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This I promise. - A little less than a happy high
komos
komos
This I promise.
You have not lived until you've been to a Chinese grocer and asked for slab of pork bellie (sic.) by holding up a much smaller, pre-cut piece and pantomiming that you'd like four times that amount all in one piece. If you go, you'll likely have to speak to 3 butchers and a couple of helpful customers, but it's worth it just to see the guy with the knife bring out a pork side and show you where he plans to cut it.

It came bone in, but now I have ribs in addition to bacon makings.

~*~

Alton Brown has five recipes up on the foodnetwork site from his "Scrap Iron Chef" episode. Ostensibly, these were for use in his cold smoker conversion crafted from a bank of school lockers. Not a single one of these treatments calls for curing salts.
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wanderyng1 From: wanderyng1 Date: February 5th, 2008 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found that episode really interesting, mainly because I was never ballsy enough to go the cold-smoking route sans curing salts with any meat. I imagine if it was as much a recipe for disaster as I always assumed it would be, he wouldn't have done it. If you try it out, you'll have to let me know how it goes. I'm rather curious.
komos From: komos Date: February 5th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
It all goes back to Ruhlman and his insistence on adding curing salts (pink salt/Insta-Cure/etc.) to just about anything that's not getting boiled immediately after crafting. Hell, his approach to bacon is cooking via hot smoke or by roasting. The more I read, the more I think that this book is the Rodale's Herbs of charcuterie - informative and very useful, but ultimately erring on the side of caution.

Batali doesn't use pink salt for pancetta. I think I can be a little crazy and hot-smoke some bacon without the added nitrites.
oceanic From: oceanic Date: February 6th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
That reminds me-- is it too late to ask for some sweet-cured bacon? Are your orders full up? :)
komos From: komos Date: February 6th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not at all. I started a larger piece in a maple cure last night. Based on the cut, it looks like it will be a leaner (and thinner) product this go, but it should still be tasty.
oceanic From: oceanic Date: February 6th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
nom nom. Even if it kills me it will be the tastiest death ever.
komos From: komos Date: February 6th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
There'll be no dyin' on my watch.
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