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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries in Charcutepalooza (3)

Friday
Apr152011

Charcutepalooza: smoking, pudding, and porkgasms

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Q: What do you call the feeling of intense euphoria brought on by the consumption of well-prepared pork?

A: A porkgasm!

 

I proudly take full credit for that dirty food joke.

Mrs. Wheelbarrow  and The Yummy Mummy, in partnership with Food52, are hosting a year-long blog event called Charcutepalooza: A Year of Meat. Using Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's Charcuterie as a guide, this challenge encourages bloggers to explore the world of salting, smoking, and curing their own meats. There is a big grand prize at the end that involves a trip to France and personal charcuterie lessons, but I jumped on the Charcutepalooza boat a bit too late to be eligible. A sad but true fact I can't escape. C'est la vie!

My corned beef post from last month was featured by Food52 as one of the ten best blog posts for the March brining challenge. I'm honored! I adore Food52 and admire the work of the other bloggers featured in their round up, so I was thrilled to be mentioned. Be sure to check out Food52's recap of the challenge, as well as my post about making corned beef. 

This month's challenge is hot smoking. I became giddy at the prospect of trying a new recipe in a smoker. My housemates have a Camerons stovetop smoker, and since moving in I've gotten into the habit of using it at least once per week. Smoked salmon paté, smoked hamburgers, smoked locally-made sausages, smoked marinated chicken breasts, the list goes on. I'm totally addicted to the food that comes out of it. So, I went right for the gold and took on the Charcuterie Challenge of making Spicy Smoked Pork Loin from Charcuterie.

 

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Monday
Mar142011

Corned Beef & Sweet Potato Hash (gluten-free)

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When I was a kid, sometimes my dad would buy those cans of Hormel® Mary Kitchen® corned beef hash. I remember being fascinated by the way the unappetizing pasty, fatty, white hash would turn lovely, golden, and crisp once heated in a pan. As a child, I loved it.  Loved it, that is, until about age 13, when I denounced meat and lived a not-so-balanced veg*n lifestyle for 10 years. Moving on. Hand me a steak.

Dad would fry up the hash on Sunday mornings, or a can would get packed in the food bag to take to the cabin Up North (the proverbial cabin location for any Midwestener). Although canned corned beef hash was by no means a staple in our house, I think a thorough investigation of my parents' pantry would most likely reveal a can of hash hidden in the back corners, way up out-of-reach, saved for my father's solo trips to the cabin....  A guy needs his salty, fatty, meaty fix every now and then. 

This hash is much better than the canned hash of my childhood, a kicked-up modern twist on an old favorite. I used homemade corned beef, sweet potatoes, and onions, seasoned with fresh thyme leaves and a jalapeño pepper. Simple? You bet. Flavorful? Absolutely. Homemade corned beef is a flavor powerhouse. This stuff tastes better than the canned hash any day, has way more nutritional value, and probably only a small fraction of the sodium.  And it looks beautiful, perfectly suited for any meal of the day. I served mine with a sauté of kale, onions, garlic, and roasted red peppers, and a scoop of raw sauerkraut. It would be wonderful with homemade gluten-free toast, or scrambled eggs. Or, just eat a scoop all on its own. I hope you enjoy it, whether for St. Patrick's Day celebrations or any other day of the year.

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Sunday
Mar132011

Charcutepalooza: Homemade Corned Beef 

Updated on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 by Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living

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I am a recovering vegetarian. My 10 year plant-fueled career spanned my formative cooking years. I became a whiz with all things vegetal, but was robbed of a decent knowledge base of meat preparation.  Since adding meat back to my diet about 5 years ago, I've had to learn what to do with it.  When I decided to eat meat again, I promised myself I would go all out, saving bones to make broth and not cringing at the sight of tendons and fat. But at times I'm at a total loss, and somewhat intimidated by meat.  Hand me a rutabaga, and I'm a pro. Hand me a gorgeous cut of meat, and I have to sit and think for a minute (or 10).

I've been trying branch out of my turkey burger/roasted chicken/baked salmon rut.  In the last year or so, I've had a growing fascination with charcuterie. I've wanted to learn to cure meats and make sausages and do all that stuff!  Salty, smoky, cured meat is my weakness.  I know, I know - it's high in fat, it's high in sodium, it often contains nitrates, blah blah blah. I don't care. I love it.  I splurge on really high quality cured meats and relish every bite. Everyone needs a vice. And besides, with all the dietary restrictions and lifestyle changes I've had to make the last three years, if I can eat bacon and sausage and speck and chorizo and not get a bellyache, I'm going to do it. And enjoy it shamelessly.


To support my salty meat habit, I recently got a great book: Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. This book is the ultimate guide for the home cook interested in salting, smoking, and curing their own meats. Shortly after getting the book, I saw that Mrs. Wheelbarrow  and The Yummy Mummy were hosting a year-long blog event called Charcutepalooza: A Year of Meat. Not only does that sound like fun, it also is using Charcuterie as a guide! Perfect. The challenge this month was to make something brined, and I opted for the advanced challenge of making my own corned beef. The perfect inspiration to learn, play, and indulge my meaty curiosity.  

My former vegetarian self is cowering somewhere in a corner. 

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Let me tell you about my experience.  I used the recipe from Charcuterie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, with a few small tweaks. I am not posting the recipe here; if you want it, I highly recommend buying a copy of the book. It is worth every penny.

My beef came from Grass Run Farm. I met the founder of Grass Run Farm a few years ago; he was giving samples of his grass-fed beef at the co-op, and I took the opportunity to chat.  We talked about our experiences at our shared alma mater Luther College, the beautiful land of the Oneota River Valley, and of course, his beef. When it came time to order my brisket for the corned beef recipe, I was excited to order from the butcher, knowing that I'd be receiving beef very likely raised by a man I've actually met who loves and respects his cattle. 

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