Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mosefund Speck di spalla/schulterspeck

I just realized that I posted about this as a 'before' item as well as used it as the header pic for the blog without posting the results.  Sorry about that.  So, after a touch under 4 months, it was ready.  Really not much I can say about it, that the picture can't tell you.  It tastes just like it looks......amazing.  The recipe is different from my normal speck made from a ham.  This has just fresh rosemary, allspice and garlic.  Nice and austere.  It was smoked for the typical 5 days using beech dust.  I'm starting to believe that the wood used for smoking really does make a huge difference.  Everything I've smoked with beech tastes exactly like what I ate in Ortisei.  I don't suggest any other wood if you're doing this at home.  This is really quite simple(casing aside, read the original post to see why it was cased), start with top quality raw ingredients and anyone can produce the same results.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mosefund Krauternschinken/Prosciutto alle erbe

Yes, I found yet another obscure salume from South Tyrol.  This one called prosciutto alle erbe or krauternschinken.  For this exercise, I used top rounds.  The top rounds were cast off as a result of speck butchery.  Just as fiocco is a result of culatello butchery, I decided to come up with something to do with the scraps created from cutting speck.  Turns out, this particular salume actually uses a leaner cut, which is exactly what the top round is.  I managed to find this while looking through a multitude of sources, mostly Italian language books and websites.  I happened upon a prosciutto disciplinary which listed every region in Italy and the prosciutti specific to each region.  Impossible to find any type of recipe, aside from "erbe," I made up my own.  This was dry cured(as opposed to brine) with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary and sage for 3 weeks as it was being pressed.  After the 3 weeks, it was smoked for 5 days with beechwood, and then cooked.  This was done sous vide to 155 farenheit.  However, it can be poached or steamed as well.  It tastes only gently smoked and nice and fragrantly herby.  Quite nice on a sandwich with crusty bread and a slice of emmentaler.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mosefund speck di coppa/nackenspeck

Well, I found yet another way to turn something into speck.  In this case coppa/neck.  Going through all my literature, I came across this.  It is officially listed as nackenspeck in the South Tyrol and speck di coppa as it's secondary name.  Always up for something new(especially from South Tyrol) and an extra coppa lying around, it was a no brainer.  Aside from typical spices used for speck, this was no different than every other coppa I've cured.  You can look back at my other speck posts to see about the spicing.  Smoking was the same protocol as in previous speck projects.  I've been using beech wood dust exclusively to cold smoke all my speck recently.  One thing of note I failed to mention was pressing during curing.  The speck di coppa/nackenspeck I've seen from South Tyrol have been pressed and uncased.  Seeing as I don't care for uncased whole muscles that are skinless and/or unprotected by a thick fat layer, casing it was automatic.  Cured 3 weeks, rinsed, cased, smoked 5 days, hung to dry.  Roughly 8-10 weeks later(I can't recall exactly and I didn't write it down), 33% weight loss and it got cut down.  That's exactly what you're looking at.  That dark edge around the circumference of the coppa has given me cause for concern in the past, as it appears to be case hardening.  However, pictures I've seen of almost all speck varieties from South Tyrol have this.  Since it's not dry, it can logically be described as a smoke ring.  This thing is great, think luscious coppa meets smoky, delicious speck.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mosefund Bauernschinken Südtirol

Also referred to as Prosciutto contadino in Italian, I stumbled across this salume while researching more sudtirol salumi.  The diversity of the salumi in that area is stunning.  I'm repeating myself at this point, but, damn, it really is amazing.  I was fortunate enough to have 2 mosefund speck hanging when I found this.  For all intents and purposes, this is speck cotto or cooked speck.  If you've made speck following techniques I've set forward, you should have no issue making this.  Here is my previous post on mosefund mangalitsa speck.  Same goes for this, cure 3 weeks, smoke 5 days using beech wood(in South Tyrol it's a more gentle smoke over the course of about 20 days), hang to age 2-3 weeks and steam, poach or sous vide to 155 degrees Fahrenheit.  I steamed it, took 3-4 hours to get up to temperature.  In corresponding with a gentleman from Val Pusteria in South Tyrol, I came to find out that their Bauernschinken recipe was a bit different than their typical speck recipe.  It seems they use quite a bit of fresh rosemary.  For my next effort, I will adjust accordingly.  As for this effort, once again, I am quite pleased. This particular leg weighed about 12lbs.  I quartered the finished product, leaving 4 pieces of roughly 3 lbs.  To show how good I thought it was, I demolished a quarter in a little over a week.  Additionally, I have 3 legs currently earmarked for this.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mosefund Coppa Piacetina

As I have stated many times, this is in the style of Piacenza, due to the fact that I'm not actually IN Piacenza. Of course, this is true, even in Italy of DOP items, which Coppa Piacenza is. Piacenza is a town in Emilia-Romagna in the Po river valley which also lays claim to another DOP salume, pancetta Piacentina.

