Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I had just finished doing a coarse grind on a chuckie for burgers when I started thinking about sausage.  I decided right then to do a test run of a single 1 pound cotto salami round.


I used what I had on hand.  @Smokehowze was one of my sources of information.


Smoked salt

Tender quick


Cracked black pepper

Powdered milk

Ground coriander 


garlic powder



I also inoculated it with a 7 strain germ.  This is something I want to play more with.


I didn't have any casings so I used a Mason jar.  Once mixed and packed it sat in the fridge for a few days to mature and cure.


I cooked it in the sous vide at 165 for about 3 hours to an internal temp of 155.  Let it rest for a few hours, dried it off and vacuum sealed it, back in the fridge for almost a week to mellow.


Fresh out of the water after the rest



After 5 days to mellow 



A few pics, my first taste.  I think I'll do a large batch for Christmas gifts.  It's tasty!






Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
52 minutes ago, philpom said:

The mason jar idea is genius 




Oh, not to mention the "juice" left in the jar either in liquid form, cooled off a bit after removal from the bath, or chilled to a jelly is delicious... and of course the liquid is a great health food !   One of my favorite bonuses of the straight sided or tapered mason jar method. 


One challenge with the jars is packing it tight to avoid air pockets in the finished product.  I see from your result  you mastered that. 


You need to make some pressed meat cold cuts next.  Especially a "cured" beef loaf using chuck roast.  Or a "cured"  & "boiled" ham loaf using pork butt.


I can post my starting point recipes if you are interested.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...
On 5/20/2019 at 7:41 PM, Smokehowze said:




Oh, not to mention the "juice" left in the jar either in liquid form, cooled off a bit after removal from the bath, or chilled to a jelly is delicious... and of course the liquid is a great health food !   One of my favorite bonuses of the straight sided or tapered mason jar method. 


One challenge with the jars is packing it tight to avoid air pockets in the finished product.  I see from your result  you mastered that. 


You need to make some pressed meat cold cuts next.  Especially a "cured" beef loaf using chuck roast.  Or a "cured"  & "boiled" ham loaf using pork butt.


I can post my starting point recipes if you are interested.



 OK, I am ready to try these, feel free to post those starting recipes!  I know this is old but I suddenly have lots of time at home.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/21/2020 at 3:31 PM, philpom said:

 OK, I am ready to try these, feel free to post those starting recipes!  I know this is old but I suddenly have lots of time at home.  


Here is one for a Beef Cotto - similar ingredients to yours already.  Using the gram weight and percentages is the more accurate approach over the volume measurements which are there as the "well how much might I need  for X grams".    It is also more easily scaled  with the % factors.   


This is 6 mm (1/4 inch) grinder plate using single grind.


For the corn syrup solids(CSS) you could probably use dextrose or clear Karo syrup at a moderately adjusted rate.  Maybe  80% of the calculated amount of CSS if using dextrose  or alternatively 10% more if using the Karo.

Let me see what else I can find in the way of recipes.   Want to try some homemade cold cuts?  


I was going to do a batch of my hot Italian sausage  this weekend but still no pork butts easily found in the stores. Guess it is in same category as toilet paper.  But I did score two 11 lb prime brisket flats at my Costco for $2.99 a pound !  



Beef Chuck Roast 5.83 lbs 2644.4 grams           %       of   meat weight
Pickling Salt (Morton) 9.00 tsp 56.8 grams 2.15%
Cardamon 1.63 tsp 3.4 grams 0.12%
Ground Coriander 1.12 tsp 2.0 grams 0.07%
Garlic -Granulated 2.01 tsp 7.8 grams 0.21%
Cracked Black Pepper 5.25 tsp 17.5 grams 0.66%
Whole Black peppercorns 5.25 tsp 19.5 grams 0.74%
Corn Syrup Solids 0.32 cup 56.0 grams 2.40%
Non Fat Dry Milk 1.17 cup 110.3 grams 4.17%
Prague Powder #1 (pink salt) 1.17 tsp 6.6 grams 0.25%
Cold Water 1.25 cup      


