Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Food from this week (semi-OT)... pic heavy (and looong)

stikestike Posts: 15,597
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum
After a week curing, the fenalaar (lamb ham) was ready to be smoked. 
fresh from the cure, rinsed and trimmed of dangly bits
image

inner surfaces sprinkled with herbs de provence (with lavendar) and some fresh mint flowers (fragrant)

image

rolled and tied

image

burnt offerings to the food preservation gods: grapevine (front) and lilac stem

image

image

image

image

sliced...
image

i halved it front to back, vacuum packed (so it wouldn't dry out) and tossed into the fridge.  Part of a appetizer we are bringing to a couple cookouts this weekend

also unwrapped the prosciutto that I started back in may last year.  it hung in june and had been up for about 400 days.
started at 18 pounds, dried to maybe 13

image

unwrapped

image

that front edge is the fat hem, peppered.
here it is, sliced

image

it was really great, and i won't lie, i was relieved.
couple things really amazed me (not hard), and there were a couple things i learned.  first, seems obviousnow, but i never made the connection (skip down to the brats if this looks long. i actually SHORTENED this part, believe it or not) :)

we talk of the smell of 'old' meat (aged beef is where it usually comes up, but i also mean supermarket meat that is in the fridge a while).  people always ant to know what the smell is like.  i could never capture it.  i'd say "sweet, slightly metallic.." but that never captured it.

i noticed it in my longest aged beef especially, say 60-100 days.

last easter's ham had the same smell.  it was aged at room temp for about 9 or 10 months. 

what's my frigging point? well, unwrapping this prosciutto i smelled the same smell.  i took a deep sniff after slicing.  you know what the smell is, the one you smell in aged beef? it's friggin prosciutto.  yep.  prosciutto is probably the only aged meat we all have had at one time or another. we all know the taste, smell.  so for future reference, think 'prosciutto' if you smell something in the dry aged beef you are making. that smell is similar across the few aged meats i have done.  it's of course more pronounced the longer you age, but a tinge of it WILL be apparent.  next time you have prosciutto, take a deep sniff.

i have to tell you that it's another reason i'm convinced that we learn our tastes/smells rather than inherit them.  because i always was slightly disconcerted by the smell.  is it right? what causes it? to find that i have been familiar with it all along under another name made the lightbulb go off over my head.

the small slice is going to be sliced into as-thin-as-i-can slices for the cookout as well.
sorry for the length of that...

now, brats.
this is also the ruhlman/polcyn ("Charcuterie') recipe. i made ten pounds.  yikes.  should have done 5.  10 is a bit much for one person in my kitchen with my equipment.

the raws. two boneless pork butts and about 2 pounds fat back (skin on here, to be removed)

image

back fat (rear) is free of skin and cubed. a little ground lamb (store bought pre-ground), and my two small boneless pork butts diced and ready to be chilled for grinding

image

aaaaand squirted out my 5-pound dakotah stuffer.  one man operation,. goes faster than you can handle if you want to, but the rate is adjustable to a crawl if need be

image

lastly.. a miscellaneous shot. mussel shells, post-dinner.
one pile is the wife's, the other is mine.  gee, guess which?

image

why? well, i ate about four times what she did, and that platter would be spilling over with shells.  saves space, and looks cool (to a guy like me that doesn't get out much, i mean). especially helps at a restaurant, since they never give you a good enough bowl to hold all the shells.  and it always charms the waitress too.  it's also frankly the mark of a frustrated designer.



ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,382
    Looks fantastic!  I've been going nuts with curing after buying Ruhlman's "Charcuterie" book.  Love lamb, I'll have to try he fenalaar.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Very cool and inspiring cooks. What do you do with all the "fat hem" on the presuto? Do you eat that? And the fat cubes you created went into the sausage?
    LBGE, Weber OTG w/ Rotisserie, Weber Genesis S-330, Chargriller Duo, AR-15, AK-47
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited August 2012
    the fat on the prosciutto is very thick.  that's the pig's issue, i guess.  :)
    i need to take a look at how 'supermarket' prosciutto (even the good stuff) is delivered.  not sure if it is trimmed of the excess fat.  the skin i know is taken off, but i'm wondering how thin the fat is on the exterior when the thing is actually sliced. 

    the thickness is one reason my ham is still very heavy and pliable.  it would have dried more quickly with a thinner layer.  but you don't trim before hanging, so you need to go play it by ear i guss. probably when some hang as long as two years.

    if i slice it off, i may reserve it as lardo, which is sorta/kinda what it is. salt-cured pork fat.

    the diced fatback goes into the sausages, yes.  i used to just use a pound of pork fat trimmings (get it free from the butcher), but the fat back is technically preferred.  it doesn't melt when you overcook them (which you shouldn't do, but i which i have done). it is a bit of a pain, because it's thin and has skin on it.  needs to be removed.  it's frankly easier to just score a pound of fat trimmings.  but you need to be even MORE careful with temps.  if the meat gets too warm from handling during the making, the fat can 'break' when cooking.  it turns liquid and runs freely.  if you keep it together, and it stays cold, it holds together better. hard to describe

    but yeah, you need extra fat in sausages. no such thing as lo-fat sausage (well, GOOD lo-fat sausage)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Wow and someone asked if you ever cook.


