Charcutepalooza, and Why I’m Breaking My New Year’s Resolution

Last year, before I had my own food blog, I watched the Tigress have an amazing Can Jam with a group of really talented cooks and jam makers.  Each month she suggested a new fruit, and all the participants made up their own recipes and posted them for the world to see.  Fantastically creative!  Now that I have my own blog like a real grown up, I was hoping to find something similar to participate in.  About a day after I quit eating meat for one of my new year’s resolutions, I found the challenge that called out to me: Chartcutepalooza, in which every month offers a new project resolving entirely around meat.

Homemade fresh bacon.

Sorry, those three words, I can’t argue with that, it’s too exciting, I’m in.  As a way of honoring my resolution, I will try to use only animals that were wild or raised by someone I know, and as little from conventional grocery stores as possible.

free-range and organic: wild duck

So far I have wild duck prosciutto hanging to cure, and with any luck I’ll have some pork belly to work with tomorrow

I’m excited for this challenge, but nervous too; I have literally no experience with charcuterie, but I guess you have to start somewhere.  All the participants purchased a copy of Michael Ruhlman’s book Charcuterie, so I have a good set of instructions to work with.  Wish me luck! I’ll post duck proscuitto results and recipes in a week or so.

6 thoughts on “Charcutepalooza, and Why I’m Breaking My New Year’s Resolution

  1. Hi! Your blog looks great & I’m happy Shae pointed me your way! Glad you’ll be joining on the charcutepalooza ride! I’m getting my pink salt today and pork belly this weekend. Serious bacon love! =)

  2. I made the duck prosciutto one year and it was very good, but a little bit on the salty side so next time I’ll have to adjust that. Best of luck to you!

    1. I still have a few more days to wait… I had to dry mine in the fridge, since our california temps get way too hot during the day to hang the meat outside. It’s almost ready though! Maybe two days? My bacon and my prosciutto should be ready almost at the exact same time!

  3. I thoroughly enjoy your postings. One thing about smoking. I know many people will tell you to soak the wood. It’s logical that it will produce more smoke and not burn as quickly (it has to dry to burn). I was told by a man that had been a caterer for many years, not to soak the wood chips. He mentioned a yellow tinge to the smoke that is produced because of the smoking (due to the incomplete combustion) and said that you can taste the difference in your final product. He is correct, you can taste the difference. Just thought I’d offer that for your consideration. I have Michael Ruhlman’s book, too. Great guidance.

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