I've wanted to make something in this style for quite some time, however, I have something of an aversion for several of the spices in this. I've used some of them before and I felt they were overwhelming and unpleasant, clove and cinnamon, in particular. But, I was eager to try something different, and I surmised that by using scant amounts of said spices, it would turn out palatable. I went with the usual sea salt, black pepper, sugar combo, along with the spices cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger and coriander. The coppa(again, provided by Michael at Mosefund) started at 2.41kg. After close to 3 months, I removed it at 33% total weight loss. I eagerly cut into it, hoping for the best. I was beyond pleasantly surprised, I was amazed. All those challenging spices together are actually very pleasant. Absolutely nothing overwhelming about any of them. No Christmas recollection at all, which most of these spices do for me. I can aver that this salume will be a mainstay in my repertoire.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Soppressata di Calabria results

Here is the result of my previous post. Just about 2 months after it was hung to dry, most of them are ready. Yes, they taste as good as they look. I don't think there's much to tweak here. The heat is subtle, yet apparent. It also lingers pleasantly for several minutes after eating. I may just bump the amount of hot pepper powder a touch, as I'd like perhaps a little more up front heat. The amount of hot pepper paste is perfect, I think. Just the right amount of salt as well. These were removed at between 44-45% weight loss, they felt pretty stiff, but proved to still be a good deal moist inside. Overall, very happy with this and it will remain a constant in the repertoire.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mosefund Lonzardo

Another lovely cut provided to me by Michael Clampffer at Mosefund farm. This is simply a loin with the fat cap still attached. It is a loin(lonza) + backfat(lardo), hence the "lonzardo" designation. It is the same cut as in my previous Speck di carre' post. In fact, it's the other half of the same piece. This is the loin end. I was unsure about what to do with this. So, urged by Jason to just let the meat do all the talking, I obliged and took the path of austerity. I cured this only with sea salt, cure#2 and black pepper for 17 days. Rinsed it, and, again, contrary to tradition, cased it, same as the speck di carre'. One thing I haven't mentioned previously when dealing with cuts such as this. It is about 60/40 fat/meat percentage. Conventionally, you would consider any given whole muscle would be nearing readiness at the 30% weight loss plateau. However, since this cut contains a freakishly disproportionate amount of fat, you can throw convention out the window. Super high quality fat like this contains about ZERO moisture. That being the case, weight loss does not occur as it would normally. I believe this was removed after 9 weeks at only 25% loss. I had to go strictly by feel with these. Not the fat cap either, just the lean. Again, I am happy with the fact that I cased this. I really don't think this could have turned out any tastier.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Which word you choose, depends on the dialect you speak. What dialect you speak is dependent upon where you live in Calabria. These are basically just 3 whimsical names for guanciale. Yes, guanciale has been beaten to death here, but, I enjoy the cute names. This is a jowl that was originally intended for 'nduja, but, I fell in love with it and rescued it. This is another monster jowl from Mosefund. It is as simple a cure as could be. Cured 7-10 days, depending on size, with just sicilian sea salt and cure #2. Then, it is rinsed, dried off and covered in freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes, which is what you see in the picture. Now it sits for 4-6 weeks. Quick, easy, lovely.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pancetta dei Monti Nebrodi

This wretched monstrosity is a Mosefund mangalitsa belly a day into it's curing process. This was a bit of a process. I really wanted to find an outlet for all this lovely, fragrant oregano I have. I've just never seen it used much in curing. I researched for a solid 2 weeks and came up with this.

