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Rowley Leigh's spiced cured Irish beef

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  • Message 601. 

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    Sorry, completely off-topic (about which I know nothing!) 

    Well get yourself some beef, saltpetre & you're away Trixey.

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  • Message 602

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    Posted by Trixeytrader (U13705584) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    Actually I was going to have a go last February - then I got snowed in for five days so I couldn't go and get any beef, then I couldn't think where to get saltpetre, and my enthusiasm just ebbed away :( Pathetic really

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  • Message 603

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    This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

  • Message 604

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    sd2 - chemists don't sell saltpetre any more - or even get it to order.

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  • Message 605

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    Posted by Trixeytrader (U13705584) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    OK. Just had a peruse through the early part of this thread and there seem to be so many variables. Which recipe are you all using now and how do I get saltpetre? Am away in France (can I buy it there? Oh no - they would think I was going to blow up the train!) for about a week but will knuckle down in two weeks time and have a go. How long will it keep if I start the process in mid-November?

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  • Message 606

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    Ian is in France - and might poste you some.

    And I think it may be easier to get there.

    You could try the Pitie Hospital - though I don't think they still make their own onsite.

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  • Message 607

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    Posted by Trixeytrader (U13705584) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    But they would have it off me at the security checks. Probably chuck all of us in Fleury-Merogis at the same time. It must be possible to get it here - wasn't there a link to a site that was something to do with sausages? I will go back and look properly.

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  • Message 608

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    AFAIK there are no restrictions on saltpetre.

    There was a site - but expensive. I found a far cheaper supplier but they no longer supply for fear of residual nitrite(ate?) rules. But they do various pre-mixed curing salts.

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  • Message 609

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    This is where I and a few others have got it Trixey and it has been mentioned earlier in the thread. It'a big packet which should last a long time.

    www.sausagemaking.or...

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  • Message 610

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    That's the one Luca.
    I wouldn't recommend any other, I trust this site and so do many others.

    & you're absolutely right Trixey, this thread is a long journey.
    In 10 days or so, I'll have my next batch ready, and I can let you know what that spice mix recipe is like.
    Tricky Dicky Ricky's will be ready soon too, for another take on the recipe.

    But for my recap, it's 1.6 - 2 kilos of toprump or topside (same difference)
    juniper, pepper, sea/rock salt, saltpetre, allspice
    cure for 21 days plus
    soak overnight, and roast gently in water for 2hrs30
    cool overnight.

    Voila.

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  • Message 611

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    Posted by Trixeytrader (U13705584) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    Yes that's the one. I knew it was something to do with sausages. Thanks Luca. I am going to come back on this thread at the end of next week and get advice on which is the easiest and best recipe for an absolute beginner, and do it!

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  • Message 612

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    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    Trixey I think all of us were absolute beginners at this. Gill started the ball rolling so to speak <biggrin>, ordered her saltpetre and made the first cured beef as per Rowley Leigh's recipe. She got us all interested. I've made two so far and shall be doing another one pretty soon. Good luck!

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  • Message 613

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009

    Funnily enough Elisa, my husband prefers the original, aromatically salty, recipe.

    I prefer the more refined versions we've been making on the back of it.

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  • Message 614

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    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Tuesday, 27th October 2009


    Hi all

    If you like the real Jewish salt beef on rye then you'll want to use brisket and a Jewish salt beef recipe like this sort of thing., Basically like the Spiced Beef recipe but using brisket - comes out much softer than the lean beef..

    Jewish Style Corned Beef
    recipes.epicurean.co...

    Lovely stuff, but brisket is pretty fatty so a no-no for OH on account of no gall bladder and me just for the humoungous amount of cals. <erm>

    Here's an interesting thread on Jewish salt beef on uktv.
    uktv.co.uk/food/thre...



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  • Message 615

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Wednesday, 28th October 2009

    That's not so much different then Odette.
    Same here in our house though on the brisket - no to those fatty cuts.

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  • Message 616

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Just doing a couple of chores in the kitchen, I'm in housewife/ housecoat mode.
    So thought I'd give the beefy his 16 day massage whilst I was at it:

    www.youtube.com/watc...

    There's probably about 200mil of brine, which is usual for me. And he's firm but not leathery - none of my results has been leathery at all.

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  • Message 617

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    Posted by lusciouslush (U3917132) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    I can't see it - I'll have to fiddle - is there no end to your techie skills woman.....?

    Just a (cough) word to the wise as it were.....going on Youtube with a 'Massaging The Beef' title is going to generate a LOT of interest Grilly.....<laugh>



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  • Message 618

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Good point.
    There's going to be a few disappointed sicko's then when they click on THAT link.

    I hope you get to see it soon, you tube sometimes takes a while to process clips.

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  • Message 619

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    I think you are just showing off that you have TWO expensive Le Creuset Casserolley thingys!!!!

    Or is it a different colour for every day of the week :-) ?

    Now back to my next project, bought some brisket this time, to see how that turns out, all the recipes seem to say 10/11 days for Jewish deli style salt beefy effect. I wonder if it should be a proper wet brining too, rather than this semi-dry method we've been using?

    In a ziplock unfortunately, so won't have that je ne said quois! PS: found a pack of ziplock bags in a dark corner of my cupboard that I do not remember ever buying. They could be 25 years old for all I know!

    My other project involves a big hunk of Pork shoulder I bought to make some Pork Floss from the recipe on Sunflower's blogsite. A tiny 60g jar of the commercial stuff was £2.65 in Loo Fung earlier this week, I wonder how much my 2 lb of shoulder will make!

    I am afraid I have to agree with whoever said "If god didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them taste of meat...". Last night's project was a huge tub of Chicken Tablecloth Stainer (Mancha Mantales de Pollo), with piles of chorizo thrown in too, and I feel I may need to do penance my meat excesses of the last couple of days. Veggie for the week next week?

    I am also feeling vaguely smug about having had all the ingredients for the Mancha to hand in my storecupboard, including Ancho and Pasilla chillies, and even the canned Serranos, tucked in the back of my freezer. Only 5 though, the recipe required 6. Weeeeellll....

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  • Message 620

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Veggie for the week next week? 

    Sakkarin <yikes> don't go overboard, try it a day at a time, think of all of the poor animals that will be slaughtered in vain if we didn't eat them <laugh>

    I will be cooking my wild boar collar this weekend! I am out shooting on Saturday so may have something tasty to try next week, I am still toying with the idea of a piece of Roe shoulder ,<erm> may be, may be not we shall see!!!!

    ATB

    SD2


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  • Message 621

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    I still haven't got round to get some saltpetre yet. Curing will have to wait. If I do get some I will try some Chinese cured pork, salted duck legs and Chinese sausages too.

    Sakkarin
    I wonder how much my 2 lb of shoulder will make 
    Excluding the rind and layer of fat, I reckon 2 lbs of meat you will get about 180 - 200g (about 3 cups loosely pack) floss, depending on how dry the floss is.

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  • Message 622

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Hi Sunflower!

    Sorry to highjack or should it be Hi Gill this thread?

    I am making your Rendang tonight (it was supposed to be last night but reloading my PC took up more time than I had planned :-()

    Q1. What are those leaves that you use and is there a substitute?

    Q2. I could only get salted macademian nuts will they do?

    Q3. I have a jar of Tamarind paste in the fridge could I just thin that down?

    Besides that I have all the rest so am looking forward to making it!

    may even see my way to doing a few pics, now that I have a 1TB external hard drive :-( talk about shutting the stable door!!! what do they say? there is no fool like an old fool <laugh>

    ATB

    SD2

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  • Message 623

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Hi SD2 - Rendang - Yummy! One of my favourites.

    Just in case Sunflower is not around; beware of Tamarind Paste, which is sometimes VERY concentrated and not a flavour you would want at the forefront for rendang.

    I doubt if the leaves or nuts are critical.

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  • Message 624

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Afternoon Ari!

    I doubt if the leaves or nuts are critical. 

    Well they will be if I want to make it to his recipe. Which I do!

    ATB

    SD2

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  • Message 625

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Hi SD2,

    Your name is not Richard by any chance?

    Rendang recipe is very flexible, you can add and cut some of the ingredients. IMO the dry roast and ground coconut is essential, does give the sauce texture, nuttiness taste and flavour.

    Back to your question,
    What leaves are you talking about, screwpine? This is Asian vanilla that looks like this ecamp.ph/superfoods/.... Only available fresh from Asian supermarket.

    You don't have to add this. Most rendangs use another fragrant herbs like leaf from the turmeric roots (impossible to find this neck of the Western world)farm2.static.flickr.... and some like to add finely shredded K*ffir lime leaves.

    For the candle nuts if you can't get it don't worry, don't bother to get macademian just to make this rendang. If you already got some, you can use this.

    This tamarind paste how thick, give me some indication how much you will need.
    1 watery
    2 semi thick like gravy
    3 thick like golden syrup
    4 very thick that will will not drip tipping from a spoon

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  • Message 626

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Afternoon Sunflower!

    Tis Richard for my sins <blush>! Though only my gran, mother and SIL ever called of call me that <laugh>!

    I have the nuts already (80 cents from ALDI), I have (frozen) kaffir lime leaves, The owner of my Asian supply shop is a Malay and actually offered me tumeric root leaves, but I declined as I didn't know if they would go with it!
    The paste is nearer the 4th than the 3rd!

    Thanks for your help!

    ATB

    SD2

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  • Message 627

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Guten nachmittag Graf Richard

    Sunflower is a "she"!

    I think she's right that the coconut is essential - not really rendang without!

    Did you tell your Malay shopkeeper you were making rendang? Was he impressed?

    Sunflower's category 4 tamarind is the one I had in mind when I said "beware"! It's not Natco Brand by any chance?

    Sunflower - any chance you could put your rendang recipe on your excellent recipe blog?
    sunflower-recipes.bl...

    Makan bagus (eat well)

    Steve

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  • Message 628

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Your name makes me smile every time I see it. :)

    Now you got lime leaves shred some in towards the end of the cooking. Gives a lovely flavour.

    You are so lucky to find turmeric root leaves. Next time never decline. I will get some from your Malay supplier if I could. It is the quintessential ingredient for authentic rendang. I think turmeric root leaves can be frozen may become quite limp defrosted.

    So you got a very thick tamarind paste, try 1 heap tsp first (can go straight in without dilution, just add will melt with the cooking liquid). If you think you like more sharp add a little bit more towards end of the cooking. Rendang is not sour curry, it spices power packed and rich.

    You need to cook/reduce the sauce till it is quite dry and oil started to separate.

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  • Message 629

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Steve,

    I haven't made rendang for ages. I will put it on the blog when I make it again with a nice picture.

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  • Message 630

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Sunflower

    Well isn't this talk making you salivate at the thought?

    I am now thinking of the Rendezvous Restaurant on Dhoby Ghaut - which I presume you know.

    Selamat sore

    Steve

    Report message30

  • Message 631

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Not to hijack this thread furthermore.

    Steve,

    I haven't been to S'pore for years. My mum was S'porean and I still have all my mother's side relatives over there. I used to go there enroute to/fro my holidays trips from here to Brunei. For this Rendezvous restaurant, no I haven't been. We always cook rendang at home or have it during Hari Raya at Malay friends or eat at Malay hawker stalls.

    Report message31

  • Message 632

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Thursday, 29th October 2009

    Or is it a different colour for every day of the week 
    I wish.

    Great projects coming up Sakkarin.

    & also, feel free to hi-gill the thread. So long as it's about good food, obviously Sunflower's recipes fit the bill there!, then I'm never bothered by posts going into other areas.

    Report message32

  • Message 633

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Hi Sunflower!

    As Gill has given permission to do a bit of piracy on the high seas, then I shall only say that I was eating beef Rendang a la sunflower at midnight last night, it was a great compensation for not being able to get my PC working 100%!

    It turned out great, though as I didn't read the recipe correctly until after the cooking :-( I ground all of the spices including the star-anis and cardamom pods so there was none to remove after the cooking <laugh>. I didn't regrind the fried coconut after toasting so it has a few lumps of coconut floating around! I used my own chillis both green and red and these have quite a bit of woomfff just how I like it! Will be having it again for lunch (half day Friday)with a nice bit of rice!

    ATB

    SD2

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  • Message 634

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Spotty - rice is the appropriate accompanyment - Rendang is one of the standard dishes in "Nasi Padang" - Rice in the Padang (town in Sumatra) style). You probably know this but may interest others!

    en.wikipedia.org/wik...

    Report message34

  • Message 635

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Trying to crack this "proper salt beef" thing, and finding via Google Streetview that my beloved Cleveland Street Salt Beef bar from back in 1982 appears now to be a pub, I found this website online with a listing of the Top 5 Salt Beef bars in London (which I suspect also means in the the country).

    youngandfoodish.com/...

    And hallelujah, number 3 on the list (it's moved up a place since the article was posted...) was down the road from me, in Edgware. Having just bought a lovely new motorbike, and with the sun shining merrily, I thought I'd use the excuse to take a little trip there.

