If you are in London, Ontario check out local cheesemonger and charcuterie maker Erin Harris, via Cheese Poet.    

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Say you have a whole ham and your wife, named Donna, doesn’t want the thing hanging in your closet for a year, drying out for prosciutto. Or you live in a fifth-floor walk-up in Manhattan and don’t have a wife named Donna but you also don’t have a closet, let alone a drying room. Or you have a whole ham but do not have a holiday dinner to prepare and fourteen people to feed. Such is usually the case, in fact, so what do you do with a whole ham? I get this question all the time. The answer is that you break it down into smaller, delectable parts. Here’s what one butcher, Rob Levitt, of Chicago’s The Butcher & Larder, does with his ham. It’s difficult of course to put into words exactly where to draw a Read On »

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Today my Friday cocktail will be a daiquiri here in Palm Beach. Or you could instead sit down with a Lagunitas IPA and a few homemade chicken sausages; this recipe originally appears in Charcuterie.   Chicken Sausage with Basil and Tomatoes 3 1⁄2 pounds/1.5 kilograms boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed 1 1⁄2 pounds/675 grams pork back fat, cubed, diced into 1-inch pieces 3 tablespoons/40 grams kosher salt 1 teaspoon/3 grams freshly ground black pepper 1 1⁄2 teaspoons/9 grams minced garlic 4 tablespoons/24 grams tightly packed chopped fresh basil 1⁄2 cup/100 grams fresh diced roma (plum) tomatoes 1⁄4 cup/60 grams diced sun-dried tomatoes 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters red wine vinegar, chilled 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters extra virgin olive oil 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters dry red wine, chilled 10 feet/3 meters hog casings, soaked in tepid water for at least 30 Read On »

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I had one of the most inspiring days of my life Monday, watching Austrian farmer/butcher Christoph Wiesner kill and dress a hog. See video below of evisceration shot by Austrian journalist Jürgen Schmücking, covering Pigstock TC and Michigan wines and beers. We met on Marc Santucci’s farm, on a warm fall day, surrounded by leaves, apple trees, and tall grass. The pigs were rooting in an open-air pen, where the slaughter took place. Christoph stunned the pig with a bolt. He explained that it was important to do this with the pig in its natural position—less stress on both animal and muscle, which can be harmed by the acidity produced by stress. He was nervous and I could see it, his own heart pounding, taking deep breaths. He petted the pig and made loving noises to Read On »

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  On Saturday night in Cambridge, on a young friend’s recommendation, we dined at The Russell House Tavern, near Harvard Square, where chef Michael Scelfo and his mischievous band of cooks put out excellent high-end tavern fare. I was delighted when my 13-year-old son perused the menu and immediately asked, “Can we get the charcuterie board?” This question has only one correct response. I especially appreciated Scelfo’s pork rillettes, which were topped with a creamy layer of duck fat. Scelfo has a menu that would seem to be designed exactly for me, with items such as “Pig’s Head Cake” and “Crispy Pork Belly Sandwich,” but also deviled eggs and superb fried oysters. But it was the fact that he, like so many other chefs, offered charcuterie. Indeed the charcuterie or salumi board is now ubiquitous in American Read On »

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