Do we tend to experiment or do we make what we eat?

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ssorllih
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Do we tend to experiment or do we make what we eat?

Post by ssorllih » Wed Apr 11, 2012 02:27

I joined this forum because it was a source for knowledge about how the make from raw meat the smoked and cured and ground, seasoned meat that I had been buying. Since then I have tried several sausage mixes and have cured and smoked several shoulder butts in small pieces. But I find that I am settling into a routine. When I buy a butt I tend to cut a slab for bacon, remove the scalpula and cure that with the bacon. The rest gets cut into: A. two roasts; B. one roast and one piece to cure for a ham roll or C. two pieces that can be ground for sausage at some future date. I apply the knowledge to other meat types as well.
One of the finest things about this site is that Mr. Stan Marianski gave us his recipes in one kilogram sizes. Thank you Stan.
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Post by Butterbean » Wed Apr 11, 2012 15:03

I know what you mean. Its kinda hard to experiment when you have some favorites and you don't know what the experiment is going to taste like. I've found myself limiting my trials to certain regions cause there are certain regions that have recipes that just don't do it for me.
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Post by ssorllih » Wed Apr 11, 2012 15:49

There are several recipes in my notebook that are marked; made twice and didn't like either time.
This morning I have several pices in the smoker but ran out of room so I cooked one on the stove and have a couple of cold pack jars in the pressure canner.
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Post by el Ducko » Wed Apr 11, 2012 16:40

I do this with my home brewing efforts, too- - mark 'em as to how they turned out, what I liked, what I didn't like, and make suggestions for next time. Sometimes the suggestion is "abandon this" or "blind alley." (It's why I don't try home wine making.) Other times, I just lose interest.

But maybe 10% of the time, a development recipe gets promoted to "regular" status. It usually starts as someone else's recipe, gets tweaked a few times, then is either abandoned in favor of another similar recipe or gets promoted. I confess that I'm not all that active in recipe development (not nearly as much as Ross seems to be), but occasionally I "get the bug." His small batch advice is good. You can move ahead more quickly. ...but sometimes, it's a blind alley. (...such as my series of experiments on "How much black pepper is too much pepper.)

The key- - keep good notes, like you would in a laboratory notebook, so you can review them for new ideas or, more frequently, to avoid old ideas that didn't work.
Experience - the ability to instantly recognize a mistake when you make it again.
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Post by NorCal Kid » Wed Apr 11, 2012 23:03

On the practical side, I want the products that I expend the expense & labor to create to be eaten.

However, I also wish to broaden my 'culinary vocabulary' by attempting new items and exploring uncharted areas of charcuterie. Undoubtedly some of these attempts may result in my taste-testers breaking into outright revolt.

...and I'm okay with that. Per the old cliché with which my old weight-training instructor used to admonish us: "No pain...no gain."-the same principal applies to being a food taster in my kitchen.
:mrgreen:

When I roast coffee beans, for example, my wife & I have our favorite blend that I bring to a very dark, well into the second-crack roast. It's my old stand-by. We drink it regularly. BUT I like to try other beans: newer blends, different degrees of roasts. Some of the results have been wonderful, others downright dreadful & undrinkable. It's through experimentation and variety that I grow as a 'coffee roaster' so I'm determined to keep trying new areas. This philosophy no doubt can be applied to other areas of homemade consumables.

Kevin
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. — Hebrews 13:8
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Post by ssorllih » Wed Apr 11, 2012 23:26

If we have the means to very accurately weigh the parts of a blend then we can make small batches and scale up on the pleasing ones. I try to avoid using more salt and cure than I want in the end product. As a result I use longer cure times and don't wash away the excess cure mixture.
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Post by vagreys » Thu Apr 12, 2012 03:33

I eat everything I make, but I don't make everything I eat. Being allergic to beef and bovine dairy proteins, I tend to buy primal or sub-primal cuts or pork, lamb and goat, and receive venison, and raw/pasteurized whole goat milk. I cut/grind my own meat, most of the time, and make my own dairy proucts. I do buy some sheep and goat cheeses, where I don't have to worry about blends, and I will buy some roast cuts pre-cut, if I'm reasonably confident that there won't be any cross-contamination.

I do experiment with sausages, but I don't make inedible sausages.
- tom

Don't tell me the odds.
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