Pork Belly Confit – Something You Need in Your Fridge

Happy New Year, hope you had a great holiday season. January is a quiet time for us so it gives me a good opportunity to do some creating and test out a few techniques and recipes. One I’ve been really excited to give a try is this pork belly confit. I will say, as goodContinue reading “Pork Belly Confit – Something You Need in Your Fridge”

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Shhhh…It’s a Secreto

Way back in 2013 on one of our Spain vacations I was lucky enough to discover something on a menu mysteriously called “secreto.” With a mix of Spanish, English, and hand gestures our server told us it was a special pork cut hidden behind the belly. Hence its name. It is not a very commonContinue reading “Shhhh…It’s a Secreto”

Ducketta – Elevating My Charcuterie Game

What’s a ducketta? I knew you’d ask. It’s my version of farce meat stuffed into or wrapped up in skin and cooked. Actually, it’s more like a zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter) or roulade (farce meat wrapped up in skin) than porchetta but duckpone and duckade just don’t sound as good.

Culatello and Fiocco – I Am Ham, Ham I Am

When we returned from our Tuscan vacation back in October I was extra-inspired to try curing new things like salumi and hams. Eating prosciutto all week will do that to you. Inspired, yes, but not quite ready to go whole hog (ha ha ha) and hang an entire leg in my basement. Instead, I optedContinue reading “Culatello and Fiocco – I Am Ham, Ham I Am”

Homemade Guanciale – So Good!

If you’ve been following along the past few months you know I’ve been doing a lot of curing and sausage making with lots of different pork cuts. While this isn’t the first time I’ve made guanciale I think the batch which recently emerged from the basement is quite possibly the best I’ve ever made.

Homemade Cajun Spice Bacon

While I make bacon quite often I’m not usually very creative with it. If it’s good and works, why mess with it? However, a friend recently requested some Cajun spice bacon so I felt I needed to do a trial run in order to nail down a new technique. We we were running low onContinue reading “Homemade Cajun Spice Bacon”

Pork Shoulder Speck: One Result From My November Cold Smoking Experiment

Just before Thanksgiving I cured and cold smoked a boneless pork shoulder and a picnic ham then hung them in my curing fridge in the basement. This past weekend the speck cured shoulder was ready. I was pretty excited to see how it turned out.

Coppa – Here’s Where Curing Pork Gets Serious

Coppa. This is the one where I’ll look back and say ‘that’s where it really began.’ Of all the curing I’ve done in the past year this coppa is my best. I’ve wanted to make some since I first got Salumi but had to learn how to walk first with some smaller, quicker cures. I’mContinue reading “Coppa – Here’s Where Curing Pork Gets Serious”

Truffled Saucisson Sec: Taking the Next Step on My Charcuterie Adventure

I don’t think I’ve arrived at the peak of home curing but I’ve definitely leveled up with this air cured sausage: truffled saucisson sec.  Who’d have thunk when I started making my own bacon a couple of years ago I’d end up turning a refrigerator in my basement into a curing fridge and making driedContinue reading “Truffled Saucisson Sec: Taking the Next Step on My Charcuterie Adventure”

Two New Sausages: Mango-Poblano Pepper and Apple-Sage

I’ve been practicing my sausage making skills over the winter and last week I decided it was time to test myself.  Grilling season is approaching here in Chicago so it was time to use the basic skills I’ve acquired and invent something delicious.  I settled on two new flavors: a mango-poblano pepper sausage and anContinue reading “Two New Sausages: Mango-Poblano Pepper and Apple-Sage”