Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lamb Medallion Bacon

I'm just fascinated with Charcuterie and if the meat is Kosher I am going to try and Cure it into something exquisite. Like I said in earlier posts I am attempting to Kosherize all traditional Charcuterie which is normally made from Treif. In fact I need to come up with a new word to describe what I am about Koshcuterie? That being said I know what Treif taste like. About 15 years ago I stopped eating it and never looked back. And it's not because it tasted bad either....Oy Vey..Au Contraire; it was and is delicious. I just chose a different path in life which is why I love my Koshcuterie Nirvana quest.....there I used my made up word. I have a huge appreciation for all Charcuterie Treif or not.

A while back I was watching the food-network and they were talking about Pineapple and Canadian Bacon Pizza and it struck me. Canadian bacon is nothing more than a Pork Loin cured. Why not Lamb loin cured? I might even try a New York Loin down the road too. 
I contacted my favorite organic online supplier and started on my quest to make Canadian style Lamb Bacon. Don't be fooled by this picture these Loin babies are small. They weigh about 294 grams or 10.5 ounces each. Granted these loins are Australian which are smaller then the US Domestic ones and of course I was expecting small ones. I think next time I will seek out domestic US home grown Loins.

This is a really simple recipe. Measure out the salt and cure and apply to meat. Grind peppercorns in pepper mill. Measure out the rest of ingredients and mix them in bowl until combined. Rub the meat down and place in bag. Place bag in refrigerator and cure for one week turning bag over everyday. The Lamb is small and thin so a week is plenty long for cure to penetrate the meat. After a week rinse it off and cook it up.

This came out great!!! I will make this again but will chose a domestic breed to get a bigger Loin!!!! Maybe I will try this with a Beef Tenderloin. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

MultiCultural Salami


Three pictures that show what beauty there is in least yours truly thinks so. Ponder this for a moment, you combine simple ingredients I.E. meats, herbs and spices and create a masterpiece. You start out with a blank canvas and discover something special and new. What was an idea now becomes a reality and the manifestation of a Salami is born. I have been playing around with the idea of making my own Salami for some time now but have not been inspired until recently. Determined to a make a Salami and making one that was unique I decided I wanted something BIG too....Go big or go home I say. Big is certainly different. Experimenting with unusual ingredients is a lot of fun and every once in a while you make something interesting and great hence my salami is born. I present you with my Multi-Cultural Salami. Maybe I should explain why I chose this name for my Salami. The list of ingredients are multicultural, some are from North India and some are Middle Eastern thus the name.  
Dry Cure notes
This is very simple to make. I chose these meats for their flavor and fat content. As you can see I needed extra fat so I chose hard beef white fat. The other ingredients are also unique. The Grains of Paradise have citrus notes and a pungent peppery flavor. While the Demera Sugar has some molasses in it. Garam Masala is an amazing North Indian and Sumac is a tangy Middle East/Turkish spice. The mustard seeds I chose are both common (Yellow) and unique (Brown). Very different in flavor and hard to describe. The brown version is used in North African cuisine. 

Note: I used Cure # 1 to preserve color and as a preservative. I also used Sodium Phosphate to help with the yield and with its ability for allow proteins to hold on to more water. More water greater yield and moisture.  

OK enough with the spice tutorial lets move on to the Salami. 

Cut the meat and fat into 2-3 inch pieces ( this works well with my monster grinder) and partially freeze. Run meat through grinder twice. I used a 1/2 plate followed by a 1/4 inch plate.

The above video shows what a 1/2 inch grind looks like. The picture to the left shows the second grind through a 1/4 inch plate. From my experience if you're going to use a 1/4 inch plate or smaller you should always grind first through a larger plate.  

I placed the meat in mixer with all the spices with the exception of cure and phosphates and I let it rip for about 6 minutes. My meat mixer attaches to my grinder and it will hold 25 pounds of meat which makes this endeavor easy. I then took out a hunk and fried it up and tasted it to possibly adjust for taste and salt content. It was perfect. I then added the cure and phosphate and finished the mixing adding a little crushed ice to keep temp down below 40 degrees.

I prepared my high barrier casings which are huge. They are 4 3/4 inches in diameter and will hold 8 lbs. I used hog rings to secure. I wanted to make sure they could withstand the pressure of the meat being forced into them and remain airtight when I submerge them in water. I plan on using my Sous-Vide to cook these monsters. I am using my polyscience Sous-Vide app to calculate time. I am going to cook them at 161 degrees for 5:53 minutes which will bring the internal temp up to 155 F. 

