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Charcuterie 101 - The Silence you hear is the meat deliciousifying...

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Posts

  • TheRealBadgerTheRealBadger Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Outstanding work.

    Gonna go jerk me some meat

    TheRealBadger on
    Rainfall
  • BladeXBladeX Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Jesus, is it possible to mark an entire thread as awesome?

    BladeX on
  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I believe I may go out and look around for a food dehydrator due to this thread.
    I'd report the entire thing for awesome if it was possible.

    Aridhol on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Glad you're all enjoying it folks, I'll be sure to keep it updated as time goes on, I'll try to get the pastrami and corned beef recipes in in a few days.

    Thegreatcow on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2009
    Tempted to try jerking in my oven first. Maybe get a dehydrator if I get into it. I get up at between 6-7am anyway, so if I did it on a Sunday I could put it in the oven first thing, be around to keep an eye on it and hopefully it'd be ready between 10pm and midnight. I'm pretty certain my oven can go to 90 and below. It has a fan assist option as well. Would it be a good idea to use the fan to help circulate the air better?

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Tempted to try jerking in my oven first. Maybe get a dehydrator if I get into it. I get up at between 6-7am anyway, so if I did it on a Sunday I could put it in the oven first thing, be around to keep an eye on it and hopefully it'd be ready between 10pm and midnight. I'm pretty certain my oven can go to 90 and below. It has a fan assist option as well. Would it be a good idea to use the fan to help circulate the air better?

    Absolutely, if your oven can circulate air in the oven itself, you can get away with raising the temperature slightly and also reducing the cook time as well. Try bumping it up to say 100 or 110, and using the maximum fan setting for the oven, it should, in theory, shave a couple of hours off the cook time.

    Thegreatcow on
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2009
    Awesome. Now, just to check, I assume the temperature is in Fahrenheit? My oven uses celcius but bottoms out at 30C which is just below 90F so should be ok.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    you rule bacon dude

    Shazkar Shadowstorm on
    | Steam & XBL: Shazkar | 3DS: 3110-5421-3843 |
  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2009
    This thread is now stickied as it is clearly the greatest, most important thread ever created in this forum.

    I might just merge it into the rules thread.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Holy bejeesus! Thank you very much! I'll do my darndest to keep this updated with newer and tastier recipes as time permits!

    Thank you all again for the support! :D

    Thegreatcow on
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Best use of the sticky function in internet history.

    Now how about a recipe for ciccioli?

    firewaterword on
    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Evidently I've been neglecting to let the meat I've brined rest before cooking it, as I've always went straight from the brine to the grill (or oven in the case of a whole turkey).

    I've been doing it wrong all this time ;_;

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
  • CheezyCheezy Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    How much do pork bellies usually cost in your neck of the woods?

    Cheezy on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Cheezy wrote: »
    How much do pork bellies usually cost in your neck of the woods?

    Generally Pork Belly goes for about 2-3$ a pound around here, but more often than not you can find it on sale if you shop around, as it is not a commonly used cut of Pork.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    This thread is epic and incredible. Thank you for all your effort, Thegreatcow.

    I haven't helped make jerky in years, but this thread is tempting me, assuming I can find the space in the already woefully overstuffed kitchen.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    PREPARING THE JERKY – EQUIPMENT

    Making Jerky does require a bit more effort in the equipment department as if you want it to come out somewhat resembling the nice thin strips of beef we’re all so used to seeing, it may be worth it to make an investment in some specialized drying equipment, nevertheless, you can still make do without it as we’ll discuss here. :)

    Method #1: Food Dehydrator

    My preferred method above all others is using a Food Dehydrator, after trying out the other methods listed here, nothing else comes close to the results I get with it. The particular model I use is a Nesco Foods FD-61 500 Watt model.
    http://www.nesco.com/category_449f7f01f1ea/product_99de22215c0f/session_398c97595dc4/

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/Jerky/P7050110.jpg

    It’s stupidly simple to use and you can expand it with more trays if you need. They make other models as well, basically making more powerful and larger variants other then the one I listed here. Not to deviate too much from the parent subject but in general if you’re in the market for a food dehydrator, shoot for at least 500 watts. The more wattage, the faster your items will dry and the better the unit will perform once you start adding extra trays. Higher end models can have as many as 30(!) trays as part of a single unit so if you’re hankering for some hard core dried fruit and meat production, investing in one of the higher end units may be worth your while.

