Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What to do...

Got one of these in today. Some wanker at the abattoir  cut off a jowl for some reason, so im not sure what i will do with it. I could do guanciale with it but to be honest im not a huge fan of guanciale, i just like the way it sounds when you say it. I'm thinking testina and its probably what i will end up doing. I could do some crazy head cheese but really who wants to go out to a nice restaurant and REALLY eat headcheese.... I got some beef tongues in today too... i'll probably pickle them in some malt vinegar... i got rabbits and horse in today too.... oh boy... gonna be a loooong week!

Beef N' Dill

A favorite of most diners and cooks is the beef and dill salami. The combination originally inspired from a japanese dumbling, then transformed into a beef carpaccio with dill and shaved frozen feta, then came the salami. The first one i did was a genoa style salami, which basically meant a lot of ground pork back fat to keep a creamy consistency. The first one i made i really didn't like it, yet everyone else loved it. I used dill seed as well as fresh and a lot of ground fat. i found the dill seed to be off putting and felt there was just too much fat in there which made it a bitch to slice nicely. It just didn't hold together enough for my liking but since everyone loved it and a lot of people thought it would go well with a nice glass of red i decided to give it another try but omit the dill seed and lessen the ground fat content. It still isn't a huge favorite of mine but the customers seem to like it and the customers always right....right? 

Smoked Venison Salami

Some people really enjoy this salami and others just really dont get it. I guess its because it doesn't have the typical salami flavor and texture. 
It has the addition of dried cherries and when smoked it takes on a really unique flavour. It doesn't take smoke like say a summer sausage or smoked mortadella, both of which really seem to take smoke and keep it. The venison is different, it takes the smoke but it stays in the background, at the same time bringing out the flavour and sweetness from both the venison and cherries. The recipe is really straight forward and the only difference is grinding the cherries with the meat. A fellow cook forgot to grind them once and it was a horrible mistake.
the whole batch was riddled with gaps and holes as the meat and cherries dried out and we ended up having to throw most of the batch out. Live and learn i guess, but it was a big batch and he as well as I was sad to see it go. Originally, we would smoke it a few days after making it, but this batch i was too busy opening the charcuterie bar i didn't smoke it till a month and a 1/2 later. From my observation, it didn't make much of a difference  however maybe its just in my head, but i do think that the smoke is a little more apparent with the later smoking, which I guess makes complete sense. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Prior to opening my restaurant i went to montreal to source out some good artisanal charcuterie. I tell ya, there isn't much going on in Canada, not that i have found anyways. I did come across this booth at the Jean Talon marche. They are called "Les Cochon Tout Ronds" and produce there stuff on Iles de la Madeleine which is on the east coast of Quebec. There stuff is awesome! It smells like porky farmhouse goodness. First producer ive seen who sells there stuff with nice mold on it. i let the people behind me go first as i was looking to try everything before i purchased it. First came the ventrech, which is there cured pork belly. so fatty yet doesn't smell like fridge. Then came the lonzino and coppa. Both very well seasoned and simple. Then came there figatelli, which is a shriveled up piece of salami with ground pork liver and some nice spice. 
As i tasted i was so thrilled to have found this gem that i was "balling" out of control. a dozen of these, 6 of those, 10 of these. then came the proscuitto. tasted it, it wa
s great. so i took one as well. $500 bucks later and i was off to eat at Au Pied de Cochon. 12 courses and me and my fellow cook buddy were stuffed. We left and had to sit on someones porch for 20 minutes before we could walk to the local bar. Our last course was foie gras on pankakes with potato, bacon, and maple syrup. We saw the servers laughing and giggling at us as we waited for our last course. We eventually found out that they havn't really seen anybody eat that much there before and i guess they found it funny we got served our main course and dessert all in one plate. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh Blog...

How I miss you!
I am opening up my restaurant today and although i've ignored you, as soon as the storm settles i will come back to you. Eat more charcuterie everybody!!