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Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 05:38
by redzed
OK, will abandon tradition in favour of creativity.

Thanks for allowing creative license in this important project.

The Next Step

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 16:57
by el Ducko
Here's that promised black bean soup recipe with chorizo. (CW, you may wish to move this to the "International Recipes" section, in which case can we put a link in the Project B thread?) There are as many variations on this soup as there are soup bowls, I suspect. (Whataya bet that Snagman and Gulyas have similar recipes with paprika as the star ingredient?) Enjoy.

Based on "Rick Bayliss's Mexican Kitchen," p131

● 12 oz (2 cups) dry black beans, rinsed & picked clean (don`t use canned)
Cover beans with 6 cups water, bring to boil, reduce to simmer.

Meanwhile, add:
● 4 avocado leaves OR 1 rib fresh fennel, coarsely chopped. If using avocado leaves, toast directly over a gas flame or on a hot griddle.
● 1/2 cup (4 oz.) chorizo, casing removed, sliced into bite-sized rounds.
● 1 small white onion, chopped, rinsed
If you wish to leave out the avocado/fennel and/or chorizo, add a couple of chipotle peppers instead.

Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, making up liquid with water as needed. Coarsely puree the soup with an immersion blender, or puree in small batches in a food processor or blender and return to the pot. Optionally leave the chorizo slices whole. Add:
● Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
● Dry sherry to taste (1/2 cup max)

Cut into 1/8 inch strips and fry (medium heat) in several batches, turning frequently until crisp, then drain on a paper towel,
● 4 to 6 corn tortillas.
Hold separate until ready to serve. (Broken, good quality commercially-sold tortilla strips can be used.) Sprinkle on top
● 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco ("farmers` cheese" or any semi-dry, not very salty white cheese)

Optionally, add and cook for about 2 minutes:
● 1/2 lb. (about 12) medium-large shrimp

Ladle into bowls. Add tortilla strips and cheese. Serve immediately. :mrgreen:

Old (Mexican) Wives' Tale: simmer the beans with a couple of sprigs of fresh epazote (or dried, if you don't have fresh), to minimize flatulence. :roll:

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 05:08
by Chuckwagon
Pato, you wrote:
CW, you may wish to move this to the "International Recipes" section, in which case can we put a link in the Project B thread?
Le cubrió Pato Loco. I think in this case we can do both. :wink:
Nice recipe pal,

Oh, by the way... El Duck and I spoke on the phone and he said he thought his recipes might be a little confusing when it comes to reading the "columns". He has provided much info and I've just included his remarks below the recipe. You can see it here:

You're lookin' good Duck! :wink:

Best Wishes,

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 16:59
by grasshopper
looking at making more kabanosy and beef sticks. When I found the beef recipes they were using encapsulated citric acid at the end before stuffing. Would not use it on kabanosy as it is great the way it is. They use for tang flavour.? :roll:

another chorizo recipe

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 05:05
by el Ducko
Right now, you have probably made your fresh chorizo, tried some for breakfast, and still are up to your eyeballs in the stuff. "Hey, Duck," you ask, "whataya do with all this chorizo?"

Well, here`s a comfort food recipe that takes a little work but not an awful lot, once you get the hang of it. At our house, we often prepare
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Red Enchiladas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a party dish, or as the main part of a family meal. There are thousands of variations, but this one is really good. I found it in a large format, inexpensive, picture-laden book of 96 pages on the "cooking and cookbooks" table at that big-box book store that we all know and love. It`s called "70 Classic Mexican Recipes" and it`s by highly-respected Latin American cookbook author Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz. It cost me less than ten bucks. Have a look at page 19 for this recipe. I summarize, with a few twists:

1. Roast 4 dried ancho chiles in a dry frying pan over moderate heat for 1 - 2 minutes. Cool. Slit `em open, remove seeds and stems, and tear them to pieces. Put the pieces in a small bowl, add warm water to cover, and soak for 20 minutes.
2. Put the soaked chiles plus a little of the water into a food processor. Add 1 lb. tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 1 (or more!) garlic clove(s) and a tablespoon of chopped coriander leaf. Puree.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of lard, bacon grease, or cooking oil in a saucepan, add the puree and cook gently for 3 - 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup of sour cream if desired. (We don`t!)
4. Heat another tablespoon of lard/grease/oil in a frying pan. Saute 4 chorizo sausages, skinned and chopped, until slightly browned. Add enough sauce to wet the mixture, then set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (We also do these in the microwave oven.) Heat 2 tablespoons lard/grease/oil in a frying pan (we prefer chicken broth).Have 18 corn tortillas (we prefer yellow) on hand. Dip a tortilla into the hot oil (or broth) for a few seconds, to soften it. Put the tortilla on a plate, top with some of the sausage mixture, roll up, and place in a rectangular cooking dish. Repeat, packing into a single layer in the dish. Pour the sauce over the top, sprinkle with up to 2 cups of shredded cheese (anything from Parmesan to cheddar to queso fresco to goat cheese is good) and bake in the conventional oven for 20 minutes, or in the microwave until bubbly.

Serve two or so at a time by retrieving with a wide spatula, trying not to destroy the tortillas. A little chopped lettuce and tomato, chopped fresh coriander, and a salsa of your choice dress up the dish. This old Tex-Mex standard is still a favorite in both upscale restaurants and the grubbiest looking taquerias, accompanied by Spanish rice and refried beans, with hot tortillas.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 05:18
by Chuckwagon
El Duckster... very nice recipe... thanks pal!

Hey smoke addicts, are you just about ready to move on? Next, let's take the "fresh" chorizo recipe and turn it into a "cured, cooked, and smoked" sausage. I'll be posting some directions within the next day or two for this type of sausage. You won't believe it is the same recipe. It's a great way to prepare a sausage for the grill. I'm taking bets that folks will really enjoy this next variation.

We haven't heard from many folks who registered for this project. Are you still with us? How about checkin' in and letting us know how you're doing?

Best Wishes,

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 07:31
by redzed
I will be making the fresh and smoked chorizo in a few days. Could not find the exact chillies, so will have to improvise.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:33
by NorthFork
Chuckwagon wrote:

We haven't heard from many folks who registered for this project. Are you still with us? How about checkin' in and letting us know how you're doing?

Best Wishes,

I've been siwashed by fishing season and will be held hostage by fisherman for the next couple of months (down side of being an Outfitter). I will be following along but will have to catch up on the sausage making when the season eases off a bit. I'll check in as I can- so far the "Project" has been great and your knowledge and info (along with the shared experience from all involved) is a real help in understanding the whole process--


Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:43
by Gulyás
Yes Chuckwagon.

I read everything here, and much more. I got everything to build a curing cabinet too, except the freezer that doesn't have the coils in the shelf.
But I'm not able to make sausages just yet. I got lots of project going on.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 13:33
by HamnCheese
Hey Folks,

Will be back to actual participation in a month or so - couple of family/house issues on the table right now that need to be resolved before I'll have time to concentrate in the kitchen.

I am reading along, however, and what you are producing is nothing short of inspiring. The pictures are amazing!


Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 16:44
by two_MN_kids
I'm still with the program! I made the Hungarian Csabaii a few weeks back, however, I didn't take the time to cold smoke over several days. I'm sure the sausage suffered because of that.

The Autumn hunting season has started to creep into my free time! :cool: I will be doing catch-up sausage making next week. But then I'm off again! :lol:


Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 00:19
by Cabonaia
Still here! Count me in for the chorizo. What I'm thinking is....10 lb batch, split between fresh and cured/smoked/dried. Woo hoo woo hoo woo hoo!

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 00:33
by el Ducko
I gave a loop of my finished csabaii to my 84 year old Hungarian friend across the street, this morning, and I wish you could have seen the grin on her face and the twinkle in her eye! She said (with a catch in her voice) that she remembers sausages hanging all over her house, drying, back in the old country. For me, that made it all worthwhile.