    I was looking on Amazon and you can get a 700W model for $7 more than the one you linked (same brand) and it includes one more tray. Since two more trays is $15 you can get a more powerful unit and an extray tray for a bit less than the price of an extra tray.
    Method #3 – Smoking

    Unfortunately, this method while potentially being able to produce a wonderful smoked dried treat, has resulted in more destroyed pieces of meat than I care to admit. More a fault of my part and my equipment, smoking your jerky can lead to fantastic results but only if you operate under a ridiculously slim margin of parameters. Basically, like oven drying, using a Smoker requires you to adjust the temperature so it DOES NOT EXCEED 90-100 degrees F. If you let temperature get higher you’ll once again end up with leathery cooked skirt steaks that taste revolting and will certainly lead to no short amount of frustration believe me. Even the folks who wrote Charcuterie admit that they only can recommend one smoker that’s actually capable of “Cold” smoking or smoking at temperatures of 90-120 degrees. Unfortunately, said smoker is also pretty damn expensive as well. :(

    http://www.bradleysmoker.com/bradley-original-smoker.asp

    So, in short, unless you’re using a sophisticated smoker that can operate at those temps reliably or are detail oriented to the point that you can manually adjust the temperature in an electric or charcoal smoker, avoid this prep method if you can. As far as estimated cooking times if you do decide to go with this method, it’s really hard to say. Officially jerky at this temperature should dry in about 6-12 hours but I’ve never really found out to be quite honest. Most of the time I got 2 hours in and found my meat completely destroyed by the over-hot temps inside the smoker. Ah well, I guess I’ll figure it out someday.

    Now I suppose I should finally get around to preparing some Jerky eh? Onwards!!!

    Out of curiosity, have you watched the Good Eats episode where Alton smoked salmon? He rigged up a smoker made out of a cardboard box, some dowels, and a hotplate. He used clean sawdust in a pan for the smoke (no chemicals), but I imagine you could do the same thing with small wood chips.

    Have you tried experimenting with a hotplate in the smoker? I imagine you could get a pretty cool smoke if you played around with the temperature to find out when they just start smoking, and depending on your smoker's height and extra doors you just might be able to coax it into a suitably slow temperature for smoking some jerky.

    Barrakketh on
    Rollers are red, chargers are blue....omae wa mou shindeiru
  • PasserbyePasserbye I am much older than you. in Beach CityRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Best use of the sticky function in internet history.

    Now how about a recipe for ciccioli?

    Ciccioli? Sounds tasty and Italian, always a good combination.

    Also, where's that pastrami recipe already?! :lol:

    Passerbye on
  • Superzero115Superzero115 Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Confit de Canard Duck Confit
    1. Step one

      The cure! Green salt to be specific.
      Ingredients:
      1/2 C. Kosher Salt
      2 ea. Bay leaves, broken into pieces
      2 tblspn. thyme, chopped
      1/4 C. Italian Parsley, packed
      1 tsp. Peppercorns, black

      Procedure:
      Into a spice mill or food processor, place the salt, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and peppercorns and process until well combined. The resulting mixture will be a vivid green, thus green salt. Set aside for later use.


    2. Step two

      The Duck! Because of the price of duck, duck fat and the overall convenience of chicken, I readily substitute chicken in place the duck leg-thigh combination.
      Ingredients:
      Eight 8 oz. Whole duck legs
      Green Salt, (recipe above)

      Procedure:
      Rinse the duck under cold water, pat dry and remove any excess fat. Trim away excess skin near the bottom of the legs and around the edges, leaving about 1/4 inch overhang of skin.

      With the excess fat and skin, place it in a small sauce pan and render out as much fat as possible over the lowest heat possible. Save the fat for the confit or rillettes.

      With the trimmed legs, weigh them to approximate the salt needed for the cure. 2 tblspns. per pound, roughly 1 tblsp per leg. Rub the salt onto all of the duck, a heavier amount on the thicker pieces.

      Place flesh side up and in a single layer in a baking dish (with room to spare). Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
    3. Step 3


      Confit!

      Ingredients:
      Eight 8 oz. duck legs, cured
      6-8 C. Rendered Duck Fat, melted
      2 ea. Bay Leaves
      1 Bunch Thyme

      Procedure:
      Preheat the oven to 170 (this was the lowest temp. my oven would go) and make sure the baking rack is smack dab in the middle.

      Rinse the legs under cold water and pat dry.

      Now this next step can be skipped, but I think an overall better looking product if you do.

