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Curing
guanciale 2

HIGH ON THE HOG, JOWL LEVEL IF WE’RE BEING PRECISE

So The Month of Cooking Dangerously could now be more accurately called The Season of Cooking Irritably. My fucker of a kitchen still isn’t done. Granted, to the casual observer it is done. Functionally it’s done. But the last few nagging details have lingered on and on like a stale fart in the place where I should be ...

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O COPPA! MY COPPA!

About 6 months ago I wrote something cute about struggling over waiting a couple weeks for some meat to cure. Six months later it’s ready. And I know what it means to wait. Looking back at those early, fidgeting days, I believe I’ve come to understand the technical term for my condition: being an impatient tit. The ...

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CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #11: THE ITALIAN FOR “ARE WE THERE YET?”

It’s probably inappropriate to describe any feelings toward a pig as a love affair. But it’s true. I have a pig-lover. And my pig-lover’s name is Mangalitsa. I’ve documented my feelings toward the king of swine here. But let me just say again, this is some pig. It’s also my pork of choice for this month’s (second ...

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IT’S LIKE BACON, ONLY MORE DRAMATIC AND WITH EXTRA SYLLABLES

There’s something really outstanding about a pig’s belly. The short of it is probably that it’s outstanding because it’s mostly pork fat, which in and of itself is an inarguable point of greatness. The longer answer though, is a study in versatility. Cured and smoked, pork belly makes bacon, one of the Earth’s ...

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YES… BUT DOES YOUR PINT COME WITH BACON?

There are few great absolutes in life. The undeniable worth of a quality bar snack is one of them. A good bar snack is what you might call an intangible—it makes the beer taste better, the time spent seem more fulfilling and the shelled peanut appear to be something worth the effort of an oyster. And yet, I see them ...

Pastrami

CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #3 ADDENDUM: A PASTRAMI SANDWICH

Staring into the waiting arms of death, Warren Zevon dished out one of life’s more salient pieces of advice: “Enjoy every sandwich.” This is one for Warren: homemade pastrami on rye with imported Swiss, spicy okra pickles and Stadium Mustard. It goes best with “The French Inhaler” played at inappropriately high ...

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CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #3: CORNED BEEF, PASTRAMI, AND ONE OF LIFE’S GREAT BARS

The March Charcutepalooza challenge brings us to brining. Which for me meant corned beef, pastrami and a stinky, stinky attempt at sauerkraut. The process of making corned beef started with a very nice looking locally raised, grass fed brisket. Brisket being the national steak of Texas, this one wasn’t very difficult ...