Sunday, November 23, 2008
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.