Chorizo is on target. I'll hold back half of my next batch for Chuckwagon's dried, smoked version. Let's hurry! We go through a lot of this stuff. (Yum.) :mrgreen:

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 03:33
by Chuckwagon
Curing Meat
What... is it sick?

Merely twenty years ago, many of the pathogens of greatest concern today, were not even recognized as causes of food borne illness! These include the infamous campylobacter jejuni, escherichia coli O157:H7, listeria monocytogenes, cyclospora cayetanensis, and others. The Center For Disease Control estimates that each year in the United States alone, food borne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths. Three nasty pathogens in particular, (Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasma), are responsible for 1,500 deaths annually.

Clostridium botulinum, a common bacteria in soil and sea sediments, is a rod-shaped microorganism first recognized and isolated in 1896 following an incident involving the poisoning of several people having eaten bad ham. Clostridium botulinum is an obligate anaerobe meaning that oxygen is poisonous to its cells. However, due to the enzyme superoxide dismutase, its cells tolerate small traces of oxygen. Although it can only reproduce in an anaerobic environment, when it does, it produces the deadliest poison known to man - botulinum toxin. Ingested, one millionth of a gram will close your eyes permanently! :shock: In comparison to cyanide, botulinum toxin is 500,000 times more toxic! Additionally, it is relatively quick. Symptoms of botulinum toxic poisoning include nausea, stomach pain, double vision and spreading paralysis ultimately reaching the respiratory organs and the heart. Is it absolutely fatal? If the dose is low and a patient receives treatment quickly, about half of those affected may survive, although recovery may require months or even years. Fatalities occur annually, especially in countries where home canning is popular. Fortunately, the risk of acquiring botulism is very low although the microorganism`s spores are exceptionally persistent and resistant to freezing, heating, smoking, and drying. Worse, in contaminated food, there is no foreign taste or odor. Ideal temperatures and conditions for growth are 70° - 95° F. (20° - 35° C.) in an atmosphere of no oxygen, pH above 5, and salinity below 10%... conditions not unlike those found in cured sausages! Why then, has man survived over the ages?

Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite Cures

Anciently, most probably by accident, man discovered that when salt was added to meat, it improved its flavor, color, and shelf life. Then somewhere in time, sodium nitrate came into use as a naturally occurring contaminant of salt. Chile and Peru have massive deposits of sodium nitrate (NaNO3). Not to be confused with sodium nitrite (NaNO2), the substance is also found in leafy green vegetables. Acting as powerful antioxidants, nitrates and nitrites reduce oxidative rancidity. However, when added directly to meats, sodium nitrite is primarily responsible for the inhibition of pathogen growth including that of clostridium botulinum - the bacteria causing botulism poisoning. Nitrate in itself is not successful in producing the curing reaction.

How Does It Work?

Sodium nitrate must be reduced by lactic acid bacteria (micrococcaceae species) or other natural means to be effective. In other words, nitrate breaks down into nitrite - and nitrite breaks down into nitric oxide (not to be confused with nitrous oxide)/ It is the nitric oxide that actually cures meat. Modern science has not produced a substitute for sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite used as agents to preserve meat and destroy clostridium botulinum. As these salts are poisonous used in proportionately greater amounts, companies have continually tried to improve upon them though their efforts have been futile.

Cure #1 is used to cure all meats that require cooking, smoking, and canning. This includes poultry, fish, hams, bacon, luncheon meats, corned beef, pates, and many other products. Cure #1 in the United States, contains 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% sodium chloride (salt). As this formula contains no sodium nitrate, there is no waiting for nitrate to be broken down into nitrite. It is effective immediately in curing meat. In manufacturing the cure, one ounce of sodium nitrite is added to each one pound of salt. When used in the curing process, only 4 ounces of cure is added to 100 pounds of sausage. Two level teaspoons will cure 10 lbs. of meat.
Note that in other countries, the formula varies. In the United Kingdom, suppliers offer Prague Powder # 1 (Cure #1) with 5.88% sodium nitrite, the remainder being salt.

