyone else done this and/or have any tips?

That's really not funny. When I say I want to be "cured" I'm talking about hiccups....

I thought it would be safe here, eating the raspberries. They were somewhat more metalic-tasting than I expected, even with the reduced currants.

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liz
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:06 pm

+1 to Piglet for making me shout "Badoom-tish!" out loud and causing Eben to ask what the hell I was talking about.
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jacklang
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:16 am

I use oak sawdust, and some cherry for sweetness when I can get it.
Normally buy from http://www.ashwood-smoking.co......ducts.html

E
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:24 am

Quote from jacklang on November 28, 2011, 00:16
I use oak sawdust, and some cherry for sweetness when I can get it.
Normally buy from http://www.ashwood-smoking.co......ducts.html
Thanks. Spent yesterday evening reading up on DIY smokers..

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scep
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:02 pm

piglet - start eating acorns mate, not raspberrries, then we can think about doing an Iberian style ham :)

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crundy
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:11 pm

I'm getting into a bit of molecular gastronomy at the moment. Made melon caviar recently served with parma ham:



Hoping that my wife has picked up my hints that I want an isi whipper for Xmas so I can make some foams etc :)

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scep
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:18 pm

Quote from E on November 27, 2011, 19:34
Anyway, cold smoking. I'm intrigued, as it's something I've always fancied trying, especially if you can do it on the cheap in an old printer box ;-) I'm guessing there's whole forums devoted to the topic out there?Smoke source + aluminium duct + a box = cold smoker.

This can be as simple as a steel plate on a camping stove with a pile of sawdust connected to a big cardboard box.

Most things need to be cured/brined beforehand for extra antibacterial. The temperature is critical in cold smoking - the cooler the better generally and if you are entering the late 20 degrees C then you need to know what you are doing. Botulism can really ruin your day ;) Hot smoking is perhaps an easier route into smoking to gain confidence and skills.

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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:39 pm

Botulism can really ruin your day ;)
Important safety tip there Egon ;)

Thanks, yes having thought about it, hot smoking is probably best. It was mostly cheese and tofu I was thinking of cold smoking originally - hence the interest in cold smoking - but then I thought smoked meat would be nice too. A hot smoker should convert to a cold smoker anyway, with a bit of hacking, and me being me, I'm already wondering if it's possible to coffee smoke beef...

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crundy
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:47 am

By the way, I did a 6 course meal for the wife and a couple of friends including a few more molecular gastronomy recipes, and if you own a whipper you absolutely must try this:
http://www.molecularrecipes.co.....ad-ginger/
Awesome recipe.

I also did this dish, and although the flavour of the "noodles" wasn't especially strong I loved the idea and so I'm going to try it with a deconstructed miso soup at some point.

jacklang
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:16 am

Smoke source can be as simple as a pile of smouldering sawdust, which is how I'm smoking my Xmas ham


Piw32
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:14 pm

Quote from scep on November 27, 2011, 19:34

Most things need to be cured/brined beforehand for extra antibacterial. The temperature is critical in cold smoking - the cooler the better generally and if you are entering the late 20 degrees C then you need to know what you are doing. Botulism can really ruin your day ;) Hot smoking is perhaps an easier route into smoking to gain confidence and skills.

In French farms, we slaughter the 300 Kg pig in January, when the temps are at their lowest. For charcuterie, you just need proper quantities of salt and pepper, and it's less salty than commercially available "saucisson". It's just carefully selected piece of meat, minced and mixer with proper quantities of lard fat. The pieces of meat who have not good drying abilities goes into fresh sausage or other things (pâté wich is sterilized in small glass jars). No curing, smoking or brine, just air drying ! Some good molds develop on the skin. (pig gut, in fact !)
The fresh saucissons are then hanged on the ceiling of a north oriented room, with shutters partially open for air circulation (you adjust opening according to temps, dryness of air and meat, quite an art !)


Do you know "frittons" ? The fatty parts are minced and melted in a large deep copper pan over the fire in the fireplace. When melted, it's strained, the pork fat is jarred for later use as cooking fat (you can deep fry French fries !). The remaining fried bits of meat togehter with some unmelted hard fat are packed into a container with some wheight of top to remove excess fat and obtain a block which can be sliced.
And with all charcuterie, the thinner the slice, the better, you should see the blade through the slice while you are slicing !

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scep
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:09 pm

I've never had fritons - they sound good though, a bit like rillons? Have you got a recipe?

The smoking/curing thing was in relation to "wet" stuff like fish and chicken, and Jack's Xmas ham would have had a good brining or dry curing depending on recipe. In air dried sausages like those fabulous looking saucisson (are they yours?), fermentation and salt does the curing and water loss also retards the growth of baddies. I dream of having a drying room like that :)

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scep
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:13 pm

@crundy - some interesting looking stuff you are doing there. Did you see El Celler de Can Roca on Masterchef recently? Amazing stuff.

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crundy
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:22 pm

Quote from scep on December 20, 2011, 16:13
@crundy - some interesting looking stuff you are doing there. Did you see El Celler de Can Roca on Masterchef recently? Amazing stuff.

I didn't actually, though I may have to download it on the iPlayer. Do you know which episode it was?

Oh, and apologies for derailing the thread. I assumed this was a general foodie thread!

So back on topic: I used to make my own sausages and really fancied a go at making chorizo. Problem is:
1) I'm worried about contamination. Do I presume that if you just add enough nitrate (or is it nitrite?) then it's fine?
2) Where is a good place to hang them up to cure? I doubt the wife would let me stink out the house with them, and I'm not sure if the garage would be clean enough, what with the dust (and spiders).

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scep
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:36 pm


I didn't actually, though I may have to download it on the iPlayer. Do you know which episode it was?
22 Definitely worth a look.

Oh, and apologies for derailing the thread. I assumed this was a general foodie thread!

it is!

So back on topic: I used to make my own sausages and really fancied a go at making chorizo. Problem is:
1) I'm worried about contamination. Do I presume that if you just add enough nitrate (or is it nitrite?) then it's fine?No. Don't guess when it comes to nitrates/nitrites. Follow a recipe closely. They are not the bogeyman but too much can make you sick and too little can make you sick! The forums at sausagemaking.org are a good start, they know their stuff and will be happy to advise.

2) Where is a good place to hang them up to cure? I doubt the wife would let me stink out the house with them, and I'm not sure if the garage would be clean enough, what with the dust (and spiders)Shed or garage would be fine at this time of year - if you need, build a hanging/ drying cage - a wood frame with mesh or muslin stapled to the sides.

Piw32
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:13 pm

Yes, rillons, grattons, fritons, are the same. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grattons
They are a byproduct, so buy half a pig, then melt all the unused fatty stuff (minced) than remain after charcuterie. The fritons are just the fried meat bits.

They are not mine, but my mother and grand-mother used to make the same. The drying room is usually in an unused house or the coldest room of the house.
But then, you're left with a greasy pan (chaudron) an 10 hungry amateur charcutiers to feed, so do not clean it and let's cook some millas (sweetened maize porridge, with vanilla, rhum and orange flower aroma) !

Stirring the millas :


The "toudeilho" a spruce top stirrer :


Here, they got it wrong, too thick ! it must flow and spread on it's own !


Good !


Then you sit around with spoons and eat what remains on the "chaudron" !


You slice the millas, you can eat it cold, warm or fried :


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scep
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Re: Food! (was Charcutiers of the worlds unite)

Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:02 pm

Never heard of millas - it looks like good stuff! Thanks for the pics - that's real cooking and real food :)

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