Back from Grrls Meat Camp, and raring to go

After the amazing weekend that was Grrls Meat Camp in Napoleon, KY, I am back, and raring to go with what I’ve learned.  Thanks so much to Kate Hill and Kari Underly, and to all the grrls whom I hope I’ll continue to learn from.  Another reason why Facebook can be a valuable tool.

Due to airplane luggage logistical restrictions, I only brought home two ventriche, some saussison seche, and two of the jambon di noix, which I’m going to call jambonettes.

Transport Device, courtesy of bp station

This little cooler from the bp gas station was my transport device, along with some ice from the hotel.  Worked fine, really.  A little salt in the ice, and the ice was still mostly solid when I got home.

I weighed my little jambonettes before hanging them in the curing fridge (in kg), and added blue painters tape labels, until I could get around to smoking them this weekend.

New additions to the chamber (with the colored linen/elastic netting) Notice the little saussison seche in the back, by themselves behind the culatelli

This morning, I got out the smoker, and prepped it for cold smoking the ventriche (the long pork belly rolls) and the jambonettes (the little netted pieces of ham), both of which had spent some time in salt, and then were netted and tied.  The jambonettes were rolled in black pepper, too.  These are going to be cold smoked for a few hours, and then hung again to dry cure.

Smokin-it smoker, with fresh foil, ready to load up

Since this smoker is a bit more air tight than Kate Hill’s setup at Camont, I won’t be smoking these for 12 hours. I expect that three or four will probably be enough to give subtle smoke flavor to these.  I’m still learning what the appropriate wood/time ratio is for this, so I’m going to be pretty conservative on this.  So far, I’ve tended to go too heavy on the wood.

My hickory stick for this smoke- small!

As you can see, this is a pretty small piece of wood, but I’ve cold smoked fish four times in this smoker with a piece only half again as big as this piece.


So, wood goes into the smoker box…

Then I put in the cold smoke plate, to keep any heat from the smoker box away from the meat. This shows the linen/hemp strings on the ventriches

After the smoke plate went in, I put the meat on racks.  It might be better to have them hanging down, but space doesn’t allow, so they are on the racks.  As this is cold smoking, I don’t expect the meat to change shape much, given they won’t be in the smoker that long.

Here are the rolled pork bellies. Note the stray peppercorn. These have really only been cured with salt, though a few peppercorns got on them in the bag.

Here are the rolled pork bellies (ventriche).  I plan to roll them in more cracked black pepper after the smoking, before re-hanging.

The good white mold in only a week!

Here is one of the little jambonettes, which was rolled in pepper when it was netted.  Note that it already has some of the good white mold from my curing chamber, after only 6 days.    I put the two of these onto the top rack in the smoker, and closed it up.

I’m starting this at 155 F, but will push it up to 185 F.

So while this is smoking, it’s off to other food projects.  More to follow.


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5 Responses to Back from Grrls Meat Camp, and raring to go

  1. Kathy Seifert says:

    You’re having some fun now!!! How can you remain so patient for the results?

  2. Liz Spangler says:

    sometimes ,Jen, you make me wish I wasn’t veggie!!!

  3. Jennifer says:

    It’s hard, but it’s a continued learning process for me. I’ve never been really patient. I try approach it this way… buying and cellaring wine is like insurance. The good stuff I save now means more fun parties in my future. Waiting for the salamis means tasty treats are in my future.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Liz, you can always be a temporary flexitarian, or an accidental omnivore. I’ll still love you either way!

  5. Mary Nelson says:

    I love your enthusiasm and quest for knowledge. Your blog always makes your sewing and foodie exploits interesting!

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