Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Charcutepalooza Pancetta

This all started for me about 12 years ago when I received a small package in the mail from my friend Sergei.  I opened the package to find a Christmas Salami that Sergei had handcrafted.  It was a revelation -- so much better than the store bought salamis to which I had become accustomed.  When I asked him how he was able to cure the sausage, he explained that the house he lived in had a cellar that was perfect for curing meats.  I would have started making charcuterie then if I had a cellar.
A few years went by, my daughter was born, and I didn’t give much thought to making charcuterie.  But then my daughter discovered pork.  She became a fiend for all things porky.  It started with bacon but soon progressed to sausage then salami.  She collects pigs. She uses the Piggly Wiggly logo as her avatar.  So I started to think about charcuterie again.
I learned that people were using refrigerators and wine chillers to cure charcuterie.  Then I found Michael Ruhlman’s website, and bought his book Charcuterie.  Then I bought a wine chiller last October.  Then I read about Charcutepalooza.  So here I am.
Oh yeah, about the pancetta.  This is my second attempt at a rolled pancetta after a disastrous first try.  Let’s just say green fluid oozing from a loosely rolled belly and leave it at that.  This one looks good.  I’ll try some tonight fried up with some Brussels sprouts.  Then it will go back in the wine fridge with the Sopressata and Tuscan Salami to age a little longer.  I’ve got to get good at this for when I make my Christmas Salamis this fall...

1 comment:

  1. My thoughts exactly with charcuterie: Christmas presents!

    I love your pancetta still life!