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.