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Entries in Salumi (5)


Curing Salumi at Home

I was quite proud of my winter project: Home Cured Meat.

Using the Charcuterie book as my guide and with the visual inspection and eventual sampling of three different chefs, Dino at Diavola @diavolapizzeria, Pete at Sugo @sugotrattoria, and Mike at Trelio @trelio, I felt confident enough to serve my homemade salumi to my 3 year old nephew over Christmas and 12 dinner guests on Valentine's Day.

Thanks Dino, Pete, and Mike for your help and guidance. 

Here's a picture log of the two products, Bresaola (Beef) and Lonza (Pork):


Crawl spaces and basements

Why should you care what the average temperature and humidity of my crawlspace is? Well, because I'm looking for appropriate conditions to dry-age salami. 

Fresno is wonderfully dry, rather than humid. There's a "sweet spot" for dry-curing meat, roughly around 60% humidity and a temperature around 60 degrees, nearly the same for storing wine, and certainly NOT Fresno's sweet spot. This reading was taken at around 12:25 in the afternoon.

However, my great-grandparents aged sausage and salami in their basement 80 years ago, so why can't I? I forgot to zero-out my gauge, so don't pay attention to the high temp, it's not accurate. 

I make my own vinegar, wine, pasta, and sausage; so why not salami? I'm sure you'll be updated on the various projects from time to time.  


First rule of Meat Club

We talk about Meat Club.

Unlike the 1999 movie starring Brad Pitt, The Meat Club, founded in Portland, Oregon isn't a secret society.

Meat Club is the brainchild of Ryan Snyder and Dietrich Ayala. It's an online book and "how to" for sausages, bacon, pancetta and the list is growing.

Ryan and I know each other from another foodie site he worked on, where foodie curators dove into a specific city and found the best places to eat and drink over a 48 hour period. Your friendly neighborhood Cured Ham contributed to the Sonoma / Healdsburg feature for the online journal.

Smokie the Pig

Photo courtesy of Meat Club.

Last time I was in Portland, Ryan and I got together over sandwiches at Laurelhurst Market, a favorite of ours in PDX. Part butcher shop, part restaurant, it's one of the best Portland has to offer. Ryan and I talked about all things cured meat and some ongoing projects he and I are working on. 

Much success to you Ryan and the Meat Club. I'll be trying a couple of the recipes and incorporating them into a dish or two. 



Portland in Review

I had a great mix of out-to-dinner and dinner-in on my latest trip to Portland. Portland is a great food city, no doubt. But Downtown Portland only represents a slice of the city. Neighborhood places are all over. Sure there are food trucks, but there are also some great brick and mortar places too. Similar to The East Bay cities of Oakland and Berkeley, Portland has some "Gourmet Ghettos" throughout town specializing in charcuterie, cheese, and ethnic cuisine.

I was also fortunate enough to dine with some great home cooks. The bagels you see aren't from a bakery,they're my friend Edwin's creations. The brother/sister team of Edwin and Mary helped craft dinner one night, and I couldn't have felt more welcome. A wood fire for our sausages (Tails and Trotters), fresh veggies from the Farmer's Market (tomato lady), fresh bread from the rudest (and best) bakery in PDX Little T, and a personal food discovery for me, Wooly Pig Proscuitto from North Carolina purchased at the Cheese Bar. And might I say, The Cheese Bar was fabulous! Tons of beer, wine by the glass, salumi (beautiful salumi) and it's namesake, CHEESE!




 And then there was this kind lady at the Farmer's Market. I basically touched as many as I could before I purchased several. They were top quality. And she even threw in a extra one after I paid. Maybe the bark on the sign is worse than the bite.

Until the next time PDX, it's time to fly.


Chop Butchery, Portland

Thanks to a friend of mine in Portland, not to mention a fellow foodie, I was fortunate enough to sample some country pate one evening. However, she wouldn’t give me the name of the maker. Almost as though she were testing my well honed research skills, I narrowed the list to a few small, high-end suppliers in the area.


"As if I was lead to my goal by destiny, I walked by a table full of various pate and salumi at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. The beautiful display is the work of Chop Butchery and the flavor of the country pate was exactly the same as the evening before."

I tried everything on the table pictured above and then some. I purchased several salami and pate to bring home with me. Outstanding. The Fatted Calf in Napa is neck-in-neck with what I had at Chop, some of the best I've ever had.

Chop Butchery & Charcuterie on Urbanspoon