      Into a large pan sear the duck legs, skin side down till golden brown and delicious. Transfer the legs to a 9-10 inch oven proof pot (cast iron, earthenware, etc.) Cover with duck fat, just enough to cover the legs, and add the bay leaves and thyme. (you can stack them two high if necessary). Heat over medium heat until the fat is warm and place in the oven with a lid and cook for 10-12 hours.

      The meat should be fork tender and almost falling off the bone. Once tender, remove from the oven and let cool in the fat.

      Remove the legs from the fat into a container, and strain the fat over the legs, being sure to be completely submerged in fat. Cover and refrigerate up to two weeks, six months if you remove the jus from the fat (collected at the bottom while cooking).
    4. Step 4

      Eating!

      Procedure:
      Put container into preheated oven until hot. Remove from fat, and enjoy. (save fat for later, of course)

    Superzero115 on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Confit de Canard Duck Confit
    1. Step one

      The cure! Green salt to be specific.
      Ingredients:
      1/2 C. Kosher Salt
      2 ea. Bay leaves, broken into pieces
      2 tblspn. thyme, chopped
      1/4 C. Italian Parsley, packed
      1 tsp. Peppercorns, black

      Procedure:
      Into a spice mill or food processor, place the salt, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and peppercorns and process until well combined. The resulting mixture will be a vivid green, thus green salt. Set aside for later use.


    2. Step two

      The Duck! Because of the price of duck, duck fat and the overall convenience of chicken, I readily substitute chicken in place the duck leg-thigh combination.
      Ingredients:
      Eight 8 oz. Whole duck legs
      Green Salt, (recipe above)

      Procedure:
      Rinse the duck under cold water, pat dry and remove any excess fat. Trim away excess skin near the bottom of the legs and around the edges, leaving about 1/4 inch overhang of skin.

      With the excess fat and skin, place it in a small sauce pan and render out as much fat as possible over the lowest heat possible. Save the fat for the confit or rillettes.

      With the trimmed legs, weigh them to approximate the salt needed for the cure. 2 tblspns. per pound, roughly 1 tblsp per leg. Rub the salt onto all of the duck, a heavier amount on the thicker pieces.

      Place flesh side up and in a single layer in a baking dish (with room to spare). Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
    3. Step 3


      Confit!

      Ingredients:
      Eight 8 oz. duck legs, cured
      6-8 C. Rendered Duck Fat, melted
      2 ea. Bay Leaves
      1 Bunch Thyme

      Procedure:
      Preheat the oven to 170 (this was the lowest temp. my oven would go) and make sure the baking rack is smack dab in the middle.

      Rinse the legs under cold water and pat dry.

      Now this next step can be skipped, but I think an overall better looking product if you do.

      Into a large pan sear the duck legs, skin side down till golden brown and delicious. Transfer the legs to a 9-10 inch oven proof pot (cast iron, earthenware, etc.) Cover with duck fat, just enough to cover the legs, and add the bay leaves and thyme. (you can stack them two high if necessary). Heat over medium heat until the fat is warm and place in the oven with a lid and cook for 10-12 hours.

      The meat should be fork tender and almost falling off the bone. Once tender, remove from the oven and let cool in the fat.

      Remove the legs from the fat into a container, and strain the fat over the legs, being sure to be completely submerged in fat. Cover and refrigerate up to two weeks, six months if you remove the jus from the fat (collected at the bottom while cooking).
    4. Step 4

      Eating!

      Procedure:
      Put container into preheated oven until hot. Remove from fat, and enjoy. (save fat for later, of course)

    Hot damn does that sound good! And yes I shall get to writing the pastrami, corned beef, and as an added treat, Pancetta recipe as well!

    Thegreatcow on
  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I'm interested in a pancetta recipe.

    Love my pancetta sammiches.

    Arikado on
    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | Origin: ArikadoPA
    BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Beyond the Basics - Combining Brining, Smoking, and Air Drying

    Alrighty with the basics of some of the more common items that are found within the world of Charcuterie explained pretty well, I figured now is a good time to take them a step further and show some wonderful examples of combining multiple techniques for both bacon and brining meat to achieve some truly stellar creations.

