As I have been perusing my new copy of Salumi, by Ruhlman & Polcyn, I have been preparing for this year’s meat curing. As you may or may not know, I enjoy the process of making sausages, and home cured prosciutto is my current Holy Grail. I’ve been scheming in those spare moments before falling asleep, considering what I want to make this year, and what kinds of prep lists and coordinating I need to do. The fact that my bedside reading has included the works of Maynard Davies, Ruhlman & Polcyn, and Peery & Reavis may explain even more.
As I am in a bit of a hurry up and wait phase, I have been getting my cantina ready. A new wine fridge is on order, new scales are on their way, and I’ve ordered casings and Bactoferm from Butcher & Packer. This year I’m also getting a hygrometer and “personal” humidifier for the wine fridge, and I have my notebook ready, so I can keep better records of pre- and post- weights, etc.
My next task is to find the right conditions for the butchering of the pig. I want to have the pig scalded, so I can have skin-on ham. Unfortunately, the local meat lockers don’t have the facilities to do this, so I am trying to find a farmer who is willing to do this for me. Thanks to my local network of providers, I have a couple names to call. Ruhlman & Polcyn say you can order a half pig from Heritage Foods, or from Niman Ranch, but it seems silly, when I live in rural MN, to order half a pig by mail order from Brooklyn, NY.
If I can’t get this figured out, I guess I will end up curing muscles in casings, rather than doing the whole leg, and going back to the trusty folks at the local locker. But I’m not ready to give up yet. More to follow.