    About 200 yards down from the central Edgware junction, the BK has a completely unassuming frontage, in a typically dilapidated little North London parade.

    Inside, it's very compact, with about 6 weeny tables. It has that old time cafe feel. Huge hunks of beef festooned the display area, and I drooled, comparing them mentally to my weedy endeavours at home. The SaltBeefMeister was chatting to all the customers at 100mph, which looked promising for my plot to grill him for some of his trade secrets. While he chatted and worked, he was also handing out fishballs for people to try - when I got one, I didn't realise what it was and was expecting some sort of potato latke, the fishiness caught me by surprise. Nice though, delicate flavour.

    So now I watched him make his first sandwich, for the customer in front of me. He laid a thin slice of rye bread on the counter, and started cutting from a huge hunk of steaming brisket. One slice. Two slices (fat ones too). Three slices. Four slices.

    I lost count, and just watched as he made a pile a good two inches deep, lovely brick-red moist looking slices. A squirt of french mustard, and another frail piece of rye on top, and a deft cut through the centre to halve the huge pile, and into greaseproof paper.

    Wheni it came to mine, he seemed mildy surprised when I said I wanted gherkins INSIDE the sandwich... and cut up a whole one of those enormous 4 inch plus American-style gherkins. Sheesh. I told him that I hadn't had a Salt Beef Sandwich as good-looking as that in over 20 years!

    So to the sandwich. The rye bread was pretty much a coincidental addition, the star was the beef. Personally I would have used a slightly thicker slice, as it went vaguely limp in transit, and I do like the bite and flavour of the rye bread against the salt beef.

    I had made up my mind to buy one, whatever the price, and a figure of around £6.50 had flitted in front of my eyes... the actual price was 4 quid. Wow. I couldn't even finish half, and have a huge pile of salt beef in the fridge now! Avert your eyes now, anyone on a diet...

    carta.co.uk/beebstuf...

    Pedant that I am, after I had photographed it (after a hectic scamper back home from Edgware), I weighed the meat to see what I had got. This is unbelievable. 325 grammes of the stuff. More than THREE whole quarter pounder hamburgers worth!!!!

    I had a really good chat with the guy, but in the end, only got a hazy view of the brining mix, as he said he makes the beef a ton at a time, with a kilo of saltpetre, to 200 litres of brine, and a cocktail of other nitrates and phosphates. To get the licensing(?) required to prepare the salt beef, apparently the department involved traced his family's roots back to his grandparents to check there weren't potential bombmakers...

    I think the most important thing I learned was that he uses a completely immersed cure, and he also said the additional nitrates and phosphates were an important part as they stopped the meat from ending up too salty, and that there wasn't really a home option, as the quantities involved were too tiny, and you would run the risk of killing people if you overdid it.

    I asked him about the commercial cures on sale, and he said that the ones he had seen didn't really salt beef cures, just generalised pork cures (i.e. bacon etc).

    It hasn't put me off, I will continue to try and recreate the best I can that taste, and if I really hanker after the real thing, I know it is just a hop away down the motorway. And while his salt beef is head and shoulders above anything I've made yet, I know this now - my Rye Bread is pretty much as good as his, and my Apple Strudel is way, way better! (When I asked if it was proper strudel pastry, he said "No, it's puff pastry, I haven't got the time...").

    Oh, and I prefer English mustard.

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  • Message 636

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Hi Gill

    Great shots of beefy there - I was just waiting for your sleeve to dip into the mix but you avoided it beautifully. It's looking good and I do like the pale blue dish. Mine is due a massage soon and the fridge is still smelling nicely of juniper.

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  • Message 637

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    WOW Sakkarin - that must have been a heck of a sandwich. It looks delicious.

    KeenCook2 and I had some amazing salt beef sarnies at Harry Morgan's in London (Market Place) but it seems to have closed and the north London one has gone downhill apparently. I may have to head to BK one of these days. I'm not sure I'd manage a quarter of one that size though.

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  • Message 638

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Wow Sakkarin .............................................









    a new motorbike!


    It's a shame they didn't give out more on the salt beef cure though. Just a summary of the mix would have probably done it.
    Great story there too, & that's masses of beef though.

    I've got some English mustard in too to try.

    Hi Luca
    I've just added more juniper to mine, and still not dunked my sleeve in there.

    Report message38

  • Message 639

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Hi Sakkarin
    I think the most important thing I learned was that he uses a completely immersed cure, and he also said the additional nitrates and phosphates were an important part as they stopped the meat from ending up too salty, and that there wasn't really a home option, as the quantities involved were too tiny, and you would run the risk of killing people if you overdid it.  As you know (or perhaps you don't) but I also read and write to "Sausagemaking.org" and there are a lot of people who do cures of all kinds. The discussions are far more wide ranging than just sausages. From my reading there, I must agree that mitrates (or nitrites) are indeed essential. Phosphates less so, because their chief function is to persuade the meat to absorb and retain water. By doing so, they can also help in getting the cure into the heart of the meat, but between you, me and the doorpost that's not the REAL reason it's used.

    I won't bore you and every one else with a description of the interpley between nitrite, nitrate and meat. Suffice it to say that it's nitrite that does the business, and that for long cured (salami for example) goods, you use nitrate (as well) because over time it gets converted into nitrite by bacterial action and thus gives protection over the whole curing process even at relatively warm temperatures.

    As for the impractibility of domestic curing, I'm afraid that's so much hogwash. You DO need to be sure that the small quantities (even tiny quantities) are accurately measured, but it's easy to get digital scales that go down to 1/10g and while that can give assurance, I find that mixing up a relatively large batch of cure - using Cure #1 which has 0.6% sodium nitrite - plus such nitrate as you feel is needed, and phosphate too, if you want, together with sugar and spices, is quite accurate enough with digital scales that are accurate to 1 g. Alternatively use a calibrated measuring spoon and calculate other ingredients on the basis of the real weight of a tsp of whatever component is used in the smallest quantities. Mix this cure carefully together, wight out what's needed, and be sure to REMIX at every use to ensure even dispersal of all the different components.

    Sausagemaking.org (with whom I have no connection other than being a delighted customer) sell everything one can need, right down to mixes for - wait for it - salt beef.

    All the best
    Ian

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  • Message 640

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    I am a bit slow following this thread as I don't have saltpetre yet to play with.

    Reading this thread again this afternoon, I am a bit concern about the amount of saltpetre used in recipe post by Gill on post #1. Rowley Leigh recipe stated 15g and Gill used 4 tsp.

    Many of you should know saltpetre must be measured exactly to 1g, too much can be harmful to health.

    From the look of this recipe it is a dry cure.

    Reading quite a few recipes on the internet this afternoon and going through sausagemaking.org forum, I am beginning to question if the above recipe has used far too much saltpetre.

    Take a look at this discussion.
    forum.sausagemaking....

    I am not saying Rowley or Gill recipe is wrong, I just don't want to poison myself if I do try this recipe eventually.

    Perhaps Ian knows a bit more on this subject?

    Report message40

  • Message 641

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Ian went into this in some detail for us back at message 26: www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    He probably know more now.

    Report message41

  • Message 642

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Friday, 30th October 2009

    Hi sunflower
    Perhaps Ian knows a bit more on this subject?  I will come back on this a little later, as we have guests due any second mow. But very briefly I can say that traditional cures used far more nitrate than would be permitted commercially nowadays. I've got recipes from the 60s with even more than RL's. I honestly don't know how dangerous the stuff is, but I do know that EU directives are VERY parsimonious with both Nitrite and Nitrate.

    All the best
    Ian

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  • Message 643

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    As Ian is tied up, and a bit pushed with guests, I'll give you my thoughts on your valid questions Sunflower.

    Firstly, saltpetre is potassium nitrate - E252. KN03.

    The cure we are making here is a dry cure.
    Over on the sausage making site, the information is for brining and stock solutions pretty much, and for injecting cures, & for sausages and the like. Both Ian and Richard are into those realms, but I am not.
    Those percentages and the brine ratios for me confuse, and don't apply to the Irish beef cure recipe here.

    I was very concerned about using saltpetre at first. And wanting to get it right (I've seen a few recipes that have failed, especially their missing out the saltpetre), so I wanted to use it.
    As such, I emailed Rowley Leigh, and asked if 15g per 2 kilo was 3 teaspoons. His kind reply was that's too shy, so I use 4 teaspoons.
    Now that I have digiscales, I can see that 4 teaspoons is 20g.

    So you are right, and Ian has mentioned it before, that it is on the high side. Perhaps I should reduce the amount to 3 teaspoons now I know better, in honesty. But I don't want results that haven't cured properly.

    One thing I'm sure about, the saltpetre is there to prevent the risks of botulism. So I keep it in there.
    & as a recipe follower, I'm not too keen to tweak with subs & cures I know nothing about - I'm not much of a dabbler.

    But the main thing for me is, I trust the source of the recipe, from the FT, from Rowley Leigh, and as Sakkarin has pointed out, from Mark Hix's recipe book too.
    I know Hugh FW has a recipe too, but I don't have the books so cannot compare.

    & dear old Keith Floyd does too from 1988 - which uses 1 tablespoon for 1.5 kilos.

    My final thought is, I don't eat sausages, eat bacon rarely, or do any other form of home curing. So those vagaries "levels" aren't going to build up. I would presume on the sausage-making site they have to be a bit more calculating on their amounts, due to the regular use.

    But in answer to a direct salt petre question, the administrator Spuddy over there said: forum.sausagemaking....

    Interesting questions though, with no clear answer - and I've found the sausage site doesn't really handle this dry beef cure question, although it's superlative on so many other recipes and advices.

    So for me, I do trust the recipe/s I'm using, yes.

    Report message43

  • Message 644

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Did you pack your saltpetre down Gill? I measured in a teaspoon measuring spoon and used a knife to level off but did not compact it and it came to 17g on my digiscales. Perhaps I should be pushing the saltpetre down more and getting more in? My beef has always been perfectly cured so I trust the recipe entirely.

    Report message44

  • Message 645

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Just loose & level/ flat in my measuring spoon, Luca.

    It's probably worth adding that I trust the sausagemaking site for it's source of saltpetre too.
    I know Steve posted details of another site somewhere, but I was unable to see if it was really potassium nitrate they were offering, and it certainly wasn't a meat curing site.
    Same with ebay, I didn't want to touch their ads.


    Report message45

  • Message 646

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Hi Re saltpetre!
    I buy mine in 50g packets, I don't pack it down but us a measuring spoon and this is 5g level, saltpetre is so fine that I doubt if even by packing (tamping) it would greatly increase the weight.

    When using the brine injecting method it just means that you can control the amount of saltpetre to quite an exact ammount (let us just say you weigh your meat find that you 15g of saltpetre, by diluting this in water you can get a much more exact relationship, (weight of meat/amount of brine)

    I think that Ian explained it quite good terms earlier in this thread (even I could follow it <laugh>!

    Well I shall be debagging my boar tonightand poaching it in game herbs and spices!

    Righr I am off out shooting so behave yourselves and no ructions, I think this is the only board that has been "clean" must have something to do with the saltpetre

    Report message46

  • Message 647

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Hi Gill - I later had a long talk with the local branch of the firm I mentioned. Supply of meat curing mixes is very much part of their business and the man I spoke to clearly knew the topic. They no longer sell saltpetre on its own due to the new restrictions on its use and fear of being involved in disputes, but they do mixes with it at a very reasonable price.

    Still can't recall their name, but it's somewhere on here!

    Report message47

  • Message 648

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    I think that Ian explained it quite good terms earlier in this thread (even I could follow it)  

    I felt like that too.

    & careful not to trip over a tree root with a loaded gun now, Tricky.

    Report message48

  • Message 649

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Thanks Gill

    Will see what Ian says later.

    I am new to this game just want to be sure.

    Here is a quote from Oddley in sausagemaking forum.

    Saltpetre (Potassium NitrAte) is a dangerous chemical, there is way too much in the recipe you are using.

    A safe level is between 0.5 - 1 gram per Kg of meat.

    Saltpetre, to have any biological action, must first be converted by bacterial action, to potassium nitrIte. Keeping the meat at too low a temperature, or the meat being too sterile ie: having too much antibiotics injected before slaughter, could inhibit this conversion.  


    forum.sausagemaking....

    Report message49

  • Message 650

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    I wonder if that suggests that maybe refrigeration during curing is not ideal. How far back does the curing process for salt beef go? Would it have originated pre-refrigeration, and thus have been carried out at more ambient temperatures?

    Report message50

  • Message 651

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Would it have originated pre-refrigeration, and thus have been carried out at more ambient temperatures? 

    I read somewhere put the meat at the warmest part of the fridge like top shelf, about 6 deg C.

    Report message51

  • Message 652

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    PRE (before) refrigeration (was invented/discovered)...

    Report message52

  • Message 653

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    Posted by whatalottie (U9072847) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Snag!

