eBabble

Chicken Confit

Posted by in Food

Delving further into Charcuterie I had been thinking about confit: slow cooking meat in a fat at low temperature.  Traditionally it’s done with duck legs in duck fat but I had neither so I used what I had: a big container of bacon fat and chicken legs. For years I’ve been saving my leftover bacon fat (grease if you will) for no apparent reason other than it might come in handy.   Well, when I was younger I used it for my Krafter Dinner instead of butter but that was about…read more

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Smoked Hunters Sausage

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Our freezer was getting overcrowded with pork so I decided to take out sixteen pounds and make some sausage over the weekend.  My family seems to like smoked sausage the best so I made Hunters sausage (forgot the German name, sorry).  It’s a pork sausage with coriander and mustard seeds, dry milk powder and a little garlic.  I followed the recipe in Charcuterie and everything worked well.  The batch was too large to mix in my stand mixer so I did it manually and it was tough going. The sausages above have…read more

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Pancetta and air drying

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I’ve made panchetta a few times, most recently late spring.  It’s a savoury dry rub on pork belly that’s cured for a week, rolled and hung for several weeks: I follow the Charcuterie recipe.  Pancetta is an Italian bacon that has a nice savoury flavour. A key part of the process is the air drying or curing.  It reduces the liquid and concentrates the flavours; with smoked products the low heat does the same thing.  My issue is finding the right spot to air dry: it’s recommended to air dry in a 60%…read more

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My bacon recipe

Posted by in Food

After much trial and error over the last year I’ve settled on a standard cure for smoked bacon.  I started with the smoked bacon recipe from Charcuterie and made my variations from there.  I like a sweeter bacon but also want the bite of the pepper.  I enjoy the dark syrup more than the brown sugar, but I’m Canadian and have easy access to excellent pure maple syrup.  A nice fatty pork loin works just as well as a belly if you want an English cut bacon. 5 lb pork belly (or…read more

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Makin’ Bacon

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Bacon is what started me on the homemade path and it keeps me there.  This past winter a local shop had pork bellies for $0.69 per pound so I picked up ten whole bellies and cut them into five pound pieces, wrapping them nicely and filling the bottom half of my freezer. Every few weeks I pull a piece of belly out and make a good breakfast bacon.  I say breakfast bacon because I like dark brown sugar and maple syrup in the cure, along with salt, pink salt and…read more

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Guanciale

Posted by in Food

My cured meat adventures began with the purchase of Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman about three months ago. I had been purchasing random cookbooks for years, mostly discount books filled with step by step instructional recipes. This was my first topical cookbook that required you to read it front to back, as it exposes the reader to Charcuterie from a basic to moderate tasks. Once you get through it everything makes sense: we’ve been curing meat for storage since we harnessed fire (or since Prometheus gave it to us, to each…read more

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