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This I promise. - A little less than a happy high
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.
6 comments or Leave a comment
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.
6 comments or Leave a comment