    Spiced Beef for CHRISTMAS!- ummmm.<biggrin>

    and even info about where to get the saltpetre, which I had bounced on before.

    Report message53

  • Message 654

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    I'm sure salting meat was invented before refrigeration, which is not much more than a century old, and only for the last half century has every house had a fridge in advanced societies.

    Indeed salting was invented in order to keep meat edible until the new year before animals were reared all the time.

    Report message54

  • Message 655

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    My question referred to the specific recipe/method for Jewish Deli style Salt Beef, not salting as a method of preserving generally, which clearly preceeded refrigeration.

    Report message55

  • Message 656

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    I should think Jewish delis started about the same time as commercial regrigeration, but imagine the Jews of Eastern Europe salted beef centuries before that.

    Report message56

  • Message 657

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 31st October 2009


    I've just taken the temperature of a cucumber in my fridge with my thermometer probe (for bread making)
    & it reads 8 deg C.

    And next my beef. That reads 7.9 deg C.

    By the way, does anyone have Hugh FW's recipe to hand?

    Hi there, Whatalottie.

    Report message57

  • Message 658

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Gill - presumably the air temp is also 8C?

    Isn't that a bit too hot? IIRC 4-5C best for fridges?

    Report message58

  • Message 659

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Hi sunflower Gill Dick and everyone.

    So sorry to have been a time over this. Guests last night left late and after 4 bottles between 6, I was a little too tired and emotional to answer a very technical question with the accuracy and fullness that you would want. Today - market, shopping, and 11 jars of condensed cream of mushrooms soup are now "under my belt" so while I'm waiting for further guests to come I've got a few minutes. This will be long. I'm sorry, but it IS a complex subject, and I think it's important to explain the discrepancies between "what they always did" and what is considered safe now.

    I did explain briefly what happens between meat, nitrate, nitrite and botulism earlier on www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb.... Nitrate is the acid radical of saltpeter (potassium nitrate) but can also be found in sodium nitrate which can also be used for curing. I abbreviate to "nitrate" for simplicity and to show that you can more or less to the same thing with both.

    I didn't go into much detail over what actually takes place in the meat. Naturally occurring bacteria - those responsible for meat improving when hung, assuming they are present (hence the importance of no antibiotic treatment) - work on the nitrate to convert it to nitrite. This is what kills botulism bugs - which was originally why we _cured_ meat, rather than simply salting it. This bacetrial action slows right down at fridge temperatures, so to be sure that your nitrate is converted to nitrite, it's as well to leave the meat in a cool place (a cellar would be ideal) for between 8 and 24 hours. The beneficial bacterial action ramps up and the nitrate will be converted to nitrite.

    There are several reasons why traditional cures (such as have been done for centuries) used more nitrate than is recommended nowadays. Firstly, they didn't know the dangers associated with high levels of residual nitrate/nitrite. Secondly, they were more concerned with preventing botulism, and preferred to use a bit of overkill. By the way, excess nitrate toughens meat, and that could be part of the answer as to why some of you have found the salt beef to be a bit on the hard side. Sugar is added to counteract that iirc. Thirdly, even if they HAD known, we are talking about country people way back when, they didn't HAVE digital scales capable of weighing 1 or 2 grams.

    There's another thing. Some of the more expert contributors to the sausagemaking forum are pretty anally retentive about precision, in my view. They have read the food safety authority's guidelines for commercial butchers, which probably (as everywhere else, in my view) err on the side of excessive caution and want us, as amateurs to apply them with equal precision. However, I must emphasize that this is merely my personal opinion, and "n'engage que moi".

    I'd like to address myself to Gill's point that most of the discussions refer to pork curing and sausagemaking (whether cured or fresh). That's true up to a point, but curing is curing and it really makes little difference whether the meat being cured is beef or pork. While the techniques used when brining, injecting or dry rubbing, are different, there are still only two major curing methods.
    1 Curing with a large excess of salt and other curing ingredients. The traditional cures.

    1a the traditional dry rub, where you rubbed legs of pork or cuts of beef or sides of bacon in loads of salt, packed in more salt, and then left them for some time, after which you repacked, rerubbed, draining off brine and re-salting. These took place in cellar temperatures NOT refrigerated.
    1b You made brine, and slung the meat into a large bath of the stuff, and left it in until cured.

    2 More modern equilibrium cures. In these you use just enough salt etc to cure the meat, so that once the products had reached the inside of the meat, the job was done and in fact you could leave the meat longer, because in fact the inside of the meat was in equilibrium with the rest of the cure, by now dissolved, on the outside. These modern cures use much less salt, and are NOT designed to keep a flitch of bacon safe hanging up in the grocers shop for 6 months. In these cures, the amount of nitrate/nitrite is carefully measured to ensure that the ingoing levels cannot exceed the safety guidelines.
    2a. Dry rub equilibrium. (This is what I use for my bacon) Using salt containing 0.6% sodium nitrite, at the rate of about 2.6 to 3% plus about half its weight of sugar - plus trace weights of flavourings all mixed thoroughly, I weigh out therefore 4.5% of the weight of meat to the nearest gram, and rub it in well, before packing in a bag (I use vacpack but it's not essential). Because the nitrite is already present, you don't need to leave it at a relatively high temperature (cellar) for bacterial action to reduce nitrate to nitrite, but can cure in the fridge immediately. You leave for 2 days plus 1 day for every 1/2 inch of thickness, turning and working through the bag every other day. At the end of this, the meat is completely cured, and you can rinse, dry, cook and eat it.

    2b Brine cures. You make up a brine that contains just enough salt etc to give safe levels in the meat when equilibrium is reached. Because the brine has to be quite strong, you don't need a great deal of it, and it's usual to do this is a fairly small container - or even a plastic bag. There's been quite a lot of discussion as to how to check the levels and no clear answer. However, there are equilibrium brining recipes which will work. Because these brine cures are often carried out on larger bits of meat, they are often combined with injection. In this, part of the brine is injected right into the heart of the meat, so that curing starts more quickly and you eliminate the risk of botulism that might otherwise build up in the middle before the nitrite gets in and kills it.

    2c A combination of injection and dry rub. That's what I use for my gammon. The calculation is quite complex, but there's a spreadsheet which will help (on the forum). Basically you make up a cure of carefully calculated proportions of salt, nitrate, and sugar. You dissolve enough of this in flavoured (herbs etc) water to give a brine of the right strength so that when injecting 10% of the weight of meat with it, half of the total required cure enters the meat. The meat is then rubbed with enough dry cure to give the other half. Because you are injecting, the curing time is cut down. This works well with thick pieces of meat, giving the flavour and quality of a dry rub. I cure a chunk of shoulder or leg in a fortnight. It's worth giving the bacteria a start in working on the nitrate, by leaving it out in a cool place overnight.

    Whew.... I think that just about covers it. These equilibrium cures give very precisely controlled nitrate/nitrite levels which pretty well eliminate the risk of forming nitrosamines with their known carcinogenic effect.

    Now.... if I were to make some salt beef, what I'd do to be honest with you all, is to substitute cure #1 for the salt in Rowley's recipe and leave out the nitrate altogether. In the USA, because the nitrate content of Prague cure #1 (AKA pink salt) is 6% instead of 0.6%, I'd use it 1/10 to 9/10 with "kosher salt". Again, I'd leave out the saltpetre, or use it in VERY small quantities, 1/4 tsp or so at most. All the other ingredients would be the same. I'm prepared to bet you'd get a beautifully pink and moist meat. I have to say, I'd WOULD use brisket, which is - in my view - the best meat for corning. You would just cut away the fat, and tie the meat back up into a single lump to cure.

    With the winter coming on, and with a "special" on beef coming up shortly... who knows, I might just get round to it.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message59

  • Message 660

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Thank you for that Ian.

    You've gone into a lot of detail I couldn't.

    Report message60

  • Message 661

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Phew - That one is so long I have printed it to read at leisure!

    But 4 bottles between 6 does not seem a vast amount (assuming you mean wine not brandy). Indeed 6 between 4 has been known in my circles.

    Report message61

  • Message 662

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Thank you very much Ian.

    Just one point,

    the nitrate content of Prague cure #1 (AKA pink salt) is 6% instead of 0.6% 

    Isn't cure #1 only has Sodium Nitrite and no Nitrate? 6.25% in US and less with the one bought from Sausagemaking.org UK.

    Cure #2 has with the same amount for Nitrite + 4% Nitrate. This is only use for long curing without cooking or smoking like biltong or salami.

    Report message62

  • Message 663

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Hi sunflower
    Isn't cure #1 only has Sodium Nitrite and no Nitrate? 6.25% in US and less with the one bought from Sausagemaking.org UK. 
    Yes that's right. I simplified slightly, because I'd hope that anyone from the USA who was considering curing, would read some of the excellent USAian books on the subject. However, because the difference is SO large, and because when reading, I missed it entirely and nearly screwed up completely. I didn't want to incite our cousins across the water to make a cure with prague #1 as a straight substitute for salt, as you can do in the UK with Cure #1 from sausagemaking, or as I can do with "Sel nitrité". And yes, you're exactly right, in the UK Cure #1 contains salt and about 0.6% nitrite, while cure #2 also has some nitrate and is used - as you say - for things like salami which will be cured at cellar temperatures over long periods, and eaten raw. I didn't mention this in any of my posts here, because, honestly, it's not much to do with salt beef.

    All the best
    Ian

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  • Message 664

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    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    I was just waiting for your sleeve to dip into the mix but you avoided it beautifully 

    <laugh> me too Luca!! That is one hell of a frilly housecoat Gill! I don't think I'd have managed to do it so gracefully!!

    Your beef is for half November Luca?

    Report message64

  • Message 665

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    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Sakkarin: what a lovely write up on the salt beef sandwich! All I can tell you is that I was really drooling. I kept looking at your sandwich and saying to it, why aren't you here, I'm really jealous! Half would have done me fine! ;)

    Report message65

  • Message 666

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Yes that's right Elisa. We're looking forward to it. The fridge is redolent of gin and coriander!

    Report message66

  • Message 667

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    And of course all in the name of research, so no need to feel guilty....







    ...although I do, as I finished it all off that day, although admittedly in three sessions. Pig.

    Report message67

  • Message 668

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    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Saturday, 31st October 2009

    Luca, they are such lovely smells those of gin and coriander wafting out of the fridge when you open the door!

    so no need to feel guilty 

    Nope, not at all Sakkarin!

    Report message68

  • Message 669

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    posted by spotteddick2

    Well I shall be debagging my boar tonightand poaching it in game herbs and spices!  


    How did it work with game vs beefy?

    I'm planning on using venison for Boxing Day if it passes the Spotty test well.

    Report message69

  • Message 670

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    Hi Folks.

    After discussion with one of the Gurus on the Sausagemaking forum, I ought to correct something I said in the message I'm "replying" to. The "all purpose cure" from sausagemaking org does NOT have 0.6% nitrite. It has 5.8% nitrite and in addition some saltpetre. That means that it CAN more or less be substituted for prague powder #2 (I don't think the difference is that significant). I'm still unsure to what extent it can be substituted for what's called pink salt or Prague #1 in the USA. In the meantime, before weighing a cure, do try and be sure what the recipe expects and what you've got. Using either ten times too much nitrite or ten times too little would be potentially disastrous.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message70

  • Message 671

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    posted by ianisinfrance
    In the meantime, before weighing a cure, do try and be sure what the recipe expects and what you've got. Using either ten times too much nitrite or ten times too little would be potentially disastrous. 


    Thanks Ian.

    I'm still happy to trust these chef's versions of the recipe.
    Indeed it's pretty clear what it wants you to use without that danger here

    = 100g sugar, then 15g of saltpetre with 125g salt, coupled with the remaining ingredients etc.

    Report message71

  • Message 672

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    Hi GillthePainter
    I'm still happy to trust these chef's versions of the recipe.  Yup, and you're quite right to do so, because they are written in the UK. The problem comes with recipes written in the USA, where nitrate isn't encouraged, and in France where sel nitrité is what's available, but contains 10 times less than the US stuff. By the way, one thing did occur to me after writing my previous, though I'm quite glad not to have tacked it on, because it's not really anything to do with the curing itself.

    When cooking home cured hams, best advice is to poach very gently without boiling, until the temperature inside the ham reaches 74ºC. I wonder if it might not be worthwhile trying this with beef, if you have a probe, to keep it tenderer.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message72

  • Message 673

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    I've got the probe thermometer Ian.
    So when I cook mine (Saturday) I shall take the internal temperature of the beef, as a guide for us.

    & it is poached in 2 inches of water or stock in a low oven (after I've soaked it for 24 hours), but not totally immersed.

    I don't know why it's not fully covered with water, but the stock is not usable afterwards, it's pure salt to taste.

    & that is an important point about cooking, thank you. The beef isn't fried or anything like that after the treatment, not like bacon say.

    No ...................... KERBOOM!

    Report message73

  • Message 674

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    Well Gill!

