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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……

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