    This will be more of a "Recipe List" format, but the recipes outlined here are a touch more difficult than the ones I showed earlier. They require a few extra steps and do take significantly more time, nevertheless, the overall level of difficulty with these recipes is not that much different than standard bacon or brined chicken, just requires a fair degree more patience and your biggest enemy won't be your skillset but rather your environment. (I'll explain later in the post.) Throughout the setup I'll once again provide explanations as to why we're doing whatever it is we're doing as well. :mrgreen:

    Air Drying - "Doing it the Old Way"

    Air Drying is pretty self explanatory, and has been around since...well...pretty much forever. Air drying has always been used in some degree or another to dry out foods to preserve them for later use. This was the preferred technique before more effective smoking techniques were discovered that proved to be more efficient and safe than hanging meat out to dry.

    Still, air drying still remains a viable tactic in curing and preserving meat even in this day and age, particularly for foods that don't respond well to smoking (i.e. fruits and vegetables). Have you ever heard of or tried Prosciutto? Chances are if you've been to even the deli section of your local supermarket you've probably come across it or even tried it. Prosciutto (which literally means Ham in Italian) is simply a large ham hock that has been cured with salt, sometimes some herbs, and left to air dry for 9 months to anywhere up to 3 years(!) The result is a glorious glossy sheened meat that stands quite apart from pretty much damn near anything out there and is a staple of Italian (and Croatian) antipasto dishes.

    Anyhow, this next recipe combines the aforementioned bacon techniques I showed you earlier with air drying instead of smoking to achieve the result. The extra work is well worth it I assure you!

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Pancetta – Air Dried Bacon

    This is an absolutely delicious variation on your traditional bacon that hails from Italy. As the title indicates Pancetta is bacon that in addition to the regular cure is infused with heady aromatics and pepper causing the flesh to stain a deep rich brown. The cured belly is then rolled into a log and air dried for up to 3 weeks. The extra effort here is well worth it as it is an invaluable addition to dishes as I’ll show you in a bit! :mrgreen:

    Ok then, to begin, you’ll want to start as if you were preparing fresh bacon as I described earlier in the thread. However the ingredient list is just a tad different as I illustrate here:


    THE DRY CURE

    4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
    2 teaspoons/12 grams pink salt
    2 ounces/50 grams kosher salt(1/4 cup)
    2 tablespoons/26 grams dark brown sugar
    4 tablespoons/40 grams coarsely ground Black Pepper (Yes really! This huge amount of pepper has a purpose)
    2 tablespoons/10 grams juniper berries, crushed
    4 bay leaves, crumbled
    1 teaspoon/4 grams freshly grated nutmeg
    4 or 5 sprigs fresh thyme

    One 5lb Pork Belly – Trimmed to be perfectly square and Skin
    REMOVED (Important Point as I’ll demonstrate here)

    Pancetta – Prep and Cure

    Ok then, time to begin. You’ll notice that this time I advised you to remove the skin before you cure the bacon. This is important here because we need a much more thorough saturation of the aromatics to cure and “stain” the belly to achieve the glorious flavor that Pancetta offers as well as to ensure that during the air-drying phase it repels nasty things like insects and whatnot.

    Combine all of the dried ingredients taking care to save at least half of the crushed pepper for later. Using the techniques I outlined earlier, lay the trimmed and skinned belly into the Ziploc bag and ensure that the dry cure is mixed evenly. Spread the dry cure all over the belly on both sides and let Cure for about 7 days in your refrigerator. As I mentioned before, this may take slightly longer or shorter depending on the thickness of the belly. Press the belly with your finger to determine if it is ready or not. If it gives resistance like a well done steak it is done. If it is still squishy, give it another day or two to cure and it should finish up.

    Next, you’ll want to remove the belly from the bag and rinse off all of the herbs and aromatics, the belly should now be a dark red-brown color. This is mainly due to the juniper berries and crushed peppercorns in the cure, they tend to stain the flesh a dark color as the bacon cures. Once the cure has been washed off, use the remaining pepper and generously cover and rub it all over the meat side of the belly. This pepper will serve to further cure the bacon as well as protect it from insects when the bacon is air-drying. Handy no?

    Take the pepper crusted belly to a cutting board and get ready to get a wee bit messy. Starting from whichever end is longest, begin to roll the bacon into a roll. Take extra care to roll it as tightly as you can, there must absolutely not be any air pockets in-between the folds of the belly.
    Now, if this proves too much of a hassle, there is the simpler and frankly less messy route: use cheesecloth, create a pouch and wrap the un-folded belly into it and tie it closed.

    If you decided to roll the belly, take butchers twine and tie the roll down as tightly as you can to ensure it maintains its roll-like shape. Your belly is now ready for drying! Now comes the tough part heh…

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Air Drying the Pancetta– “No Timmy, please don’t throw the bacon into the dryer….”