    The truth is I do not know, it's a longish story so pull up a hammock, pin back your lugs and the Cap'n will tell you a tale!

    Well yesterday being a high holy day here in Germany "No Shooting" (I suppose St Francis has something to do with it <erm>), Now I have had a slow moving drain (the water was slow moving not the drain <laugh>)from my kitchen sink for couple or 12 months <blush> shame. I have been meaning to do it for ages, but it had become that bad that it wasn,t draining away at all! So I borrowed a flexi drain cleaning devise from one of our artisans (big Brian). I had given it a bit of a try to no avail on Saturday (had to stop to go drive shooting)I bought some of that gel drain cleaners (great stainless steel cleaner)on the way home and pour as told to on the bottle 1/4 of it down the drain, I left it overnight (went to the pub and forgot about it)
    Sunday morning dawned and I thought <erm>I wonder if it has worked I went into the kitchen to make my coffee, turned on the tap, guess what? it was still blocked (the drain not the tap that is). I thought, dammed thing I was going to put the boar on to poach! Do some Roe haunch for lunch with sweet pickled red cabbage, green beans, shallots and speck and schlupf nudels. I had already started off some dried ceps in port for the sauce! Anyway I had some stuff from the evening before (I didn't realise I had eaten anything but the debris said otherwise <laugh> this is another part of the story about how I came to be in posession of a Roe haunch)! Prior to filling the sink, which I knew would mean emptying by hand into a bucket under the sink. I poured the remaining 3/4 of the drain cleaning gel down the plug hole! I then filled up the basin and done the washing up, half way through the washing up action I heard an almighty sound, hissing and billowing of fumes and vapours from the draining board outlet, the was an all mighty wooooompf and I though bet I will have to pay to get a new pipe fitted :-(, I removed the plug and guess what? it drained away with the alacrity that I have not seen in many a long month! It was by this time, midday and I was so elated that I decided to call a taxi and go for a pint! And thats about it really except the pint turned into session and I cannot remember getting home and so the wild boar and the Roe haunch is still in the fridge!

    Now about the Roe deer! Ahem, a strange tale indeed. Saturday I was round at the club shooting off a few rounds at the clays, when one of the members turns up and asks if any one fancied beating for a drive hunt, me always on the look out for a bit of hare, rabbit, pigeon or pheasant immediatly offered my services. We set off to the area to be flushed (lots of corn stubble and mustard plant fields), had been quite successful, the dogs had been working very well, one of the lads had a smashing cocker spanial and great big wonderful dark brown Weimaraner. Now these are wonderful dogs but they are killers, they are deer hounds of the first degree! All of a sudden, a Roebuck breaks from the thicket about 50 meters to our right and the Weimaraner just took of it flew across the ground as if it had wings, the deer ran against a fence and the dog lept onto it and got it down in a flash, we rushed over to see if we could do anything, but as we got there it was dead the Weimaraner had done what it's instincts had told it to do and brough its quarry down!
    And that dear (deer <laugh>) friends is how I got my sink unblocked, didn't get my boar poached and got a nice piece of Roebuck haunch!

    It will be no better tonight as I am going to my boss's leaving do so I shall try again tomorrow! oh! yes the haunch I shall take it up to Kiel at the weekend and do it for Saturday evening.

    And thanks for taking the time to listen to my weekend <laugh>

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message74

  • Message 675

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    So, Spotty, you are not a vegetarian?

    Report message75

  • Message 676

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Monday, 2nd November 2009


    Ari! What ever gave you that idea? Of course I eat vegetarians <laugh>

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message76

  • Message 677

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    Well, as vegetarians only eat vegetables they count as vegetables in the same way that weevils are biscuit.

    I think what you did would be a crime in the UK!

    Report message77

  • Message 678

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    Why! I didn't do a thing, may be we should get the dog sent to jail <laugh> for doing what it is trained to do!

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message78

  • Message 679

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    "I didn't do a thing"

    So, you made no attempt to control the dog.

    Convicted by your own words.

    Send him down.

    Report message79

  • Message 680

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    Control the dogs!!!You have not been on a hunt then Ari! The dogs are way out in front to flush the game!

    Ain't even my dog mi Lud <blush> never seen it in my life before today mi Lud! <laugh>

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message80

  • Message 681

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 2nd November 2009

    What a yarn, Tricky. You know how to tell 'em.

    If we're exchanging stories of the wild west, when I lived in the Borders, I regularly went out with the local game keeper there.
    The type that has dead rabbits in the fridge, and frozen mice in the chest freezer.

    On this particular day, we set off a wondering, and he sniffs the air and declares "Badger!"
    Well it certainly wasn't me I didn't do ............. oh! I see what you mean, a badger TRAIL.
    Whilst we are talking and exchanging stories he tells me of the period when he worked for the Edinburgh Zoo.
    He despised the work,
    explaining that the animals in there were totally mad, depressed and indolent, suicidal in an animal way.
    Especially the big cat hunters, who were thrown prepared raw meat at their feet, and some couldn't be bothered to eat it.

    This was particularly true of the big tiger.
    So it was his mission in the zoo to give the tiger a spark of life. Whenever he went into the den, he regularly used to prod the tiger through the fencing with a sharp stick - chanting "have it!"
    to which the tiger rears up, teeth bared, snarling and roaring ................ well you would, wouldn't you!
    Or banging on the bars, never to give the tiger a moment of peace when he was in there.

    Of course, the tiger hated him after a certain amount of time. It was enough now for him to walk into the compound, and tiger was up for it, eager for the kill.

    Well this one day, he goes into the compound, ready to deal out some serious tiger tickle with his stick, and ........................... huh? No tiger!
    Well that's not right. There's nowhere for him to hide, no camouflage, he just doesn't get it.

    Then out of the corner of his eye, he catches sight of a long tail swinging, & his sight travels from the tiger's tree in the den, up, up and over ................... hanging overgrown over the safety fence
    where the tiger is hanging on his side, looking down at him.

    I bet his boots were red-hot-pokers-on-fire that day.

    Reminds me of the Lion and Albert.

    Anyway,
    back to beefy and that cured boar, when you get round to it Tricky Dicky Ricky.







    Report message81

  • Message 682

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    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Monday, 2nd November 2009


    Good stories, Spotters and Gill - thanks for that! I like a good huntin' story, myself! Wow, Spotters, you have a really excellent game haul there and lovely sides to go with your yesterday's cooking effort, too. That cabbage sounds the biz. How to you make yours?

    Very uneventful WE round here. No tickertreaters so OH and I dug into the cookies I made along with with some coffee while I cooked the smaller beefy yesterday (at 29 days cure) and man oh man was it ever good. That's the beef bottom round cut I was talking about. It has a wee tad of marbling to it and is like a cross between the super lean top round I used previously, and almost heading towards a brisket at the other end. Really lovely and almost meltingly tender. Best cut yet that I've used for this recipe. I made a light rye loaf and bagels and we had salt beef sandwiches with mustard and pickles for supper and plenty leftover in the fridge for cold cuts. Delish. <ok> <biggrin>

    I have some pics that I'll upload later.

    Odette





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  • Message 683

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Tuesday, 3rd November 2009

    Sunflower... earlier comments regarding pork fluff :-) 950g of Pork Shoulder made 270g of fluff, that's around 65p for that 60g of floss.

    It really does take the full hour, doesn't it? I got extremely bored at about 25 minutes, but got a second wind towards the end as I got into the rhythm.

    www.carta.co.uk/food...

    Latest beef business:

    Blinded by science, in the end I've followed this recipe for the "immersed brining" for my latest attempt at salt beef:

    www.life123.com/food...

    Will keep you informed! I'm only doing it for a week, so fingers crossed.

    Report message83

  • Message 684

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 3rd November 2009

    How about "pressure brining"?

    Put it all in a pressure cooker, add dry ice, and replace lid.

    NB I have no idea if the vapour pressure of CO2 is safe in a pressure cooker, so DON'T actually try this!

    Report message84

  • Message 685

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Tuesday, 3rd November 2009

    I have some pics that I'll upload later.
     


    Lovely. Remind me which cut round is, if you please?

    Hi Sakkarin
    I've followed this recipe for the "immersed brining" for my latest attempt at salt beef: 

    I'm expecting a brining recipe to be more uniform pink, & a subtler spiced flavour.
    It'll be interesting to see your scientific findings.

    Excellent fotto of the pork fluff.

    Report message85

  • Message 686

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Tuesday, 3rd November 2009

    The sun obligingly shone for exactly 2 minutes this afternoon when I took that shot!

    Report message86

  • Message 687

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    Posted by sunflower (U5594423) on Tuesday, 3rd November 2009

    Sakkarin

    The pork fluff looks fantastic, great job you have never made it before. Looks like mine was a little bit drier. Great fun wasn't it other than being quite tire after making it. I was think maybe after about 30 minutes when the meat is totally loosen maybe can spread this on a baking tray and let it dry in the oven at about 70 - 80deg C till total crisp.

    Report message87

  • Message 688

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Tuesday, 3rd November 2009

    Hi all!

    I am deö-salting mine at the moment, will leave it 24 hours then poach it, it will be then that I decide if to kasseler or not to Kasseler. If it is good enough to eat then that is what I shall do with it!

    I am the moment doing a couple of kgs of snake and pygmy to make a pie. Green speck beans and a turnip (swedes to you darn sarth) and potato mash with cheese then baked in the oven for a couple of minutes to brown the top. I may just broach a bottle of French red (I have 2 left from my wanderings)

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message88

  • Message 689

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Thursday, 5th November 2009

    Well everyone it is done! I poached it last evening in a witches brew of newts and frogs and all manner of creepy crawlies (well it was really my game herbs and spices <laugh>)I left it to cool overnight in the elixiure. Put it a pressing this morning will give you the low down and may be a pic or two tonight!

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message89

  • Message 690

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    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Thursday, 5th November 2009


    Great going, Spotters.

    How weird .... I thought I posted my pics on here and an encouraging comment to SD2 on snake and pygmies with french red two days ago but it seems I didn't. <doh> Did I post them on another thread I wonder? I have been known to do that .... <whistle>


    img62.imageshack.us/...

    Gill, beef bottom round cut. Fattier than the top round that I've been using which is super lean, a bit like brisket but less fatty. Really good result with this cut and the Big Boy in the fridge is this same cut.

    This one was absolutely perfectly cooked at 40 minutes per lb/450g in the slow cooker at 300F/170C starting from cold.









    Report message90

  • Message 691

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    Hi all ;-)

    Well this morning I had a smashing spiced wild boar sarnie! I think it is the best yet, quite exquisit! Taking a piece up to Kiel to get a second opinion (though Linda will say yummy to anything <laugh>

    ATB
    dalmatian richard!

    Report message91

  • Message 692

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    I'm sure you don't need a second opinion, Trickchard, well, not about the cured boar sarnie that is. ;)
    It does sound good!

    Super looking beef Odette.
    Bottom round is translating as toprump in my Mrs Beeton book - the same cut as mine.

    It does look particularly good.

    & today my beef is being soaked for 24 hours, changing the water at intervals:

    picasaweb.google.com...



    Report message92

  • Message 693

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    Odette your beef looks fabulous!!! What a feast.

    Spotty - love the sound of the boar! I went boar hunting in France many years back and was given a huge lump of the beast - would love to have known this recipe then.

    Gill - Hope the soaking goes well.

    I am looking forward to soaking mine next Friday.

    Report message93

  • Message 694

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    Hi Luca
    I am looking forward to soaking mine next Friday.  And I'm looking forward to getting some brisket (abt 2 kg on the bone) on monday, when I shall start my attempt.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message94

  • Message 695

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    That's great news Ian - I look forward to seeing pictures.

    C'mon Lush - get a move on or the year will have ended...... ;)

    Report message95

  • Message 696

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    Didn't know briskets had bones.

    Must check my diagram of pork butchery.




















    Yes, it was a deliberate mistake.

    Report message96

  • Message 697

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    Hi Aristologist

    ja6.free.fr/imagesfi...

    It's the top left, with the name "poitrine" on it. Although it's presented differently, it's the same cut as is called brisket in the UK.

    And yes, it has bones. just like belly of pork does, until you take them out. French cuts and British cuts are presented differently, but I guess you know that.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message97

  • Message 698

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    Great stuff, ian.
    Remind me, are you brining with minimal nitrate?
    We shall see on Monday. I always enjoy an experiment, me.

    Yeah, com'on Lushmuch, give it a whirl.

    Report message98

  • Message 699

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Friday, 6th November 2009

    www.unece.org/trade/...

    Thanks Ian - but is it the right pic? I see no "poitrine"

    From the link above I see where brisket is (move cursor to find). That is where I thought it was but had not realised there were still ribs down there. Though I suppose as our ribs join at the front a cow's must at the bottom!

    Must visit butcher when he is not busy and tour fridge.

    ATB

    Steve

    Report message99

  • Message 700

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Sunday, 8th November 2009

    Evening to all fellow cure aficionados.

