Friday, August 6, 2010

Where is the line between interest, passion...

and obsession?

My outside fridge is filling beautifully with meat.... meat... glorious meat.

I was getting low on product so I started 5 pork bellies for pancetta, they are almost dry. I have 15 lbs of salumi curing using the spice mixture from Scappi's "Mortadella"... so Italian... fennel, cinnamon, peppercorn, and nutmeg. Fresh herbs: mint, majoram and thyme. I also have about 20 lbs of modern Nduja cased and ready to cold smoke, drying in the outside fridge. I did not use so much hot spice and peppers, and I added blood and mace. I love the sweet earthiness the blood adds to sausage and I find myself craving it in the smokiness of Nduja. I also did this amazing Scappi recipe of raw chicken breast, parboiled pork belly, saffron, Parmesan, currants and Italian sweet spices. The last sausage was the Saveloy, veal, pork and liver, truffles, raisins, eggs, fresh cheese and Parmesan. I hot smoked them over cherry wood.

I also brined brisket for MY pastrami. It is drying in now and developing it's lovely pellicle. I am sad that most Americans will never try fresh home made pastrami. The sad pale overpeppered and dry piece of shit we are served on deli sandwiches is nothing like the honey and garlic and pepper and coriander wet cured meat that is air dried and then hot smoked for 8 hours to a deep red, like the inside of a beating heart, and then let to sit for three days, then steamed until it falls apart, it's fatty bits like slippery pieces of hot smoke and spice.

I have two small Capicolla started, plus a Lonza in dry cure now. They sit in their little half hotel pans with their bellies peeking up like little fat Feziwigs sleeping off a Christmas party hang over. I am almost done processing the salumi that needs to get to curing and drying. A massive amount of it has been done this past week, thanks to the help of my beloved meat loving friends.

I also picked up duck gizzards with Ariane and smoked them in cherry wood, and then confited them in goose fat. They are deep red from the smoke and I put star anise, peppercorn and garlic in the goose fat.

I feel like... a Pioneer mother ready for winter. Larder fat with pickles and preserves... the smell of meat and peppercorn and bay in my meat cooler. 75 lbs and counting of meat. Soon... the fish.