Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Single Malt Scotch/Ghost Pepper Salami

This is my (2nd) favorite Scotch.  Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, which is 12 year old Single Malt scotch that is finished in Port Barrels.  Next to the GM 18 this is the bees knees for me, and I couldn't think of anything better to use for my first "Scotch" salami.
I want to say thank you to Creminelli Salami  for the inspiration for this recipe. 
I used my standard 3lb Salami batch recipe, substituting Ghost Pepper salt for Kosher salt, and 1 cup Glenmorangie for the wine/water usually used.   Lacto Fermenter is kimchi juice ( just 2TBSP so as not to impart too much flavor )
This is the Ghost Pepper Salt, obtained at Willakenze Winery annual Cellar Club Members party and harvest market.   It's hot and spicy without the overwhelming heat, but will definitely make you pay attention!

Here they are, stuffed, tied, and ready to go into the ghetto fermenter for 2 days at about 80F, then to hang in the curing chamber for about 3 weeks.

This is another "experiment" of mine.   It's my standard Chorizo Verde, but this time with the addition of some home infused Habanero Sea Salt. Lacto Fermenter is 1 cup of Kimchi Juice, which also replaces the wine I usually use.   I'm excited to see how this one turns out as well, but not as nervous about it as the Scotch/Ghost Pepper Salami.

Here's a mini update on this years prosciutti:
Been salting in the fridge for about 3 weeks now, looking good.   The large legs will sit here for another 2-3 weeks ( with a resalting once per week or so ) and the small front legs ( shoulders with attached trotters ) will be rinsed off, larded up, and hung this weekend or next, based on my schedule.
PS.. I ran 18 miles on Sunday!!! Hard to believe that one year ago I could barely run 3 without dying.  40+ pounds lighter, healthier physically and mentally.   Life is good, get off the couch and live!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Salting the 2012 Proscuitto

Sorry I haven't posted in some time.  It's not that I haven't been making charcuterie, it's just that summer is typically not the best time to make it, and as usual, work and life gets in the way.
This year I'm switching from Tails and Trotters pork to Carlton Farms, another local purveyor.  I've been a big fan of T&T since the past owner, Morgan, was selling pork out of an unmarked rape van ( oops, I mean "cargo" van ).   T&T pork quality is without question outstanding, but the legs were just too large ( 35lbs or so) and the fat layers were just too big for my amateur needs, and the legs are taking 2-3 years to complete curing.  I'll continue to use their coppa and ground pork, and I think I may buy one leg from them every other year to do a 3-4 year proscuitto, but for my one and 2 year legs, it's going to be Carlton.

Here  they are, salted and ready to lose some water weight.   One thing you'll notice is that in addition to the standard hind leg ( each about 12 lbs ) that I'm doing front legs/shoulders, to test how they turn out.  These would make inexpensive, yet really cool, gifts.   Stay tuned.

Just so you don't think all I do is cure meat, here's a pic taken at the Amsterdam Half Marathon Oct 21st.  I surprised my wife with a long weekend away and of course we had to run a race while there.  It was a great trip and we had a blast.

Finally: I've worked harvest with friends for several years, and have been a fan of Oregon wines since moving here and have often fantasized about making my own wine some day.  I have finally taken the first step towards making that happen and have entered in a mentorship arrangement with my good friend, Anne Hubatch of Helioterra Wine . Starting with harvest this year (which we just finished this week ) I'll be working through the entire winemaking process with her instruction and help, from making the wine, to getting licensed, creating and building a brand, to bottling and selling.  My first commercial vintage will be 50 cases of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.  I'm hoping you enjoy drinking it as much as I'm enjoying making it.  With Anne's help, you better believe it will be good!

Of course every winemaker needs a good assistant.  Lucky for me,  I have the cutest one on the planet.

That's all for now, I wish you all well.  Stay tuned as I update the blog as the legs complete the salting process and get hung up to cure.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My First One Year Proscuitto-Tasting Notes

It was finally time to cut the first of two Tails and Trotters proscuitto ( proscuitti? ) I made last year.  They've been hanging in the "curing chamber" ( aka ManCave ) for over one year and the natives were getting restless. 

So, we scheduled a party, invited a few friends, and got down to tasting some proscuitto.

I have to tell you that my own personal feeling is that while it tastes fantastic, I think the other one that is going to hang for two years will be even better. 