    Unfortunately depending on where you live, the weather you have and what your house/residence has available to you, air drying may simply not be a viable option in the case of drying meat. When you’re air drying items like Pork Belly, you have to operate under a rather finicky and limited set of parameters, much like Cold-Smoking. Typically you’ll need to dry the belly in a semi-humid to humid environment that does not exceed 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. If your house has a basement that is well insulated, it should work well too as long as it remains relatively cool and humid.

    What this means for folks like me living in SoCal is that during months like July-Aug-Sept, air drying for the most part is simply not an option. You’ll have to time your drying with times of the year where you can reliably achieve those temperatures either inside or outside. I’ve tried air drying by hanging it uncovered in my fridge, but the excess humidity doesn’t work too well to be quite honest, my first attempt started festering with some nasty mold on the outside so I don’t think that’s a viable option. :?

    However if you do have the environment or the equipment that can reliably maintain those temperatures and humidity ranges you should be in luck! Simply hang the roll or cheesecloth bag in a spot that will have some light air flow and let it hang for at least 2 weeks. As it begins to dry you’ll notice it will darken considerably and also become very stiff, almost like jerky, though not nearly as tough or brittle. The Pancetta should be firm and pliable, not rock hard. Take care to monitor the Pancetta, if you see it getting too hard, its over-drying and needs to be placed in the fridge immediately.

    One thing to note about Pancetta is that this is not a meat that can be eaten raw like jerky, so the drying phase isn’t nearly as important as jerky is, but still relevant as it gives it a longer shelf life and also intensifies its flavor by quite a degree as well.

    When the drying is finished you should be left with a slightly shrunken hunk of pork belly that has dried into a delicious intensely flavored hunk of meat that will prove to be a very useful and delicious addition to your cooking! :mrgreen:

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190035.jpg
    Notice the rich dark color the dried belly gives off...

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190033.jpg
    The dark specks are all the spices and aromatics that didn't come off when the belly was initially rinsed, not to worry, they won't affect the belly in any bad way.

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190036.jpg
    Look at that beautiful rich color! This is what I live for!

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190034.jpg
    Beautiful....

    So when all is said and done, what the heck do you use Pancetta for anyway? Ahhh, well here is where I was saying earlier that I have quite a simple and insanely delicious recipe to use pancetta for and should give you ideas on how to utilize Pancetta in your dishes. :winky:

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Using Pancetta

    I often liken Pancetta to a sort of “flavor bomb”. Many pasta and stir fry dishes start with sautéing vegetables in olive oil or some other kind of flavoring agent before either being served or mixed with something else. If you simply add thin slices of pancetta to your vegetables or sauces when you’re cooking them it will infuse them with an intense peppery meat flavor that is so delicious it’s almost indescribable. If you’ve ever had properly made Spaghetti Carbonara, then you know what I’m talking about! :mrgreen:

    You can also roast figs wrapped in pancetta in the oven (similar to prosciutto) and with a light drizzle of Balsamic and oil have a great appetizer to serve with bread and wine.

    Lastly, but not least, you can use it as an alternative to pepperoni or sausage when making homemade pizza, it truly adds a unique spin on an otherwise mundane pie. It can also be used in sandwiches. Just quickly sauté it like bacon only quicker and add it like a fancy BLT!

    Anyhow, here is a recipe I made with a recently completed log of Pancetta. Don’t let the simple and seemingly “low” quality ingredients fool you, this comes out quite well and makes an attractive and delicious dish for dinner. Pair it with a nice light green salad and a nice strong red wine and you’ve got yourself a dinner that will have both you and your co-diners talking!

    Pasta in a Pancetta Clam/Cream Sauce

    This recipe combines the beautiful flavor that is Pancetta and merges with a simple cream sauce and pasta to make it really unique. I came up with this on my own, namely I was trying to figure out what else I could use Pancetta for and noticed I didn’t have all that much in the way of ingredients left in pantry! Not to be deterred, I got my mojo on and experimented a bit!