Cure #2 is used in dry-cured (fermented) sausages where curing time allows the nitrate to gradually break down into nitrite. Cure #2 in the United States, contains 6.25% sodium nitrite, 4% sodium nitrate, and 89.75 sodium chloride (salt). Why so much nitrate? (Remember, it is actually nitrite reducing to nitric oxide that cures meat). After two weeks dry-curing, only about a quarter of the 6.25 % sodium nitrite remains in the meat. Nitrite is simply too fast. In salamis requiring three or more months to cure, a certain amount of sodium nitrate must be added to the recipe to break down over time. Since micrococcaceae species bacteria are inhibited at low pH, sausages relying on nitrate reduction must be fermented by a traditional process. Therefore, nitrate is still used by many dry sausage manufacturers because nitrate serves as a long time "reservoir" of nitrite. Note that in other countries, the formula varies. In the United Kingdom, suppliers offer Prague Powder # 2 (Cure #2) with 5.67% sodium nitrite, 3.62 sodium nitrate, the remainder being salt.

Potassium Nitrate (Saltpeter)

Saltpeter is 100% potassium nitrate (KNO3). Although it is used in various cures throughout the world, it is no longer included in cures in the United States (with the exception of only a few applications) as it is thought to produce cancer-causing nitrosamines when cooked at higher temperatures. Commercially, with only a few exceptions, it has been banned by law in America since 1975. A fatal dose of potassium nitrate is merely 30 grams. Sodium nitrite will cancel your clock at only about 22 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. You can plainly see why these cures MUST be handled correctly.

Use meat cures with caution.

Nitrates and nitrites must be used with caution and good sense, although it makes no sense to become paranoid while handling the stuff. Simply use good judgment and don`t mix it if you`ve been drinking alcohol. Both nitrates and nitrites are considered toxic in larger amounts and for that reason, strict limits on their use have been established. Usually, the amount of added sodium nitrite lies in the range of 50-200 mg. per kg and sodium nitrate in the range of 200 to 600 mg. per kg. Both cures have been formulated so that 1 (one) level U.S. teaspoon will cure 5 pounds of meat. It is always a good idea to weigh the cure for best accuracy. Dissolving the cure into a little water ensures adequate uniform dispersal throughout the meat

Notice that formula #1 contains only nitrite while formula #2 contains both nitrite and nitrate. One curing agent must never be confused with the other within any recipe and one certainly must not be substituted for the other. If you mix, cure, and smoke sausage, or cure and smoke hams, it becomes your responsibility to follow directions mixing exactly four ounces Prague Powder with one hundred pounds of meat, or for us home consumers, precisely two level teaspoons mixed with a little water for even distribution, for each ten pound batch of sausage. If you are mixing only five pounds of sausage, add just one level teaspoon of curing salt. Always remember that any recklessness in mixing these salts may potentially injure someone. Measure twice - mix once! Incidentally, the product known as Tender Quick* contains 0.5 sodium nitrite, 0.5 sodium nitrate, salt, sugar, and propylene glycol (for brined meats).

How much is dangerous?

In humans, a fatal dose (consumed in a single dosage) of potassium nitrate (saltpeter) is about 30-35 grams (about two tablespoons). A single fatal dose of sodium nitrite is about 22 or 23 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. One gram (1 ppm) of pure sodium nitrite (in a single dose of about 1/3 teaspoon) is life threatening. The amount of sodium nitrate needed to be fatal is about 1 teaspoon. Modern cures containing sodium nitrite and/or sodium nitrate mixed with a large amount of salt are dyed bright pink in order to make it distinct and difficult to confuse with anything else. Another way of looking at the potentially dangerous level of properly distributed nitrite in food is to realize that it would require about 20 lbs. of cured meat to be consumed during a single meal by an average person to impose any real harm, even though merely a third of a teaspoon taken "straight up", is considered enough to be fatal.