 Of course.. can't have Proscuitto without wine.. and since it was such a nice day, we decided to drink some white along with the reds.. I highly recommend Helioterra 2011 Pinot Blanc, made by my friend Anne Hubatch. ( with some slight assistance from me helping to sort grapes, bottle, lift cases, and clean fermenters :))

Here's another shot.. beautiful

LOVE this pic.. thank you Josh!

What a beautiful photo, taken by a brilliant local Portland photographer and friend, Josh Chang(link to his website is coming -contact him at @pdxploration on twitter for fantastic food/wine/people photography  :)

Here's a great pic of my Kimchi Chorizo Salami, influenced by my food blog god Peter Barrett

Obviously, Holding my meat makes me happy!

Just to confirm that I don't just sit around and make and eat charcuterie all day, here's a pic of me at the finish line of the Luxembourg Night Run.. I ran the half marathon when I was in Europe for work last month.. it was great fun, and I had my best time ever.  Cold have been faster, but I stopped for a beer and sausage at mile 9 with a guy running in a chicken suit ( how could I not?)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pork, Salt, Love

After running another Half Marathon, Amy and I decided to visit our friends Ann Hubatch and Vincent Fritzche, who were having an open house showcasing their 2010 wines.

After a great tasting and catching up with friends, we stopped at Olympic Provisions newish NW restaurant for brunch.

Among other things, Amy had the Saucisson D'Arles. This is just a simple salami consisting of Pork and Salt.    She was so smitten with it that she made her first ever "salami request" to me and asked if I could make it.   I knew that this would be a tough one, since there wouldn't be any spices to mask any mistakes. 

Since this one is for my Wife, I'm going to call it Pork, Salt, and Love  ( you all want me to put my "love" in this, don't you?)

Here's the recipe

3lbs Tails and Trotters ground pork
2tbsp kosher salt
1tsp Instacure#1 (long term curing salt )
3/4tbsp dextrose
2tbsp whey
A whole lotta love :)

Here's the Nugget, helping me stuff the salami into natural hog middles.

Here's a nice shot of them stuffed and tied.
A pic of them tied up and ready to go into the "ghetto fermenter" for 2 1/2 -3 days( not in oven this time.. on our dining room table at a temp of about 73degrees-- I wanted to try more refined and slower fermentation )
Finally.. Here's a pic of my last project.  Kimchi Spicy Salami, which is my new go to Fermentation tool, inspiration provided to me by food blogger Peter  .  FYI.. This recipe is the first time I'm using Whey to facilitate fermentation and he gets credit for that as well, my Meat Pilates Guru!
The Saucisson D'Arles have been hanging for about 1 week now ( I'm a lazy blogger, I know ), and they're already firming up well.  By the time I get back on Memorial Day from my latest work boondoggle to Europe, they should be ready to taste test with the Wife.

Stay Tuned.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Round 3 - Kimchi Juice Fermented Salami

I had a little time to kill last night and 3lbs of Tails and Trotters ground pork ( 70:30 ratio) in the man fridge, so I thought I'd make some salami.

pretty simple recipe ( I converted grams to tablespoons for this one )

3lbs ground pork
2 TBSP Kosher Salt
3/4 TBS Instacure #2(long term curing salt )
1/2 cup Le Nez Oregon Pinot Noir ( it was open :)
3TBSP crushed Red Pepper
1tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic.
4 tbsp kimchi juice ( thank you Peter)

Mixed it up, drank the rest of the Pinot, and stuffed them into hog middles, squeezed and poked them, tied them up and now into the ghetto fermenter for 2 days before hanging in the man cave(  I mean "curing chamber" )

I'm going to do a 2lb batch tomorrow with some aniseseed, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and pepper.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kimchi Fermented Chorizo Salami

After the recent success of my first salami fermented with live cultures taken from Kimchi, courtesy of the current "King Of Charcuteapalooza" Peter from Cookblog, I thought I'd give it another go and see what kind of mess I can make.

Here's the recipe:

5lbs ground pork -This time I used
2lbs of premade chorizo sausage and
2lbs of premade hot italian sausage and
1lb of ground pork (70:30 ratio )
55 grams kosher salt
10 grams instacure #2 ( long term cure/not "pink salt" )
1/3 cup water
10 grams ground black pepper
10 grams fresh crushed garlic
20 grams cayenne pepper
20 grams pasillo pepper
20 grams hot smoked spanish paprika
20 grams dextrose
4 tablespoons "Kimchi Juice"

Here is another batch of kimchi I worked up just for this salami.  Instead of adding daikon or carrots, I added slivers of jalapeno for a bit of a kick.  This alone is worth the price of admission.

