Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lamb Proscuitto... and Garage Pinot Noir

I posted a few weeks ago about the LP I made for Paul H, and as he reported back, it was lamby-yummy goodness.

I finally cracked my personal LP open this past weekend for a special event.

My new friend Vincent Fritzsche, owner of the Vincent Wine Co, and Elevage blogger, invited me to a tasting of his garage made Pinot Noir, which will be his last vintage as he's now making wine at the Portland Wine Project

In the spirit of meeting new blogger friends and sharing things that we create in Portland, I decided to invite two of my fellow blogger buddies... Tamara Belgard from Sip With Me! and Joshua Chang from PDXploration.

Well, I guess my invitiation of a "Secret Pinot Noir Tasting" in downtown pdx wasn't enough to get Tamara off her established wine trail, so she was a no show.

Josh showed up at my place and was treated to some fresh cooked bacon, and while I was slicing the Lamb Proscuitto for the wine tasting, of course he got to taste that, as well as a lonzino, some pickles, and of course some good Nocino and Fennelcello to wash them down.  ( see his blog post about it here, with amazing pics --->Todd's Meat in Josh's Mouth

After some chitchat and tasting, we jumped in the teal bomber and took off for the days wine tasting.

Here's a link to Josh's blog entry and pics from the tasting --- >  Garage Pinot ... suffice it to say they are as awesome as the rest of his pics, and he's now the official photographer of the PCP, like it or not :)

All in all, a Great day was had, and I recieved LOTS of kudos on my LP.. that made me feel great, as after I first tasted it, thought it was too "Lamby"... now I know it's just right and I need to get a slicer to make it super thin.
I've attached a few iPhone pics so you can see the difference between an amateur (me) and a pro ( josh )

Look at that Beautiful Color!!

In Summary, I put the LP in to cure at the end of January, and sliced it on May 23rd, so start to finish this took about 4 months... a pretty quick turnaround for proscuitto.. and for only $50, for about 5lbs of meat.

Next LP goes into the curing chamber this weekend... this one will stay in for at least 6 months, coming out in time for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cured Pork Shoulder - from store to cure

I happened to stop at Sheridan Meats in Portland a few weeks ago, and while chatting up the butcher who was cutting my lamb leg off a nice lamb carcass, noticed that they were having a sale on boneless pork shoulders, wrapped up in netting.

These are mainly prepared for hours long braising or smoking he said, but I decided to grab two and give them a shot at curing.  They sort of look like they'd make good stuff.

I bought two of them ( each about 3.25 lbs ), and brought them home to meet my curing chamber.

I'm using my standar curing mix  with the following addition

2tbsp cayenne pepper
2tbsp smoked spanish paprika
2tbsp hot hungarian paprika
2 tbsp fennel seed
2tbsp chili de arbol

I gave it a good rubdown, reaching far inside the meat to make sure everything was well coated.

Then it's into ziploc bags for 2 weeks, turning over every few days

Of course, family emergency cuts into our life and we leave for the East Coast for 10 days.

Here's a shot of the shoulder on May 17th, after 18 days in the cure. 
Notice the beautiul coloring.   I'm estimating that weight loss was about 1/4 of a pound by the amount of brine in the bag.

I rerubbed with the cure, coating throroughly and placed them back in the bag.

I noticed last night that there is additional brine and they're really firming up.

I'll be taking them out of the cure this weekend ( 5/22 or 23) and then hanging them for 4-6 weeks.

Since I have two of them, I'll experiment.  One will go directly into the curing chamber with only a good rinsing off.
The Second will get a complete soak with change of water for 2-4 hours, then a reapplication of the hot spices.

Let's see how they turn out!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lamb Proscuitto - Paul H's Leg is Finished!

I've had this post sitting in draft form for 2 weeks, but had to leave town for some pressing family business.

so here you are.... my first lamb proscuitto is finished.  It looks great, smells fantastic, and as soon as I hear from Paul H, I'll let you know how it tasted.

Stay tuned later in the week for my own Lamb Proscuitto Tasting.  I'm going to invite my new friend Morgan from Tails and Trotters over for a sampling to see what a real Charcutier thinks of my meat.