Posts Tagged ‘bacon’

February’s Charcutepalooza Challenge: Blown Away By Bacon (Part 1)

Charcuterie is alchemy; the power to transform one substance into another using simple ingredients and patience.  I’m not saying that salt has the power of Midas.  That’s something you have to decide for yourself.

I started February’s apprentice Charcutepalooza challenge with three pounds of pork belly, lots of salt, some pink curing salt, brown sugar, coriander seeds, black pepper and less than a ¼ cup of really good local cider. As much as I wanted to use all nine pounds of my pork belly and plunge into the more advanced charcutrie challenge (making pancetta), along with the bacon, I decided to pace myself – though only in terms of pork.

Right now, I’ve got preserved lemons aging in the pantry, a filet of salmons curing in the garage and a crock of  sauerkraut fermenting  in the closet under our stairs.  I suspect my husband might be planning some kind of an intervention.

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Going Whole Hog

Salmon and trout, cured and smoked.

The parking lot was dark and deserted. I’ve already been waiting 10 minutes, with my engine and headlights off when the beat-up white van pulls up. I get out of my car. A man dressed in black clothing, wearing a black ski mask gets out the back of the van; in his hands my six pounds of pork belly.  I handed him my cash and he gives me my meat. No words are exchanged.

For the sake of Charcutepalozza, I’ve found my way to the world of underground meat.

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