Here are the ingredients ready to be mixed. Italian sausage on left, chorizo on right, ground pork underneath

I couldn't resist adding a pic of the nugget, back on the job helping me ( mostly by just being cute, but she cranked a few out on the stuffer )

Here are the fresh salami's, all ready to hang for 3 weeks or so.

Here they are hanging in the mancave for about 3 weeks until they lose about 60% of their weight ( Amy likes them harder and drier than I do, so that's what she gets )

Here they are, cut and ready to enjoy with a great Oregon Pinot Noir from my friend Vincent at Vincent Wine Company
Great deep "chorizo-ish" flavor and lots of good heat with nice porky taste.

And finally.. here's a shot of my newest boozey concoction: Kumquat/Thyme Liqueur
1 gallon Vodka ( or grain alcohol if you prefer)
4lbs of kumquats, seeds and button ends removed
1.5-2 cups sugar(make simple syrup)
let sit for 3-4 weeks, strain and bottle.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Salami Controne ( Kimchi Salami )

Howdy All:

I've been inspired by the Charcutapalooza winner Peter of Cook Blog to try something new

His Recipe for Kimchi Juice( or any lacto fermented product ) fermented Salami.

I'm giving it a try to see if I can get away with not using the commercially purchased Lacto Fermenting powders.

First: We start with 5lbs of ground pork from our friends at Tails and Trotters .  I can grind my own meat, but why bother? For an amateur charcutier like myself, this is a no brainer.

Here is the hot pepper flake powder which gives this salami it's name.  Pure Italian bliss.

Check it out.

purchased from my friend Michael at StoryTeller Wine   He's a great guy and has a great selection of wine.  Check him out, in person or online ( he'll ship to you ).

Here's the recipe:

5lbs ground pork (70:30 meat to fat ratio)
55 grams kosher salt
10 grams instacure #2 ( long term cure/not "pink salt" )
1/3 cup water
10 grams ground black pepper
10 grams fresh crushed garlic
30 grams Controne Pepper Flake
20 grams dextrose
4 tablespoons "Kimchi Juice"

Here's a pic of the seasoning ingredients

And, here's a pic of the seasoning and pork about to become one happy family.

I finally got a chance to use the sausage stuffer I purchased from Grizzly.  They're a purveyor of all sorts of machinery, and I purchased a 5lb stuffer for about $100.   I have to tell you, this also was SO much easier than using the grinder/stuffer I purchased last year.  Wait til you see the paste.. no smearing whatsoever. 

If you live in/near Portland,OR and would like to borrow it, let me know.. no need to buy one if we can share.  Here it is stuffed with 5lbs of meat paste and loaded with 15 feet of hog middles.

Here's a few links fresh off the stuffer, tied on the ends with butchers twine.  Each about 1/2 pound.

here's a closeup of one of the links.  Look at that beautiful color and fat/meat distribution.

Here's the end result of about 1 hour prep and one hour of stuffing. 11 beautiful salamis

After cleaning up, they went into the "ghetto fermenter" (plastic container put in a cold oven with the door left open enough to keep the light on, with a towel over the door, keeping the temp at about 80 degrees F or so) As an experiment, I created a "slurry" of casings from purchased salamis that had the white" fiore" mold on them with tepid water to see if I can grow the good mold without using purchased bacteria.

Here's how they look after fermenting for 24 hours.  Too bad we don't have smellavision.  These puppies smell fantastic!!

Now to hang up and come back for a taste in 2-3 weeks.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I'm still alive!

Happy New Year Meat and Pickle Lovers!

I just realized that I've been neglecting this blog terribly.

I'm not going to be able to fix it today, but thought I would add a few pics of some tasty treats I've been making over the past few months.

In addition, One of the proscuitto I hung last year is ready to be enjoyed.. the other will become a 2 year proscuitto.    I'm getting two more legs next week, and I'll make that my first "how to" post of the new year, although it will be pretty much the same as last year.

Lots of bacon, pancetta(tesa style), smoked salmon and sturgeon, some outstanding Coppa and Lonzino that both hung since last spring, and finally.. the 2011 Nocino!( Italian Walnut Liquor ).  It turned out good this year, as opposed to last year's fiasco.  Let's see how it ages and develops.