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Content

    • By philpom
      Breakfast Sausage
      This spice blend would work equally well for pork or beef, I used beef of the 80/20 variety.  The more fat the better.
      1.5 pounds of ground meat
      3 ts dried sage
      1 3/4 ts salt
      3 ts dried basil
      1 ts ground black pepper
      2 ts onion powder
      1/2 ts dried marjoram
      1 ts crushed red pepper
      1 1/2 ts fennel seed
      Combine spices only in a small bowl and mix them.  This helps make sure you get even distribution in the meat.  Then put the meat in a bowl and spread 1/3 of the spices and mix with hands until incorporated, then another 3rd, mix and finally the rest of the spice blend.  Ball the meat, cover it tightly and place in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavors to develop.  Next day form the meat in to 2 oz balls and press to 3/8" thick.  Grill, pan fry or roast until done and enjoy!
    • By Smokehowze
      Homemade Meat Press Molds for Deli Loaves (aka Ham Press)
      I have decided to shift some of my sausage making over to deli style meats and cold cuts for a number of reasons – I like them, they are getting expensive and by and large they are not the quality I am preferring (even on high end name brand), I am seeking lower salt and fat versions, I can make them my way --- and the family likes them.  Plus it’s quite interesting and good eats, too.
      Deli type meats that are not emulsified into a paste and cooked in a loaf form (think bologna) are those that are called reformed meats also knows as “formed and pressed” meats and are generally a ham, chicken, or turkey loaf or round – or even the common SPAM product.  
      Beef, bologna, & ham....