    _______________________________________________

    XLBGE 
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i only took that lamb ham to 135 or so.  does that even count as cooked?:)
    and someone else will cook the brats, and the prosciutto is raw.  looks like out of 30 pounds of meat, i cooked only 3 pounds.

    that may not satisfy whoever it was that said it. ;)
    thanks for the props. i appreciate it
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,382
    After the initial curing of pancetta or prosciutto, what kind of environmental conditions are not ideal to age it (hang it).  I have pancetta hanging in my house - air conditioned around 77F.  Not sure what the exact relative humidity is, but I'd estimate around 40-45%.  No basements here - they fill up with water.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    ok.
    one more time...
    hahaha

    you are drying, and you are aging. two things which are separate, but connected.

    since your meat is cured, you don't even have to worry about temps.  if you were aging uncured beef (dry aging), you'd need to consider temps.  but since your meat is cured, it is hostile to bacteria/microbes already. that's the whole idea. if not cured, needs to be low 30s.  since it's cured, no worries.

    humidity... no safety issue. hang it in a desert, or in a bat cave.  humidity only speeds or slows drying.  pancetta hangs a relatively brief period, couple weeks.  but can go longer. anything can go longer. doesn't get dangerous, just gets drier.  i hang pancetta longer than ruhlman suggests, because my basement can be humid.  takes longer to dry. hanging condenses flavor. that's why we do it.

    plus, frankly,. when you made four of these after slaughtering a pig, you weren't gonna eat them anytime soon.  you nailed them with pepper to keep flies away, and three months later when you needed the last pancetta, you took it down   it will be more intense than the one you used first, is all.

    controlled temps and humidity are required when you have decided that you want to make these things one after another, and have them all come out the same (as if you were selling them).

    in parma, the oldest prosciutto making familes nod politely at the immaculate commercial humidity-/temp-controlled rooms with legs of ham stacked around in clinical wonderment. 

    but they don't bother.  they open there barns to the breezes in the summer when they want to speed drying, and they make a note the warm temps will age the meat faster. cooling will slow it.

    they like a little terroir, to steal a term from the wine snobs.  you can only get terroir in your pancetta and cured stuff if you let it ride too.  my pancetta varies one to the next throughout the year. not in huge amounts, but enough to notice differences.  i tend to like differences. sameness bores me

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited August 2012
    ..meant to say (can you believe i left something out?) that molds can develop in higher humidity situations.  n.b.d.  just wash or scrub off if it is bothersome.  you will get mold in the spiral end of the pancetta.  bah.  rinse it and enjoy. ends are the best piece in my book. 

    some folks rub it with a wet towel soaked in brine to remove mold (doesn't prevent it, just removes it).  in NYC, the bresaola at one spot are covered in green fur.  they takes it down, rub/wash it off, and coat with a thin bit of olive oil before selling it to you at $20+ a pound.

    some molds can be invasive, and those are technically a no-no.

    you can also buy mold cultures (or make your own from brie, for example) and bathe your salumi in it every now and the. that will edge out the local molds and leave you with that nice white dusty mold that is so desirable.  i suppose you could do that on any cured meat, but that's not quite the style of ham, pancetta, etc.  salumi yes. sopressata too
    next up for me is sopressata. haven't done a salami/salumi



    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,382
    Thanks.  I'm not worried about food safety as much as about where I can hang these suckers and not have them taste bad - I've already had complaints from SWMBO about fat dripping on the counter (hanging in the kitchen).  I'd like to hang my dead animal flesh creations in the shop (covered with cloth so I can keep the dust off).  The shop is only air conditioned when I'm using it.  Went out of town a few days and it was 87 F with about 70% humidity before I turned the AC on.  Outside, and I'd just be feeding possums, birds and racoons (the cats could care less).
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,382
    ...but I could certainly build a screened "house" outside and pick up some interesting tropical terroir.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Mighty_QuinnMighty_Quinn Posts: 1,878
    Thanks stike....I took the plunge! I've done bacon a couple times, Canadian bacon, cured turkey breast, and few sausages from 'Charcuterie'. I've finally gotten around to doing something that requires drying. Here is the beginnings of bresaola...only been in the cure a few days so some time to go before hanging. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I'll have drying temps in the mid 60s with humidity levels in the upper 20's%...
  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 5,155
    Fantastic.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 981
    The prosciutto di Parma that I get in the Italian market in Philly has a half-rim of fat up to an inch deep, but I've also seen it trimmed before it's sliced.image.
    Looks great, stike! Brining a Moulard breast and pork belly now as my first foray into this world. Bresaola is next. 
    *******
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
  • newegg13newegg13 Posts: 231
    The prosciutto di Parma that I get in the Italian market in Philly has a half-rim of fat up to an inch deep, but I've also seen it trimmed before it's sliced.image.
    Looks great, stike! Brining a Moulard breast and pork belly now as my first foray into this world. Bresaola is next. 
    That's definitely a bicycle seat.   :D
    Amateur Egger; professional rodeo clown. Birmingham, AL
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    Smells better tho
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • newegg13newegg13 Posts: 231
    Smells better tho

    God I hope so. I just threw up in my mouth a little thinking about that.
    Amateur Egger; professional rodeo clown. Birmingham, AL
  • Wow, inspiring, thanks for sharing!
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 938
    Looks good enough to eat! Very impressive tieing of that lamb. Gerhard
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,672
    Beautiful pictures, stike. Way to go. I would have guessed you stacked the shells even without your comment. ;)

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings

     

  • AleBrewerAleBrewer Posts: 555
    Looks fantastic!
    My copy of Salumi just came in the mail....seems like another great book from those guys.
  • Looks great, Stike !
    Houston, Texas http://willsononline.com
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.