Monday, January 25, 2010

Salami Recall

Did you hear about this? 184 people in 38 states? Who would have thought of Salmonella-contaminated black pepper?

Yet another good reason to make your own. I still haven't made the leap to fermented meats, but I will get there soon.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bocca Lupo

I finally got around to making another batch of sausage. The past few months have been very busy and really limited my meat production. However, after the holidays everything just seemed to fall into place. First my father-in-law brought me about 15 LBS of Mule Deer from his recent hunting trip in Colorado. Then I got a meat mixer (more on that in a future post) for my birthday. I knew that I had about 3-4 LBS of pork belly and trimmings in the freezer from making pancetta. So I decided to create a new sausage. "Bocca Lupo" is short for the Italian expression "into the wolf's mouth", and is an idiomatic expression that is used to wish someone good luck, similar to how we use "break a leg". It seemed to be an appropriate name for a game sausage. Here is what I came up with:

Bocca Lupo
  • 3 LB - Venison
  • 3 LB - Pork Belly (uncured)
  • 3 1/2 - TBS Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 - TBS Black Pepper
  • 1/2 - TBS Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp - Chili Powder
  • 4 tsp - Granulated Garlic
  • 1 tsp - Rubbed Sage
  • 1 tsp - French Thyme
  • 4 TBS - Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, minced
  • 1 TBS - Cane Syrup
  • 3TBS - Ice Water
I ground the meat through a 5/32" plate and added it to the mixer. The mixer works great! The meat stayed very cold and bound nicely. I stuffed it into 32 mm hog casings and let it mature for 24 hours in the fridge. I fried some patties using the unstuffed remainder. I am very pleased with this one. The cane syrup adds a subtle earthiness that I really like. I may add a bit more next time. I can't wait to try some on the grill.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolution - POST!

Hello, any readers left?

I have been grossly negligent in posting the past two months. I have been cooking up a storm, but my charcuterie has fallen by the wayside. I made bresaola and currently have pancetta in my curing box, but I have not been producing and experimenting as much as I like.

I hosted Christmas dinner at my house this year. I cooked a whole bone-in ham and a turkey. I am nearly obsessed with cooking meat to temperature and these large hunks-o-meat were no exception. I have cooked dozens of turkeys, but I have only ever cooked one ham. Being the cook that I am, the family has high expectations for me during the holidays. I certainly felt the pressure to get the ham right. I bought a 12-pounder and perused the web in search of glazes. Dissatisfied, I decided to make my own. Here is what I came up with:

Maple-Dijon Glaze
  • 1 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
I cooked the ham at 325 degrees for 15 minutes per pound as recommended on the package. According to this formula, the ham should have been done at 3 hours. It wasn't. I anticipated this and did not start glazing until the third hour. I mixed all of the ingredients in a saucepan and mixed them thoroughly. I basted the ham several times with the glaze. At 3 hours and 40 minutes, the ham read 148 on my digital thermometer. I pulled it an placed a loose foil tent over it. I was shooting for 160 as an internal temp. After 10 minutes, the carry over cooking had brought the internal temp to 159.9 degrees. At 15 minutes, the thermometer briefly touched 160- SCORE! The glaze was perfect. I also nailed the the turkey. Both were tender and juicy. Try this glaze, I promise you will like it.