      One piece of equipment that is necessary for producing the “formed and pressed” meats is the “ham press”.
      These meat products are made from pieces of well-trimmed meat bonded by the proteins in the meat and are meant to act and taste like the natural product but in a more sliceable and user useful sandwich style slice.  One such example is a “chicken breast”.   
      To make these, the meat (such as boneless skinless chicken breast, turkey, pork loin, lean beef, etc.) is cut into roughly 1 inch cubes, seasoned and “tumbled” with a liquid addition until the meat proteins exude from the meat.  The resulting mix is placed (packed) in what is generically called a “ham mold”  or “ham press” which has a spring loaded pressure arrangement that compresses the meat mixture during a refrigerator curing/setting up time.  This is followed by a cooking session with the meat still in the press  – usually by poaching or equivalent means.  The final product is cooled, removed from the mold and available for slicing.    One thing about this type of meat processing is that it does not require a grinder, uses ordinary ingredients, is reasonably quick to prepare, can be done with a sous vide setup or even just a pot of poaching water on the stove (175 - 180 degrees F  for poaching - cook meat to 165  to 180 internal depending on the meat) and gives great results.     I have even done baked in the oven versions of some of the loaves.
      Some good info found here   https://www.meatsandsausages.com/hams-other-meats/formed
      True commercial ham press molds are ridiculously expensive!  So the trick is to build one or an equivalent.  Web search shows some information but perhaps not as much as one would prefer to have.  Thus, I set out to come up with a practical approach using readily available off the shelf items to making a “ham press” using available items that provide cooking flexibility not only in a poaching environment but also in an oven cooking mode. I wanted to be able to make a square shaped loaf as well as round loaves.
      Here is my solution for different sizes (capacities) and shapes for a “ham press”.
      Square shape:      (~ 3  qt)     roughly 4 3/4 x 5  inches           about 4 lbs meat capacity Round Shape:        (~ 2 qt)     roughly 4 3/4 inch diameter      about 3 lbs meat capacity Round Shape:       (~ 1.5 qt)   roughly 4 1/8 inch diameter      about 2 lbs meat capacity  
      The best containers are those that permit cooking in a poaching bath (such as sous vide) and even able to be used in the oven.  They should also mechanically allow the cooked meat product to be easily removed form the form.  Hotel pans and bain marie items meet these criteria and are readily available and inexpensive.  Having many other applications in food preparation, serving and storage, the small investment goes beyond just this use as a meat form/press.
      1/6 SIZE RECTANGULAR HOTEL PAN (6 inch deep  - 2.7 qts)   https://www.webstaurantstore.com/    Item # 4070669 Choice 1/6 Size Standard Weight Anti-Jam Stainless Steel Steam Table /Hotel Pan - 6" Deep   $4.49 2.0 QUART ROUND BAIN MARIE  (6.5 inch deep)    https://www.webstaurantstore.com/     Item # 92278720  2 Qt. Bain Marie Pot    $3.4 1.5 QUART ROUND BAIN MARIE  (5.75 inch deep)   https://www.webstaurantstore.com/   Item # 92278710  1.5 Qt. Bain Marie Pot    $3.29   
      I got these containers from https://www.webstaurantstore.com/  along with other items on my order to optimize my shipping cost across the order.  I provide the specific info to give you an appreciation of the items, should you care to use the information as a reference point.
      The capacities of these containers at various depths of fill both in volume and meat weight is given in the tables I included.  This was determined by a combination of measurement and empirical results since these containers all have a slight taper from top to bottom.
      I use my sous vide setup for cooking the meats and therefore I do not fill the mold all the way up to the top with the meat.  I like to leave at least a 1” freeboard so the sous vide water can come above the meat level to cook the meat but not overflow into the container.
      Weights for Compressing the Meat
      The simplest solution is to use commercial exercise equipment weight plates sized to fit into the containers.  This is a simple solution which took considerable effort in searching for the right pieces and parts that fit.  Other weight solutions could also work depending on what you have – even using stone or a piece of cast concrete but those generally do not have the same density to form factor relationship like the iron weight plates.  Besides, the plates are relatively cheap and will go in an oven for high heat cooking when the molds are used for other types of meat products where poaching is not the preferred cooking method.  
      After much research, as well as a good deal of trial and error, I finally found something that worked quite well.  I ended up buying various weights from different sources to experiment.  BTW, the manufacturer’s stated dimensions on such weight plates are often not precise enough to determine without having one in hand if such will fit in the molds – thus the reason I had to go through quite a bit of trial and error. 
      Here is what I found that worked (these weight plates are 3.75 inches OD and fit all the containers above)
      CAP Barbell 1-Inch Standard Cast Iron (Round) Weight Plate, Manufacture # RP-001.25   Weight:  1.25 lbs  Walmart Item #: 551214846 Price $1.50 each   
      The best source of these plates that I found (especially because of the free shipping to the store) is Walmart.
       I purchased 8 of these plates to permit multiple molds being used at the same time. I have found that 2 or 3 plates on a mold seems to work and 3 plates is my current go to weight on the 1/6 hotel pan. 
       Presser Plate
      To permit the weight plates to exert a uniform force on the meat, you need a presser plate to sit the weights on.  
      For the 1/6 hotel pan, a perforated bottom or draining pan spacer plate works acceptably.  It does not fit quite as close as one might prefer to the sides but its readily available and the weights sit in the plate turned upside down (flanges up) if you bend the flanges out just a bit along their length with pliers.  An easy thing to do.  The spacer plate also does double duty for other uses of the hotel pan when a draining spacer plate is useful.  Alternatively, you could cut a suitable presser plate out of metal or wood.  I wanted metal so that the pan could also be used in the oven.
      Here is the plate for reference: 
      1/6 Size Stainless Steel Steam Table / Hotel Pan False Bottom  Webstaurantstore  Item # 4070600  $1.59  
      For the round bain maries you can find useful ready to use presser plates by scavenging metal or even plastic tops off of various containers. You can get real close to perfect by hunting around.  Or make some out of wood or metal.  A poly type cutting board makes a great items to cut pieces from.  I did just that with one that I retired from kitchen service   Drill a suitably sized hole in the center of the presser plate if it is one solid piece aligned with the hole in the center of the weights as a place to insert your cooking thermometer into the central core of the meat block.
      Keeping in mind we are in water bath at 185 degrees or less when you hunt for materials, here are some examples of what works (and I have used).  You will see that use of a cooking bag for the food isolates the food from the weights and the presser plate.  I also wrap my weight stack in plastic wrap as I found that to be convenient in handling the stack.
      4 in OD is perfect for the 1.5 Qt bain marie  - this is the size of the plastic top off a sour cream container or equivalent 4 5/8 OD works well in the 2.0 Qt bain marie – a CD or DVD is 4.72 inches and will work in a pinch - but probably not an ideal choice or one I would necessarily recommend!   If you happen to use a CD as a test you might want to put it in a ziplock bag because it seems to give off an odor when heated in the 180 degree atmosphere.   Since the meat is enclosed in the cooking bag (see next section) this is not an issue in a practical sense.  
      Use a Cooking Bag
      It is recommended (more like a necessity) for ease of removal of the meat from the containers after cooking to use a “cooking bag” in the mold as a liner.    Since I already had an order in play, I bought these bags for this purpose as well as other cooking uses.  They will fit the 1/6 hotel pan and the others – just a bit large.  Otherwise just get suitable oven cooking bags at your local grocery.
      4 Qt. Round PTL Pan Liner - 200/Case Webstaurantstore Item # 572PTL1215  $19.49   
      So now you hopefully have a more comprehensive view on making a “ham press” mold.  Yes, you can buy round ones on Amazon or E-bay, such as that from Madax Ham Maker.  Based on the video they seem to work, but I did not care for the capacity (2 lbs), and I figured I could put together a solution that was higher capacity, multi-purpose and cheaper, too.  
      Below are some pictures of the apparatus piece parts and also the hotel pan in use and the results from making a delicious formed chicken breast.  That and other recipes will be the topic of separate posts.
      I bought 2 of each of the sizes, the false bottoms and the weights for just under $40 not counting the cooking bag liners or apportioned shipping costs.  And with these items I have flexibility to use them for other cooking related tasks.  I also bought the hotel pan and bain marie solid metal covers as they are reasonably cheap and handy.  
      For the hotel pans using the metal covers, Volrath makes silicon sealing “steam table pan bands” (webstaurantstore - Items  # 922N0006B or 922N0006G)  that provide a liquid tight leak proof seal. They are however, not cheap ($6.89 ea).  I got a couple of those for grins for other applications of the 1/6 pan and they work as advertised – and have been quite useful.
      Here are some photos of the apparatus and some results.
      Some of the Equipment

