Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

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Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

Postby Tasso » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:47 pm

I'm going to make mortadella, and I thought I'd use the recipe and procedure from Charcuterie (Ruhlman, Polcyn). I'll be using a food processor as outlined in the recipe.

I am a beginner, and I'd like to be successful, so I have a few questions.

Has anyone tried the Ruhlman/Polcyn mortadella recipe from Charcuterie? How did you like it? Are there any recipes you like better from a flavor perspective?

The meat ingredients in the recipe consist of 1 pound of pork shoulder, and a total of 22 ounces of back fat, which is about 913 grams. That doesn't count the weight of spices and water. Does the 3 grams of cure #1 (6.25% nitrite, 93.75% salt) seem reasonable for that amount of meat? Using online calculators, I get 206 PPM nitrite, which is over the US limit of 200 ppm. Would it be better to back that off a bit, say 2.25 grams of cure #1?

In the book, the recipe calls for stuffing the emulsified meat mixture into a "large beef middle". Is that a typo? The beef middles I've found online are in the range of 55 to 60 MM, much smaller in diameter than bologna or mortadella at the deli. Should that be a beef bung?

Due to the cost difference, I'd rather use one of those 100+ mm red fibrous bologna casings instead of a natural casing. Is there any reason to prefer a natural casing, other than it is edible and may look better?
Tasso
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Re: Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

Postby Tasso » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:06 am

Oops. I need to edit my post, but I don't see how to. It's not 22 ounces of back fat, it's 12 ounces, plus a half cup, which the recipe says is 120 grams. However, I got the total weight of shoulder and fat in grams correct at 913, so the 206 ppm of nitrite is correct.
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Re: Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

Postby wheels » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:34 am

I'll let others comment on the Rhulman recipe, but if you want an alternative, I made one to a recipe from Jason Molinari that I believe is from a book by Paul Bertolli. I was very happy with it.

It's on my blog here:

http://www.localfoodheroes.co.uk/?e=562

HTH

Phil
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Re: Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

Postby Tasso » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:59 pm

Thanks wheels! Your mortadella looks great, and the recipe looks good too. And I love your calculator. That makes scaling the recipe a snap.

I do have a question about the cure amount you used. You list 1.9 grams of cure in the recipe, and I presume that is UK cure #1. I can't get the calculator to yield that amount. I tried plugging in the "Weight of Meat in grams" using just the 630g shoulder and the 1125g total of shoulder and fat, and it calculates different values. Either way, the amount of cure your calculator yields is less than what the Charcuterie book uses, which sort of confirms what I was thinking about the amount of cure.
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Re: Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

Postby wheels » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:26 pm

I agree, it's confusing, I altered the calculator to get both UK and USA compliance but left the written recipe as I'd used it. I've altered it to avoid confusion.

Used as written the PPM nitrite will be compliant with the US 156PPM limit.

HTH

Phil
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Re: Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

Postby Tasso » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:55 am

wheels, I see that your recipe includes dextrose, but only a pretty small amount. Since dextrose is not as sweet as regular table sugar, I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that it serves some other purpose than sweetening. Do you know what that is?

The Rulhman/Polcyn recipe has no sugar, but it includes nonfat dry milk. NFDM or other kinds of dry milk serve as a binder, do they not?

I need to order some casings. Unless I hear of a good reason not to, I'm going to go with red bologna casings in 124mm size. I think that'll make a nice size for mortadella.
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Re: Mortadella - recipe and casing questions

Postby wheels » Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:39 pm

I can't see any other use for the dextrose other than as a sweetener. It's not like an air dried sausage where the dextrose is food for the starter - that just doesn't apply here. However, as it's not my recipe, I can't say with 100% certainty. You are correct that NFDM serves as a binder: it also affects colour, adds a creamy texture and can also help keeping qualities.

HTH

Phil
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