SchrodingersCat

Home food preppers (bacon, charcuterie, dehydrator foods etc)

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Hello!

Wondering if there are other food prepping hobbyists out there? I have been making my own bacon, ham, pastrami, prosciutto, sausages, salami etc for quite some time. 

I also use my dehydrator and smoker to make spices, spice blends, dried vegetable stock powders, veggie chips, jerky etc.

I have to say, it really does make prepping for a Whole 30 easier! As long as I'm organised a few weeks before, I can stock up on compliant ham, bacon, pastrami, taco seasoning, stock...

Anyone else into this kind of food prep? What wonders have you made?

Happy to share recipes and tips - you don't need special equipment for ham or bacon, and a simple smoker makes the pastrami, spices jerky etc easy!

 

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Hey @SchrodingersCat yep I do all of those except vegetable stock powder but I have lots of cayenne and chile powder from chiles we grew. It's fun, isn't it? I haven't done a whole ham either; have you? I participated in Charcutapalooza a few years ago so I've done summer sausage, salami, corned beef & pastrami, duck prosciutto (with comically small wild duck breasts), tasso, Canadian bacon and regular bacon (been doing that for years now) and lots of fresh sausages. We grow and can our tomatoes, too and I do big batches of beef bone broth and can that as well to free up freezer space. Chicken bone broth I tend to make in smaller batches most of the time because I just make it as we finish eating the chicken but about once a year or so I'll do a big batch just to make sure I don't run out.

Do you do any fermenting? 

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Hey @hollysmokes!

I love it! It's so much fun to experiment. I have been playing around with smoked chillis as in Australia its hard to get anything other than "chilli flakes" in regular stores. I've made green chipotle powder, ancho chilli powder, smoked chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, hot paprika, sweet paprika and have used these to make my own BBQ rubs and taco seasoning. I can make compliant taco seasoning, which is great for a taco salad minus the cheese!

I have made whole hams the last 3 Christmases, the first wasn't great but they have improved out of sight. Last years was the biggest - 20lbs!

I have 3 duck prosciuttos aging as we speak, and I'm planning on getting a bresola curing this weekend.

Bacon-wise, I do american style and Canadian bacon, plus mess around with flavours. Maple espresso and honey jalapeno are my favourite so far, though waiting until after the W30 for more of that. Right now I have compliant bacon with juniper berries and cracked pepper.

I also love doing hot smoked fish. Fresh sausages are great, too - I'm going to make some compliant ones this weekend as the ones I have frozen have cheese in them. Recently 'invented' the cheeseburger sausage - beef sausage with chunks of cheddar, chunks of dill pickle, chunks of sundried tomato and flavoured with yellow mustard powder. They were a big hit.

I need to get off my butt and do bone broth and chicken stock. Might also be on the cards this week.

 

 

 

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Oh, and I've just started fermenting! Got a crock for Christmas. Currently have spicy kraut fermenting, I think it's going OK - it kind of smells like... farts?

I did a salami day last year on an organic free range pig farm where they taught us to break down a side of a pig into various cuts, salamis, coppas etc. There was a segment on fermenting and she served this incredible condiment of fermented chilli and garlic, with chopped capers added after ferment. That's my next project :)

 

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Yeah, the cruciferous vegetables can get a little farty smelling sometime; I notice it most with sauerruben. As long as all of your vegetables are completely submerged and there's no furry beasties growing on top, you're good to go (and you can just remove the top layer that has fuzzy, moldy stuff if it happens). I like that ferment, funky smell! That chile/garlic condiment sounds delicious. If you get it worked out, please share the recipe! I do hot sauce and sriracha and have wanted to do gochuchang but have only done a quickie non-fermented version of it. I love harissa and saw where someone had fermented it so I think I'm going to try that one soon. Condiments are our friends!

I'm running low on sausages as well. My bratwurst has cream in it so I haven't had any in a couple of months but they're one of my favorites. I'm originally from south Louisiana so I've been trying to perfect andouille and need to get a new batch of that started soon. It's getting there but I don't quite have it where I want it. I'm impressed that you're doing whole hams! How long do you let them hang? Smoked? I got to try a ham that had been forgotten in a friend's barn for three years and it was amazing! More like prosciutto than American ham.

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I usually brine for 2-3 weeks, depending on size, then hang for the equivalent amount of time then hot-smoke to temp, so it's a real hot smoked ham rather than a hung dried one. I'm going to get a prosicutto going in a couple of months though, it's too hot here right now. I do have a curing chamber - a converted wine fridge with a humidifyer in it that does a great job but I'm still tweaking it and don't want to commit to an expensive cut of meat when I'm not sure it's going to work! 

I did a smoked Sriracha sauce that was amazing, let me dig up the recipe for you! It calls for smoking the peppers and tomato, then making the sauce.

 

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Thanks! Smoked sriracha sounds AMAZING! I've smoked jalapenos for chipotles in adobo and I've smoked red bells just for fun but never thought about sriracha. Something to aspire to this growing season.

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3 hours ago, hollysmokes said:

Thanks! Smoked sriracha sounds AMAZING! I've smoked jalapenos for chipotles in adobo and I've smoked red bells just for fun but never thought about sriracha. Something to aspire to this growing season.

This was it! https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/smoky-rooster-sriracha-31099

I added a few tomatoes I had in the fridge when I smoked the peppers (cut in half and deseeded).