    Too late for the BIL, but the new beef is now ready, and boy is it a good one.
    I made up English mustard, as per your suggestion Sakkarin
    <<big sniff>> and had a rather lovely sandwich at lunchtime:

    picasaweb.google.com...

    The best I've made so far.

    Report message100

  • Message 701

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Sunday, 8th November 2009

    Hi GillthePainter

    That beef looks abso-bloomin-lutely gorgeous, I was salivating as I looked at the pic.

    As for the cure I'll be trying. I have to confess - I've not made up my mind. I think I'll almost certainly use the salt/sugar ratio and spices that Rowley Leigh suggests, unless in the next two days I find the time to grovel around and find another recipe that really appealed to me when I read it about 30 years ago! (Not too likely as we're redecorating a room at the mo) As for the actual curing ingredients. I think I'm going to use Nitrited salt (which should make the cure work faster) and probably add a (highly scientific) pinch of saltpetre to show willing.

    Steve. How very odd.... sorry about that. the picture I thought I linked to DID have a piece of poitrine top right. In fact on the original page, it was just below. Let's try again.

    ja6.free.fr/imagesfi...

    To be pedantic the plat de cotes which I've ordered are "next door" to the poitrine on the animal but from your diagram, it's unclear to me whether there's any sensible one-to-one comparison. What I'm getting is nearer to being brisket than anything else in British beef butchery.

    Heres a (not very good) interactive-ish diagram. See poitrine and plat-de-cotes. (12 & 13). www.boucherie-chevy....

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message101

  • Message 702

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Sunday, 8th November 2009

    Looks good Gill. My weedy week-wet-brine brisket will probably be born tomorrow.

    Other than that, I popped into the local market yesterday and asked at the Wholefood stall if they still sold saltpetre (that's where I got my current stash, around 2 years ago, just about to run out).

    For anyone that's trawled all through 650+ posts in this thread and still wants to know where saltpetre can be purchased, here you are - Watford Market, a quid for a 50g bag.

    www.carta.co.uk/beeb...

    Report message102

  • Message 703

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Sunday, 8th November 2009

    Hi Ian - thanks. Nice names on the new pic. Presumably "Gite Gite" is seved at b+b's?

    And the one under it so popular you have to queue for it.

    Sakkarin - Interesting "Use by" date on your link. "Dec 10" but no particular year?

    Report message103

  • Message 704

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Sunday, 8th November 2009

    Er... I think that's December 2010, not December the 10th (although I had to think about that for several minutes before it clicked...).

    Anyway, bit of a daft idea having a use-by date on a pure/stable chemical.

    Report message104

  • Message 705

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Sunday, 8th November 2009

    That looks wonderful Gill!! Scrumdicious as one of the younger members of my extended family says.

    Report message105

  • Message 706

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Sunday, 8th November 2009

    Hi again Gill,

    Well, I've been having a good look at spiced beef recipes - we've stripped nearly all the old paper off, and have got to a "suitable stage" - so I was allowed time off for good behaviour. Firstly the one I was thinking of was in a Robert Carrier book and came from Muriel Chenevix-Trench but needed "beef round" in a very large lump, so that was out. After reading RL's original recipe in the FT (was it?) I had a look at Elizabeth David's which he acknowledges as his inspiration.

    The salient points of difference are that he uses a little more salt in proportion to the meat - 125g for 2 kg beef (or 6.25%), while ED uses 4 oz for 5-6 lbs or (5.0 to 4.2 %) I have a slight preference for a lower salt cure, so I think that I'll be taking her salt proportions.

    Next, the vexed question of nitrite/nitrate. The FDSA and European recommended quantities of nitrite ingoing vary, but call for quantities of the order of about 200 parts per million, or 200mg per kilo, while a figure of 120 ppm is fine for curing. Calling 4 ounces 115 g, which is close enough, if I were to use all nitrited salt (0.6%), I'd have 0.69 g nitrite (which is the equivalent of 1/10 tsp) which - for 2.5 kg beef, would work out at 690/2.5 = 276 ppm, which is probably a bit on the high side for perfection. So I'll use half sea salt and half nitrited salt to bring the ingoing nitrite to around 140ppm. Now... nitrate (saltpetre). Normally nowadays, this is used for things like salami where you need long term protection, which is afforded by the nitrite created by bacterial action on the nitrate over time. I've seen varying figures for Saltpetre reccommended, though it's forbidden altogether in the USA. For slowly cured salami, up to about 400 or even 600 ppm are permitted, but I'd not really want to use more than 500ppm at most and that only if not using nitrite. So I'm going to keep my ingoing saltpetre to under 100 ppm, which for a 2.5 kg piece would be 0.25 g (at 6g per tsp we're looking for 1/16th of a teaspoon - a pinch!!).

    Reading further in Elizabeth David and in Jane Grigson, I saw that they both agree that "too much saltpetre hardens and dries the meat" (with JG saying that the salt tends to too, so sugar is used to compensate). So I shall definitely be using some. RL uses significantly more sugar (5%) than ED (3.4%). I think that I can get away with the lower amount, as I will be using far less nitrate/nitrite than both of them. Spices are very similar for both.

    So now I know what I'll be doing. I'll use a dry rubbed method (no brine injection this time), rubbing with sugar first and leaving it in the fridge for a couple of days. Then when I rub with the remaining ingredients, I'll vacpack, and leave in the cellar for at least 4-5 days to let bacterial action start to work on the nitrate, and convert the nitrite into nitric oxide. After which time, I'll probably bring it back to the fridge and finish the cure (4-5 days ) there.

    One last thing. Elizabeth David, VERY severely says that the beef must be cooked in a very slow oven for ages. (140° for 5 hours). She goes on to say "...if the spices and salt have not penetrated the meat, it will be tough and uninsteresting.

    "On no account should anyone allow themselves to be persuaded that dry-spiced beef should be boiled or simmered on top of the stove."

    All interesting stuff - and so I'll be a good boy and make sure the curing process is long enough and that I cook the beast in the oven!!

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message106

  • Message 707

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Good price on that salt, Sakkarin.

    Hi Luca, Scrumdicious is very apt.

    & hello Ian.
    That's definitely a good call on the salt reduction. I've reduced it a little, but do soak the beef after curing to flush out the salt content. Odette's really taken it down.

    So your cure is for 10 days or so. Looking forward to those results when they come in, especially the longer cooking time.
    Mine was poached for 3 hours at 140.

    So, who's next?
    Sakkarin today or tomorrow
    & you Luca, you'll be up next week I think or there abouts.

    Report message107

  • Message 708

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    Posted by PurpleLuv (U5258511) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    IAN, Purps shouts <laugh>

    I'm thinking of turning pork ribs into bacon ribs, do you have a method?

    I think my butcher just adds some saltpetre for a few days<erm> is there more to it?

    Report message108

  • Message 709

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    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    AFAIK no-one MAKES bacon ribs. Rather they are a side product of making bacon.

    Takes me back to old days as my grandmother lived next to an old style grocers from whom we often had bacon ribs.

    Report message109

  • Message 710

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    Posted by PurpleLuv (U5258511) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    "AFAIK no-one MAKES bacon ribs"

    My butcher does<ok>

    Report message110

  • Message 711

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Hi Gill I've done mine <finger licking smiley>

    Ari! Yep bacon bones are an essential part of a real pea and ham soup. My dad kept pigs and turned half of it into bacon & ham. The rib bones that remained always went into the soup. It always seemed to taste better the longer it was on the hearth.

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message111

  • Message 712

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Piccie please, Ricardo.

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  • Message 713

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    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Tonight my dear ;-)

    But I am going for pint at the footy club first so hope I shall be able <laugh>

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message113

  • Message 714

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Hi PurpleLuv,
    I'm thinking of turning pork ribs into bacon ribs, do you have a method?  To be honest, I think what I'd do would be to cure some pork on the bone and then when it's turned into bacon, take off the ribs.

    If you wanted to try with just the bones, then you would need to make up some brine, with just the TINIEST amount of saltpetre in it. For heaven's SAKE don't just chuck in a load and hope. Saltpetre and potassium/sodium nitrite are poisonous and should NOT be used with abandon.

    When you have your brine (salt, half it's weight of sugar, some spices like peppercorns, etc and literally the tiniest possible pinch of saltpetre, all dissolved in the right amount of water), you put your ribs in and leave them a couple of days (the length of time depends upon the thickness, and bones are pretty thin, so a couple of days would be fine). Take them out, and rinse before drying a couple of days uncovered in the fridge. They won't be perfect, but they won't be bad or dangerous.

    What I do personally when making bacon is to use a special smoky bacon cure and dry rub my pork loin or belly with that. IMO that's a better way of ending up with something really good. Here's a link to the stuff I get (with apologies to Gill for going off topic). www.sausagemaking.or... Making bacon with this stuff is so ludicrously easy and cheap that I wonder anyone ever buys the water sodden muck sold in supermarkets.


    All the best
    Ian

    Report message114

  • Message 715

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Sounds like a good plan.

    I think we're doing the same, as I've run out of pickles for tonights beef and pickles - and the shop just happens to be on a road with several pubs.

    Report message115

  • Message 716

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    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Monday, 9th November 2009


    Fabulous round of beef, Gill. Really excellent looking platter, there.

    I've seen varying figures for Saltpetre reccommended, though it's forbidden altogether in the USA  

    Not so, Ian. Perhaps commercially, but it can be bought over the counter - as I did - at any pharmacy/chemist - at least in AZ but they are a little on the over-firecely-independent side so perhaps not available everywhere like that - I don't know.

    Guess the same goes for Watford market, Sakkarin!

    Now then Ian, what are all these looooong number crunches ..... ??? It's all getting very confusing to me.

    I found Rowley's salt way too much simply on taste criteria. I've been using Sakkarin's Hix quantities which are about half and I reckon that could be cut down a hair, too.


    So I'm going to keep my ingoing saltpetre to under 100 ppm, which for a 2.5 kg piece would be 0.25 g (at 6g per tsp we're looking for 1/16th of a teaspoon - a pinch!!).  

    Are you saying you only need a pinch of saltpetere? One pinch? One sixteenth of a teaspoon? Seriously? Really seriously? I'm up for using far less than I have been doing and would love love to do a pinch but it seems such an awfully miniscule amount, so I wondered if your numbers are right?

    Pretty please can you fill in the blanks:

    Per lb/450 or 500g meat:
    -----------------Rowley--------------Hix

    salt---------------27g---------------17g
    saltpetre----------3.3g--------------3.5g
    Ian-----------------??----------------??

    Fangs,
    Odette


    Report message116

  • Message 717

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Hi AZCook

    You're right, I should have added "commercially". For private individuals, it's still permitted. In Europe, the use of Saltpetre is allowed commercially.

    As for the complicated numbers, I'm sorry, but it IS complicated. That's why I didn't go into this in great detail a long time ago.

    Salt. The amount of salt used has to be decided using two mutually opposed criteria. Keepability and palatability. If you read the River cottage forum about curing of bacon, you'll find a lot of people very critical of the levels of salt. Hugh F-W's recipe is designed to keep bacon several months out of the fridge. We've lost the habit of such cures and so most people find that inedible. So the advice given on the River cottage forum is to soak the bacon before use to partially desalt it.

    Modern cures are far LESS salty, and are designed primarily to transform the flavour. The Rowley Leigh/ED salt beef cure is sort of intermediate. When I cure bacon I use a cure containing about 3/5 salt and 2/5 sugar with small quantities of other substances. I use this at the rate of 4.5% and it gives me a bacon that I find delightful, just the right amount of salt (but my cure contains 2/5 sugar don't forget, so I'm using only 2.7% salt). However my cure is called an "equilibrium cure". I use exactly the right amount of cure for the meat to be the right level of saltiness for my taste once equilibrium has been reached. The reason (IMO) you find the meat too salty, is simply because it uses twice as much salt as I would normally use for bacon - but against that, the beef is simmered for hours in water (during which time it will lose salt), while bacon is fried. The length of time I use is 2 days plus 1 day for every 1/2" thickness. So the 20 odd days of RL's cure would reach equilibrium on a piece of meat that was 9" thick.

    To turn to saltpetre again. I's it worth saying AGAIN that saltpetre does nothing in itself. It is only effective once it starts to be converted to potassium nitrIte. Remember I'm curing with both saltpetre AND Nitrite. I think that probably I could leave the saltpetre out altogether and just cure with nitrite (which is a much faster process, because the saltpetre doesn't have to be converted to Nitrite first) So really the aaltpetre I'll be using is more for form's sake than anything else. That's one reason I'm using very little. Are you saying you only need a pinch of saltpetre? One pinch? One sixteenth of a teaspoon? Seriously? Really seriously?  Yes, yes, yes..... Look at this pdf file, designed for home curers. pods.dasnr.okstate.e...

