Thursday, March 31, 2011

charging towards charcuterie

as previously stated, i'm down with meat.  at one time, i saw myself apprenticing as a butcher, learning the tricks of the trade, and opening up a super awesome butcher shop with lovely meats and prepared foods and all kinds of protein-centric deliciousness.  maybe one day it'll happen, who knows. until then, i will enjoy experimenting in my own home.


my lovely husband bought me the book charcuterie by michael ruhlman.  i read the entire thing like a novel in a couple days.  what a great book!  charcuterie, or the curing/drying/smoking of meat was a part of life back in the day due to lack of refrigeration and a way to effectively use every bit of the slaughtered animal.  today, it's experiencing a bit of a foodie renaissance on the restaurant scene. many high falootin' places are offering a platter of house-cured charcuterie yumyums on their menus these days.  i'm definitely a big fan, because with my weight loss surgery, i try to focus on protein and can't really eat large quantities of anything, so a charcuterie is kind of the best thing ever for me.  a little nosh of salami, a nibble of prosciutto...  if i see a charcuterie platter on a menu, 9 out of 10 times i'm gonna order it.

so reading this book, as it intended, inspired me to try out making my own charcuterie stuff at home.  for my maiden voyage, i decided to try the easiest most fool proof recipe first.  duck breast prosciutto.


i acquired a beautiful pair of duck boobs from the st lawrence market, packed them in kosher salt for 24 hours, (one with herbes de provence mixed into the salt and one without) then rinsed them off, patted them dry, wrapped them in cheese cloth, and set them to dry for 7 days.  and that's it! it's ready to eat!
cured duck tits hanging to dry
behold! duck tit prosciutto!

i wish i had a deli slicer. i got it thin, but not as thin as i'd like.

it's truly delicious. very flavourful deep garnet coloured firm meat with a cap of luscious melting fat. i'm proud of it. so i declare my first attempt at making my own charcuterie an undisputed success. i'm deciding what to try next. i think i'm going to try peameal bacon, a canadian favourite, which involves brining a pork loin for 72 hours. no big woop.

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