One of my favorite meals to eat is the meat and cheese sampler from The Lazy Goat in Greenville, SC. I love well-prepared charcuterie and antipasti. What I don’t love is the price. What makes the cured/dried versions of otherwise affordable meats so expensive is the skill it takes to prep them and time it takes to cure. I have plenty of time. I just need the skills.
I’ve kept an extra refrigerator in my garage for years, but I never got around to using it for much more than overflow food storage. When we moved to the new house a few weeks ago, I told myself that I would thoroughly clean the old fridge and finally turn it into a charcuterie chest.
My goal is to learn how to make my own bacon, pancetta, prosciutto, salami, and sausages. I’ve been using the recipes in a book called Home Sausage Making for years (see examples), but my only experience with curing/drying has been with gravlax, beef jerky, and table pickles.
I finally took the first step by buying brining bags, pickling spices, and pink curing salt. My plan is to make some corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day and then take the next step by turning my homemade corned beef into pastrami. Check back around March 17 and I’ll post some pictures of the results.
With any luck, I’ll be successful enough in a year or two to have to try to convince the wife that we can’t live without a food slicer.
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