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Charcuterie Ideas?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
After a year off due to the surprise sale of the restaurant I was the chef of, my daughter being born, and some absolutely suicidally-boring months of hiatus, I am finally back in a proper restaurant gig! -and I have a new found respect for moms!

I've been working for about 2 months now as "Chef De Charcuterie" for this french place, and It's going well. I've always cured meats and made sausages and pates at the restaurants I've worked at, but having the opportunity to just do charcuterie has become a fantastic learning expeirience. -I'll post some stories of exploding mortadellas later.

I'm trying to do more than just make some potted meats and rillets, I'm really trying to embrace the real purpose of charcuterie and develope a full program for the restaurant. I have the cooks save me EVERYTHING, I envision a kitchen where every vegi scrap makes its way into stock and every meat, fish and poultry scrap finds it's way to a plate.
Each week it's about 60% tried and true techniques, 25% experimentation and 15% reading , with many successes, but definatly a few stinkers.

Coming from an Italian schooled culinary backgrownd, I feel at a slight disatvantage when it comes to ideas for new charcuterie projects. I tend to always think of things in their simplest forms, which sometimes gets me stuck in particular flavor profiles.

I'd love to here some of your ideas or recipes for charcuterie, I've worked my way through the obvious ones I know, mortadella, cappocollo, rillets, mousses, sausages, panchetta, salami,...ect.

I know it's basic, but I'd like to find some more chicken recipes. I have a curried chicken terrine with apricot on the plate right now.

-Lamb fat- Iv'e snuck it into about every fresh sausage I can and still Im left with an abundance. Any Ideas?

I thought this might be a fun topic of discussion and I look forward to your input.

-ciao
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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post #2 of 7
I'm a frustrated student of charcuterie myself so I can't really help you but I just wanted to say: God bless you!!!!! The world is a better place because of the renaissance of charcuterie. I am convinced that it will bring about world peace.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Anneke,

After tireless book searches,(I own about 6 on the topic) -the most informative resources I've found are: Paul Bertoli's book "cooking by hand" -has a very good section on cured meats and charcuterie, Jane Grigson's 1967 "charcuterie french pork cookery"
-but the VERY BEST information I've found is Len Poli's website:
Len Poli's Sausage Making - Homemade Sausage Formulations and Recipes
-reading the pages "introduction" and "salami making" are incredibly informative, they are practically a book in themselves. He has over 300 pdf's available for download, and he answers his emails. I use a few of his formulas for a foundation to some of the recipes I've developed.

hope that relieves some frustration.
-ciao
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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post #4 of 7
One of my favourite restaurants in Niagara-on-the-Lake is the Stoneroad Grille. They have the best charcuterie bar none up here. The chef also used Cooking by Hand. I think it's time to order it. Thanks and good luck!
post #5 of 7
On the charcuterie thing....I have the same problem as you buona, I come from an Italian background, where things are in their simplest form, yet I try to embrace it as it seems to be the best way....for me that is and this is just my opinion and a personal one at that. With that said I am trying to get more into the smoking end of things and not playing around too much with the "off the beaten path" combinations of ingredients. Nothing wrong with it but I guess I'm a "dance with the one that I brung" kinda guy. There are enough regional and ethinic ideas out there, in their simplest form, to keep me busy enough just trying to get those right. And if I stumble into something along the way then that's all the better but keep in mind I did say stumble. The best of luck and be sure to share what you do find works. Might be nice to try.

Anneke, Niagra on the Lake. What a great place that is. When we lived in the Rochester area it was a favorite weekend escape for us. Last time we were up there was 2001. We stayed at the Prince of Wales Hotel. Can't remember the cafe we had wine and appetizers at on that visit but it was our first stop on arriving and the place was just down the street from the Hotel on the next corner. Outstanding wine list and appetizer menu. What a jewel of a town that place was for us.
post #6 of 7
It's not particularly useful for an application of terrines or pates but lamb fat (assuming this is fat you're getting from butchering and not skimmed off of a braise or stock) does really well being brined/cured and smoked to be used as a bacon or a lardon - even the fatty trimmings from the shoulder and whatever can be brined, slow smoked, braised and made into sumptuous salty smoky bits for soups, risottos, or ven studded throughout a torchon of foie gras or head cheese.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
LogghiB,
I like that idea. I can teach the prep cooks to take the fat caps off in one piece, then roll it up like a panchetta. Lambachetta? -right now they give me an uniform bag-o-scraps, which would make brine times a little tricky.

Crispy lamb-lardons on top of the onion soup gratinee, mmmm.
-thanks!
nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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nel maiale, tutto e buono!
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