    About half way down page 2 you'll see
    The Federal and State Meat Inspection regulations limit the amount
    that can be used in curing. It is important that exact amounts
    are used and the curing mixture is thoroughly mixed. The use
    level of sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate (saltpeter) is 3 1/2
    oz. per 100 pounds meat for dry cure 


    So... 3 1/2 oz = 100gm for 100 lbs. That's one gram per pound. (Forgive me, but turning that into the more normally used parts per million - that's 2200ppm) I'll be curing about 5 lbs beef BUT I'm also using Nitrite don't forget, at about 140 ppm. So theoretically I need NO saltpetre, as the nitrite will do the lot.

    If I wasn't using nitrited salt, and was curing a 5 lb chunk of beef, I'd use 5 grams and that's just under one teaspoon. I will try to see if I can find the official documents which regulate commercial levels of cure, because it confirms these surprisingly small quantities and also will confirm that commercially saltpetre isn't used in the USA. I'll post the links later if I can find them.

    For us, when we read older curing recipes, these saltpetre quantities seem ludicrously low, but I think you'll find in the days these recipes were created, that they weren't aware of the potential dangers of nitrate and nitrite - in particular the risk of nitrosamine formation. What they were trying to do was to make sure that a 30 lb leg of pork didn't become poisonous from botulism, so they made sure by using "plenty" of saltpetre.

    Hope that clarifies things. Note PLEASE that I'm not saying what anyone else should do, merely describing what _I_ will do tomorrow.

    Now I'll go and look for these blinking links.

    All the best
    Ian

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  • Message 718

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Hi again Odette.

    I'm sorry. I was wrong about the use of nitrate in the USA, it is only forbidden in commercial bacon production.

    Anyway, here's the link to the FDA handbook. It's a 128 page pdf document, so you may not want to plough your way through the whole thing! www.fsis.usda.gov/OP...

    However, on page 28 (page 33 in Acrobat) you see, near the top
    Nitrate is no longer permitted in any curing method for bacon. 

    This is what I was thinking of. However, nitrate is still allowed for things like salami, where protection is required for a long period of curing and fermenting at cool room temperatures. You can see their wording, if you search for nitrate in the document.

    Just below in the same page you will find that for dry cured bacon, 200 ppm is the maximum permitted amount of nitrite. However, more (625 ppm) is allowed for other cured meats (not fried like bacon).

    In case you wonder why I'm rabbitting on about bacon, it's because the same rules apply to beef too, See page 19 (24)

    Now for the European rules. They are a lot more vague, because they are trying to find a compromise formula which englobes practices from Finland to Portugal and from the UK to Greece. Here is a document which discusses the reductions in permitted levels of Nitrite and Nitrate.

    www.hlf-law.co.uk/fl...

    It's only 5 pages long and discusses a load of different products. However, it has to be pointed out that these rules are of course for commercial producers. You and I can do what we like, However it does seem to me to be intelligent to see what the general regulations are.

    Here is a conversation about curing salt beef. forum.sausagemaking.... Do look to see what Oddley says about saltpetre levels.

    Actually, it's worth looking to see what he recommends for salt and sugar as well. Because after reading that you might want to try reducing your salt to 30g per kilo = 1 tbs per pound) and sugar to half that.

    I don't want to repeat myself indefinitely about the fact that nitrite and nitrate are NOT the same. However one can't say too many times that these products are dangerous if used in excess. And if using saltpetre on its own, 1 gram per kilo is the maximum. (which means that for RL's 2 kg, 2g is MAX, and 2g is a little under 1/2 a standard teaspoon.)

    Lastly, to answer your specific question. Would you mind if I give you grams per kilo (your calculator can convert this to ounces per pound!!)

    Salt. 2.25% = 22.5 g
    0.6% nitrited salt 2.25% = 22.365 g salt +
    0.135 g nitrite
    Sugar 3.5% = 35 g
    Saltpetre 0.1% = 0.1 g

    If I weren't using (European) nitrited salt, I'd use 45g salt and 1 g of saltpetre.

    Though I'm going to read up again on recommended levels ingoing nitrite and may just increase the proportion of nitrited salt slightly to give me 0.2 g (200ppm) of nitrite.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message118

  • Message 719

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Monday, 9th November 2009


    Hi Ian - grams per kg are fine - I use grams on my scales for precise/small measurements, anyway.

    Thanks for all that info. It's a lot!



    Report message119

  • Message 720

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Monday, 9th November 2009

    Hi Odette.
    Thanks for all that info. It's a lot!  You're welcome. Though remember, I am NOT saying anyone else should follow me, especially as I've not tried it yet!

    One last word. In the States it's possible to find a curing salt called "Insta Cure #1" or "Pink salt" This is a mixture of salt and sodium nitrite, with 6% sodium nitrite. That's TEN times the quantity of nitrite I get here in France. So if you were to use that; in place of (22.5g salt +22.5g European cure) you would use 2 tsp cure #1 made up to 45 g with salt. Hope that's clear.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message120

  • Message 721

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Tuesday, 10th November 2009

    Well this is the latest, using the wet brine.

    www.carta.co.uk/beeb...

    It's solved the texture problem, this was far closer to that "fallingapartishness". Not right though, something missing and not the depth of flavour. Also looked a bit grey at the edges.

    Flavour wise the previous effort was far superior. Maybe I need to do a Rowley with brisket.

    But there again, I just got the Heston Blumenthal Fat Duck Cookbook, and I wonder if maybe it's time to go back to washing the dishes!!!

    Report message121

  • Message 722

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Tuesday, 10th November 2009

    Hi again Gill,

    Well... the deed is done, I'm back with the ribby brisket. It weighed 2850g, and by the time I'd taken the bones out, went down to 2270g. So.... after mumbling and chewing my fingers with indecision, I've finally decided what I'm going to do. I'm sort of following the Rowley Leigh/Elizabeth David recipe in everything except the saltpetre, where as I said earlier, I'm using nitrited salt designed for curing, to give me 200 parts per million of nitrite and made up with salt. I've also made this into a spreadsheet, so I can play with proportions easily and calculate the right amount of salt for whatever the beef weighs.

    So I rubbed the beef with light muscovado as ED says. (By the way, did you notice the discrepancies between the written recipe, and what he did and said on the video? He wrote demerara where ED said pale muscovado and used dark muscovado. Several other differences too.) I then popped it into a vacuum bag and sealed it, and that will sit for 2 days in my warmest fridge. Then on thursday I'll do the salting business. The beef was 3 inches thick, so according to the standard recommendations for curing, will be ready in 2+(3*2) or 8 days after salting.

    Sugared 10/11
    Salted 12/11
    Ready 20/11

    So that's when I'll be cooking it and tasting it. What a shame our friends Anne & Jim are coming for supper on the 19th and not a couple of days later.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message122

  • Message 723

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Tuesday, 10th November 2009

    Shocked of Cheltenham me!
    You've forgotten the blob of nose-melting English mustard in your picture Sakkarin.

    Shame about that flavour loss though, but I can see the texture's spot on.

    Hi Ian.
    I know just what you mean about the dilemmas. There are a number of choices to make, the most important of which is that cure.
    Some due to the discrepancies too, which we've discussed way way back.
    Do you cure for 2 weeks (written) or 3 (video)?
    Do you roast at 150 for 3hrs (written) or 120 4hrs (vid)?

    Watching the video again, has made me decide on 2 changes.
    I'm going to use brisket - Sakkarin, your texture is far closer to the result he has
    & I'm going to roast lower and longer as his beef is so succulent, I'd forgotten how good it looks:

    the reason I decided to make it in the first place.

    Good luck Ian. Nice to see you having a go too.

    Report message123

  • Message 724

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Tuesday, 10th November 2009


    Thanks Ian, I'll check that out.

    Sakkarin - the meltingness is achieved by a very long cook in plenty of liquid - the meat almost falls apart. This degree of doneness is very common in Central European and Latin and North American meat cooking/braising. You have to abandon the dry-roasted 'just done' method of France and the UK - it just won't do it for what you're after.

    You'll also need to use some of your saltpetre for the redness if you want that as well. Braise in water almost up to the top of the meat but not quite - slow cooker is best IMO -on a low temp 130C is good - for several hours until almost but not quite falling part. Don't soak the meat before you cook it - that's where all your flavour comes from. The salt will boil out into the cooking water.

    You'll see that this recipe for Jewish Salt or Corned Beef is very similar to the Rowley et al one but uses fattier brisket.

    This one steams the meat, but I would braise and not rinse.

    Jewish Style Corned Beef
    recipes.epicurean.co...

    Translation: It's for a 12 # ie pound piece of brisket and a QT (quart) = 1 L



    Report message124

  • Message 725

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Tuesday, 10th November 2009

    Hi Gill,
    There are a number of choices to make, the most important of which is that cure.  Yup, and the reason I'm going the way I am is because of the excellent results I've had with bacon and gammon curing as well as the current (commercial) legislation about levels. Don't - please - anyone copy what I've done until I come back in a fortnight's time or so to say whether it worked or not.

    I had forgotten the discussions earlier on here - forgive me! Summer is not the best time for me to commit things to memory!

    As for curing time, I am taking the view that a short curing time is ample because I'm using nitrite. That works faster, because there's no time delay converting the nitrate. Temperature. Elizabeth David recommends the lower temperature, with the concomitant longer cooking time, so I think I'll follow her advice on this. I am not going to try to make an undercooked piece of beef, all the same. I think it's of the essence of salt beef that it's cooked to the stage that the collagen has become gelatinous and that - to me implies lower temperature cooking. One of the American contributors to the discussion on sausagemaking forum had some very interesting comments on how to braise, and he has confirmed my feeling that long and slow is the way to go.

    Lastly... I've started up a new Picasa Album. Just 4 pics at the moment. picasaweb.google.co.... What does come out well is how nicely hung the beef is already. Look at the lovely dark colour of the meat.

    To Sakkarin... I meant to comment earlier on your brining method. For what it's worth, the reason I make dry cured bacon is because the flavour tends to be more intense than with brine cured bacon. I would be surprised if that weren't true for salt beef as well. The other thing is that it's hard with brine to assess how fast the cure is penetrating and how much the spices are going to affect the taste. Rowley, in his slide show does comment on the rich spiciness of the beef, with the implication that this is down to the "dry" curing being carried out.

    Anyway, the beef is in the fridge and will be massaged regularly till I add the remaining ingredients on Thursday.


    All the best
    Ian

    Report message125

  • Message 726

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Tuesday, 10th November 2009

    Dear Ian

    One hesitates to disagree with you in any way as you tend to take offense, but thinking about the physics of the process I cannot see much difference between dry cure and brining, provided that the brining is done with a saturated solution.

    And even if less than saturated, to get the salts into the meat they need to be at higher osmotic pressure than the meat has already, so moisture will exit not enter.

    Seems to me that the only bad thing is when dilute salty water is injected into meat so as to cure yet also increase weight by adulteration.

    Dengan hormat

    Steve

    Report message126

  • Message 727

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    posted by Aristologist
    I cannot see much difference between dry cure and brining 


    Well have a go then, man!!!!
    You've been running a narrative enough on this thread to make my ears burn. <laugh>

    If there is a genuine interest, then get some cure, and jolly well make the beef like others are doing and find something out for yourself.

    Ah, that felt better!

    Report message127

  • Message 728

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    posted by Sakkarin
    But there again, I just got the Heston Blumenthal Fat Duck Cookbook 

    Happy birthday????

    Hi Ian.
    Great to see the pictures coming up for us to share.
    79g of sugar's goodly precise I see. You do make me smile.

    Report message128

  • Message 729

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    Hi GillthePainter
    79g of sugar's goodly precise I see. You do make me smile.  Grin!! That's the mentally lazy ex chemist. My spreadsheet said 79g so when I started weighing the sugar on my scales (digital 1g precision) that's what I weighed- completely mindlessly.

    Thanks for your reply to Aristologist. What you could also have pointed out was that:-

    a) even if a brine solution was saturated (which it never is) the moment the meat goes in, the brine becomes diluted by liquids drawn from the meat, whereas when rubbing with a dry cure, even if liquid is drawn out, there's still an excess of cure.
    b) that in brine the spices are not in intimate contact with the meat
    c) that an injection cure is not an immersion cure
    d) that it's the industrial use of phosphates that encourages water retention in the meat
    e) that in all cures, even injection, the weight of meat after curing is less than it was initially.
    f) that he was right to be nervous about contesting what I had said, not because it enrages me, firstly because it doesn't, and secondly because his frequent needles show he doesn't give a fig about annoying others, but because it shows a breathtaking ignorance of the curing process that must call into question the aptitude of his nickname. <devil>

    You were right to suggest he tries the two processes for himself. ;-)

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message129

  • Message 730

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    Yeah, I wish I'd said that, me.

    Report message130

  • Message 731

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    Hi Ian

    a) Not so if there is undissolved salt
    b) Fair point
    c) Nor is a cat an orange.
    d) True - you may have seen my comments on the Co-op adulterating pork
    e) Not true for a lot of commercial bacon production where the end product is only 90% pork
    f) The devil wears Prada. And tends to be pompous.

