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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finally Time to Taste


Lonzino Affumicato

So after about two Months the Lonzino finally weighed out, and let me tell you it is wonderful.  The fennel stays laid back and almost turns to a sweetener that is balanced out by the smoke.  Its like a porky Lox…Simply delicious.

Lonzino Affumicato (1 of 2)Lonzino Affumicato (2 of 2)



There are no words…The fresh rosemary, the salt…Olive oil and parmesan, I'm in heaven!!!

Bresaola (11 of 12)

Bresaola (12 of 12)

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Now that this has become quite the habit, it seems as though I start to have withdrawals when I don’t have some sort of meaty concoction curing, drying, or smoking.  So, onto my next challenge Bresaola.

Hailing from the Alpine region of northern Italy, Bresaola is a dry-cured log of beefy goodness with a beautiful deep red (almost purple) color and an aromatic headiness that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  In my preparation I used an eye of the round roast picked up from one of our local farms.  Next I trimmed it of all visible fat and silver skin.

Bresaola (1 of 10)

Bresaola (2 of 10)

I did leave a few bits of silver skin on I didn’t want to mangle the meat that bad.

Bresaola (3 of 10)

Next the cure:

Eye of the Round Roast 1,233 grams  
Salt 25 grams 2%
Sugar 29 grams 2.3%
Cure #2 4 grams .3%
Fresh Ground Black Pepper 5 grams .4%
Fresh Rosemary 6 grams .46%
Fresh Thyme 6 grams .46%
Cloves 6 whole  

Remove the woody stems from the rosemary, then combine all of the cure ingredients into a grinder and, well, grind them up.  The resins in the rosemary will make the cure kind of sticky, but the smell is awesome.  Next coat the roast thoroughly with the cure.  Then into a zip top bag, removing as much air as possible, and onto to the fridge to cure for seven days.  Be sure to turn the meat every other day giving it a rub  down to make sure everything stays coated with the cure.


Bresaola (4 of 10)

After the seventh day remove the cured roast from the fridge and rinse it completely.  The meat should be quite firm now and much darker in color.  After you rinse the roast off, allow it to dry thoroughly for about three hours.

Bresaola (6 of 10)

Now, this could be where it all goes wrong, and if it does I will have no one but myself to blame.  To case, or not to case?  That is the question.  I answered not to case, just because I only had 100 mm collagen casings on hand and to get the proper size casing from Butcher & Packer would have taken days (#planbetter).  So I went sans case. I also tried for the first time to make a mold starter using Brie mold and dextrose, and after about three days it seems to be taking hold.  So without casing I tied the roast and of to the curing chamber.  I will keep you posted as to the progress.

Bresaola (10 of 10)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Playing Catch-up Two months of #charcutepalooza in a Day


Ok,  so I’m not an official Charcutepalooza blogger but in keeping with the spirit of THE YEAR OF MEAT I am catching up on my challenges.  First, the duck prosciutto. This one makes me very happy indeed.  Keep in mind that I post the process and that they are not done yet, but next weekend I am sure I will be a happy camper.   The one challenge I am missing is The Salt Cure. The first reason  is that most of our local farmers keep the bellies to make their own bacon (I cannot blame them- it’s delicious stuff). The second--my local butcher will not sell me substandard quality belly, so I have to wait…So, on to what I can do.

Duck Prosciutto

Following the recipe in Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn,   I prepared my  cure (in this case kosher salt only), approximately two and a half cups, poured enough salt in the bottom of a Tupperware container to ensure I would have an adequate layer of salt to absorb moisture (don’t skimp).  Finally I nestled my little duck breast in the bed of salt and covered for twenty four hours.  Once cured, I removed them from the salt, rinsed the breasts and patted them dry using paper towels.  Now here is where I diverge onto my own path.  Instead of dusting the duck breasts with white pepper I used finely ground black pepper, but not too much.  Also, after wrapping them in cheese cloth and tying I sent them to the smokehouse where my Skilandis was already bathing in the smoke of apple and juniper.  So there they rest, and in the morning I will transfer them to the curing chamber to hang for probably six to seven days.

Duck Prosciutto (2 of 9)

Duck Prosciutto (3 of 9)

Duck Prosciutto (5 of 9)

Duck Prosciutto (6 of 9)

Duck Prosciutto (7 of 9)

Duck Prosciutto (9 of 9)



Corned Beef

Next on the catch up list was  brining.  It is March and I love corned beef, so here we go.  Once again following the recipe laid out in Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn (instructions here) I prepared my brine. By the way, the smell of the pickling spice is amazing.  I let the brine cool and then inserted a beautiful brisket hand-picked especially for this event.  The brisket will brine for five days, and then it’s on to the cooking process.   As mentioned before, it’s not done yet, but you will know when it is. 

Corned Beef (1 of 4)

Corned Beef (3 of 4)

Corned Beef (4 of 4)

Stay Tuned……