 I used my Sausage stuffer which holds 15 lbs of meat to stuff these monster salamis. After I stuffed my Salamis I let them rest in a refrigerator for 24 hours to cure. 

Lets recap. Cut meat up, partially freeze and grind. Add spices and mix, stuff into prepared casings and hold for 24 hours. Sous-Vide until an internal temp of 155 F is reached. Submerge Salami in huge ice bath until temp falls rapidly to 38 degrees. Getting temp below 40 quickly takes meat out of the danger zone. 
ALL DONE and it's wonderful. I won't change a thing.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Before writing this blog on my crazy version of a Kosher Vealcetta aka Pancetta (non kosher Pork version) I felt the need to answer a predictable yet old question about the Ethical Objections to Veal? If you're curious click the link. 

Why make a Pancetta from Veal Belly? Because I don't eat pork or any Treif for that matter. It's my goal to make as many pork Charcuterie replicas as possible and the caveat of course is to use Biblical Kosher animals only.

What makes this one so different?'s the meat I am using. I am using the delectable Veal Navel or belly (plate) as some call it. Note: I have used Beef Plate in the past for bacon but it is too tough to roll a beef belly into a cylinder to make Pancetta. 

You can search every book or online source and you will never find a Pancetta made from Veal belly, believe me I have tried. 

I have found some east-coast establishments that sell Kosher

Charcuterie products but I have never seen Kosher Pancetta. I have never see any Charcuterie made with Veal let alone Pancetta. Veal is very $$$. The Kosher cured meats products I have seen are priced very very high and appear to be average cured meats. Nothing special about them except for their high price. To give you an example of high priced Charcuterie I came across a Bresaola being sold for $95.00 a pound. Bresaola is made from eye of round which sells for $3.99 a pound at Costco. You can make it yourself for about $4.25 a pound. 

I have been dreaming about making this for over 2 yrs. Think about it for a moment Kosher Pancetta? To my knowledge it has never been done before. It does not get any more original than this. Of course if Deli's were to carry this it would be cost prohibitive for most.

I was able to special order this Veal Belly at Stewart's Meats in Yelm WA. It cost $140.00 bucks for this delectable piece of heaven. If you add in the Gas and toll I am sure it's closer to $160.00 bucks for this hunk of meat but it's all worth it. I will be able to make a Veal-CettaVeal Pastrami and Veal Stock/Sauce from this belly. 

Again Beef Plate is too tough but Veal on the other hand is very tender. 

Here is a picture of both sides of the Veal. It still has to be broken down. 

Some great pics of meat being broken down. 

Section of bones. 

Bones, bones and bones!!! Breaking everything down for a Veal Stock. 

Lots of scraps for my stock.

My scraps all sealed up for future use. 

This section will be used for my Pastrami.

This section will be used for the Veal-Cetta. 

 Link to instructions

The first thing you want to do is is to assemble all of your ingredients. 

I ground up the whole spices using an electric spice grinder to a medium grind.

Of course this takes some time and it's quite tedious but I enjoyed every moment of it. 

"This is why we do this..... not necessarily for the end result but the journey from meat to Charcuterie!!!"

Since this is an original recipe I had to adjust the ingredients as I measured them out. As I was weighing them and combining them with the exception of the salt I tasted everything. I had to adjust the amounts several times which was really tedious and hopefully I got it right. I had to clean my palate many times until I got it right accompanied by several bathroom breaks. Did I get it right? Won't know for many weeks. 

All the ingredients are assembled and ready for the next step. I ground up the whole spices using an electric spice grinder to a medium grind. The addition of orange zest is not traditional by no means but was inspired by Jacob Burton from Stella Culinary.

I will apply the zest to the meat prior to applying cure. 

Zest and cure applied. I like to apply cure to every nook and cranny before applying other ingredients. I know a lot of people combine Salt, cure and spices and herbs together but this is not my preference.  
May 26, 2014

All done!! Meat will be cured for 10-15 days and flipped daily. 

After the curing is complete I will do something once again that is definitely not traditional. Traditionally Pancetta is rinsed rolled and tied and hung until done. Ok mine will be done differently. I am going to use Transglutaminase Activa RM to bind the meat together. I want the Vealcetta when rolled to become one solid muscle. Yea, yea I know not traditional.