      A Chicken Breast Loaf

      Kneading the Chicken Cubes in the Mixer  (about 10 minutes)

      Packed in the Press in Cooking Bag.  Ensure tight pack and no air pockets!

      The Presser Plate

      In the Sous Vise bath with weights and Thermo probe

      Some of the results ..  I plan post some recipes one these and other cooks...

      Beef Loaf (using trimmed chuck, salt, pepper, touch of smoke seasoning , Cure #1) 

      Ham Loaf (using trimmed pork butt, salt, pepper, touch of smoke seasoning, Cure #1)

      A Pork Garlic Bologna  (this was actually an emulsion meat mix in the food processor but used the round form instead of a casing)  Son and I did this one on a whim one night...

      A final note  - alternative approach using springs
      The weight approach is simple and works well.  I wanted to also use a spring design and have an increased pressure on the meat.   I have worked out a couple of approaches to do it with springs using the same pans.  Some fabrication is required.  With the spring approach I can get 10 plus pounds of pressing force.  However, in the reality of things, the weight approach is simpler and more than adequate, so I will not include the spring versions in this write-up.  Just want to let you know that is an alternative if you want to jump into a mechanical challenge project!.
    • By Lydia
      Hi Aussie’s! If you’ve been skirting around the idea of getting a sous vide device, now is the time you should think of biting the bullet. Anova is on sale for $99 AUD https://anovaculinary.com/anova-precision-cooker/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=paid+social&utm_campaign_name=Conversions&utm_adset_name=Australia&utm_placement=Facebook_Mobile_Feed&utm_campaign_id=6103227441440&utm_ad_name=Price+You'll+<3+%3A%3A+Black+Image%3A%3A+%2499+AUD+CLEARANCE&utm_ad_id=6103273614040
    • By LargeRedJoe
      I'm not into sous vide (yet) but I found this technique to be an interesting way to tackle an old standard. 
    • By KamadoJosephine
      HEYYYYYY-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, KamadoJoooooo is baaaaack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Ok, I've had a few reds, so I'm gonna make an extra effort to keep this one clean for the more delicate among us 
      So a few months ago, I saw some big, fat steaks on sale at the local Woolies (for you seppo's, think Ralphs, etc).  Bought em, vac sealed em, froze em, and forgot about em...
      Until the weekend.
      Sunday night, threw one in the Sous Vide at 50C, and let it sit.
      FOR 2 DAYS!!!!!
      Yep, I have no fear.   2 Days.   Like a boss.
      It came out, looking like this:

      mmmmmm, who wouldn't want a piece of this...?
      Whack on some olive oil, salt and pepper:

      and chuck the bugger onto a 480C hot KJ:

      1 sneaky 90 degree rotate late, I flipped it, and oooh yeaaaahhh babyyyyy:

      2nd side done, back on the plate, back inside.  Drool on the floor was a slip hazard:

      Here's a cross-section, specifically cut for y'all:

      This dirt-cheap hunk of meat was the best steak I've had in a long time.  All hail the sous vide and the brutal smokey heat of my round red friend.  It was a melt-in-the-mouth steak, and I'm sitting here - fat, dumb and happy with a gutfull of steak and wine and joy 
      Happy 2018!!!!
  • Create New...