Meat Curing Startup Day

I’ve decided to spend some time working on my meat curing skills. I want to stretch myself a bit, and try a few more recipes.   All part of the plan for world domination by dinner party.  Cured meats are such great conversation and meal starters.

This morning I went to pick up the stuff I ordered on Friday at my local butcher.  Here’s what I got for sixty dollars:

From the top of the picture this includes two beef eye of round roasts (about 3 pounds each), two packages of boneless pork shoulder (about 15 pounds total), one bag of pork back fat (about five pounds), and two pork jowls (just over two pounds each).  So, about $2 per pound of ingredients, I got the opportunity to chat with Bob the butcher,  and the potential for hours of fun in the kitchen and the garage, developing my skills.

I plan to use the pork shoulder and back fat to make salame and sausages.  The jowls will be cured and dried as guanciale (cheek bacon!).  The two beef roasts will be cured and dried into bresaola (breh-say-OW-la), a dried beef preparation that originated in Lombardia, a northern region of Italy.

There will be more detail of each preparation as I go through the process, since none of these items are prepared and eaten in the same day.  I’ll be working with recipes from Charcuterie, The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn.

Stay tuned for more meat fun.

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