f you’re going to start experimenting with curing meats at home, this tome will take you there. Michael Ruhlman wrote this classic back in 2005, and though he’s a prolific and knowledgeable food writer, he was a newbie at making charcuterie when taking on the book. Enter Brian Polcyn, a lifelong charcutier who teaches butchery and charcuterie at a college level. Polcyn lends decades of experience to the stories behind the recipes, and even gives us a few family recipes of his own (don’t miss the one for his Wiejska with Marjoram). Start practicing now and you’ll be turning out dreamy boudin blanc and hearty jaegerwurst by Christmas.