    Incidentally I almost always buy dry cured bacon

    Report message131

  • Message 732

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    Ah, that felt better!  <laugh>

    Wish I had said that, but I totally agree! If people have a problem with what we are doing, then go and do it themselves, we are living proof that it works or at least I think I am, unless I am a figment of my own imagination <laugh>.

    Reference MY pics on my wild boar cure, I took some last night with a few slices nestling in between two lumps of whole meal baguette (German style ;-))with some mixed pickles, gurkins, couple of radishes and a dollop of mustard (German). It was jolly nice and if you use your minds eye you should be able to see it. It was on white porcelain.

    The reason that you shall have to carry on using your imagination is, at the moment my home PC is playing up so am unable to go online :-( and down load any bl@@dy thing<steam>

    I got a new router, don't let anyone say follow the automatic install instructions, they have never worked for me in the past and this time was also no exception <laugh>.

    I shall also be passing your way on my way up North on or about 18 Dec if you fancy a pie and a pint ;-). But I will send you an E-mail with details!

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message132

  • Message 733

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    That's a crying shame about your pc, Tricky Dicky Chicky.
    But I can indeed imagine your sandwich very well.

    And I'll wait for your email .........

    Report message133

  • Message 734

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Wednesday, 11th November 2009

    Yippee it would seem that I am once again connected to the outer world!
    So here are the spiced wild boar pics as promised!
    The first is half of the lump the rest is languishing in Kiel or may be in someones stomach!
    The second is my little feast yesterday evening! They are of course back to front ! the first shall be last and so on and so forth! <laugh>
    img29.imageshack.us/...

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message134

  • Message 735

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by lusciouslush (U3917132) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    C'mon Lush - get a move on or the year will have ended......  
    <laugh>....

    I'd lay odds you were a school prefect Luca....
    oh yes indeedy...!!

    I have been on a worktrip - so trying to catch up - where are we now with the definitive method?
    It has evolved so much...

    Confused of Lastminute.Lush......


    Report message135

  • Message 736

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    <laugh> More likely to have been smoking behind the bike shed.. ;)

    As for the definitive method.... I don't think there is any such thing anymore!

    Gill recorded her cure on msg 536

    Don't mind me, I just want to record my cure mix here, it's smelling wonderful so I've got high hopes and don't want to forget it ................

    2 kilo butchers topside: cost GBP13
    100g muscovado rub the night before
    100g rock salt
    4 teasp saltpetre
    40g juniper
    1 tablesp powdered mustard
    1 tablesp thick molasses
    1 teasp allspice
    15g black nigella onion seed
    15g grains of paradise (ginger flavour apparently)

    It's like a dark slurry dash bond. 


    and I reckon that's the one where she said it was her best beef yet so it's clearly a winning combo! Gill will have to confirm that as there are a heck of a lot of different posts on this thread now!

    Report message136

  • Message 737

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by lusciouslush (U3917132) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    Ahh - thanks for that Bikeshed Girl.... I'll have a shifty thro' - knowing where to start is a big help - as you say, masive thread now - probably book material!

    Her Beefiness will no doubt be along to help soon - meantime where are you with yours?

    (This is beginning to sound like a maternity/birth thread!)




    Report message137

  • Message 738

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    Mine will be washed and soaked tomorrow and cooked on Saturday..... I have pickles and mustard ready and will buy some baguettes just before we are going to eat the beef..

    Report message138

  • Message 739

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by lusciouslush (U3917132) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    Hmmm....Sounding very good Luca!
    Did you use the method you ref'd for me or your own creation?

    Report message139

  • Message 740

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    No - though I will be using it for the next one. I used the original recipe but without the Allspice and with plenty of crushed coriander seeds. We are huge biltong fans and it is always prepared with them.

    Report message140

  • Message 741

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by lusciouslush (U3917132) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    Drooling......<ok>

    Report message141

  • Message 742

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    Hi Luca

    Put some in the post for me to taste, will you? ;-)

    My chunk of plat de cotes got salted today after 48 in sugar. After all that, I DID increase the nitrite to 200ppm ingoing, which is just as well because I forgot to add my pinch of saltpetre.

    So I rubbed with
    76 g nitrited salt (0.6%) to give 200ppm NaNO2 ingoing
    27 g sea salt
    17 g allspice
    17 g juniper
    34 g black peppercorns,

    and here are links to the pics
    picasaweb.google.co....
    picasaweb.google.co....
    and
    picasaweb.google.co....

    Ill be leaving that in the vac pack 2 weeks today so it will be out on the 27th.


    All the best
    Ian

    Report message142

  • Message 743

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    Dear cured beef afficionados: had to do a major catching up on this very interesting thread here.

    Good grief Ian, you just mussed up my small brain with all that technical speak! <yikes><laugh> Good luck with your experiment though!

    Hi Gill, Odette & Sakkarin: what absolutely beauties your beefies are! Gorgeous, perfetto and eminently edible I should think! They had me drooling all over the keyboard and my laptop is on its last legs! Your photos made me want to start another one. Only it wouldn't be a good idea as I wouldn't be able to give it the proper care in the coming weeks. :(

    And Spotters that wild boar sandwich is perfect. Mammamia, I shall be dreaming of it, whilst I sleep of course! <biggrin>

    Hi Luca: you're on schedule for the weekend and someone is going to have a fabulous welcome home meal I think! ;)

    Report message143

  • Message 744

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    Hi Ian,

    The beef's looking good - useful things those vac packers. I must put one on my list! Roll on the photos of completed product.

    Hi Elisa,

    Yup.. and I can't wait!!! Peking Duck, roast beef and the works and of course the cured beef sandwiches are all on the menu! Then the beef- or what's left of it departs with himself. Along with half of the contents of the fridge no doubt!

    No slobbering on old laptops allowed and certainly not on potential new ones!

    This really has been a great thread.

    Report message144

  • Message 745

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Thursday, 12th November 2009

    The lucky boy!! You're all in for a veritable feast!

    Report message145

  • Message 746

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Monday, 16th November 2009

    posted by spotteddick2
    So here are the spiced wild boar pics as promised! 

    That looks amazing.

    Hi Ian.
    That all looks very professional.

    Luca
    I hope the lucky boy is enjoying his special treats.

    Report message146

  • Message 747

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Monday, 16th November 2009

    He loved it thanks Gill and has departed back to uni with it plus half the contents of the fridge as for some strange reason I slightly over-catered and there were many, many goodies left over. ;)

    Report message147

  • Message 748

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Monday, 16th November 2009

    Hi Luca
    for some strange reason I slightly over-catered  Surprise, surprise! Though I should imagine that it wasn't done in total innocence!
    All the best
    Ian

    Report message148

  • Message 749

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Monday, 16th November 2009

    Your surmise would be spot on Ian! <laugh>

    Report message149

  • Message 750

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by lusciouslush (U3917132) on Monday, 16th November 2009

    His future-wife is going to have a lot to live up to......<laugh>

    Report message150

  • Message 751

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Friday, 27th November 2009

    I'ts the 27th today, so it's perfect timing to be thinking about cured Irish beef/venison/game for Boxing Day.

    Hi Ian
    How did your cure turn out, I'm thinking it would have been ready a couple of days ago ............ unless you are going for the world record set by AZCook, at 40 days I think?

    Report message151

  • Message 752

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Friday, 27th November 2009

    Hi Gill!

    I suppose I could start a one off and take it on my tour of Europe <laugh>

    Where you been? bit scarse of late ;-)

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message152

  • Message 753

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Friday, 27th November 2009

    Still pleasing my public, Ricardo.
    My exhibition is nearly at an end, so my absense is short lived.

    Report message153

  • Message 754

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Friday, 27th November 2009

    How is it going? hope you sold a load!

    Report message154

  • Message 755

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Friday, 27th November 2009

    It's going very well, thanks for asking, and I've have sold enough to keep a roof over my head during the dark winter months.

    Report message155

  • Message 756

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Friday, 27th November 2009

    Congrats Gill! You do us real proud! <ok>

    Report message156

  • Message 757

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Friday, 27th November 2009


    Hi beefers! Yes, it's getting to be that time of year again. Gill, a Boxing day beef sounds perfect. And I'm guessing that your OH lurves the pickled red cabbage with it.

    I must check and see how long my big beef has been curing. I reckoned it would be ready about midwinter time. Perhaps in time for a solstice dinner. I wonder ....




    Report message157

  • Message 758

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Friday, 27th November 2009

    Hi All

    Well, mine came out of the cure today. After a quick rinse and dry, I put it into a roasting tin with a pint of water (or 500 ml to be precise) covered with greaseproof, foil and covered the whole tin with more foil. Baked 5 hours at 110, but when I got back it was still a bit tough. Being brisket, it had also changed shape dramatically, doubling in thickness (Jacob's ladder). So I split it through the fat and put it back in its juice in a smaller pan covered again, to bake a further 3 hours. It's now good and tender, and cooling. When nearly cold, I'll remove from liquid, and press in the fridge overnight.

    I couldn't resist a quick taste even though it was still warm. Quite delicious. I can't wait to try the meat again properly. When I've finished taking them, photos will follow.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message158

  • Message 759

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    It sounds good and I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures Ian.

    Report message159

  • Message 760

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    thank you Elisa.

    Sounds like a success to me, Ian, from your first impressions.
    Like Luca, I can't wait for the finishing pictures.

    Hi Odette.
    I haven't found a better red cabbage recipe, so yes, it's definitely on the menu this year.

    Did you tweak your version?

    Report message160

  • Message 761

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Hi Folks

    Well, there we are, lunch was spiced beef sandwiches with spiced peaches. We cut the slices from the thinner part of the brisket, which had been entirely out of the liquid when baked, because it rose so much. The flavour is fantastic, neither too salt nor too sweet, nor yet too spicy. However, it was a little hard. We were so happy with it that we've started another one to be ready in time for our trip to the UK! Topside this time - the butcher didn't have any silverside - so that it will be easier to carve, and more compact. It's sugared and in the fridge, No photos yet.

    As for the first attempt the album is now up to date, showing the entire process.

    picasaweb.google.co....

    Hope you enjoy it!

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message161

  • Message 762

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    & exTREMEly good it looks too, Ian.

    Remind me, did you make any taste additions to the juniper, allspice and pepper blend?

    I'm sticking with that for our Boxing Day beef this time.

    Report message162

  • Message 763

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    That looks very tasty Ian and I guess the next one is Boxing day lunch with the family sorted?

    Report message163

  • Message 764

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    and I guess the next one is Boxing day lunch with the family sorted?  

    It does sound like it, doesn't it, Luca.

    Report message164

  • Message 765

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Hi GillthePainter
    Remind me, did you make any taste additions to the juniper, allspice and pepper blend?  Npe. You know me!! I always do a recipe pretty well exactly as written. In this case, I merely modernised it a little by using nitrited salt instead of saltpetre, but apart from that I used sugar and spices pretty well exactly as written.

    To summarise:-
    beef 2270 g
    Sugar 79 g
    sea salt 27 g
    Nitrited salt 76 g
    Pepper 34 g
    Allspice 17 g
    Juniper 17 g

    If you try it, don't whatever you do, use cure#1 in these quantities as it has 10X the amount of nitrite.

    Luca, it's possible, though I think it's more likely to be used for lunches during the period leading up to Christmas, along with the bresaola, the jambon cru, cheese and pickles and stuff that we usually have on the table.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message165

  • Message 766

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Luca, it's possible, though I think it's more likely to be used for lunches during the period leading up to Christmas, along with the bresaola, the jambon cru, cheese and pickles and stuff that we usually have on the table.
     


    Now that sounds like our pre-Christmas lunches or suppers and very good they are too! OH's idea of a heavenly packed lunch too!

    Report message166

  • Message 767

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Hi Luca

    I'll TRY to remember and get permission to bring a few slices to GC on the 19th.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message167

  • Message 768

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    How very kind Ian - if you do remember I'll enjoy trying a tiny slither of your version of this beef. This has been an excellent thread hasn't it.

    Report message168

  • Message 769

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    As the starter, I'll say thank you Luca.
    It has ticked along nicely and evolved very well indeed, hasn't it.

    We'll have to get our minds in gear for more threads like it.

    Report message169

  • Message 770

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    It certainly has Gill. You clearly have a knack because your Swiss chard and mushroom lasagne was another wonderful one.

    Thinking caps on for another one where we can enjoyably participate in the spirit of the board.

    Report message170

  • Message 771

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Hello all!

    We'll have to get our minds in gear for more threads like it. 

    yes! it is nice! enjoying a thread isn't it???

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message171

  • Message 772

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Thank you for the album Ian. Your beef looks fabulous! I can almost taste it, with cornichons of course.<biggrin>

    Report message172

  • Message 773

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    I quite agree Luca! That was and IS a wonderful and very interesting thread Gill!
    You have the gift of putting things down so well I never have a doubt as to what's what just like on your blog, a joy to read. I'm taking the courgettes moussaka recipe with me to Paris and look forward to preparing it in the coming week! <ok>

    Report message173

  • Message 774

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Hi Luca
    Thinking caps on for another one where we can enjoyably participate in the spirit of the board.  Well said. I agree, not only with every word, but with the thoughts behind them.

