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.