Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tasting Notes - Tails and Trotter Coppa and Spicy Basturma

Greetings meat fans.

I'm sure you've all been hanging on the edge of your seat, wondering when I was going to finally slice into my Tails and Trotters hazlenut finished coppa, and my spicy basturma.

Well, stop wondering.. I just cut them open last night, and let me tell you.... the 10 month wait was more than worth it.

First up.. the Basturma.. this was 2-2lb Eye of Round Roasts I procured from Fubonn for about $4lb.  Check out the blog post from last April for details on how I prepared them.

The flavor is out of this world.. Mild, but beefy, with a very slight yet noticeable spicy background.  All in all, a very fine piece of dried meat.

The only thing I would do differently next time is to use one piece of meat per casing.. there was about 1/8 to 1/4 lb on each end that I had to cut off because they dried out too much. ( imagine the two ends touching each other in the case ). 

check out the photos below for some awesome meat goodness.

Next up is my Coppa.   I want to send a special thanks to my homeboy Morgan Brownlow of Tails and Trotters for procuring me what must have been the finest and largest Coppa in the history of meat. 7.5lbs of pure hazlenut finished Neck!!

Again, check out the blog entry from last April for details on how I prepped it.

I cut into it last night, and WOW... absolute deliciousness.  Look at the beautiful fat and color of the meat.

This thing was heavily spiced, but only displays a slight hint of the heat.

Being really honest, some of the things I've made don't always taste as good to me as "store bought" charcuterie.  However, this is one time that I absolutely hit it out of the park. ( and the proscuitto )

I'll be calling Morgan for another coppa or two next week.

This was a huge hit at my friend JDub's Holiday party last night.

Stay tuned for more blogs next week.  I'll be bottling the Nocino, and then before heading to Mexico with my lady friend and little nugget, will be taking my two T&T legs out of the cure and hanging them for their 12 and 24 month slumbers.

Happy New Year to you all, especially to our Marines and lesser services across the globe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Proscuitto - Part 1, Turning a T&T hunk of pig into something salty and beautiful

Sorry for taking so long between posts, but things at work have been busier than usual.  Luckily for us, that doesn't mean I haven't been making good stuff, it just means I haven't made the time to blog about it.

Since the end of September y'all have missed about 6 whole salmon that I cured and smoked, at least 20 lb's of bacon, as well as a lonzino and basturma.   I'll do a better job of keeping up with the posts in the new year ( early resolution ).

Now on to my current project.  Proscuitto:

Proscuitto is one of the simplest charcuterie to make, yet one of the most intimidating to the home charcutier. I don't feel the trepidation that some of my peers do with this, but I still have yet to make a salume.. which needs to be rectified over the holiday season.
Whole muscle charcuterie to me is simple, and provided you follow the basic steps, relatively foolproof.  If they could do it one thousand years ago.. I can most likely do it today.

On to it.

On November 27th, I started with 2 legs, approximately 30lb's each from my good friend and pork dealer, Morgan Brownlow of Tails and Trotters.   For something as pure as proscuitto, nothing but the best pork will do and for me that's the hazlenut finished goodness that Morgan brings to the table.

This is a simple curing recipe:

( for each 30lb leg )

4lb's kosher salt
1tbsp Sodium Nitrite

That's it.

Rub the salt in as good as you can, without going crazy.  don't forget the slits cut into the pig foot (trotter ).. make sure you get the salt in every nook and cranny.

let it sit for a week, then come back and salt it again.

let it sit for 4-6 weeks more in your fridge ( anywhere the temp is lower than 45 degrees is fine ), and then it's ready for step 2 - The hanging. ( this is where it gets really complicated :-)

Some people press their proscuitto when curing, but I'm not bothering with it.  Also, this time I have the hams carved spanish style, which means the aitch bone is in and it's a flatter cut on the bottom, as well as having the full trotter on.  This not only looks "neater" when serving.. it allows for full use of the leg.

Stay tuned for part two, sometime in Mid to Late January.