The strength of nitrates and nitrites themselves do not vary. It is the amount added to a sodium chloride (salt) carrier that makes a cure stronger or weaker in comparison to others. Again, note that in the UK, nitrited salt cures vary in strength and one MUST look at the label to be safe. In Sweden, folks call their product Colorazo at 0.6% nitrite. In France, it`s Sel nitrite` at 0.6% nitrite. In Poland, they call their nitrited salt cure Peklosol at 0.6% nitrite, and in Germany, it is Pokelsalz at 0.6% nitrite content in salt. As you can see, Prague Powder Cure #1 in America is ten and a half times stronger than European cures, with the exception of some of those in the UK.

Expiration of nitrite?

The United States Army recommends that the Cures be used within seven years although there has been no evidence of deterioration when Prague Powder is kept dry and out of direct light.

Many people have the wrong perception of "chemical" cures. They are simply salts - salts that break down into another composition called a "reduction". When NaNO3 (sodium nitrate) is placed into meat, it eventually begins to react with the staphylococcus and micrococcus bacteria present in meat. The reaction creates NaNO2 (sodium nitrite) - the reduction needed (nitric oxide) in the presence of oxygen to start the curing process.

However, if the meat does not contain adequate numbers of staphylococcus and micrococcus to begin with, the curing process will become very much restrained. In this case, NaNO2 (sodium nitrite) is added directly to the meat without having to endure the reductive process. It goes to work almost instantly, immediately beginning the curing process.

Often, meats brined in chlorinated water will have their naturally-present staphylococci and micrococci reduced by the chlorine. Hence, very little reaction will take place to reduce NaNO3 to NaNO2. To insure safety, sodium nitrite is often added directly to meat to remove the risk of insufficient numbers of reductive bacteria.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 03:34
by Chuckwagon
Hi Guys n` gals and thanks for checking in.
How did everybody do on the "Self Check-Up"? Grasshopper got `em all right. Shucks, I didn`t do that, and I`m the one who wrote the test! Are you ready to move on? Let`s compare two versions of the recipe - the first is fresh, the second, cured-prep-cooked and smoked. Review each carefully and see if you can spot the differences in the second recipe. List them in your notebook. Really scrutinize the two to understand the contents and procedures of each. Jot down all your thoughts and discoveries.

Okay, we`ve made a little "fresh" sausage and fried it up. Next, make some cured, cooked, n` smoked sausage using the same recipe but containing sodium nitrite. The smoking and nitrite will really affect the quality and flavor. Some people will prefer it - some will not. We all have our own peculiar proclivities. Be sure to record your thoughts in your notebook as well as any questions you may have.

Prep-cooked sausage may or may not be smoked. In either case, it must be cured using an actual curing agent as the casing cuts off oxygen facilitating conditions for obligate anaerobic bacteria to grow. Guidelines for the usage of Prague Powder Cure #1 (also called "Instacure", Cure #1, pink salt, pink cure, et al.) are very specific and in the USA, Griffith Laboratories manufactures the cure using one ounce of pure sodium nitrite equally distributed in one pound of salt.

This "pink cure" is dried on rollers and Griffith`s "salt-nitrite fusion" manufacturing method keeps the nitrite from settling in barrels or from forming unequal concentrations in containers. When used in the curing process, only 4 ounces of cure is added to 100 pounds of sausage. Two level teaspoons will cure 10 lbs. of meat. In the case of these 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram) of meat, we will treat the mixture with merely 2.7 grams of sodium nitrite cure. Simply mix the cure with a little water for equal distribution throughout the comminuted meat.

El DuckO`s "Azul Chorizo Chabacano"
Type 1 (Fresh)

800 gm pork (fat trimmings removed)
200 gm pork trimmings
10.6 gm non-iodized salt (reduce if using cure)
0.7 gm pepper (black)
17.6 gm garlic (6 medium cloves - fresh)
21.2 gm chile- ancho (remove stems & seeds, grind)
11.5 gm chile-pasillo (remove stems & seeds, grind)
0.2 gm cloves (ground)
0.6 gm coriander (ground)
0.4 gm cumin (ground)
0.4 gm oregano
6.9 gm paprika (sweet)
88 gm vinegar

This sausage weighs in at 22% fat and 1.1% salt. The salt is increased slightly by the addition of cure #1. The best range for salt is less than 3%.
Shop in the Hispanic section of your local food market for the chiles.

