Remember those mysterious duck sausages I told you about a few weeks ago? Well, they are ready at last and they taste super fine!
The prosciutto is still curing so we don’t know how it will taste but the duck sausage experiment proved out so well that Martin and his chef colleagues have made salami of various kinds and a slew of pork sausages. In fact, the whole enterprise grew so much bigger that we had to create a new storage area for curing these meats. Fortunately our house has two cold storage cellars! While it’s all fun on one level, our entire house also reeks like a deli – I guess my vegetarian friends won’t be dropping by much.
The process for curing the meats is quite fascinating and we’re all learning a lot. When I was a kid, my Baba occasionally made headcheese but that was about it. Later as a chef I made gravlax, fresh sausages and various meat pâtés but I never attempted to preserve meat for longer-term use. Truthfully, I was too afraid to try. I’m still not confident enough to go it alone and make my own sausage or salami, but I’m learning a lot watching Martin take the PH reading of the meats and regulating the humidity in the hanging room. (He still needs to discover how to control the rank odour of curing meat that is wafting through the house – I’m sure the entire world I meet each day thinks I have B.O. when really I just have Martin and his sausages!)
I’ve also been dipping into his reference books and learning good tips. So far, my two reccos for those with a curiosity for curing are:
• Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli
• Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.
If you have any curing tips, references or stories, please share them!