    Here’s what I ended up using:

    3 oz Prepared Pancetta diced into bite sized chunks
    1 24oz Can of Clam Chowder or Other Cream Based Soup
    (Yes, yes I know this is basically a poor man’s Alfredo Sauce, still it actually comes out fantastic! If it’s not available, try whatever you like! I usually recommend Cream of Mushroom/Cream of Chicken/ or some pre-made Alfredo sauce. I do find however, that the extra flavor provided by the clams is well worth it when mixed in with the pasta, plus the diced potatoes mixed in with the clam chowder add a nice amount of texture that would otherwise just be minced meat and sauce)
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    2 teaspoons minced onion
    Dash of ground pepper
    Opt – Dash of white cooking wine
    Juice of a wedge of lemon
    ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese+ ¼ Cup Reserved Parmesan for final tossing
    ¼ Cup Mozzerella Cheese finely shredded
    Low Fat/Skim Milk to taste and Texturize
    1 lb bag pasta
    Any type will do, however I find that pasta like Penne Rigate, Fusilli, Farfalle, Armoniche, Casarecci, Cellentani, or some other short formed noodle pasta works well with cream sauces. If you really want to go extra rich, you can substitute the pasta for any kind of stuffed pasta like ravioli or potato pasta dumplings called Gnocchi. Please note if you substitute either of these, take care to read the pasta packaging as these types of pastas cook much faster then the shaped short form pastas I mentioned earlier.

    Begin to prepare the pasta by tossing it into salted, rapidly boiling water. While the pasta cooks, prepare a heavy wide saucepan. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and bring to medium high heat.

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190038.jpg
    Got mah pasta!

    Add the pancetta, garlic and onion and sauté until the onion begins to clear and the pancetta begins to crisp, about 3-5 minutes.

    Dash in some white cooking wine and juice of the wedge of lemon. Toss rapidly for about 30 seconds. Add the clam chowder and stir, ensuring that everything is evenly coated. Bring down to medium heat.

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190037.jpg
    Nice and mixed up!

    When the sauce begins to gently bubble, add the parmesan and mozzerella to the mixture and fold in well.

    By now the pasta should be done. Remove the pasta from heat and drain well.

    Add the cooked pasta directly to the sauce pan and toss gently to ensure that the pasta is coated well.

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190040.jpg

    Toss with the remaining Parmesan Cheese and serve immediately

    http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m115/thegreatcow/How%20to%20Make%20Bacon/P5190039.jpg
    Hot damn I'm hungry now!

    If the sauce is not coating the pasta sufficiently enough you can carefully drizzle in some milk to the sauce to extend it further. Make sure not to add too much as it will make it a bit runny.

    And there you have it! Delicious and simple, I couldn’t believe how well this came out with stuff I had laying around! Give it a try, you’ll definitely like it!

    I’ll have the Pastrami and Corned Beef recipes up next, I just need to organize the recipes as they kind of overlap a bit so I should have them up very soon, hopefully by morning!

    Thegreatcow on
  • Randall_FlaggRandall_Flagg Registered User
    edited July 2009
    there is a wikipedia article that is relevant to this thread

    Randall_Flagg on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    there is a wikipedia article that is relevant to this thread

    Hehe, indeed it doth contain much baconry!

    :lol:

    Thegreatcow on
  • RingoRingo Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Wow.

    Ringo on
    ceres wrote: »
    I'm just going to go ahead and lock this thread before I feel any worse about humanity.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG now featured at the Exigency Forum
  • KivutarKivutar Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    This is an amazing & worthwhile thread. I'm glad it was stickied.

    Kivutar on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    From Brine to Smoke - The joy that is Pastrami and Corned Beef

    I'm combining the recipes and techniques for these two recipes because they overlap in so many ways, they might as well be two sides of the same coin. Pastrami and Corned Beef are wonderful examples of what the techniques in Charcuterie can do to transform what would otherwise be a tasteless, stringy, tough piece of meat into utterly delicious dinner and sandwich fare you can't replicate anywhere else. Both of them combine elements of Brining and then Smoking for the Pastrami. The end result is melt-in-your-mouth tender meat that is definitely unforgettable no matter how you slice it! Well enough with the waxing poetical, lets get cracking! :P

    As I mentioned earlier, Pastrami and Corned Beef have very similar prep methods, aside from the final cooking method and some spices, they more or less prepare the same way. The major difference between them is that Pastrami is typically hot smoked with a deep crusting of aromatics in addition to the slow braising step. More often than not you can prepare both in tandem as they complement each other very well and make some of the best damn sandwiches you've ever had!

    I'll begin with Corned Beef as it requires a bit less prep work than Pastrami and illustrates the divergence the two recipes have in the final prep phase.

    Thegreatcow on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Corned Beef - No, there's no Corn here...