    My tentative suggestion would be to extend gently from the idea in this one (curing beef) to curing pork. Bacon is even easier to make than spiced beef, and cheaper too.
    All the best
    Ian

    Report message174

  • Message 775

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by spotteddick2 (U9497245) on Saturday, 28th November 2009

    Hi Ian! Ian I couldn't agree more <ok>. It si nice when athread is void of malicious (in the main) trouble making and plain wumism!

    Yes it would be nice to do a pork curing, I know I done a branch off on this one and done Wild Boar but a specific pork would I think be well receive (well it would by me) <ok>

    ATB

    SD2

    Report message175

  • Message 776

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Radio 4 Food Programme currently talking about "live brining" - bacteria in the brining solution!

    Report message176

  • Message 777

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Seconded. I really should get around to making bacon as the good stuff here is pretty expensive and the cheaper variety isn't bacon as I remember it from childhood.

    Report message177

  • Message 778

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Luca - certainly in the UK the vast majority of bacon is nothing like 20 or so years ago.

    I think it should be labelled "Bacon with Water".

    Report message178

  • Message 779

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    That's about the sum of it Aristologist. No flavour to speak of either.

    Report message179

  • Message 780

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    I would be interested in following through into the bacon topic.

    However as a starter for 10, I just bought the Simon Hopkinson "Roast Chicken and Other Stories" book (42p from Amazon...) and he includes a recipe for Petit Sale in which he borrows a brine recipe from Jane Grigson.

    50g of saltpetre for a 1.8 kilo piece of belly. That's the whole bag that I showed in a precious post!

    www.carta.co.uk/beeb...

    It's also scary that the book, which I kind of thought was a recentish publication, is in fact 15 years old. Sheesh.

    PS: how do you type an e with an acute accent on a PC? (my normal computer is Mac, which has broken...)

    Report message180

  • Message 781

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Blimey - that's a shed load of saltpetre!

    For the é...... I press Alt Gr and e at the same time for my laptop. You can also do Alt and 130 on the calculator pad if you are not on a laptop.

    Report message181

  • Message 782

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Hi Sakkarin

    50 g!!!! Blimey. That's GOT to be to make up a brine. In the old days, people chucked in fairly generous amounts of saltpetre. Without going through all the stuff I said earlier, modern practice is to use nitrIte, which is used in vastly smaller quantities. I can check up with my local friendly butcher what they use for their petit salé. My guess - only a guess, nind, is that it's brined pork, and that it is then taken out of the brine and stored with fairly copious amounts of straight coarse sea salt, because that's how WE see it.

    As for what they put into the brine, I simply have no idea, probably a mix bought in 10 kg tubs, designed to be dissolved in water!!

    As for the é. if your PC has the full complement of keys, then use the ALT-Gr key on the right of the space bar. Press that, then e and then release the E followed by releasing the Alt-Gr key. Works for all the vowels.

    That said, I use firefox and have installed an extension called abctajpu which inserts almost any accent - though not all applications show them correctly.

    Hope that helps.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message182

  • Message 783

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Sunday, 29th November 2009


    Your brisket looks deeeevine, Ian. And I hereby am swearing off huge amounts of saltpetre to the pinches you used - the colour of you brisket seems perfect.

    If using saltpetre only what is the amount for the recipe you gave?

    Spotters. I'd love to to a piece of pork like this, too.

    Report message183

  • Message 784

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Aha, Alt gr, eh? I wondered what that button was for...

    Report message184

  • Message 785

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by Organoleptic Icon (U11219171) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    It's "ALTernate GRaphic". ie make a different image.

    Most of the Esc/Del etc keys date back to the telex teleprinters used for the first computers simply because they existed, but IIRC AltGr was invented for computers.

    Report message185

  • Message 786

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Hi Odette,

    How embarrassing!! in the end, I forgot to add the saltpetre, but as I was using nitrited salt, it didn't really matter. Remember that the nitrate itself doesn't do anything, it's only effective when converted into nitrite by bacterial action inside the meat, which takes longer (hence the longer cure times with saltpetre).

    If I were you, Odette, I'd get hold of some Cure #1 or Prague powder which has nitrite, and use that. As it has 6% of nitrite, the recommendation generally is to use 1 ounce of pink salt for 25 pounds of meat. You can either cut down the amount of kosher salt to take into account the salt in pink salt, or you could use the quantities as suggested by Rowley. (I'm off to supper, but will come back later).
    All the best
    Ian

    Report message186

  • Message 787

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Sunday, 29th November 2009

    Hi again Odette,

    Following on from my last. 1 oz of pink salt for 25 pounds works out at 2.2 grams per kilo. So as not to oversalt, and if you wanted to, you could take off 2 g per kilo off the amount of salt you would otherwise use.

    To explain what I mean in a real example. I've just started curing 1600g of beef. Using Rowley's proportions, but leaving out the saltpetre, that would need

    56 g sugar
    72 g total salt
    24 g pepper
    12 g allspice
    12 g juniper.

    You would want to use 3.2 g of cure number 1 for that (1 gm per kilo). If you've got a set of teaspoon measures, I'd take 50 1/2 tsp full and see what they weigh. I think you will find that each 1/2 tsp weighs pretty well spot on 3 g and that's close enough. You could either ignore the "extra" salt, or use 56 g salt less 1/2 tsp.

    Normally, prague powder #2, which also contains saltpetre as well as nitrite, is used for things like cured sausages, which are dried at room temperatures. The saltpetre breaks down over time and gives long term protection. It's not normal to use this for salt beef, but if you wanted to you would use this at the rate of 2 tsp per pound, and I'd probably be tempted to reduce the ordinary salt by the amount of cure you add.

    Here is some pretty good and factual stuff in Wiki en.wikipedia.org/wik...

    FYI, Amazon.com sells both varieties of prague powder.

    Does that help at all? I'm sorry not to be able to give a straight answer to your specific question, but that's because it's not clear how much saltpetre you need to give protection. The breakdown to nitrite depends upon so many factors (temperature, bacteria present, time) that any advice I might give would be risky. However, 1 tsp of saltpetre for 5 lbs would be plenty.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message187

  • Message 788

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Tuesday, 22nd December 2009

    Hi again people,

    The second lot of spiced beef was finished the day we left for the UK, and we finally got round to starting it today. Here it is in all it's glory.

    picasaweb.google.co....

    To be critical, it's a touch on the dry side, but in a sense, that's what you'd expect with topside. Very lean, though, and delicious.

    I used the quantities as shown in my previous message (for 1600g topside).

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message188

  • Message 789

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Tuesday, 22nd December 2009

    Looks very nice, sadly I've left it too late to have anything ready for Christmas :-(

    Report message189

  • Message 790

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    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Tuesday, 22nd December 2009


    Yesterday for midwinter feasting I cooked among other things the 8 lb big boy beef that's been sitting around in the fridge curing for 6-8 weeks. Best yet, and superbly tender. Exactly what almost meltingly tender hot salt should be. I cooked it long and slow in a slow cooker on 300F/150C for an hour or so then down to 225F/100 for the remainder.

    I wonder of the difference is in the longer cure time or size of meat or slower cook or all of the above.

    Here's a slideshow of the coking process from beef in ziploc curing bag to slow cooking to slicing through to reveal the middle and slicing up to serve:
    img191.imageshack.us...


    Ian - tasty piece of beef you have there and I've been really curious to see the colour you get from your mere pinch or two of saltperetre - came out very well, I see.





    Report message190

  • Message 791

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    Posted by ianisinfrance (U3511174) on Tuesday, 22nd December 2009

    Hi Odette,
    Ian - tasty piece of beef you have there and I've been really curious to see the colour you get from your mere pinch or two of saltpetre - came out very well, I see. 
    I've had a good look at your slide show. Interesting that you left more spices on while cooking than we did. I'm often too manic about wiping off "excess" pepper. It looked wonderful, probably a bit redder than ours was. But as you say, with only very little cure (not saltpetre, don't forget, but the 0.6% of sodium nitrite in 70 odd grams of nitrited salt) it's not a bad colour and had the genuinely cured flavour. However, as I said earlier - as a counsel of perfection I'd have preferred it tenderer. If I'd not been somewhat under the gun for timing, I'd have cooked it longer.

    I must say that I think we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Gill for starting us off on this experiment, and to Rowley for his original article.

    All the best
    Ian

    Report message191

  • Message 792

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    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Tuesday, 22nd December 2009


    Hi Ian - the very first time I made it I rinsed off the spices, but thereafter decided that you gain so much extra flavour by not rinsing it off, not to mention that I think it looks good, too - makes a nice presentation IMO - like pepper salamis, pepper steaks and so on - I love a burst of pepper and spices on the outside of meats. I grind all the spices etc together coarsely when prepping the meat and slather it all on.

    So glad that Gill started this thread. This beef has become a regular fave chez nous.




    Report message192

  • Message 793

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Wednesday, 23rd December 2009

    Good morning fellow beef fans.
    That's a beautifully cured piece of beef again Ian. Nice one.

    And Odette, you really have got this down to an art form. Super juicy.

    How long did you poach it in the crock pot for please? - I'll do that with mine ...... which is ready today as it happens, ready to be rinsed (I think I'll pass on the soak on this occasion)

    I'll post a picture of the finished toprump - although you all know what it looks like at the Painter house by now I should think.

    Keep the faith!

    Report message193

  • Message 794

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    Posted by Luca (U2164432) on Wednesday, 23rd December 2009

    Some fabulous looking beef there Odette and Ian. Enjoy your feasting!

    Slow low cooking seems to be the way to go and I shall follow your example Odette with my next one. No room in the fridge at the moment though!

    Report message194

  • Message 795

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by AZCook (U2431205) on Wednesday, 23rd December 2009


    Why thank you, ladies.

    Re: slow cooking. I did the unprecendented and didn't really time it by weight this time, but more by what Ian posted of Elizabeth David's comments plus my meat thermomenter.

    Put the meat into the slow cooker with water about a third to halfway up, closed the lid and stuffed foil into the two vent holes on top, turned on the cooker to 300F/150C which is a medium setting. It cooked like that for an hour or so and quite a bit of the water had evaporated so I topped it up again, closed it and put the heat down to 250F/120-ish Centigrade and let it cook for several more hours - about 6 hours in all - so pretty much 50 minutes per lb/450g.

    The themometer told me the meat was well done inside (you can't tell by colour anyway due to the saltpetre) about 175F/ 80C or better on the thermometer and the outside of the meat was very soft - you could pinch a piece off. Then I took the meat out and sliced it through as you see in the pic and saw that it was perfect in the middle. I actually thought I may have overcooked it a bit bit was fine.

    I then put the meat in a dish and weighted it down while hot for about three quarters of an hour as I thought this would make it slice better, which it did. Plus it allowed the meat to rest. That was all the weighting I did to it and it seemes to have done the job fine.


    Report message195

  • Message 796

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    Posted by Sakkarin (U7438804) on Wednesday, 23rd December 2009

    Stuff the turkey, gimme AZ's beef...

    Report message196

  • Message 797

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    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Wednesday, 23rd December 2009

    Indeed Sakkarin.
    My slow cooker runs rather high, on low.
    Still nothing ventured, with the temperatures Odette, I can use my thermometer probe to monitor my beef.

    Actually, the slow cooker is very good at making meat joints tender, but still keeping them firm.

    Great.

    Report message197

  • Message 798

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by BelgianEndive (U4866204) on Wednesday, 23rd December 2009

    That looks like perfection Odette! Wouldn't mind having a sandwich with that beef right now like! Drool. I'd like to make another one after the New Year and will definitely keep in mind "no soak" and "leave on the spices".<biggrin> I do not own a slow cooker though.

    Report message198

  • Message 799

    , in reply to this message.

    Posted by GillthePainter (U2164232) on Sunday, 27th December 2009

    Anyone want to see what Rowley Leigh's cured Irish beef in the slow cooker looks like after 16 hours?

    I put it on at 1pm, tucked it away in the corner of my kitchen, and woke up at 4am in a cold cure sweat to remember it was still on.
    Internal temperature = unknown, but it was still in it's liquid thank goodness.

    It's incredibly tasty, but very, very dry.
    Half is a crumble, and the other half is just about sliceable if I'm careful.

    picasaweb.google.com...

    picasaweb.google.com...

    Not so cocky now, am I ??!!!

    Report message199

  • Message 800

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    Posted by sueturnersmith (U741218) on Sunday, 27th December 2009

    What a shame, Gill. You need to get a Cuisinart slow cooker like mine, which you can set to automatically switch to just keep warm after the time you think it will be cooked.

    They are expensive, but worth it, IMO, and will save ruining a beef that has been treated with loving care for ages.

    Report message200

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