Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Charcutepalooza Project #4 - Smoke

This month's Charcutepalooza challenge is smoke. The suggested projects are hot smoking salmon, making Canadian bacon, a spiced pork loin or tasso. Well, I hadn't seen any salmon that looked good lately although I saw some wild salmon that looked pretty good at the Fresh Market yesterday. I've made Canadian bacon and while the spiced loin and tasso look good, I think they would be a hard sell to the family and I'd end up eating it all. I had some beef I wanted to use before getting fresh beef next month so I went with a smoked kielbasa and some summer sausage - both ripped from the Charcuterie cookbook.

I started Sunday after everyone went to bed. Not my best move since this ended up taking a little longer than I had anticipated. The summer sausage cures for a few days. I prepped that first. You've got beef from a top round roast on the left. The pinkish powder is pink salt, dextrose, and salt. The yellowish powder is Coleman's dry mustard and dry milk (the recipe calls for "Fermento" but I'm not in Buffalo right now so that wasn't handy). The seasonings in the little green cup are coriander, granulated garlic. Then on the right is some left over pork belly from the bacon project and pork fat.

The meat got a coarse grind:

Then the spices got mixed in, the fat was diced and mixed in and it all went to the fridge. See you on Tuesday, Summer Sausage.

In kind of a stupid move, I cleaned up and moved onto the kielbasa. I have made the fresh kielbasa in the book before (it's really good). In this recipe, the meat is closer to being emulsified before stuffing. The other great thing about this recipe is that it call for some chipped ice. That means I get to break out the Magic Hostess and I love the Magic Hostess. My parents have been married for 51 years. They got this as a wedding gift.

I should mention that you need to keep everything cold while doing this. Most of the meat still had a partial freeze while being ground so I didn't always use the recommended ice bath. Beef and pork fat back were coarsely ground onto a cookie sheet and then put back into the freezer while the spices were weighed and the ice was crushed.

When you first turn on the Magic Hostess, there is a little whir. The grows and the there is a hum. Once it is done humming, it settle into a low sounding wubba wubbba wubba. It is then ready for ice. Ice goes in the trap door up top...

 A mild wood chipper noise is made and crushed ice comes out in a little tray at the bottom. So cool.

The crushed ice, salt, pink salt and dextrose get mixed with the coarsely ground meat before going through the fine grind.

It gets stuffed into hog casings, tied up, and refrigerated on a rack to dry over night.

By the time this was all done, it was 1 AM. I had a beer on the couch and Anchorman was on TV. There are some really funny parts to that movie. Crashed around 1:30. I had a meeting on Monday night, but I left early to watch the basketball game. Just before tip off, I lit my new smoking toy and hung the kielbasa on this old skewer I have (also a hand me down from my parents). The new smoking toy is basically a square with a winding path through it. You fill it with sawdust and lit it with a tea candle. Once it start smoldering, you remove the tea candle and you have relatively cold smoke. Filled, this thing can allegedly last for 10 hours. I just filled it to where some photos online said the ashes were after 2 hours. I don't have a very good method of controlled hot smoking yet. The plan was to cold smoke for 2 hours and then put the kielbasa in a low oven to cook. Worked pretty well. Here's the gadget.

And here it is after 2 hours.

Then I put the kielbasa in a 180 degree oven to finish cooking.

These are going to get grilled this weekend. Between cooking these and talking on the phone with my brother about being National Champs, it was another late night. Onto Tuesday. I had originally thought about stuffing and cooking the summer sausage in one night. That was just silly. The plan quickly changed to grinding and stuffing on Tuesday, smoking on Wednesday. Here's the meat after two days in the fridge.

This goes through the fine plate of the grinder.

Insert your own casing/condom joke here:

Not sure if it was me or the sausage stuffer, but these was not as easy as it usually is. Casings broke a few times and the handle was sticking. Everything seems to be working again but I was glad I wasn't staying up even later to smoke these on Tuesday.

Once again, it was time for sausage in bondage. I had an old Family Guy on in the background to help pass the time. I really need to learn how to tie a knot.

I finally smartened up and started the smoking when I came home from work. The 2 hour smoke started at 5:00 tonight instead of after dark. I used up the rest of my saw dust sample. I have to order some more. This saw dust is much finer that what I have been able to find locally.

Had to use two skewers this time around.

After a few hours of smoke, these went into a low oven too. And here they are coming to room temp.

Not sure if I am done smoking stuff for this month's challenge. I'll have to see what kind of time I have this weekend. I am also thinking about curing and smoking the Easter ham. That will be after the 15th deadline though. Got my Charcutepalooza homework and taxes done before the 15th. What were the odds on that?

1 comment:

  1. ok, you're already 4 steps ahead of the rest of us ;) Nice job.