    Corned beef transforms what is known as the Brisket, a tough, stringy, marbled cut of beef into a well appointed roast that is a staple of St Patricks day feasts and sandwiches the world over. In itself, Corned Beef is actually not that hard to prepare, but it does take a LONG time. If you're planning to make Corned Beef for folks or friends and don't want to resort to running out to the store at the last minute to buy a pre-brined pre-cooked one to cover your tuckus, make sure to plan this well in advance. On average, when combined with Brining and cooking time, this Corned Beef will take about 5 ½ days to fully complete so plan accordingly.

    Corned Beef is the next step in Brining techniques that I mentioned earlier in that the brine you use here is actually similar to Pickling Brine that is used to preserve Cucumbers and other vegetables. I'll probably post the pickle brine recipe later if folks are interested in it! To begin you'll need to prepare the Brine which is listed here:

    THE BRINE

    1 gallon/4 liters water
    2 cups/450 grams kosher salt
    ½ cup/100 grams sugar
    1 ounce/25 grams pink salt (5 teaspoons)
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 tablespoons/20 grams Pickling Spice
    (Many supermarkets carry it, you can't miss it in the spice aisle, it will have large chunks of various herbs and aromatics in the bottle, I believe Morton's makes a good one...)


    One 5lb pound/2.25kg well-marbled Beef Brisket (You'll probably have to go to a butcher shop for this, but check with your Supermarkets Butcher to see if they can special order it for you if they don't stock it normally)

    2 tablespoons /20 grams Pickling Spice


    Once again using the techniques I outlined earlier, combine all the brine ingredients and bring to a simmer ensuring that all the salts and sugars are dissolved. Once properly mixed, remove from heat and chill until the brine has at least reached room temperature.

    Take the brisket and place it inside the pot or container filled with brine. Take a plate and place over the brisket to ensure it remains weighted down and fully submerged. Place in the fridge and let it brine for 5 days.

    After 5 days have passed, remove the Brisket from the brine and rinse it well. In a divergence from normal brining procedure you do NOT need to let the Brisket rest, the next cooking phase will let the salts move throughout the meat without any extra resting needed.

    Next you're going to need a large enough cooking pot that can comfortably hold the brisket. Place the cured Brisket into the pot and add enough water to just barely cover it. Add the remaining pickling spice along with any other aromatics you wish to add, though the pickling spice alone should be sufficient.

    Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to bring it to a simmer. Cover the pot and slow cook the Brisket for about 3 hours or until the Brisket is tender enough to be pulled apart with a fork. Always ensure that there is enough water to cover the brisket, it should always be submerged in the liquid. Once the brisket is done, you can use the cooking liquid to braise any vegetables you may wish to serve with the Brisket if you're serving it as a Dinner dish. Potatoes and Carrots are always good accompaniments. Simply toss the chopped chunks of the vegetables in the cooking liquid, cover and simmer for just a few minutes or until they're fully cooked and tender.

    If you're making sandwiches, then simply remove the Brisket, slice it to your desired thickness and snarf away! Hope it comes out well as it did for me! :D

    Like I said earlier, pretty easy right? The biggest hassle with this recipe is that it takes so damn long to complete, but the overall difficulty remains the same for most brining recipes you'll come across. Now, for the really good stuff, the recipe I've been asked for now by a couple of posters...

    Thegreatcow on
    bowenXaquin
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    PASTRAMI - Orgasm in Sandwich Form :winky:

    Ah yes, there is a soft, cholesterol ridden spot in my heart for this prepared meat. It pretty makes the best sandwich and works great either hot or cold. I won't waste your time with by endlessly praising it so I'll get right into the preparation notes. (Note that Pastrami prepares a bit faster though the preparation is a bit more involved, on average plan for at least 3 ½ days in advance for preparation. Also you'll need a smoker capable of "hot" smoking (temps at 190-220) in order to complete this recipe.

    Once again, we begin with a brine:

    THE BRINE

    1 gallon / 4 liters water
    1 ½ cups/350 grams kosher salt
    1 cup/225 grams sugar
    1 ½ ounces/42 grams pink salt (8 teaspoons)
    1 tablespoon/ 8 grams Pickling Spice
    ½ packed cup/ 90 grams dark brown sugar
    ¼ cup/ 60 milliliters honey
    5 Garlic Cloves Minced

    One 5lb/2.25 kg Well Marbled Beef Brisket
    (or Beef Plate, slightly better cut for this purpose) trimmed of all heavy surface fat

    The Crust
    1 tablespoon/8 grams coriander Seeds lightly toasted
    1 tablespoon/10 grams black peppercorns, lightly toasted
    (See toasting technique further in the recipe instructions...)

