The 2015 Carolina Meat Conference my actual notes from class

This is a post to record for myself the notes from different classes. This isn’t going to be good reading, just my personal scribblings.

  • HR9 – Retail meat exemptions. I was late and missed the setup but there is an exemption for preparing meat in the retail environment. Need more information on exactly what this means and does it apply to us. Anything produced under this exemption is not inspected and has specific labeling requirements to qualify under the exemption.

The rest of the notes are from the sausage making class

  • Cure #1 – Other curing. For curing with heat
  • Cure #2 – For dry curing. Long time curing. Country ham, pancetta, air dried meats
  • Hot smoke 1.5-2.5% by weight (green) for salt. Whole muscle cures 2-1 ratio of salt to sugar. (i.e. Green weight 10 pounds. 2.5% = 1/4 pound of salt, 1/8 pound of sugar.)
  • Sausages – Salt and sugars and nitrites all the same as whole muscle. Spices can vary all you want. Nitrites are 1/4% of green weight.
  • For hot smoking, salt is 1.75-1.5% of green weight.
  • Most of his curing is done in a cryo-bag. When you cure in a cryo-bag you make sure that the drawn moisture mixes with the salt and forms a brine. If any area remains dry, open the bag and fix it. Massage the bag daily to evenly distribute the cure.
  • When figuring the amount of nitrite, round the amount up or down to the nearest gram.
  • Converting pounds to grams. 1lb x 454 = number of grams.
  • Bacon cures in a cryo-vac for 7 days.
  • Spices are set a various levels by weight. Level 1 is the spiciest. Level 1 is .625% of green weight. Level 2 is .3125%. Level 3 is .08% and level 4 is .04%.
  • 5.4 pounds of meat = 2554 grams. Multiplied by 1.75% =42.9 grams of salt. 2-1 ratio mean 42.9 grams of salt divided by 2 for 21.45 grams of sugar. 2554 grams green weight times 1/4% = 6.12 grams of nitrite, rounded down to 6 grams even.
  • Capricola – Made from boneless pork loin. He uses a small amount of nutmeg as his secret spice. Herb like basil are too wet and should be used dried. Rosemary is ok by itself.
  • Do not use acids in sausage. Lemon, lime, tomato etc can be used on whole muscle, but not in sausage. If you want something acid added, soak the sausage casing in it. It adds the flavor but doesn’t contaminate the meat.
  • Red wine helps pork belly to cure. Belly doesn’t have much moisture to make its own brine.
  • Don’t grind spices for bacon. Grind them for sausage. Bacon just washes off anyway so leave them whole or chopped.
  • For smoking, hang meat/sausage for 8 hours in walk in first so that it forms a pellicle. Don’t smoke wet, it forms a nasty slime. Just enough that a pellicle forms.
  • Spice bush is a native plant in NC and can be used to add interesting spice to smoking. Can buy as an ornamental plant. Red berries are like white pepper for spice.
  • If you leave the skin on bacon, then put 2/3 of the rub on the skin side, 1/3 on the meat side. Skin slows down the absorption.
  • For ham, brine. Inject 10% of green weight of meat with bring. 10 lb ham, 1lb of brine. Inject in 2# square grid pattern all over ham. Inject in bag so that any brine that runs out stays in cryo-bag. If you use a liquid only brine, it takes 2-3 weeks to cure. If you inject, it takes 8 days.
  • If you dry cure in a refridgerator (low humidity) the meat doesn’t develop a rind. If your meat does develop a rind, cryo-vac the meat and leave it for a few weeks and it will go away as the meat normalizes.
  • Join two Facebook groups. The salt cured pig and Sausage Debauchery. Jason Mullinary is on Sausage Debauchery. Really intense curing and smoking groups full of chefs and butchers.
  • Dry curing – Meat is done when it loses 30% of its weight minimum, although 30% might be too wet for good taste, it is safe to eat. 40% weight reduction is the standard for some cuts like sopresetta, capricolla. Anything past 40% and you’ve made jerky.
  • Nitrite poisoning symptoms – Flushed, sweaty, really thirsty.
  • Botulism poisoning symptoms – 12-20 hours after ingestion. Weakness in neck, sleepy. Very deadly. You die because botulism paralyzes your chest and you suffocate. Botox anyone?
  • Emulsified sausage – Need a non-acid liquid to make. Water, beer, wine, etc. Can’t be more than 40% fat by law.
  • Dry cured sausage can be higher in fat than 40%.
  • Emulsified sausage, 10% liquid max, by law.
  • When you stuff sausage, you always have some left over. Instructor saves it in the freezer and takes different bits and combines to make pate. Recipe is weight of all meat plus 10% weight in onions, 5% each of celery, milk, and bread.

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