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I need an intervention--I bought a pig and have visions of charcuterie!


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I need an intervention--I bought a pig and have visions of charcuterie!

jljohn | | Sep 19, 2012 05:17 AM

I just purchased a pig (which I'm splitting with a neighbor) and a small chest freezer to go with it, and as I think about how I will use it up, I keep running in my mind to a world where I have to duck as I walk through my kitchen to avoid whacking my head on all the charcuterie! I'm even starting to think about how to set up a curing chamber and keep the temp and humidity just right. Help!

In all seriousness, I'd like to try curing some of this pig. I'll get the usual assortment of roasts, chops, ground pork, etc, and the butcher can do ham, bacon, and sausage if I'd like, but where would be a good place for me to start experimenting in my fridge? I assume the jowl would be a good place to start--making Guanciale--and if I have the butcher set aside some fresh belly (not made into bacon) I can try a Pancetta. And I suppose I should try making some sausage from the ground pork. But what else should I consider as a first-timer who is working with a fairly full fridge (i.e. not much space in the there)? What else has a high success rate and is not really finicky with regard to humidity and doesn't require special equipment?

Any thoughts or help would be appreciated! Also, any resources that have been particularly helpful to you would be great to know about. I'm planning on ordering Ruhlman's Charcuterie as a starting point, and supplementing along the way. Are there better resources out there?

Finally, if it makes any difference in all of this, I live in a Condo in Boston, so I have limited space, and a smoker is not an option.