Crush the garlic slightly and soak it in hot water while you grind the meat through a large (1/2") plate. Dissolve the salt in the vinegar, mince the garlic and chiles, and then combine them with all the remaining ingredients, mixing them thoroughly throughout the meat. Season the mixture a day or two in the refrigerator, and then stuff it into 32 - 36 mm hog casings, making traditional 8" links. This sausage must be refrigerated and consumed within three days or frozen for future use.

El DuckO`s "Azul Chorizo Chabacano"
Type 2 (Cured-Cooked-Smoked)

Perhaps it hasn`t been too long since you picked up a couple of packages of "Johnsonville Brats" at your grocery store to grill up for family and friends at a picnic or outing somewhere. Do you remember how they were smoked and then steamed in beer on top of the grill? Into fresh buns they went as your teeth sunk into that delicious smokiness with a "snap". Well, here is a way to make the sausage even better. Make it yourself but follow the rules. We are going to add a specific amount of sodium nitrite to the mixture to protect us against certain pathogenic bacteria. Then we`ll prep-cook the sausage to destroy any chance of an actual living microorganism.

800 gm pork (fat trimmings removed)
200 gm pork trimmings
10.6 gm non-iodized salt (reduce if using cure)
2.7 gm cure #1
0.7 gm pepper (black)
17.6 gm garlic (6 medium cloves - fresh)
21.2 gm chile- ancho (remove stems & seeds, grind)
11.5 gm chile-pasillo (remove stems & seeds, grind)
0.2 gm cloves (ground)
0.6 gm coriander (ground)
0.4 gm cumin (ground)
0.4 gm oregano
6.9 gm paprika (sweet)
88 gm vinegar

Crush the garlic slightly and soak it in hot water while you grind the meat through a large (1/2") plate. Dissolve the salt and the cure #1 in the vinegar, mince the garlic and chiles, and then combine them with all the remaining ingredients, mixing them thoroughly throughout the meat.

If you choose to lighten up on the vinegar, mix the cure into a half-cup of ice water instead. Season the mixture a day or two in the refrigerator, then stuff it into 32 - 36 mm hog casings, making traditional 8" links.

When you are ready to smoke-cook the sausages, hang them at room temperature until they warm just a bit while you pre-heat your smokehouse to 130°F. Wipe any condensation from the sausages, being sure they are dry to the touch before they go into the smoker. Place the sausages into the smokehouse for an hour then introduce hickory smoke with the dampers 1/4 open. Slowly, only a few degrees every twenty minutes, raise the smokehouse temperature until the internal meat temperature registers 148°F. At this point, I cannot stress enough, the importance of patience. Please do not try to rush the process by elevating the heat too much or too quickly. The success or failure of the product will be determined by how you prep-cook the meat at this point. Do not "break" the fat or you will have expensive sawdust. There may be a temperature "stall" somewhere during the mid-140`s and as the meat-temperature finally nears 148 degrees, it may do so quickly, so keep your eye on the thermometer and do not allow the temperature to go above this mark. Cool the sausages in a little ice water and then dry them. Store them in the refrigerator at least 8 hours, until you are ready to grill them.

If you haven`t started making this part of the recipe, do it now. It is important to remember that even though the sausage has been cured, it doesn`t mean that it will remain edible outside the refrigerator. This remains a perishable product and must be refrigerated and used within a few days, or frozen until you are ready to grill in the near future. It`s your job at this point to make a couple of pounds of this delicious sausage with the proper amount of sodium nitrite in it. This will change the entire structure of the meat and quality of the sausage as you will see.

Best Wishes,