Sunday, November 23, 2008

Untitled Title

When I compare my recent output here with what Ruhlman has been dishing out these last few weeks, I feel like a one trick pony. During what is supposed to be a two-month hiatus from writing, Michael has been rattling off great posts on phony food allergies (Did I tell you the one about the lady who told me that she was allergic to pork?) sous vide and, most recently, fried bone marrow. But whatever, he is a writer and writers write, right?

So what's been my excuse for not keeping up with my blog? Dunno, really. Perhaps if my livelihood depended on it I'd be more prolific but I doubt it. Eh, enough hand wringing.

The slideshow at the top of the post contains a few of the very few photos I snapped last week at the farm. I was so busy butchering (we slaughtered two veal calves last week) that I did not have much time to shoot. The lonzini (pl. lonzino, loin) are from one of our Berkshire hogs and were cured for two weeks in a mixture of salt, sugar, pink salt black pepper and thyme. I'm guessing that they will hang for at least four weeks. Usually, I would scrub off the cure before hanging, but this time I left it on, in large part, because Trent thought it looked cool. I thought it looked cool too, but I'm a little skeptical of how it is going to taste with a layer of bristling thyme on the edge.

The country ham in the last two slides is wonderful. Trent cured two of those last year in a mixture of salt, molasses, pepper and pink salt (I'm pretty sure they were from one of the Yorkshire hogs that was raised for us by another farmer.) and I could not be more pleased by the outcome if I had cured it myself. The cure runs all the way through right down to the bone. There is no sign of bone sour (which can happen if the cure takes too long to penetrate all the way through) and the color is very uniform. The flavor is marvelous and not unlike that of a prosciutto di Parma. The fat is so dense that it's almost crunchy.


Maura said...

Geez, Bob, I feel like a total slacker. Seriously. I'm tired from spreading my Thanksgiving cooking out over four days.

Did I tell you the one about the lady who told me that she was allergic to pork?

That's still cracking me up. What, being kosher isn't a good enough reason?

Pretty, pretty pictures.

Tags said...

Was this lady's nose flat in front do that her nostrils stared straight ahead like a pair of headlights?

Ruhlman has been on a tear lately, but you've been doing great, considering your workload.

Tags said...

Was this lady's nose flat in front SO that her nostrils stared straight ahead like a pair of headlights?

Walt said...

No worries Bob, we'll take what we can get. Why fill up the plate when you can just give a small taste and keep 'em coming back for more.

Nice pictures. Does that ham just hang out on there the counter? I'm curious as to how long such a ham would keep.

Kanani said...

Yes, but Bob, Ruhlman (blue blazer and all) is the Jack Bauer of the cookbook writing world.

Jennie/Tikka said...

So are any of these lovely products you've worked on going into Thanksgiving Day's menu at the del Grosso estate????

Bob del Grosso said...

The ham is only out during business hours and when I'm at the farm (no one else can slice it, otherwise it's in the fridge. And yeah, it sits on the counter. The cut end is covered with plastic but that's it. I've no idea how long it will last. Hopefully I'll sell it before it begins to degrade. I'm only charging 20 bucks/lb for it, so maybe it'll go fast.

I assume you are referring to the Jack Bauer of "24" (LOL); you nailed it.

Nah, my mother does Thanksgiving. I'll bake some bread, that's it.

Cameron Siguenza said...

I think you do a great job with the blog, and appreciate it very much. Don't worry about output. It is quality not quantity right :)

Don Luis said...

Ruhlman certainly has prettier hair than you do (and, um..., more of it), but:

I learn more practical stuff here than on any other food blog, and I appreciate the personal attention you've given to my trivial food problems (although you made fun of the shape of my pizzas, and pointed out that Puerto Rico can never have a history of bread).

You're right on both counts.

The closest thing I've come to sous vide is wearing a condom 30 years ago (I've been monogamous since then), and I didn't like that.


I love Ruhlman too, by the way.

jo said...

We haven't heard much of dear Trent lately. i she still part of the fold or has he moved on to bigger things having learned form the master?
Never in my life had I heard of so many supposed food allergies until i started teaching cooking. There are the usual suspects, but I have some who can't touch eggs, can't be in the room with citrus (made them nauseous and break out in hives), since we are in a pretty Jewish city we always ask if we can cook with pork products as part of our enrollment procedure. One mother answered sure, bacon and pancetta are fine, but no pork chops. Huh??! Bacon. the great equalizer. There are people who have decided they are lactose intolerant but are willing to dump soy milk into everything as a replacement. GOOD GOD, have you ever TASTED a chowder made with soy milk?
Then I get the kids who don't want to add an ingredient to the recipe. I'm allergic to mustard, I can't have onions I blow up. It - never - ends.

Have a great Thanksgiving....***and appropriately the word verification is PORK!

Tags said...

Back in the good old days, a Smithfield ham meant it was fed peanuts and cured for a year and a day.

Now, the day after 6 months passes from the first application of salt, it's in the supermarket.

Good to see somebody keeping the old traditions alive.

Nancy Heller said...

Bob - I know of two people who are allergic to pork. One found this out when she had severe reactions to contact lens solutions - they are made with pork-based ingredients! The other gets a bad anaphalaptic reaction if she eats too much (she can tolerate a little).

I know it sounds goofy, but as is often said in the food biz - "it is what it is." And - I don't for a minute believe that people don't say allergy when that isn't at all the case - which makes it that much harder for the people with real allergies/sensitivities.

Missed you lately - have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Bob del Grosso said...


"GOOD GOD, have you ever TASTED a chowder made with soy milk?"

No, and as a matter of fact, I've never even considered the idea. Now that I have, I think I'm going to be ill.

In the specific case I mentioned in the post the person who said she was allergic to pork later revealed that she practiced Kashrut. I assumed that the latter was the real reason for her not wanting pork, but really I don't know. I suppose I should be more open to people who claim allergies to things that my kid's internationally famous allergist at Columbia University says are not allergens. But like most people, I'm susceptible to the opinions of minted authority. :-(

Happy Thanksgiving back to you and to All!

jhenrysmith said...

this site is amazing. don't kid yourself for one minute...thank you for the inspiration.

boberica said...

Happy Thanksgiving, have a great day!
The current charcuterie looks fantastic. I have a question about Lonini(o). How diferent is this recipe from Lonza?
I'm generally in the habit of using something like pork loin fresh in the kitchen, but if there are some neat recipes that the cured product lends itself to, I'd be excited to try....

Linda said...

Happy Thanksgiving! And I love your blog. Do not stop. Don't worry about Ruhlman because you offer much that he does not. And I like your sense of humor.

And when it comes to blogs, I'm the biggest slacker these days....