    As with the Corned Beef, take the trimmed brisket and set aside. Prepare the brine as before and ensure it is at room temperature before proceeding. Place the brisket in the pot of brine and use a plate to weight down the brisket so it remains submerged. Place the container in the fridge for 3 days.

    After 3 days have passed, remove the brisket from the brine, rinse it well and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.

    Take the Coriander and Peppercorns and toast them. To properly toast these seeds take a dry un-oiled pan and bring it to medium-low heat. Gently toast the seeds until they begin to release their fragrance, should be only a few minutes or so. Next if you have a pepper mill, or coffee grinder, coarsely grind the seeds together.

    Take the ground mixture and evenly coat the brisket on all sides.

    Take the coated brisket to your smoker and slowly hot smoke the Brisket until the briskets internal temps reach about 150 degrees. What I mean by slowly hot smoking is that instead of using your smokers max heat setting like with bacon, you'll want to smoke it just a tad slower, sort of like medium high heat (160-180 degrees F). This is mainly to infuse the meat with as much delicious smoke flavor as possible before the brisket fully cooks and the final step.

    Normally Pastrami is cold smoked to first infuse the smoke flavor before hot smoking to cook it, but this method is more in the realm of possibility for those who don't have expensive smoker setups at home to get the job done.

    Almost done now! Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Next, you'll want to take your smoked brisket and place it in about an inch of water in an oven safe stockpot. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer on the stove. Once the water is simmering, remove the pot from the stove and place inside the oven. Slow cook the pastrami in the oven for about 2-3 hours until fork tender.

    Remove the brisket from the pot and shred or slice to your desired thickness. Serve either immediately or store for later, cold pastrami works just as well as hot, though hot is preferable for sure. :D

    Hope this was enjoyable folks and I hope the recipes grant you a great degree of success. Next up we'll cover a few more curing and smoking recipes and maybe I'll post my pickling recipe as it pertains to corned beef in a few ways. We'll have to see until then! Onwards meat lovers! :mrgreen:

    Thegreatcow on
    Xaquin
  • FalloutFallout GIRL'S DAY WAS PRETTY GOOD WHILE THEY LASTEDRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    this is the best thread ever

    you rule!

    Fallout on
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  • moocowmoocow Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Good lord.

    Awesome.

    moocow on
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    PS4:MrZoompants
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2009
    Things I like to put Pancetta in - Carbonara, Asparagus and Pancetta Risotto, Manhattan Chowder, my extra-meaty Bolognaise sauce.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • L*2*G*XL*2*G*X Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I took a trip to a nearby shopping mall the other day with the express purpose of buying bucatini and guanciala. This with the expressi ntent to make bucatini all gricia and all ammatriciana respectively for me and my significant other.
    However the guy in the store cut the guanciala too bloody thin and my SO got in in her head (from which things are difficult to dislodge) that the whole project is ruined, null and void.

    Anyway, I herebey challenge your Pancetta, sir (God why does bacon bring out the pseudo-victorian language so easily?), and demand you add Guanciale to your exposé.

    Also, this has the makings of a goddamned cookbook, you'll need an angle, naturally, and some sort of hook, but there's if not money then at least everlasting glory there.
    Pipesmoking is allowed, nay, encouraged after your first publication.

    L*2*G*X on
  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Guanciale, indeed! A challenge well worth my wit and penmanship and bacon!

    Thegreatcow on
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Ooh, brining chicken sounds good, and pretty easy. I'll have to check that out.

    Zombiemambo on
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  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Just a heads up folks, I'm still working on this article but I'm about to head out for a couple of weeks to hike the John Muir Trail. In the meantime feel free to contribute anything you feel is worthwhile and I'll be sure to add more stuff and edit the op when I return. Cheers folks!

    Thegreatcow on
  • Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Glorious thread.

    So my wife is out of town right now, and I'm thinking of surprising her with homemade Corned Beef when she comes back home. I think the only vessel I have that will be big enough to cook it in is my Crock Pot - that should work for the final cook, right?

    Monolithic_Dome on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • PasserbyePasserbye I am much older than you. in Beach CityRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thank you O Great Cow!

    I'll get crackin' on that Corned Beef recipe. :^:

    Passerbye on
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