Monti Nebrodi is a mountain range in northeast Sicily. So, there are 2 firsts for me here. Making a salume from Sicily and using oregano in a cure. This pancetta is traditionally rolled. However, this being a mangalitsa belly, it is impossible to roll. I like flat better anyway, I used a little norcino license. This is a 2 step process. The first step is Sicilian sea salt, fennel pollen, oregano, and cure #2 and/or vinegar, I say and/or because the vinegar can either be used at this point or the next in the rinse phase. This is left for about 1-2 weeks. It is then rinsed, again, with the vinegar if you didn't use it in the first step. Then, black pepper, peperoncino and more oregano are applied to the exposed flesh and let it dry for a month or 2. See you in April with the results.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mosefund Speck di carre'

Yep, more speck...........deal with it. I was given a couple lovely loins still with the fatback attached by Michael. One became an obligatory Lonzardo(post forthcoming) and I wanted to do something special with the second. With Mangalitsa being an Austro-Hungarian breed, I knew there had to
be a preparation from Sudtirol. Sure enough, a couple hours of digging and I came across something from one small producer in Anterselva, about 15 miles from the Austrian border. We've been over the Germanic history of the region, no need to revisit. Suffice to say, this is true to it's namesake. I literally followed my speck procedure by the numbers and applied it to this cut. However, there is one caveat. Traditionally with this cut, not
just this particular salume, the skin is left on and it is not cased. Now, I'm as rigid as anyone when it comes to the rules. But, I'm of the opinion that the exposed flesh of uncased salumi is refuse. I always end up trimming it off. So, I decided to try an experiment. I removed the skin AND cased it. Cured 2 weeks, smoked 4 days, aged 9 weeks and this is what you have. As far as the results of the experiment, I can say that the casing provided protection for the exterior and there was no need to trim the outermost flesh. But, that was predictable. What I can't say is how the lack of said outside crust may have impacted the taste. Not having anything to which to compare it is the issue. It is still plenty smoky even with the casing. It tastes about exactly how I expected....wonderfully.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mosefund Soppressata di Calabria

This is not "supersod," it is soppressata, and it is THE salame of Calabria. I've made soppressate before, but, that's just some generic name loosely applied to almost any salame. Throw a little hot pepper in it and you got, "supersod." It took me a quite awhile and a trip to Calabria filled with innumerable questions to get me to this point. Poring over Italian language books and email correspondence with family members in Calabria(they don't check email regularly in Italy) for several months, I felt I had an authentic recipe. Bear in mind that these recipes, like all recipes in Italy, vary from home to home. So, this became an amalgamation of several recipes.

I was given a good amount of meat again by Michael at Mosefund farm for this project(he also lent me his new meat grinder to make my life easier). The meat and fat were ground up through what I believe to be a 6mm plate. Where it gets interesting and little controversial is the addition of the peperoncini products. Really, only one ingredient is the issue, hot pepper paste or crema di peperoncino. It is hotly debated whether or not it gets used...........I used it. The rest is easy and predictable, hot pepper powder/peperoncino in polvere is a lock, salt, black pepper, cure #2, t-spx starter and dextrose and red wine.

Onto the next issue of import.......casings. Hog middles, without question. I've seen most made here using beef middles, which are fine. But, the DOP item assuredly uses hog middles, which you see pictured. After everything was ground up, mixed together and stuffed into the hog middles, it was time to press them. Not having a dedicated press, I had to get somewhat resourceful. I placed the soppressate on the bottom of my fermentation chamber. On top of which I placed several plastic cutting boards to cover them. On top of those, I placed a roasting pan, in which I placed a case of bottled water. I told you.....resourceful. They were pressed for the entire fermentation process which lasted a little under 72 hours. Now they hang, and I wait, for what I believe to be 12 weeks or so based on the drying time of the Salame Mugnano.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Speck d'alce(elk speck)

My cousin, whom I've mentioned here prior, stopped over for the 1st of 2 venison drop offs.(More on that at a later date) Among all the "roasts" was a little vacuum sealed frozen pearl, on which "elk" was scribbled in black marker. I was asked if I wanted it and/or if I could do anything with it. He didn't ask again. Being only one genome off from venison, I knew I could treat it the same. So, with that, I decided to "speck" it. The speck subject has been covered ad nauseum here, so, I'll spare you the banality. This was prepared exactly as pig speck. This was cured, cased, smoked and dried the exact same time as 3 other venison bresaole I just made. However, this took about 1.5 weeks longer to dry out. Tough to say why, the leanness is near the same, which is to say quite lean. Just pulled it down today and cut into it. Tastes no different than venison, honestly. Slightly gamey, nicely smoked. All around very tasty. Side by side, you wouldn't even know it was elk vs. venison. But, at least I've satisfied my desire to work with elk.........successfully.