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I ferment my sriracha and I was thinking that I could smoke the peppers before fermentation but I think it might kill off the lactobacilli unless I cold smoke. There's always the option of using smoked salt, too. Have you done that? I keep saying that I'm going to do it the next time I fire up the smoker but never get around to it. 

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::knock,knock:: 

::Peeks in::

Hi there - can I come in and join the party? I am an avid canner, sausage maker, from-scratch cooker, spice mixer, herb grower, garlic lover, presently dabbling in fermentation of veggies...I am in the middle of my first whole 30, and find that my creative proclivities in the kitchen and garden over the years are a great help in creating tasty meals for my husband, who joined me in W30. 

Back about 6 years ago, I was really getting into fermentation of my garden produce, but life took over  (divorce, moving, blah, blah)...but I loved the results of those initial attempts. Now, I am recently remarried, have a tiny spot for a garden (already full of sleeping garlic bulbs, waiting for spring warmth), and in my research for the best diet for my diabetic husband, lo and behold - fermented veggies are great for increasing beneficial bacteria for the gut of said diabetic (and the rest of us!).  So today's project will be my version of giardiniera (italian pickled veg) and sauerkraut.  

My husband is interested in smoking a variety of foods, and we love the flavors that come from our grill/smoker. Obviously, hot smoke only, at this point - but hope to try out cold smoking this summer. I am in chilly, ice-covered New England, and am waiting eagerly for the warmer months. But, I often roast peppers in the hot coals of the woodstove - yum! 

(Hmmmm...roasted peppers in a batch of pickles....fermented....gonna have to try that out one of these days).

Regarding the sriracha recipe above...would red (ripe) jalapenos work? Also,  re: Hollysmokes'  question about smoking destroying the beneficial bacteria, if you were to replace some of the water or vinegar with brine from a finished jar of fermented pickles, would that be sufficient to introduce the lactobacilli  into the mixture and "start the engines" of the fermenting?

Looking forward to the results of today's project...will post pix if they come out pretty.  :)

 

 

 

 

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HI @JudiPurple and welcome to the party!

I always use red jalapenos (&/or serranos it that's what went nuts in my garden that year) in my hot sauces and sriracha; I really like the heat/ flavor balance they give. I've never backslopped any of my ferments and have read various articles about how it adversely affects the typical progression of the bacteria that are in there doing their thing. I've been planning on smoking some salt and was thinking about using that but I happened across some smoked salt that was on sale this weekend so it's on its way to my mailbox. 

I've done gardiniera twice mostly because I wanted it to make New Orleans-style muffeletta olive salad. The last time I let it ferment a little longer than I should have. I was trying to get more acidity but wound up losing some texture in the vegetables. It's still really good; I just had to add a little more vinegar to the olive salad to get the right tang.

I've only been hot smoking as well but I have an old dead gas smoker that we're going to try to convert into a cold smoker. Eventually! 

I agree that having some nice fermented vegetables and condiments is really great during a W30 or anytime. It sounds weird but one of my favorites is sauerruben with tuna salad- who knew!?? I just ran out of harissa (stirred it into homemade mayo with some garlic confit-yum!) on Saturday and recently saw that someone had fermented theirs so I'm going to give that a try. Now if I could only remember where I saw it???

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Hi @JudiPurple!

I'm such a newbie to fermentation, so thank you for the insights! My husband is diabetic but I have no hope of getting him onto fermented foods, unfortunately. That's 100% my thing.

I completely agree, I'm having a much easier time with W30 than I expected because of the huge range of food prep skills and interests I have! 

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My husband will drink kombucha but that's about it for fermented foods except for carrots. I fermented them with a lot of ginger plus a hot pepper and he loves those. Oh- I found the harissa and it was from Fiery Ferments, the Schockey's book and a video of it is on their blog.

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So my homemade saurkraut came out perfect!! It's delicious, I'm so pleased. No mold, no funkiness - just yummy fermented cabbage and carrots. I did put chilli through it but that flavour has been absorbed - I think I'll have to add a lot more to the next batch to get the spicy kraut I've been wanting. 

Next on I'm going to do fermented chilli and garlic as a condiment - once it's fermented, I'll mix some capers through. 

I'm also going to do some fermented cauliflower, too.

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Sounds delicious! I don't know why but I haven't done a spicy kraut; I love spicy. Your chili/garlic/caper condiment sounds so good and I just realized that I have all of the ingredients. I fermented some whole garlic cloves in brine and I have a gallon of coarsely ground red jalapenos that have been fermenting since August. I don't see why I can't mix the two already fermented things with some capers. Any idea about what proportions you might use?

I've done a curried cauli ferment and liked it but I wanted more curry flavor. It was really good in chicken salad.

Happy fermenting!

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1 hour ago, hollysmokes said:

Sounds delicious! I don't know why but I haven't done a spicy kraut; I love spicy. Your chili/garlic/caper condiment sounds so good and I just realized that I have all of the ingredients. I fermented some whole garlic cloves in brine and I have a gallon of coarsely ground red jalapenos that have been fermenting since August. I don't see why I can't mix the two already fermented things with some capers. Any idea about what proportions you might use?

I've done a curried cauli ferment and liked it but I wanted more curry flavor. It was really good in chicken salad.

Happy fermenting!

Yum! I didn't think of doing a Curry one!!

The proportions I've been told are 50/50 chili and garlic and then capers to taste. I love capers, so I'll probably dump a fair in!

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