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Moose Saucisson Sec at 8 Months

06.24.11

More learning as I go. Just checked previous posts to see when I made this batch of saucssion sec. 8 months ago today. I wasn’t sure how long this stuff would last, and apparently the answer is: ‘a really, really long time‘. I’ve wondered if one could indeed put up dry cured meats from fall-butchered animals and have them keep successfully without refrigeration or freezing until the next butchering season. Looks like the answer is yes. Perhaps even more exciting is that the quality has not deteriorated, and I even am going to suggest it has improved. I was satisfied with this batch, but not excited about it generally – likely the reason there’s still some hanging in the cellar. But it seems to have actually improved with age. Maybe I’m tasting satisfaction rather than reality.

I’m very pleased with the white molds that have become the norm in the cellar. And yes, mold can be very desirable indeed, despite how many people feel about it. Seems all mold has become synonymous with spoilage or ‘yuck’ in general – a 21st century misunderstanding. I don’t innoculate the meat with any culture, it’s simply the flora that decided to come hang out in my curing space. I’m still amazed at how some of these processes [fermenting being another one] seem so complex, exotic, and magical as a newbie retro-gastronomist [I'm coining that one, baby], yet are so natural, passive, and well…easy. I no longer wonder how our ancestors discovered fermentation or moldy charcuterie and cheese. Nature did its thing, and humans observed and went along for the ride. A tasty ride.

6 Responses

  1. So how do you know good mold from bad mold?

    I assume that the nose knows, but is there some more … essential test? Besides eating some and seeing if you get sick…

  2. Good question above…
    I love your last paragraph! … and your newly coined term!
    Looks like delicious meat to me… and yes, Vanja’s dad has hung theirs in a temp controlled environment like yours and it lasts almost a year (there is never any left in a year)
    They know more is about to be made, so feast away on the remainder as the piggies go to the slaughter to start the next batch.
    YUM
    V

  3. Barry Preuett says:

    Kevin, do you not use any casings for your Saucisson Sec?

  4. Kevin says:

    AJC – generally, white non-fuzzy = good. Black, green, other = depends. Most molds, even some unfriendly types, can be cleaned off, believe it or not. Same goes for cheese aging.
    V – such a neat form of preservation that really is extremely perishable
    Barry – I do. Hog casing.

  5. Barry Preuett says:

    Just curious, the mold grows on the casing, does it also impart any flavors or aromas to the meat that you’ve noticed? I see the casing now and duh, how would you make these without stuffing them into something lol. I saw your picture and at first glance, it looked as if there wasn’t a casing on them, and thought you might of pulled it off at some point during the aging process.

    I am looking at starting this process as one can never….ever have too much cured meat. I am thinking about starting with something like a Lonzino, a Bresaola, or even maybe a Coppa if i can find a butcher that knows how to cut it, since I dont currently have a grinder.

    Can/do you encourage the growth of the “good” molds in any way to inhibit the growth of the “bad” ones?

    Cheers!

    ~B

  6. Kevin says:

    Barry – the mold is generally non-flavored. Not like penicilium candidum which has a distinctive mushroomy aroma, for example. And in your defence, I do have some larger casings that I do peel off [they're collagen casings], but have never written about them.

    Do try it!! Very excited to hear you might give it a go!

    You can, but I don’t inoculate the forcemeat with bacterial culture to encourage the ‘good guys’. The good guys surprisingly seem to be the dominant player, so don’t worry too much about molds unless you have a problem. What I have done is keep a couple coppas that were improperly made [and therefore I didn't want to eat them] around the cellar as they had good flora – hoping they might encourage the same on others. I’ve had a friend take one of them to rub on his sausages to hopefully introduce the good white mold. My feeling right now is nature’s good at it if you have the proper conditions [temp and rh].

    Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.

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